Project: Shutterbug
January 2, 2003 7:06 AM   Subscribe

Project: Shutterbug. Taking pictures of tourists taking pictures. It's a small collection right now, but maybe you can help it grow. From the Hungover Gourmet.
posted by staggernation (13 comments total)
Sort of interesting, but fails to go beyond pure novelty and delve into what I personally find interesting- the preoccupation people have with looking at art/monuments through a lens, often layering their own "art" (in the form of their friends/family in pose) in front of it. Maybe its the distance of the pictures submitted so far.

I'd like to make a film of people filming art at museums.
posted by mkultra at 7:35 AM on January 2, 2003

Shutterbugs don't bother me so much. If you see something cool it's natural to want to preserve it, I guess. It's the Captain Video yo-yo's with the camcorders permanently in front of their face that get to me. Working in NYC, I estimate that I wander into about 3 or 4 home videos a day.

Now if any of you wanna be Cecil B. DeMille's are reading this, send the footage featuring me via the mail, so I can stitch it all together into a autobio magnum opus, preferably with an ambient remix of Rush's "Limelight" as background music.
posted by jonmc at 7:45 AM on January 2, 2003

Once you've seen the website, it makes it impossible to see the tourists.
posted by cpfeifer at 8:20 AM on January 2, 2003

It's funny that you say that jonmc. While checking out this page, I was thinking about the two years I spent in Breckenridge, CO and how I must have made it into at least a picture a day. (Breck had the highest "skier visits" of any resort in the country last year. That makes it ground zero for gapers.) Whether it be on the hill or in town, there was no shortage of photo-ops for this local passerby. Maybe we can create a repository for all the images we're still due royalties on? Pictures I've Been In.

Regarding Project: Shutterbug (on topic now), I agree with mkultra that the distance does not do some of the submissions justice. But aren't the best vacation photos the ones that actually include friends, family, etc. standing in front of the object of attraction? Rather than a full roll of landscapes? (oops, inadvertent analogophilia admission) It is for this amateur snapshooter, anyway.
posted by Vek at 8:22 AM on January 2, 2003

Interesting mkultra. One of my pet peeves is people photographing paintings in museums. The quality of the shot is likely to be poor and flashes firing in a crowded Musée d'Orsay are bothersome. But photos of people looking at paintings, if done well can be interesting.
posted by Dick Paris at 8:24 AM on January 2, 2003

i don't have pictures of tourists, but i have a scrapbook full of friends and i taking pictures of ourselves taking pictures. i don't know if that would count.
posted by the aloha at 9:01 AM on January 2, 2003

I have one good reason for taking a photo in a museum (never use a flash). Sorry for the obvious self-post but I couldn't find anything similar.

I, too, found the Shutterbug site uninteresting. The photo quality was pretty poor, mostly.
posted by Qubit at 9:23 AM on January 2, 2003

Thanks, Qubit! That's exactly what I had in mind.
posted by Dick Paris at 9:34 AM on January 2, 2003

Well, I agree that there are interesting snaps to be had of art and whatnot (I like that pic, Qubit), but generally, people's habits fall into two categories:

- Taking a generic pic of the item in question, obstensibly to serve as an "I was here" checkbox. To these people, I say- put down the camera, and appreciate the beauty of the object as it was meant to be seen. If it's an unusual or rare thing, fine, but you can usually pick up a cheap postcard/slide that's of higher quality.

- Taking a picture of your friend/family/s.o. in front of the object. To these people I say- your ugly clothes and pasty complexion serve only to diminish the beauty of the object itself. And, more often than not, you're obstructing the view while trying to carefully construct your lame photo op.
posted by mkultra at 10:39 AM on January 2, 2003

Too bad the site's somewhat uninspiring. It's a cute enough idea. And here in Honolulu, I could spend fifteen minutes on Kalakaua Avenue and come back with all manner of 'tourist with camera glued to face' shots.

I used to live in the heart of Waikiki. Like jonmc, just walking down the street I'd come near to getting creamed by someone walking along with a video camera at least twice a day.
posted by pzarquon at 10:56 AM on January 2, 2003

I have one good reason for taking a photo in a museum (never use a flash). Sorry for the obvious self-post but I couldn't find anything similar.

Qubit: is this what you had in mind?
posted by Wet Spot at 1:25 PM on January 2, 2003

I always liked Martin Parr's picture which seems to ask more questions than most on Shutterbug. it is a very interesting idea though, and probably worth checking back on to see if it becomes more interesting
posted by gravelshoes at 6:50 AM on January 3, 2003

I don't know if anyone's still reading this thread, but they added a bunch of new pictures on 1/4.
posted by staggernation at 11:55 AM on January 6, 2003

« Older Visualizations   |   Jack Chick weighs in on September 11th. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments