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Camera for  Natural Expressions?
Camera for Natural Ex  
Hi Kent!


If you don't mind me asking, I am curious for your opinion.  How noticeable is the setup of this Nikon snapshot camera, as far as "shooting from the hip", if I were to hold this pack at my stomach level with the top zipper open and make it look like I'm fiddling with something inside? There's a right angle mirror I placed in this fanny pack so that I can still see my camera's LCD screen when looking straight down so that I don't have to hold it up at eye level (I want to make it less noticeable that I am taking photographs). In your opinion, is that cut out square obvious, or does it look like it could easily be confused as part of the pack's design if others aren't aware they are supposed to suspect?

Let's say I'm in public out in the open where people don't reasonably expect privacy, but I don't want them to try to pose nor smile for the camera, but rather just act normal? Or maybe I want want to take pictures for legitimate "editorial" Freedom of Speech protesting purposes and don't want someone to physically confront me even if what I'm doing is perfectly legal, since they're visible in a public area?

Thanks for any feedback on my setup here. Also, if that cut out square from the fanny pack is too obvious, I have cut out a small square of thin automobile window "one-way mirror" film, so if I need to I can slide in front of that camera lens you see there. It would make it so outsiders can't see the lens at all, although it makes that square more shiny. Just testing my setup out, the disadvantage to using the one-way mirror is although the photographs are still mostly the same quality as without it, it's obvious the pictures are getting slightly less light and the fine details aren't as good.

Thanks!

Answer
My experience is that if you aren't holding a camera to your face and pointing it directly at someone, virtually no one notices.  I often shoot a 1951 Rolleiflex, a camera you hold at your waist and look down into.  I also use a Nikon D5100 which has a fold out screen that I angle up so I can hold the camera at my waist.  Your pouch thing is even more discreet.  You could add some misc. stickers/patches to the front of the bag, which would make the little lens port even less noticeable.

All in all, people seem fairly wrapped up in themselves and their cell phones and if you don't appear threatening or are within five feet of them you just become part of the background.  What you seem to want to do is called "street shooting."  There's a lot of info about it on the internet.

Good luck!
Kent in SD

Photography

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Kent Staubus

Expertise

I am an experienced outdoor photographer My knowledge base includes digital Nikons, use of flash, vintage & historical cameras, and shooting both medium format and large format film. My specialty is night photography, both with or without flash set ups. I am primarily an outdoor photographer and shoot railroads, country churches, abandoned buildings, and candid people photos. I shoot a lot of travel photos in places like Canada, Scotland, Hawaii, Iceland, and of course the Northern Plains.

Experience

Have been taking photos daily for the past 15 years, with total experience of 26 years. I have had a number of photos in magazines, including a few cover shots. I am proficient with camera gear made from the 1850s to present.

Publications
TRAINS magazine, Railroads Illustrated Magazine

Education/Credentials
Bachelor Degree from University of Kansas

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