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Old 07-16-2009   #51
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I guess it depends on the context and intent. I know a guy another non-photography related message board. An older guy, I don't know what he looks like but know he's in ill health, married, and very right wing. Not that that matters in the slightest.

Anyway, on a few occasions he's posted pictures of women on beaches taken with his long zoom lens. All artlessly done, taken at unflattering angles, usually paired with some innuendo about the unwitting subject's T&A, and occasional commentary of women who he thinks shouldn't be wearing certain swimming garments. He's quick on the "Hey it's a public beach" defense if someone questions the morality of these posts.

I think it's completely classless but what can you do? Nothing, really.
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Old 07-16-2009   #52
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Originally Posted by sepiareverb View Post
Well the legality is part of it- this is perfectly legal, so the morality and ethics have been deemed ok no?
The problem is here. Here's something that can be debatable.

Just think of those things legalized in some states which are illegal in others (prostitution, abortion, just to make a couple of easy examples)
Laws not always follow ethic and moral for the simple reason that not all men and women have the same one. Some states have even a death penalty legalized. Is it ethic or legal? My OPINION is no. But it's different than yours, and this is enough to look for a border between laws and ethics thus comprehensible a such debate. Although I often smile when people come asking for privacy (they neither know what they are saying), nor I want to support such paranoiac background (just ask to UK photographers how do they live in England right now) I do understand the need for a (serious) debate, laws or not.
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Old 07-16-2009   #53
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The only issue here that I can see is the decision whether or not to spend any time looking at his images.
I'm not interested. Sounds like not enough nakedness (none) to qualify as good old fashioned porn and not enough creativity to qualify as art.
Boring is the worst insult for something posted to attract attention and I think boring is most likely what we are dealing with here.

If you're bored, move on. If you're engaged, oggle all you like. If you don't like the show, switch the channel or turn off the TV.
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Old 07-16-2009   #54
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Originally Posted by micromontenegro View Post
I find it very creepy that people find pics of young girls creepy. We have a saying in Spanish: "El ladrón juzga por su condición".
"Creepy" is the current buzzword for anything people can't understand or don't approve of or don't want to think about too hard.

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Old 07-16-2009   #55
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Originally Posted by FallisPhoto View Post
I'd say you are not only way on the conservative side, but don't have a very firm grasp on reality. You apparently don't mind doing somehing right out in public, with people looking at you directly, but you object to people looking at photos of it. Why? Have you deluded yourself into believing that you have psionic powers that enable you to control what sorts of people are allowed to look at you in real life? Well, you don't. Is someone fantasizing over your wife's/daughter's photo somehow more objectionable than someone fantasizing over her in real life?
There's quite a difference between not having a firm grasp of reality vs. hoping the world could function in a different way. If someone wishes there weren't so many wars and resulting horrible deaths in the world, does it mean that they can't grasp reality? No, it just means they wish people could solve their differences peacefully. You can call me way too conservative though, I'll take that without an argument.

In your last question, both are equally objectionable. But it doesn't mean that I want to help enable them either. Along the lines of what you're implying, then would it be okay for pedophiles to have naked pictures of young children because the pedophiles will fantasize about them regardless of having photos or not anyway? Of course not, I'm sure you don't think so.

I have absolutely no objection to any of the photos posted in this thread so far. All of them are artistic, tasteful, emotive, and don't look like Uncle Bob's snapshot with a shiny new SLR like the ones I mentioned by the photographer in the OP. Maybe I'm just accusing him of being a photographer.
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Old 07-16-2009   #56
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In my case, you'd be 100% wrong. I wouldn't touch the young women I shoot with a 10-foot pole. Why? Because I'm 54. When you reach my age, try talking to an 18-or-19-year-old.
Well, I'm five years older than you, and although I can't say I make a habit of trying to chat up young women, it's equally true that I don't make a habit of worrying about the age or sex of people I talk to; I'll talk to pretty much anyone, if there's something to say.

Likewise, I take far fewer photographs of teenage girls than I did when I was closer to their age, but I put that down to having less in common with them and therefore being in fewer places where I have much to say to them, or much occasion to take their pictures.

