Must rent Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 VR [UPDATE: Street Photography musings/results]

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Shacklebolt, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. Shacklebolt macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

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    Sep 2, 2004
    #1
    ... to strap on my D300 and shoot one of the more dangerous neighborhoods in the country for publication. The initial plan is 24-70mm f/2.8 on my D80 and 70-200mm f/2.8 on my D300, but the 300mm f/2.8 would be invaluable.

    Can such a rental be achieved? I've looked at glass rental places online, but it doesn't seem to be available. Does anyone have any advice?
     
  2. yeroen macrumors 6502a

    yeroen

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    Mar 8, 2007
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    Cambridge, MA
    #2
    If you're in the US, then lensrentals.com has it here:

    Nikon 300 f/2.8 VR

    I've rented from them many times. They have a fantastic selection of lenses I could never afford.
     
  3. Shacklebolt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

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  4. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

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    Indianapolis, IN
    #4
    Just out of curiosity, where are you shooting? Are you nervous about walking around in such an environment with thousands and thousands of dollars in gear?
     
  5. Shacklebolt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

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    #5
    Yep, I am slightly nervous, but it's a project over a year in the making, and an urban area of this sort which is ground zero for gentrification in the coming decade (given the mayor's plans for it) is important to see. To the best of my knowledge, no one with any real degree of photographic skill has gone into that neighborhood in the past decade to show everyone what it's about.

    I'll be going this Sunday afternoon, and I'll be taking a friend with me. I'm a relatively big guy (5'11"/185) and I've managed half a decade on the South Side of Chicago without anything <knock on wood> seriously going wrong. Hopefully that will remain true through this weekend. I'll post a link to the online edition, probably.
     
  6. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #6
    Where is the location you are going to? Sounds pretty interesting.
     
  7. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    Jun 27, 2007
    #7
    185lbs is not a "relatively big guy" in a dangerous area.

    Bring a portfolio of your pictures just in case you are confronted by any dangerous people.
     
  8. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    TX
    #8
    a) at 5'11", if it's muscle, yes he is

    b) are you joking?
     
  9. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    Jun 27, 2007
    #9
    Will be a problem if 5 250 pound guys with biceps the size of average person's leg surround him, no matter how much muscle he has.

    Well in the best case, won't get noticed (doubtful with a big lens), or would be called a paparozzi. Worst case, not joking. He could get beat up or worst. Just saying be careful.
     
  10. Shacklebolt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

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    #10
    Oh I'm well aware. I'm pretty confident that nothing will go wrong in broad daylight on a Sunday afternoon, especially when I don't have any particularly malign intentions. That said, I'm a (very soon to graduate) student, and I'm hoping that coming from a journalist angle will keep anything terrible from happening to me.

    Again, I'll post a picture or two. They might be underwhelming, but they will be tough to get. What's the expression - "f/8 and be there"?
     
  11. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

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    Bay Area
    #11
    $300 buys you a hot 9mm that will fire enough to get back to your car.

    Just saying. Its a hell of a lot cheaper then replacing all those cameras.
     
  12. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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    paradise beach FL
    #12
    Man, those big boyz will just take your stuff right out of your hands and leave you grateful for your life... I would seriously consider a police escort (which will ruin any possibility of candid documentation...). Don't assume that all people are inherently decent.

    If you can't have an armed police escort, have a prepared statement of your mission and do not take any person's photo without asking first. This is for real real... there are places in Miami, FL where the police will not go unless they have backup, I assume a dangerous neighborhood on the south side of Chicago is similar in culture and crime level. I've spent some time in the 'danger zone' and believe me you'll be fine if they like you.;)
     
  13. Everythingisnt macrumors 6502a

    Everythingisnt

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    #13
    Just out of curiosity, what are you planning to shoot in a city landscape with such a big lens? (I'm guessing that it's to try and get close shots of people)..


