Fears

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by rogueish, Sep 27, 2004.

  1. rogueish

    rogueish Member

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    Was out looking for people in action shots for a class project on Saturday.
    Was passing through a park on my way over to a band stand where of all things, a band was setting up.
    A man and a woman came storming up to me and demanded to know why I was photographing children. Puzzeled, (not having taken any shots yet) I asked what they were talking about. The man turned red and started yelling how I was there to take pictures of thier kids playing and how I was a pervert and someone should call the police. At that point I had had enough and yelled back " The camera is turned off, the lens cap is still on and the film is still on frame number one, so PLEASE call the police so I can charge you with stupidity!" Thw woman clammed up, the man turned even redder and I thought he was about to attack me. I held up the camera, showed the lens cap then the shutter speed selector (which was on the big red "lock") and the frame counter. I then quietly said wait till someone actually commits a crime before you make accusations. I then proceeded over to the band shell where I shot two rolls of film, made a contact with the band to shot more(possibely). NowI'm die-ing to get back to class where we will develop it in 2 weeks.
    I understand some peoples fear of cameras and/or perverts, but but this was just to much.
     
  2. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    I agree, but it happens quite often. I was taking shots of a kid (for the parents) and another kid was on the playground at the same time. His father started accussing me for being a pervert too. But after some time of argueing he came down to earth again and was very interested in my camera and my joy of photography. He apologized and wanted to have me shooting his kid too. Then I had two jobs that day...
     
  3. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    The paranioa is spreading throughtout the world it seems. I had this paragraph in an Email from a friend this week :

    "Hey did you see all the stuff about the police arresting folks in London for taking pictures of children in the AP? (Amatuer Photographer Magazine) Crazy. They arrested this 70 year old dude, held him in custody for hours while they searched his address. They complimented him on his printing and resleased him!"

    I think we really are entering the darkages where in a few years people will not be able to see how children played and dressed today. A couple of years ago I had a mother scowling at me for taking pictures of my own child because her children where on the same beach. I told her I was shooting my own son and that hers would be out of focus, but if she wanted some of her kids then I'd be happy to supply details of my fee's. She soon kept her mouth shut!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2004
  4. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    My wife teaches second grade in Bath, a small town in northern Ohio. It is school policy that no child may be in a photograph taken by anyone including the teacher unless the child's parents have signed a release.

    John Powers
     
  5. dr bob

    dr bob Member

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    Does that indicate there is no tv monitoring in the building or on the grounds?
     
  6. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Are cell-phones with cameras (that is, all new ones) also banned?
    Even when I did my year service in the army I had free reign with a cell phone
    (which included a camera) and I worked in the top-secret document office!

    I find it rediculous and a clear indication of the corruption of societies.
    Such laws and attitude only hurt normal people and do nothing to the ones they
    are meant for. But I won't get into the discussion. It is pointless to discuss
    paranoia.

    a.
     
  7. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    Let me put it this way....

    A while back, I was in the mall with the wife. I left her in some clothing store and headed over to the book store. On the way I came across a crying child who obviously lost.

    Instead of helping him MYSELF, I went and got my wife.

    Simply because of crap like this.

    Welcome to the State of Paranoia.
     
  8. papagene

    papagene Membership Council

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    I have spent many years on soccer fields watching my daughter play and have seen many photo opportunities pass by because of this paranoia. I just didn't want the hassle of dealing with narrow-minded people and instead just enjoyed watching my daughter play.
    We may just be watching the death of unbiased (well, unsanctioned) cultural documantation.
    gene
     
  9. Robert L

    Robert L Member

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    I agree. It's aweful nowadays. Best intentions and all, the consequences of a simple misunderstanding can be tragic.
     
  10. anyte

    anyte Member

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    It's stuff like what's posted in this thread that makes me really glad I'm a nature photographer who photographers trees, rocks, birds, and such way out of the view of other people.

    I have photographed my son up at the park but there's never anyone there to worry or complain.
     