And one of my closest friends is exactly 40 years younger than I. No doubt there are things she discusses with her 19 year old boyfriend that she does not discuss with me (I hope so for his sake!) but equally she and I always seem to have plenty to talk about.

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Old 07-16-2009   #57
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Originally Posted by italy74 View Post
The problem is here. Here's something that can be debatable.

Just think of those things legalized in some states which are illegal in others (prostitution, abortion, just to make a couple of easy examples)
Laws not always follow ethic and moral for the simple reason that not all men and women have the same one. Some states have even a death penalty legalized. Is it ethic or legal? My OPINION is no. But it's different than yours, and this is enough to look for a border between laws and ethics thus comprehensible a such debate. Although I often smile when people come asking for privacy (they neither know what they are saying), nor I want to support such paranoiac background (just ask to UK photographers how do they live in England right now) I do understand the need for a (serious) debate, laws or not.
Granted it depends where one lives to some extent- but street photography is legal in the majority places that I know. Germany has some exceptions, but I know of more than one photographer making these very kinds of images in Germany- so how illegal is it in reality on the street.

You mentioned abortion, a sure fire way to get this thread LOCKED watch yourself
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Old 07-16-2009   #58
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LAws protect many who may not, to others, be worthy of protection. The whole victim's rights movement in the US is based on this fact...not a supposition. IMO, there is a wide range of propriety, and the OP raises a valid point as to good "taste". The photographer in question is hiding behimd his "rights". Like with other victims, those who are photographed can't say "no" to these people. Just ask any celebrity.
I enjoy street photography on line, although I don't like the process, myself.
I think we have to draw the line to stop short of objectifying the subject. I detest the "up-skirt" work of some of these creepy stalkers of celebrities. Is there an inalienable right to shoot a photo of Brittney Spears' crotch? I don't thiink so.
Admittedly, these photos I haven't seen. The ones on this thread fall well shorts of objectification, and are very nicely done.
As far as I am concerned, the more towards an objectifying photo we get, if it is going to be shot, and especially if it is to be posted, the subject should have the right to refuse.
Otherwise, right or wrong, you are taking a chance. Whether the law protects you or not, does it REALLY help the photographer to have legal protection if his camera is broken and his jaws are wired shut?
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Old 07-16-2009   #59
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I think we have to draw the line to stop short of objectifying the subject.
Impossible. One man's object is another woman's art. We have to take the "bad" with the "good" or lose the ability to photograph freely. He obviously enjoys what he shoots, who are we to tell him it isn't ok because we dislike his style but share his subject matter?

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Old 07-16-2009   #60
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LAws protect many who may not, to others, be worthy of protection. . . , does it REALLY help the photographer to have legal protection if his camera is broken and his jaws are wired shut?
Yes, it does help, because it reminds violent bigots that theirs is not the only world-picture.

More importantly, what is the real risk of a smashed camera and wired-up jaws? This sort of thing tends to make the newspapers -- and it doesn't get reported very often, which leads you to suspect that it doesn't happen very often.

Assaulting photographers and smashing their cameras is as much of a sick fantasy as taking upskirt photographs. It just appeals to a different kind of sick bigot.

EDIT: A question for everyone. Have you ever been assaulted (more technically, battered*) as a result of taking a picture or had your camera smashed? Do you personally know anyone to whom this has happened?

(As far as I recall, though I forget the case, under English law "the least touching of another in anger is a battery" but let's restrict ourselves to a proper punch, kick or other blow.)

Cheers,

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"Empathy" a better word?
Old 07-16-2009   #61
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"Empathy" a better word?

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Originally Posted by Darkhorse View Post
Anyway, on a few occasions he's posted pictures of women on beaches taken with his long zoom lens. All artlessly done, taken at unflattering angles, usually paired with some innuendo about the unwitting subject's T&A, and occasional commentary of women who he thinks shouldn't be wearing certain swimming garments. He's quick on the "Hey it's a public beach" defense if someone questions the morality of these posts.
After thinking about it, I don't think the right word is morality. How about empathy, is that a more accurate word? It seems more descriptive to this scenario.

