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Old 04-28-2012   #76
Jack Conrad
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Originally Posted by Disaster_Area View Post
I hate the fact that public photography has become anathema as "hurting other peoples feelings" and yet so much else gets to slide. Just because other people don't like it or don't get it doesn't mean they have the right to stop you from doing it. That's what living in a society MEANS, we make up a set of rules that we all follow, and you don't get the right to bitch about people living their lives within those rules. I don't like crying babies on the bus, dogs that bark all day, people that walk and text not watching where they're going, people that use their iphones speakers in public instead of headphones and a million other things people do every day, and I'm sure I do a bunch that annoys other people as well. But the point is none of those things are against the law, so I wouldn't dream of telling anyone doing them to stop... if I find it annoying I remove myself.

If none of us could do anything that annoyed anyone, we'd never be able to go out in public and the world would be a pretty boring place. You can't please all the people all the time, but what we can do is learn some tolerance of others. Don't get me wrong, it goes both ways... if confronted a photographer should be tolerant of the other persons annoyance and do his best to calmly, rationally and politely diffuse the situation without resorting to "I have the right, so #@$@$# off". I'm just sick of people arguing that public photography is some kind of deviant criminal activity.
Well said. Exactly. And I would only add that it's especially sickening, or saddening to see other photographers on a
photography site arguing that public photography is some kind of deviant criminal activity.
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Old 04-28-2012   #77
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Well said. Exactly. And I would only add that it's especially sickening, or saddening to see other photographers on a
photography site arguing that public photography is some kind of deviant criminal activity.
Agreed... especially when it comes to shooting from the hip. If you don't like doing it or don't feel comfortable practising it, great, fine... don't do it. But don't take on the role of camera police. And I hate that people focus on the "stealth" aspect of it, there's many reasons to shoot from the hip. When shooting with wide angle lenses, shooting from the hip allows you to keep the camera level and fill the frame with a subject.

If I raise the camera to my eye, to keep the camera level I have to aim at the subjects eye, leaving the whole top half of the frame empty. Shooting from the hip allows me to fill the frame, half the person on top, half on bottom and all my lines are level. Also, I'm 6'2", if I point the camera down to fill the frame, I end up shooting down the tops of most girls. Shooting from the hip guarantees I'm not shooting down any tops or up any skirts... people may not realize this, but it's actually my way of trying to be respectful.

You can shoot from the hip without being sneaky or stealthy. I walk around with the camera around my neck, I don't try to hide what I'm doing, I just don't advertise it. I don't stalk of follow people and I'm not getting in anyones face... and I've had to deal with VERY few confrontations. I think a big part of the problem is that when shooting from the hip, people feel guilty and their body reflects this, drawing more attention than if you raised the camera to your eye. Just shoot like no one is watching, smile and be polite and you'd be surprised how few people will actually stop you.
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Old 04-28-2012   #78
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In addition to being a documentarian photog and filmmaker, I'm an attorney to pay the rent.

Yesterday, while waiting outside of court, some poor woman fell out and had to have the EMS attend her. I pulled out my iPhone to take a few picks and was rudely approached by a court deputy telling me to put my camera away (I'm standing there with my legal briefcase, wearing an Armani suit). I told him to mind his own business and get a police officer if he thought I was doing something wrong...but if he put his hands on me he'd soon be testifying in a civil suit. He walked off in a huff to get a cop. He never came back.

Moral of story: stand up to bullies.
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lol
Old 04-28-2012   #79
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lol

ambulance chaser / documentary photog., nice combo


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Originally Posted by Teuthida View Post
In addition to being a documentarian photog and filmmaker, I'm an attorney to pay the rent.

Yesterday, while waiting outside of court, some poor woman fell out and had to have the EMS attend her. I pulled out my iPhone to take a few picks and was rudely approached by a court deputy telling me to put my camera away (I'm standing there with my legal briefcase, wearing an Armani suit). I told him to mind his own business and get a police officer if he thought I was doing something wrong...but if he put his hands on me he'd soon be testifying in a civil suit. He walked off in a huff to get a cop. He never came back.

