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Old 03-05-2013   #201
Juche
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The dangers of street photography:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGAUvGn4qCo
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Old 03-05-2013   #202
Nikkor AIS
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Thanks Doug..

Thanks for sharing my pain.. LOL

" I had it with you photographer's " is the best line ever..


As far as this video..

She was pretty upset .. I thought whe was going to have a stroke or maybe a heat attack..

That is quite the voice.. I am glad someone was able to tape this and share it on the net..
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Old 04-07-2013   #203
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Originally Posted by Araakii View Post
No, it has nothing to do with the size of the camera. It's the photographer.
I would have to say that it's not the photographer - it's the subject. There is no way of accurately predicting how a subject will react to being photographed based merely on their appearance.

I always try to capture the unguarded moment. People have a facade that they present to the world and to other people. It is the person behind the facade that I am interested in - not the facade. As an adherant of Cartier-Bresson's street photography philosophy, if someone happens to "see" me photographing them, I consider that a lapse on my part. It is almosg always the result of a temporary loss of focus due to fatigue, impatience or a bit of overconfidence.

Street photography is about the decisive moment. If you ask beforehand to photograph a person, you have no decisive moment. You get the facade, not the person behind the facade. If you ask, you then have a street portrait. There is indeed a difference.

While there's nothing wrong with street portraits, my interest is in the decisive moment, the person behind the facade. No one should be limited to only street portraits if their goal is to capture something different in their photographic undertakings.

There is a great online guide titled "The Photographer's Right" written by Bert Krages, J.D. It goes into detail about the right to photograph in the U.S. and addresses what the police, security guards and private citizens can and cannot lawfully do when you photograph them in the public environment.

I have always failed to understand why some people in the U.S. - who are photographed 5000 times a day by security cameras - take umbrage to being photographed by a lowly little street photographer. All I can come up with is that it is a "control" issue for some people.

The irony of the situation is that people who have this type of control issue are in fact the ones that are on the wrong side of the law when it comes to street photography. When these control issue types attempt to coerce the photographer into deleting photos or handing over film, or if they verbally slander, detain the photographer or lay hands on him/ her in any manner, it is they who are breaking the law and violating the rights of another.

In spite of the control issue person's misinformed and unfounded beliefs, the photographer is in no way doing anything to them that is unlawful, unethical, immoral, improper or unseemly.

Avoiding or diffusing confrontation is always the preferred resolution - but any time you engage in street photography you have the potential for confrontation.

Carried to its logical concluision, the erroneous "you can't take my picture" claim/worldview will result in the extinction of an entire genre of photography that originated in 1895 with Eugene Atget in Paris and was elevated to the level of art by Henri Cartier-Bresson and later on by Vivian Maier and Garry Winogrand. For the uninformed to try to claim that street photography is not a legitimate genre and is some kind of threat to the subject is as baseless as it is nonsensical.

That is a price that is simply too high to pay in order to pacify the uneducated, the misinformed and the belligerent who have control issues. It is a price that legitimate, lawful photographers should not be expected to pay or be willing to pay.

Yesteryear's street photography is today's historical record of a bygone era. Today's street photography will be held in the same regard 30, 40 or 50 years on. We simply cannot allow that record to be denied to future generations due to the paranoia and ignorance of a handful of control issue types in the present.

JMHO.
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Old 04-07-2013   #204
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Yes and for Besson it was about using leading lines to lead your eye were he wanted it to go in the frame. And repeating shapes to give the image a sense of rhythm. also geometry plays a big part in a lot of his images. And what really important is to have trained your vision to a point were you, the photographer, recognizes when those elements all come together at the precise moment and then to get the camera into the right space and to have the reflexes and technical ability to be able to capture all of that in a fraction of a second.

Harassment is just part of the deal.

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a couple of weeks ago
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Old 04-07-2013   #205
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It seems to me that a bad subject reaction often arises out of a sense of having been targeted. And they don't know why. I'm sometimes asked if the pic is for the newspaper...

Quote:
Originally Posted by noisycheese View Post
...
That is a price that is simply too high to pay in order to pacify the uneducated, the misinformed and the belligerent who have control issues. It is a price that legitimate, lawful photographers should not be expected to pay or be willing to pay. ...
Sometimes the problem is worsened by a photographer who is one of the "uneducated, the misinformed and the belligerent who have control issues." And this just contributes to problems for the next photographer. Better to be friendly and respectful, avoid misunderstandings.
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Old 04-07-2013   #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisycheese View Post
I would have to say that it's not the photographer - it's the subject. There is no way of accurately predicting how a subject will react to being photographed based merely on their appearance.