    Good luck, whatever happens. :)
     
  14. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Northern/Central VA
    #14
    Some of the nicest people I've met have been in some of the "worst" neighborhoods in S.E. Washington D.C. during the "Murder Capital" times.

    'Course you already know the light's going to suck mid-afternoon ;-P
     
  15. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000

    SpaceMagic

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    Cardiff, Wales
    #15
    Wow. There are an awful lot of prejudice talk here.

    I think you'll find that the most statistically dangerous places are filled with the nicest, friendly people. It's just the sad few and gang warfare which gives them bad reps.

    The best you can be is yourself. Don't be stuck up and don't NOT talk to people. You're a kid, most of them will be too. Don't try and speak ghetto or anything stupid like that, just be yourself and say that you're a journalist taking photos. Ask them if they mind their photo taken.
     
  16. torid110 macrumors regular

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    Jan 22, 2006
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    Jersey City, NJ
    #16
    This reminds me of a chapter I read in Freakonomics about an Indian grad student who finds himself in a really bad neighborhood in Chicago. He was kept captive by some gang members, but eventually, he befriended the leader and was given unprecedented access to the inner workings of the gang. It's a pretty interesting story.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18003654

    Sorry to go slightly off-topic :)
     
  17. Shacklebolt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

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    Sep 2, 2004
    #17
    Follow up

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    I went searching for the street photography thread so I could make my first post in it, only to find that it somehow got deleted. I would have posted this anyway.

    I actually received some good advice here from... compuwar, I think (?), who mentioned to make sure to go close to noon. That... almost worked out (had to be later in the afternoon)

    Other good advice I received came today when a woman came up to me on the street, pointed out that there were gangs down on one side, and that their most likely concern would be that someone taking pictures with a big camera would be a police officer. That said, I was encouraged to walk down the boulevard.

    Four minutes later, a gang of guys on one side of the street starts yelling, not at me, but at the gang on the other side: "YO! HE'S TAKING PICTURES!"

    Seriously, my heart almost stopped. The next three minutes proceeded as such.

    Me: <waving at the yelling guys, while grabbing my D300 (w/70-200 f/2.8), holding it non-threateningly, and starting to put it away> "Whoa whoa - I don't want any trouble!"

    Them: <still yelling to the other guys (total number of people - about 20)> "YO. HE'S GOT A CAMERA. HE'S TAKING PICTURES!"

    Me: "Whoa whoa. I don't want any trouble!"

    Them: "What are you doing? Why are you taking pictures?"

    Me: "I shoot for a magazine. I'm a student over at [university the next neighborhood]. I'm just here taking pictures of the neighborhood."

    Them: "Oh. Can I see some ID?"

    Me: <pulls out my student ID, which was fortunately close at hand>

    At this point, other guys are starting to come over. A brief conference.

    "If he was police, would he be wandering in broad daylight taking pictures? He's just a student." "Give him a break."

    Them, to me: "You're good. Just keep taking your pictures."

    Me: "Seriously, just taking pictures for a magazine. I don't want any problems."

    Them: <probably realizing I'm rather disconcerted> "You're good."

    The consensus, from some men I passed on the street was, "You're lucky. Normally, they'd kick your ass, take your camera, and send you on your way." [This strikes me as what can go most wrong w/street photography]

    So, what I learned:

    1. Be able to elaborate what you're doing, and immediately. Have a good reason. You are a photographer - you're not a tourist.

    2. If people tell you "No pictures," then put away your camera and say "No problem."

    3. Be able to elaborate what you're doing, and immediately. Have a good reason. You're a photographer - you're not a tourist.

    4. Most people have some skeletons in their closet. Some people have skeletons bursting out of their closet. Some people might feel like they're being stalked. Other people just want to know what a random person has a big camera pointed at them. Keep this in mind.

    5. Be able to elaborate what you're doing, and immediately. Have a good reason. You're a photographer - you're not a tourist.

    Seriously, what a day. And by the way - some very good advice earlier in this thread. Whoever said above that dangerous neighborhoods were full of nice people was absolutely correct. Even gangbangers can be nice if you're innocuous and nice too. Just be yourself.
     