Moral of story: stand up to bullies.
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Old 04-28-2012   #80
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I live in So Paulo, Brazil, and I've been shooting street since 2009. Never faced a direct confrontation from someone that I had taken a photo of, or from someone that thought I had done so.

But while shooting in downtown i've sometimes got told something in the lines of "not photographing me, buddy" from homeless people only. Personally, I don't shoot homeless people photos unless they are either in a happy moment or aren't recognisable. I try to put myself in other people's shoes too.

One of my favourite photos from last year was from a homeless man kissing one of his pet dogs in the cheek, it was a really sweet scene. But I see many people that will shoot homeless people downtown just as an accessory to the scene, it's something I don't fancy at all. So I understand that they think I might be shooting them when I was actually shooting a different scene and may have not even noticed them - once at night I got pretty surprised when I heard a gritty female voice coming from an absolute pitch black point that I couldn't take photos of her.. while I was just framing the (barely) neon lit pedestrian streets.
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Old 05-02-2012   #81
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I have to admit I feel a slight resentment myself when I get photographed on the streets of my neighbourhood. Sure, it's legal, and everybody has a right to do it. But I think I feel kind of the same way about being photographed as when somebody stares at me.
Obviously there is nothing illegal about staring at people on the street, but I do think many people would think it impolite when you stare at somebody. Staring being more than just looking or glancing btw.
Same thing with photography. When somebody targets me with his or her camera I feel like I'm getting stared at (and in a way pointed at). And basically in a sense he will at some point stare at me even if the act of taking the picture takes only a moment. During development he will certainly stare at my image. And maybe he will in a way point at me when he posts my image on the internet, maybe even adding a comment like "weird guy who sat across from me on a streetbench yesterday".

Now, if a real artist/ real photographer would somehow use my being in his pictures to make something beautiful, but 99% of the time it will turn out to be just another b&w random shot of what you can see on the street everyday anyway.

I think most of us here have some sort of voyeurism thing going on, which in itself is ok. But expecting the people not to complain about getting stared and pointed at in the name of his so called street photography is stretching it a bit. And yes, in the name of art and beauty it is sometimes necessary to hurt some feelings or to be a little impolite, but let's at least feel a little ashamed about it ourselves so that our subjects arent the only ones suffering in the name of art.
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Old 05-02-2012   #82
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It's a difficult time in a difficult world ...times dictate the way you approach your subject. Honestly until short time ago I was 100% sure to be on the right side when taking photos of strangers on the street, but I always tried not to take photo without respecting them. But now, with the increasing capacity of faces recognition softwares it would disturb me to see my pictures posted in the net (without my permission). As consequence I understand other people do not like their photo to be taken.
I'm trying to ask people if I can take there portraits and in some cases it works.
Just my idea, sorry if not shared by the majority.
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Old 05-03-2012   #83
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thanks your emplement.
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Old 05-03-2012   #84
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I don’t know what freaky thing the street photographer will do with my image and for this reason I’m uncomfortable with my image taken.
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Old 05-03-2012   #85
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I dont know what freaky thing the street photographer will do with my image and for this reason Im uncomfortable with my image taken.
How freaky is it gonna get? In other words, why worry?

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Old 05-03-2012   #86
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Now, if a real artist/ real photographer would somehow use my being in his pictures to make something beautiful, but 99% of the time it will turn out to be just another b&w random shot of what you can see on the street everyday anyway.
Sturgeon's Law. (To those not familiar with Sturgeon's Law, Google it).

If I were too paranoid, or so completely lacking in a sense off humour, as to object to being photographed on the street, it would be time to top myself. I do sometimes suffer from depression, but not over being photographed on the street. As the old joke has it, "I may be crazy, but I'm not stupid."