Should photographers have empathy for their subjects? I think they should. Empathy and legality are two completely different things. You can embrace the law, but if you discard empathy, don't expect people to blow kisses in your direction.
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Old 07-16-2009   #62
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The photographer seems to be taking pictures of his friends. Am I missing something? This seems pretty mundane.
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Old 07-16-2009   #63
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After thinking about it, I don't think the right word is morality. How about empathy, is that a more accurate word? It seems more descriptive to this scenario.

Should photographers have empathy for their subjects? I think they should. Empathy and legality are two completely different things. You can embrace the law, but if you discard empathy, don't expect people to blow kisses in your direction.
Dear Derek,

A superb analysis!

And of course morality is different again from law and empathy.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 07-16-2009   #64
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The photographer seems to be taking pictures of his friends. Am I missing something? This seems pretty mundane.
A few are of his friends, but there are quite a number of his photos who are completely strangers. In fact, he has shared stories about how he was demanded by his targets not to put up the photos, which he responded by walking away and ignoring them...and proceeded to put them on the web later at home.

Edit: How do you know who I am referring to, anyhow? I didn't send you the link.
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Old 07-16-2009   #65
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Personally, whether done by a "sick bigot" or someone who is of an intelligence level so low as to not understand a photographer's intent (if, in fact, he knows it himself) railing against those violent people, and healing a major injury are quite different animals. But violence is best avoided, and pre-empting is preferable, in every case I can think of, to suffering from it, regardless of how wrong it is.
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Old 07-16-2009   #66
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After thinking about it, I don't think the right word is morality. How about empathy, is that a more accurate word? It seems more descriptive to this scenario.

Should photographers have empathy for their subjects? I think they should. Empathy and legality are two completely different things. You can embrace the law, but if you discard empathy, don't expect people to blow kisses in your direction.
That is a much better word. Thanks Antiquark.
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Old 07-16-2009   #67
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Hi guys

I usually don't do that. I mean, if I go somewhere for a certain reason, I follow that.
Of course, if a beautiful girl / woman comes to my way, JUST BECAUSE IT'S BEAUTIFUL ( = nice to the eyes ) why don't take a picture of her? To be honest, when I can I approach them and ask them a picture. Usually this happens at formals or ceremonies where beautiful girls are sometimes shy of themselves, like this one (with her parents approval of course) I'm not a pervert nor I want to be pointed as it if now and then I took a picture I like. I don't spend my time looking at young ladies on my pc but it would be a pity losing the image of a such beautiful girl at THAT time. Sometimes photography goes beyond women and models. We just realize something is beautiful and can't be lost.

Of course if the one is just too far I have to choose in a second. Sometimes I take it, sometimes I take it not.
Your opinion does not count, you are Italian
The whole TV culture there is based on showing beautiful girls. How many Sundays have I spent as a teenager looking at "La Domenica In" .... sigh ...
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Old 07-16-2009   #68
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You were (un)lucky not to notice "Colpo grosso" then...
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Old 07-16-2009   #69
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But violence is best avoided, and pre-empting is preferable, in every case I can think of, to suffering from it, regardless of how wrong it is.
I could not agree more -- which is why, perhaps, I have never had my camera smashed or been physically assaulted as a result of taking a picture. I have on the other hand taken countless pictures of people in the street for some 43 years, and have only ever encountered seven (or so) objections in that time.

You can avoid violence by being scared of your own shadow -- I use 'you' in the general sense of 'one', of course, not of you personally -- or you can reflect on the real danger of being seriously assaulted.

As I added to my earlier post in an edit, has anyone on this thread ever been seriously assaulted, or had their camera smashed, as a result of taking a picture, or does anyone know personally anyone to whom this has happened; at least, outside a war zone or a riot?

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Old 07-16-2009   #70
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The photographer seems to be taking pictures of his friends. Am I missing something? This seems pretty mundane.
I've looked high and lo and over yonder but don't see a link to said photos, where did you find them ? I'd really like to see what this is all about before making an informed comment, if any.

