Fun times at the graffiti park. Shooting with the Samsung 30 NX.

I went to the Graffiti Park today to test out the Samsung NX30's video performance. Video takes a while longer to deal with because I want to edit something together that won't make people grind their teeth or reference fingernails on chalkboards. The camera's sensor is great. APS-C is great for depth of field control. Even with a pedestrian sounding 50-200mm f4-5.6. In all the camera does video well.

The image above is a still grab shot. Most of my afternoon was spent shooting handheld video (will I never learn?).

But this particular post has nothing to do with the camera or the lens or the sensor. It has to do with a funny thing that happened to me four times this afternoon. As I was walking through the park I had four different couples come up to me and ask me if I would take their photograph with their camera. Of course I obliged. What else would a civilized person do? But each time the person handing me the camera was very careful to (talk slowly and...) explain which button to push to make the exposure and how they wanted the shot framed. I listened carefully and tried to follow their instructions to the letter. Except for the couple who had their camera mis-set. It would have taken a silhouette. I fixed the exposure mode and took several versions just to make sure we had what they wanted.

One couple thanked me, looked at the images and then told me that they were very well done. I thanked them for saying so.

I can only imagine what we could have done if we'd flown a 12x12 foot silk over the couple, filled them in with 1100 watt seconds of flash from an Elinchrom Ranger flash pack and then used a camera that could sync a bit faster....

Anyway, I was pleased to be asked. When I came home I told my wife about my encounters. She laughed. She thought it was karmic-ly appropriate.

If you are at an Austin landmark look for the older person with the black rimmed glasses and the white, broadcloth, Julian Alexander button down. I'm sure he'll do a good job with your photograph....


  1. That's like asking Steven Spielberg if he'll take a few minutes of home video for you. Hilarious!!!!!

  2. Marvin G. Van DrunenApril 19, 2014 at 9:48 PM

    Hi Kirk. I'm quite serious about my photography. (If I were not I doubt that I would regularly be reading the VSL blog.) When I'm in a public place with a fairly serious looking camera chances are I'll be asked by someone to take a picture of them and their significant other or their family using their camera. I always oblige.

    I even at times ask a couple taking individual pictures of each other if they would like a picture together. 99 times out of 100 they smile, say yes and then thank you. I like to think that maybe in 10 or 20 or 30 years the few seconds I spend with them will mean something special to them.

  3. My wife and I were in Prague, CZ earlier this month and a couple who's native langues was not English handed me their Nikon DSLR and asked me to take "several" pictures of them.

    I swear, I took the best pictures of them that had ever been taken. Good background, proper exposure, framing, and composition.

    KT could have done better, but these guys were happy with the result.

    I love it when good things happen.

  4. I was asked to do the same thing earlier this evening. I find that people always appreciate being asked how they want the photo composed, and getting the chance to check the result to see if it is satisfactory. Kudos to you for doing that.

    I recall wearing Alexander Julian Colours shirts years ago. They were well made, comfortable, and looked nice. I should see if any stores in my area carry them.

  5. Gone are the days when you could happily cut off the heads of the couple and it would be weeks before they knew. Or make poles grow out of their ears or bushes instead of hair.

    Ahh the carefree prankster days of a teenager living in London.

  6. I like to take candid photos at street festivals and events. Sometimes when people ask me to take their picture, I answer: "I already did".


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