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Old 05-03-2012   #87
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Quote:
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If I were too paranoid, or so completely lacking in a sense off humour, as to object to being photographed on the street, it would be time to top myself. I do sometimes suffer from depression, but not over being photographed on the street. As the old joke has it, "I may be crazy, but I'm not stupid."
I don't quite understand how you think a discussion of this topic is helped by such (I presume/I hope) exaggerations as "too paranoid", "lacking a sense of humor" and "I would top myself". I would say this topic needs subtlety and nuance. It's a grey area, instead of a black/white area.
In my post I talked about feeling a "slight resentment" and then proceeded to try and further characterize my resentment. Maybe you think my resentment comes only from paranoia or lack of humor (though I fail to see how humor plays a part in this)?

Anyway, many great street photographers point out the need for a subtle approach to photographing people and respecting the people you photograph. Like I said, I doubt I would mind so much being photographed by them if it would help their art. But I'm quite sure I resent being photographed by a photographer who's approach embodies the attitude of "if you don't like me photographing you, it must be because you're paranoid or lack humor, and you should commit suicide".

Hmmm writing this post, I guess I do see how you contribute to this discussion, in the sense that it now seems obvious to me that there is a subtle polite way to approach a subject, and there is a overbearing crude way to approach a subject. This applies to the art street photography as much as the art of having an internet forum discussion.
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Old 05-03-2012   #88
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...let's not forget that some people just can't be dealt with. I was walking by a mental health resource centre in Toronto with a camera in my hand by my side, not even taking a photograph or even looking like I was going to take one. A woman on a bench yelled something, but I didn't know it was directed at me. Then I was crossing the street to a restaurant and looked back and she was chasing me! I stopped and turned around in the middle of the road and told her I wasn't taking her picture. She accepted and walked away. I went and sat down on the patio, ordered a beer with my date and put the camera on the table. I looked to my right and she was sitting on the bench glaring at me. My camera was pointed at her sitting on the table, which was my big mistake. She came right into the restaurant and started yelling at me. Staff did nothing. I told her that she needed to leave immediately and stop bugging me. She didn't. She said that I was going to give the photo to the cops and have her arrested again, that I was spying on her and trying to ruin her life. I told her this was not the case and she needed to leave immediately. After that I turned my chair with my back to her, put the camera in the bag and she left. Sometimes you get people who have various mental health issues and I should have known better as I work at a shelter that the best thing to do would have been to put the camera away and continue walking to a different restaurant out of site. Your approach will certainly depend on who confronts you.
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Old 05-12-2012   #89
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This is a tricky topic and I have strayed at times, I'm not sure what to think.
I don't know if this is interesting - anyway here goes - I was in Hong Kong some time back, it's a very photogenic city, crowded, colourful, cheap equipment, food etc.
I noticed a guy carrying a couple of Nikons, he'd had spotted an elderly local crouching against a wall. The photographer, wearing a bandana looking scruffy - maybe he'd seen Dennis Hopper in Apocalypse Now, crept up very close to this guy, lens about a foot from his face while he was looking away. Suddenly the Chinaman noticed this camera, sprang up shouting, jumping about waving his arms, extremely upset. The photographer was also surprised, humbled and backed off.
He'd invaded this strangers personal space to a ridiculous degree, I don't know what he was thinking.

There are many photos of elderly wrinkled people, mostly weatherbeaten and poor, Tibetan or both which are easily found in the likes of National Geographic mags, Steve Mc Curry books etc.
Some photographers wish they could go home with a few pics that get close to these very professional shots.
Usually we see the subjects face staring back at us in these books, confident, right into the lens, not falling over trying to get away from it.

I feel a photographer that does not respect the dignity of a subject is stepping too far.
If a person in the pic is made to look stupid, for what ever reason, that's too far.
If the person looks unusual, maybe dressed in an unusual way, they might like being seen. A photographer has to make a judgement, only they know if it feels right. If it doesn't why take the shot?
I know why - because that situation will never happen again and it will become the pic you keep in your minds eye - 'the one that got away'.
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Old 05-12-2012   #90
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Thanks. I'll be on the lookout for that dude. Nikon you say?
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Old 05-12-2012   #91
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Two days ago I was walking through a narrow alley I often pass through. There was interesting light falling on the brick, and nice contrast between a deep red section of painted-over board and a bit of blue paint from a fading tag. There was Velvia in my camera and I thought it was worth a shot.