I always try to capture the unguarded moment. People have a facade that they present to the world and to other people. It is the person behind the facade that I am interested in - not the facade. As an adherant of Cartier-Bresson's street photography philosophy, if someone happens to "see" me photographing them, I consider that a lapse on my part. It is almosg always the result of a temporary loss of focus due to fatigue, impatience or a bit of overconfidence.

Street photography is about the decisive moment. If you ask beforehand to photograph a person, you have no decisive moment. You get the facade, not the person behind the facade. If you ask, you then have a street portrait. There is indeed a difference.

While there's nothing wrong with street portraits, my interest is in the decisive moment, the person behind the facade. No one should be limited to only street portraits if their goal is to capture something different in their photographic undertakings.

There is a great online guide titled "The Photographer's Right" written by Bert Krages, J.D. It goes into detail about the right to photograph in the U.S. and addresses what the police, security guards and private citizens can and cannot lawfully do when you photograph them in the public environment.

I have always failed to understand why some people in the U.S. - who are photographed 5000 times a day by security cameras - take umbrage to being photographed by a lowly little street photographer. All I can come up with is that it is a "control" issue for some people.

The irony of the situation is that people who have this type of control issue are in fact the ones that are on the wrong side of the law when it comes to street photography. When these control issue types attempt to coerce the photographer into deleting photos or handing over film, or if they verbally slander, detain the photographer or lay hands on him/ her in any manner, it is they who are breaking the law and violating the rights of another.

In spite of the control issue person's misinformed and unfounded beliefs, the photographer is in no way doing anything to them that is unlawful, unethical, immoral, improper or unseemly.

Avoiding or diffusing confrontation is always the preferred resolution - but any time you engage in street photography you have the potential for confrontation.

Carried to its logical concluision, the erroneous "you can't take my picture" claim/worldview will result in the extinction of an entire genre of photography that originated in 1895 with Eugene Atget in Paris and was elevated to the level of art by Henri Cartier-Bresson and later on by Vivian Maier and Garry Winogrand. For the uninformed to try to claim that street photography is not a legitimate genre and is some kind of threat to the subject is as baseless as it is nonsensical.

That is a price that is simply too high to pay in order to pacify the uneducated, the misinformed and the belligerent who have control issues. It is a price that legitimate, lawful photographers should not be expected to pay or be willing to pay.

Yesteryear's street photography is today's historical record of a bygone era. Today's street photography will be held in the same regard 30, 40 or 50 years on. We simply cannot allow that record to be denied to future generations due to the paranoia and ignorance of a handful of control issue types in the present.

JMHO.
Well-said! Thanks for putting these thoughts together; they're important.
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Old 04-07-2013   #207
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Sometimes I will take photos with the solitary intention of harassing the subject, as with this fellow:

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Old 04-07-2013   #208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug View Post
It seems to me that a bad subject reaction often arises out of a sense of having been targeted. And they don't know why. I'm sometimes asked if the pic is for the newspaper...



Sometimes the problem is worsened by a photographer who is one of the "uneducated, the misinformed and the belligerent who have control issues." And this just contributes to problems for the next photographer. Better to be friendly and respectful, avoid misunderstandings.
Doug -
When I am shooting on the street, I am always friendly and respectful to people. In my original post, I believe I touched on that point:
Quote:
Avoiding or diffusing confrontation is always the preferred solution - but any time you engage in street photography you have the potential for confrontation.
I have been doing street photography for almost five years now and have easily photographed over a thousand subjects. In all those hours - probably hundreds, if not thousands - of engaging in street photography, I have had perhaps four or five situations where things went sideways (verbally).

This leads me to believe that I must be doing something right.
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Old 04-07-2013   #209
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I am very friendly and respectful to.
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Old 04-07-2013   #210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisycheese View Post
Doug -
When I am shooting on the street, I am always friendly and respectful to people. ...
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Originally Posted by airfrogusmc View Post
I am very friendly and respectful to.
Cool! There are always some who will be abrasive...
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Old 04-08-2013   #211
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Quote:
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Cool! There are always some who will be abrasive...
If I am taking a more of a portrait and if I do engage and they say no I respect that. I even will send them photographs. But when I'm working on capturing the moment its all about that. But you have to have thick skin when working on the street because it can involve rejection and some people are confrontational.
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Old 04-08-2013   #212
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug View Post
Cool! There are always some who will be abrasive...
Maybe it's a midwest thing, but all my photographic peers who do street photography really try to treat people with respect when they are photographing. If there is abrasiveness and aggression, it comes from the subject 99.9% of the time.