  18. Everythingisnt macrumors 6502a

    Everythingisnt

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    Vancouver
    #18
    Wow, great to hear you got some good results!

    I would be pretty shaken up if that happened to me..

    How much did it eventually cost for you to rent the lens?
     
  19. jake-g macrumors member

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    Feb 28, 2008
    #19
    Your pictures don't look like you were in a "dangerous" area of Chicago at all. The background of the girls is not what one might consider urban decay... Looks very gentrified to me (grass median, brand new shops) In fact, looks alot like streetsville or something on the north side.

    I think you may be giving Chicago a bad rap to the forum, as there are now very few if any areas I would be nervous taking my camera into. Do you live in the suburbs by chance?
     
  20. Shacklebolt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

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    #20
    Wow. That's not the most intelligent post I've ever read. I don't have time to argue with you, as I'm sure you're a smart person, but there's so much that's incorrect about it it makes me cringe a little. In the future, please don't pick fights on the forum for no reason.

    I will address one though: the grass median is a boulevard. It's been there for a hundred years.

    Alright, two: You obviously don't live in Chicago, or if you do, you certainly don't live on the south side, as you seem unaware that trees do indeed grow on both sides of the city.
     
  21. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    Over there------->
    #21
    I don't know what your goal was in photographing what you have described as a "dangerous" neighborhood, but if it was to show how normal and unremarkable it is, then your photos have succeeded. It looks like an average urban environment populated by people who have ordinary lives and somewhere to go. I'm going to guess that gentrification has already swept through this neighborhood.
     
  22. Shacklebolt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

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    #22
    Yeah, I don't have time to argue with you, and certainly don't have the inclination to post any more pictures. Let me just clue you in on something that you seem unaware of:

    A bad neighborhood does not necessarily exist in some sort of time warp, where all the cars are from the 1970s, and all the people are half naked and starving. People do indeed walk down the street during the day, and nice cars drive by. I know the area I walked through, as I live half a mile away, and have for half a decade. You certainly do not.

    Anyway, do a google search in a week if you're so inclined and I'm sure you'll find the article and see some more pictures.
     
  23. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #23
    Hmm. I'm going to guess you're addressing jake-g, whose post was rather aggressive. I think he was probably responding (in a less constructive manner) to the unexpected view these three pictures give, which you must admit is no essay on urban plight. So either your goal was to show the neighborhood in a positive (or at least neutral) light, or else evidence of the area's troubles is hard to come by.
     
  24. Everythingisnt macrumors 6502a

    Everythingisnt

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    #24
    The comments here dismissing these photos as not representative of a troubled neighborhood are verging on ignorant.

    Having lived in an impoverished neighborhood and having experience with this kind of working class/troubled environment, I would like to enlighten those who think that 'bad' neighborhoods look like something out of a movie with 'gangsters' on every corner, run down shops, burned out cars littering the sidewalks, etc.. As Shacklebolt said, these neighborhoods don't exist in some kind of 1970's time warp. They aren't full of crumbling, dirty slum housing, or degraded, graffitied architecture.

    Obviously there are differences between these neighborhoods and fancy, 'rich' ones, but honestly the difference is usually in the people. How do you tell which one is which, though? Easy.. If the people are nicer, you're usually in the 'bad' neighborhood.
     
  25. jake-g macrumors member

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    Feb 28, 2008
    #25
    Hey man. If you want urban decay go to Gary Ind. I'm not expecting pictures of burned out cars and such (although if you had ever been to the Cabrini greens area before it was torn down, that would be indeed what you would find) but don't post innoculous images such as these and tell us you were scared for your life. These pictures do nothing to illustrate what you told us your goal was. I'm sorry if this seems harsh. I have seen some of your images before and enjoyed them, but these fall short of anything you are trying to make them out to be. If your goal was to show an area that is considered to be extremely dangerous as actually very benign that is another thing entirely.
     

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