As I was taking this photo of - wait for it - a F-CKING BRICK WALL - a guy came running across the street. "What are you doing?! What's going on?"

I replied, "I'm taking a photo - of this brick wall".

It turned out he was the owner of the building. Something about his demeanor, which seemed a little frazzled, took the edge off any hard feelings. I told him I was not with the city, insurance company, etc, just taking a photo for my own enjoyment.

Later that day I was coming back through the alley. What do I see but a well-dressed man with a DSLR, taking photos of the same wall! I laughed and said "Thank God I'm not the only one. I shot the wall today too!" But he didn't seem very amused, in fact a little uncomfortable.

Moral: Sometimes a bizarre reaction may have a rational basis.

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Old 05-12-2012   #92
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I'm not comfortable shooting street photography. I've come to realize it's because I very much dislike having my own photo taken, so I project that onto everyone else. However, I've tried to get better at it in the last year or so, and I really believe a photographer that acts confident is less intimidating than one that acts "stealthy" (often seen as sneaky, even if not the same).

My daughter is taken a photography unit it school. For an assignment she wanted to get a photo of another teen (she didn't know him) down at a pier we go to often. She was acting all sneaky and "stealthy"... and I proceeded to tell her later that she would have been better off just holding the camera up to her face and trying to get the shot. When you act sneaky, you look like you're doing something you're not supposed to be doing, inevitably. But that's just my opinion.

I also think, generally speaking, the photographers that are confident and unhidden, the ones who use wider lenses (not 300mm zooms), get better street shots. There's exceptions, but just generally. At least I know I get better street shots when both things are true.

A year or so ago I was taking a photo of a bike... no people around. From out of nowhere a woman ran across the street and starting feverishly questioning me on why I was taking a picture of her bike. I told her I just thought it was a nice bike. She went into a diatribe about how people can't be too careful, and you never know what will happen and she didn't want to get a ticket and go to jail. She was eventually satisfied I was harmless.

Objects or people, I usually don't shoot or keep the photo if there are objections... if it were me objecting, I'd want the photographer to honor my wishes, so I pay them the same respect. That's just for me though -- I don't think everyone has to follow that rule... it's up to them.

And, I've taken to carrying those little mini-business cards (even though I'm nobody - LOL) just for these types of occasions. It diffuses the situation usually when a person feels like you're somehow legitimate and willing to share the resulting photo with them. I get them super cheap and it's like carrying a pack of gum in your pocket.
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Old 05-29-2012   #93
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I came across some good info in regards to this just recently, never had the problem myself but I think I would respond in the following way:

Explain why I'm taking photos (don't lie), offer to show them the photo and email a copy. Look them in the eyes when talking to them (important). If they really want me to delete it, I'll just delete it (what are the chances it would be that one in a million shot anyway? Very slim.)

If you can't offer a legitimate reason as to why you took their photo, you probably have no business doing so.

I would definitely not take an aggressive approach, you never know who you're dealing with. Someone could be on the lam, etc.
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Old 05-29-2012   #94
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ive been shooting people point blank on the street and nobody has yet to confront me.. if i see someone who looks like they would be aggressive, i normally ask first and then have them walk as if i wasnt taking their photo.. of course this isnt 100% natural but many people cant tell a staged shot from a real one anyways.
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Old 06-23-2012   #95
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On the one hand, I know I am legally allowed to take pictures of anything I like on the street but how do you handle these situations??? This really puts me off street shooting and has tainted my confidence...
you are of course NOT legally allowed to just take pictures of anyone without their consent, since that constitutes a violation of their personality rights. imagine someone walks over and kisses you on the mouth without first asking you if you like that.