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Old 07-16-2009   #71
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As long as the girls are old enough and not teenagers or children, then I don't see any problems with such photography. The laws of the land keep on being changed to deprive people of any rights to take street photos, so do it while you are allowed to do. In later years, who knows whether such photos will be legally allowed or not.
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Old 07-16-2009   #72
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As I added to my earlier post in an edit, has anyone on this thread ever been seriously assaulted, or had their camera smashed, as a result of taking a picture, or does anyone know personally anyone to whom this has happened; at least, outside a war zone or a riot?

Cheers,

Roher
Seriously hurt? No. But I've a few times been on the receiving end of acts of battery. The worst of the bunch was when someone hit me with a kubaton. It drew blood and bruised my hand but more agonizingly, the photos were blurry.

Typically when someone engages me, I'm polite and cheery or polite and stern. It happens when someone spouts out false laws ('photographing in public is a felony', 'I can legally confiscate your camera', etc) that I can become flippant and sassy but that's rarity.

I find meeting anger with smiles and good manners diffuses most of my encounters.

PS teehee @ "Roher" typo
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Old 07-16-2009   #73
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...has anyone on this thread ever been seriously assaulted, or had their camera smashed, as a result of taking a picture, or does anyone know personally anyone to whom this has happened...
Not I. I've been clobbered pretty good while shooting at CBGB and Danceteria, but only because I was in the way of folks having a good time- looking through the camera instead of at where I was heading. I've had several discussions with people about photographing something of theirs, heated a few times. But nothing has ever come to blows. I worked for a guy for a while who was a bit of a paparazzi type, would dash out of the studio when he heard so and so was going to be on TV to hang out waiting. He was could be pretty obnoxious, and he never got smacked.
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Old 07-16-2009   #74
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A friend, photographing a guys CAR from behind, got a shoulder dislocation and his camera a free carwash in the Charles River, Boston...
Maybe the tag on his Ferrari was expired...
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Old 07-16-2009   #75
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If people don't want to be photographed in a bathing suit in a public place they have two options, don't wear the bathing suit or stay out of the public place. Very simple. Anything in a public place is fair game in the US, you put yourself out there you can be photographed.
I would submit that there's a profound difference, psychologically, between being seen and being photographed. People do many transient things as a part of their natural behavior that would make them extremely uncomfortable to see in a permanent record. As has been mentioned, this is a matter not so much of morality or legality, but of empathy. I think it's a bit glib to assert that people have only themselves to blame if they don't constrain their human natures to the purely rational.

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Winogrand was famous for snapshotty pictures of women- perhaps this guy loves Winogrand. Perhaps he loves women. I can't find anything wrong here.
Finally! Someone who remembers Winogrand's book "Women Are Beautiful". This was moderately controversial at the time (I think he had trouble getting it published). I'm fairly certain that Winogrand did not set out to do a project on women, but his natural tendencies resulted, over time, in a body of work on the subject. He probably took the vast majority of the picture simply because he found the women beautiful -- whether in the banal, bikini-clad sense or in some deeper, more empathetic sense.

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What is "unsavory" about this??? Photographing the life on the street around you is NORMAL.
Correct. Only the photographer's intent potentially could be unsavory, and that cannot be divined with any certainty from the photographs alone. That having been said, I think it's worth considering that, from the point of view of the subjects of the pictures, the idea of having those photos available on the internet for all humanity to view, with whatever intent, may be somewhat more disturbing than the thought that some individual has, for whatever reason, seen fit to take and keep a snapshot of them.

So, in short, I think the possible "creepiness" of this collection of images lies not in their mere existence, but mostly in what they may represent about the shallowness of the relationship between the photographer, his subjects and (not incidentally) the viewers. This is something that all street and documentary photographers should think about seriously.

As an example, I once took a course in documentary photography where one of the exercises had the instructor randomly pairing up the students and assigning each pair to come to class the following week and display nude photos of each other. The objective was to teach us something about the vulnerability a subject experiences in front of the camera; the sensitivity the photographer should exercise behind the camera; and how empathy between the two results in much stronger images, even when those images are uncensored. (Also, viewing and critiquing such photos in the presence of both the photographer and the subject offered an unusual and valuable perspective on documentary photography.)

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