I the last guy who gave me problems came up behind me and started yelling at me for photographing other people - I had not so much as seen him, let alone made a photograph of him (I'm pretty certain he was under the influence of some sort of "street pharmaceuticals" - he was acting in a really unhinged manner).
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Funny
Old 04-27-2013   #213
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Funny

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
Accually I look more like John's avatar. LOL.

In real life John's a kinda big guy though. Funny thing is that he likes small cameras, rarely shoots with a hood, and loves tiny lenses. Go figure.

Meanwhile although I'm 5' 10" I only weigh 155 pounds and I shoot big cameras that John calls monsters like a Nikon F3 with motordrive. Both my Leicas feature TA rapidgrips and TA Rapidwiders BTW.

Cal
I am a big, bald, biker looking, white guy and I shoot with an XP1, my buddy is a 5'9 Asian fella about 165lbs and he shoots with a 5DIII and big L lenses.
I find that my appearance saves me the headache of harassment, but on the rare occasions that I am approached, I find a smile and a jovial personality diffuses the situation every time.
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Old 04-27-2013   #214
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Maybe its not that they dont take umbrage to security cameras photographing them but rather that they cant do or say anything about it because there is no name or face thats doing it, laws are passed in closed rooms and does anyone really know the names of those who proposed the security cameras and then passed them? No. BUT when they see a real human being photographing them, violating them, monitoring them, all their rage and resentment about the security cameras is directed into the street photographer who they can confront.
I have suspected that very thing for some time now.

It would be more constructive if the average Joe or Jane would think things through a bit and direct their resentment at the source of that resentment rather than at the first guy with a camera they see on the street making photographs.

I would not refer to street photography as "violating" or "monitoring" the photographer's subject, though. While some people may not like being photographed on the street, it can hardly be categorized as violating them in my view.

Based on rulings issued by various courts, it seems that the judicial system (in the U.S., at least) concurs with that view of street photography.
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Old 04-27-2013   #215
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One of the more peculiar observations that i have made is people will let you photograph them if you 'look like you know what you're doing' and if you 'look like a proper photographer'.

Its hard for me to explain but as an example watch videos of some of the famous photographers and see how they get away with shots that will get most nervous amateurs in trouble.
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Old 04-27-2013   #216
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Originally Posted by 68degrees View Post
Maybe its not that they dont take umbrage to security cameras photographing them but rather that they cant do or say anything about it because there is no name or face thats doing it, laws are passed in closed rooms and does anyone really know the names of those who proposed the security cameras and then passed them? No. BUT when they see a real human being photographing them, violating them, monitoring them, all their rage and resentment about the security cameras is directed into the street photographer who they can confront.
No one cares about security cameras, because photos of the people don't get on the internet. If some weird guy on the street takes a photo of me, I don't know what he does with it. Will he post it on a site like "Most stupid looking people" or something else? With those photos I can't control the context someone put's the photos in.
If everyone was just taking normal tourist photos, then I had no problems at all. In these cases, I'm only another person on a photo of a touristic scene.
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Old 04-28-2013   #217
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thats called being "dead right" . Yes you are right but its no consolation when you are dead because you took the wrong persons photo. Winning in court isnt going to make your broken ribs feel better. Just because there would be no legal consequences after being falsely accused, arrested for criminal mischief, stalking, disturbing the peace, failure to obey an officer, jaywalking or whatever else the officer can think up at the time, waiting in jail, getting into another fight with some lowlife because you are acting self righteous and indignant about b eing in jail, paying bond, getting out of jail, getting an attorney, or if you cant afford one having all your finances examined with a microscope to see if you truly cannont "afford" by their definition an attorney and then finally going to court and the judge agreeing with you that indeed you can photograph anyone you want. You are right, but it can be quite costly and stressful. This of course is if you arent physically attacked, camera smashed and cell phone smashed while you are threatening to call the police on the assailant. Theres always a crazy in the group, somoene who objects AND will do something about it. Many object to getting their photo taken but few will confront you. Is it really worth it if you arent making good money with the photos? The only safe way to do it in my view would be to go in a group of non photographers, I doubt he would approach a group. Life isnt fair especially if you are eccentric single man, there is considerable social stigma and prejudice against single eccentric men who like taking photos of strangers but it is what it is.