The predominant point of reference, is that any publication of a portrait photograph requires consent [of the person depicted]. The reasoning for this, is that such a publication might provide the depicted person with discomfort, possibly with other information such as name, of the publication for all with access to the internet, and the considerations of this discomfort is judged as more important than a possible interest in publication.

sorry to burst your bubble.
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Old 06-23-2012   #96
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Quote:
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you are of course NOT legally allowed to just take pictures of anyone without their consent, since that constitutes a violation of their personality rights. imagine someone walks over and kisses you on the mouth without first asking you if you like that.

The predominant point of reference, is that any publication of a portrait photograph requires consent [of the person depicted]. The reasoning for this, is that such a publication might provide the depicted person with discomfort, possibly with other information such as name, of the publication for all with access to the internet, and the considerations of this discomfort is judged as more important than a possible interest in publication.

sorry to burst your bubble.
Where are you from? In most of the world, you certainly can take a picture of anything or anyone in public wherever they have no reasonable expectation of privacy. You can't follow someone into a public toilet booth and shoot them on the john, but you can photograph them entering or leaving the building, on the sidewalk or the street, at the market, in their car, in their front yard so long as you are shooting from a public space, etc. Provided you aren't engaged in commercial activity, you don't need their consent, either.

There are some exceptions, for example some government installations may not allow photography in or about their premises. Often property owners will try to convince you that you can't photograph their building without their consent, but they are wrong.

Naturally, just because it is legal doesn' t mean you should always take the shot. If you go to a playground and start photographing children, you're almost certainly going to be confonted by hysterical parents, at the very minimum.

There's no such thing as personality rights.
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Old 06-23-2012   #97
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Quote:
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you are of course NOT legally allowed to just take pictures of anyone without their consent, since that constitutes a violation of their personality rights. imagine someone walks over and kisses you on the mouth without first asking you if you like that.

sorry to burst your bubble.
My my, it's about high time we go after that dirty old French man, Bresson they called him. He had been sexually assaulting the citizens of the world for years! Even if he is dead, we can at least post-humously give him a record!
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Old 06-23-2012   #98
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The predominant point of reference, is that any publication of a portrait photograph requires consent [of the person depicted].
This is not the case in most of the world, may be except France and Germany. Even in Bulgaria, where I am from, a law was passed a couple of years ago which states that you don't need to ask for consent in a public place.

A few people here are aware of this law anyway, but it's good to know the law is on your side if worse comes to worst.
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Old 06-23-2012   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cameosis View Post
you are of course NOT legally allowed to just take pictures of anyone without their consent, since that constitutes a violation of their personality rights. imagine someone walks over and kisses you on the mouth without first asking you if you like that.

The predominant point of reference, is that any publication of a portrait photograph requires consent [of the person depicted]. The reasoning for this, is that such a publication might provide the depicted person with discomfort, possibly with other information such as name, of the publication for all with access to the internet, and the considerations of this discomfort is judged as more important than a possible interest in publication.

sorry to burst your bubble.
Interesting . I assume you are referring to Denmark and laws that apply within Denmark.

From http://www.enotes.com/topic/Personality_rights (and noting I do not know whether this site is authoritative) :
"In Denmark the Danish Penal Code chapters 26 and 27, provides certain personality rights. The governmental Danish Data Protection Agency, has made a declaration regarding publication on the Internet of pictures taken of persons in a public area[2]:

The predominant point of reference, is that any publication of a portrait photograph requires consent [of the person depicted]. The reasoning for this, is that such a publication might provide the depicted person with discomfort, possibly with other information such as name, of the publication for all with access to the internet, and the considerations of this discomfort is judged as more important than a possible interest in publication.

A portrait photograph is defined as a photograph, with the purpose of depicting one or more specific person(s). The personality rights however may be contracted for persons who are generally accepted as public persons."
This must make it difficult for people in Denmark. I presume that one is allowed to distinguish between the act of taking a photo and the act of publishing a photo. And I see that the definition of a "portrait photograph" is critical.
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Old 06-24-2012   #100
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So, is this the Future of Street Photography!
I'm planing to use this as a project just to show the non-sense of these attitudes and Laws.

Hell! I even may use some colours to made distinctions based on Sex, skin color or religion! Just to make it "worst"!

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