There may have been a time or two when I’ve gotten a little camera-overzealous, but I know when to cool it with the clicking. There’s a fine line between being an overzealous recreational photographer and being an inappropriate one, and it’s a line that’s constantly crossed in this town. Laypeople will zoom in to take close-ups of fresh accident-scene victims or artists performing in on-stage productions that expressly prohibit picture-taking from the audience. Others will take a string of general nuisance shots, not caring about who gets disrupted in the process.
I’ve been frequenting the New York Public Library’s main reading room this month, and some of the amateur photographers who promenade through it are out of control with the cameras that hang from their necks. They stay loud, they stay long, and they’re full of flashes. (There are people trying to get serious work done in that room! Not me – but almost everyone else who doesn’t have a camera looks super stressed out and busy.)
They snap picture after picture of inanimate objects, professional versions of which can probably be found somewhere online. How can you fully appreciate or soak up an environment while you’re maniacally documenting nearly every minute you spend in it?
If any of these reading room photos end up on a fridge someday, I hope it’s not one of the boring ones that were taken of the same ceilings, tables, lamps, and bookshelves over and over again. The hey-here’s-me-pretending-to-engage-in-legitimate-business-at-a-major-public-research-library-after-having-suddenly-inserted-myself-in-the-middle-of-a-group-of-unsuspecting-readers shot seems much more suitable for future household-appliance display.