You raise the twin spectres of murder and maiming in the streets. That may well be the case in Karachi or Mogadishu or Ciudad Juarez or San Pedro Sula. But I don't do street photography in any of these violent, dangerous cities and I would hazard a guess that most of the other folks who are members here don't, either.

That brings up two obvious questions: Can you provide some examples of photographers being murdered for engaging in street photography within the U.S.? What about photographers being beaten and maimed for engaging in street photography? Can you provide some examples of that happening within the U.S.?

I have been photographing people on the streets for almost five years now. For every one person who says "no, thank you" or "don't take my picture" (to which I always politely respond that I won't), I make a ton of photographs of people without incident - I'm talking in the high hundreds, likely 500-700, possibly more.

I have never had even one of the who knows how many thousands of people I have photographed on the streets get in my personal space, let alone lay hands on me or my camera or attack me (and no, I am not built like an NFL offensive lineman).

I was yelled at once, though. By a guy who, judging from his behavior, was most likely stoned on some type of street drug. The irony is that I had not even photographed in his general direction, let alone made a photograph of him specifically.

I don't know - maybe I am just extraordinarily lucky. Maybe I somehow manage to photograph only nice people who are not violent...
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Old 04-28-2013   #218
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I guess the message then is something along the lines of "Let's be careful out there" (to borrow a line from the Hill Street Blues T.V. show of old).

No photograph is worth dying for, as someone once said.

I recall one afternoon of street photography that could have turned ugly. I happened upon what was very possibly a transaction in progress involving "home made pharmaceuticals" wrapped in aluminum foil and laid out on a cafe's sidewalk table.

One of the participants saw me round the corner with camera in hand and shot me a death stare. I got the message and walked on without making an image.

There are some decisive moments that are best left not photographed. This was obviously one of them.
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Old 04-28-2013   #219
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This whole thread is already off topic but now it even gets "US only". This is still an international forum, isn't it?
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Old 04-29-2013   #220
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This whole thread is already off topic but now it even gets "US only". This is still an international forum, isn't it?
There was no "ugly American" mindset behind my proviso. Read on and this should become readily apparent.

The only reason I said "within the U.S." is due to the fact that there are somewhere between 195 and 204 nations in the world today
( http://www.polgeonow.com/2011/04/how...-in-world.html ). That's alot of nations and laws to keep track of.

Here in the U.S. of A, we have the following situation:
Quote:
In the ever growing complexity of our society we are facing ever growing rules and regulations, or Laws as we call them.
January 1st. 2010 was a big milestone in this scary look into the future with the introduction of 40,627 new laws that went into effect throughout the nation and its territories. That is some 800 on average per state in the union, covering as widely diverse topics as texting while driving to mold removal in homes and criminal laws against people who scam other people.
Source: http://www.searchamelia.com/land-of-...gulations-more

Fifty states, eight hundred new laws. Per state. In 2010 alone. That, in addition to the hundreds of millions of laws already on the books. But that's nowhere near the end - oh, hell no. In 2012, another 40,000 laws went into effect: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/45819570/n.../#.UX7rmLWThWk

In addition to all the above, no one in the U.S. Government can give us a definitive answer about how many federal laws the U.S. Congress has created:
Quote:
In an example of a failed attempt to tally up the number of laws on a specific subject area, in 1982 the Justice Department tried to determine the total number of criminal laws. In a project that lasted two years, the Department compiled a list of approximately 3,000 criminal offenses. This effort, headed by Ronald Gainer, a Justice Department official, is considered the most exhaustive attempt to count the number of federal criminal laws. In a Wall Street Journal article about this project, “this effort came as part of a long and ultimately failed campaign to persuade Congress to revise the criminal code, which by the 1980s was scattered among 50 titles and 23,000 pages of federal law.” Or as Mr. Gainer characterized this fruitless project: “[y]ou will have died and [been] resurrected three times,” and still not have an answer to this question.
Source: http://blogs.loc.gov/law/2013/03/fre...aws-are-there/

So my statement of "within the U.S." was based on the fact that I can't even keep track of America's billions and billions of laws, let alone ours and the laws of 195+ other nations.
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Old 05-21-2013   #221
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So I was out on Sunday with my M6 and 24 Elmarit and noticed a character dressed in some interesting clothes so decided to take a hip shot as he was crossing the street. I mostly shoot "hyperfocal" so didnt need to adjust a thing with this lens.

We crossed paths shortly after and were on opposite sides of the street. We were both coincidentally waiting (me for my fiance and him for the bus) although he kept on looking at me with an intense stare. Shortly after he decided to cross the street over to me whilst I was on the phone and stood in front of me somewhat aggressively. I was concerned so cut short my call. He asked me to stop taking pictures of him and to delete the shots I had taken (1). I admitted to him that I had indeed taken a picture of him as I was crossing the street as I thought his outfit was interesting but I couldn't delete the picture as it was not a digital camera. He became rather aggressive (although "sort of" polite) saying that this was rude and that I should have asked him, to which I said, "ideally, you are right, however, had I of asked you, would you have said yes?", I told him I was a street photographer who liked to capture people in their natural environment and I would be happy to send him a print of his picture. He didn't respond but was very dismissive at this point and started crossing the street although kept looking at me for quite a while until his bus came...

My question is to all you savvy street shooters, what should our stance be???? 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...
I spent years doing street in Harvard Square. I got to know most of the charactors hanging around and as I am a chess player I got to know all the chess players quite well. I would shoot away and occasionaly bring a print and give it to the folks I had been shooting never had a problem and if some one saw me pointing the camera and signaled no I smiled and move on. no need to anagonize anyone.
I once got into a discussion with a brain dead teenager who insisted I had to have his permission to take his photo. He started out quite heated but when I asked him whats the difference between every one on the street seeing him and my taking a pic of him we were able to have a very good conversation. Basically he was a pit hanger on and just really tired of having cameras poked at him.
Obviously much of how you will handle these situations will be in a large part based on how big or loud your antogonist is
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Old 08-13-2013   #222
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Originally Posted by wafflecakee View Post
I drink when I shoot though, so I usually forget about it soon enough.
Hahah great idea! I must try this

I've been confronted once. I happened to be shooting digital that day and so I gladly deleted the image...even though the woman was riding her bike on a public street! Imo if someone is genuinely upset then it's not worth it. Anyway, no matter how careful or considerate you are there will be situations where someone is having a bad day or just likes to try asserting his/her power. I just remind myself it's not a reflection on me and try to diffuse the situation the best I can and move on.
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Old 08-15-2013   #223
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I once walked past a woman holding my camera so it was facing sideways (nothing unusual there). She confronted me. I tried to ignore her and keep walking, but she stood in front of me and asked if I'd just made a photo of her. Looked her in the eye and said "no". She then tried to stare me down but I think I won that round —*realising she was looking a bit silly (we were in Jade Market in Shum Shui Po on a Sunday afternoon), she walked away.

I hadn't taken 2 steps when she yelled to me (and I quote) "Because if you take a photo of me, I will kill you!"

If I'd cared enough, I would've forcefully dragged her to the police station 5 minutes' walk away, but I find such people are rarely worth the bother. I admit I was a bit shaken, but I carried on with my walk.

Stuff happens, and you've just got to laugh it off. Obviously I don't mean laugh off a death threat, but confrontations…they happen.
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Old 08-15-2013   #224
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Quote:
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If it was really a candid, the subject shouldn't have noticed that his/her photo has been taken. If he/she somehow knows, then that means you are flashing your camera in front of the person and it's not a candid anymore.
I think you need to re-examine the meaning of "candid". the commonly held definition makes no determination as to whether the subject of the "candid" photo can or can not notice you AFTER the shot was taken, it can just not be known by said subject that a photo is about to be taken. If he/she realizes afterwords, that in no way disqualifies it from being a candid photograph. Just sayin...
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Old 08-15-2013   #225
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While fishing trouts in a river, mountain-biking, surfing, playing soccer or walking quietly in the mountains, there are plenty of things that can go wrong and cost you an injury or even your life. But what's the probability of the worst case scenarios really occurring? What kind of life would we get if we had to refrain from doing everything that involves a possible risk for our safety? No life, IMO.

When it comes to stumbling upon the wrong guy in the streets, I know people who've been punched down for no other reason than meeting the offender's eyes for a split second. They carried no cameras.
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