  11. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    Trying to think of how to set up this story without ruining the punchline...

    I was at the local Air Show, on Sunday, photographing with my handheld medium format. I took a picture of one of the Civil Air Patrol cadets, a girl of 15. A male cadet turned to her and said, "You have to be really careful about "old men" taking your picture, you don't know what they're going to use it for." The girl said, "Um, it's ok, that's my father."

    Sad, true, and funny at the same time...

    Given my daughter's sense of humor, I glad she didn't say, "That's alright, it probably won't come out, anyway." :smile:
     
  12. RAP

    RAP Member

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    The sound of children, laughing, playing is one of the most beautiful and joyful sounds in the world. To watch them at play is as wonderous as watching nature. But when you consider the amount of abductions, pedophiles, the dangers from predators, is it any wonder that parents are protective of their children? I do not blame them at all.

    Their was a time when you could talk, joke with a child other then your own, but no more. You have to be very careful of how you interact with children. It is much more then sad, it's tragic. One of the simpilest pleasures in life has been taken away from us.
     
  13. sparx

    sparx Member

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    I don't know the laws on photographing children and anyone else in a public place. Is it actually illegal to take a picture that happen to have children in it? This is a UK question but it would be interesting to know the state of play in other countries.
     
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  15. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    In Denmark it is legal to take pictures in all public places including the people there. But asking for permission is considered to be polite. I do a lot of candid work in the streets, but I never use a photo that would embarrass the subject.
     
  16. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Technically in the UK anyone in public is fair game for being photographed and it extends to taking pictures of people not in public physically but can be seen from a public place (hope that makes sense). The problems come when people / the Police start invoking things like the child protection act. A well intentioned law but not really understood by anyone it seems, so add a little dosh of paranioa and things start getting dirty.

    What I do find strange is that if I turn up at a story and say it's for the local paper parents are shoving their children into the picture I'm composing. Seems social record pictures are not acceptable in many places but children are fair game in a cause / politics.

    If your in the UK I recommend membership of the Bureau of Freelance Photographers and you can join whatever status you have. Leagal advice is part of the membership as is 24 hour legal representation.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2004
  17. 127

    127 Member

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    But thats exactly the kind of paranoia that we should try and stop. I totally understand parents being paranoid about their kids safety, but actually if you ACTUALLY DID consider the number of abductions, pedophiles, and particulary preditors around then you'd feel a whole lot safer.

    Kids are more likely to be struck by lightning than abducted. Yes it happens but it happens maybe once per year in the UK and is national news for the next month.

    The preditory pedofile is a frighning image but it's not at all common, even taking into account how rare abuse is:

    "Among rape victims less than 12 years of age, 90% of the children knew the offender, according to police-recorded incident data.

    40% of the offenders who sexually assaulted children under age 6 were juveniles (under the age of 18)."

    Other abuse stats:
    "biological father: 19%;*
    biological mother 14%;*
    Stepfather 35%;*"

    I pulled these off a couple of reputable internet sites. They don't prove anything of course. I totally get that statistics don't mean anything when it happens to someone you know.

    If a child is abused it's probably by either a family member or slighty older child. Unfortunatly that's more difficult to deal with that - far easier to lynch photographers.

    It's simply not reasonable to say that "the amount of abductions, pedophiles, the dangers from predators" justifies the way we're behaving.

    Ian
     
  18. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    I agree that we can only protect our children so far and I have a 14 year old who I'm constantly worrying about. But doesn't stop me letting him go out to play with his mates blah blah blah ..... My beards so grey with parenting I could be mistaken for a landscape photographer.
     
  19. rogueish

    rogueish Member

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    In Canada, photography in public areas is fair game. It is considered polite to ask first, but not manditory. If you take a pic, and the person says you can't take my photo, you can (legally) take no more of said person. They DO NOT have the legal right to demand your film, unless you persist on taking more.
    Cell phones (with or without built in cameras) are being banned from many places. The first was co-ed gyms and public pools followed right behind.
    I like the line "I'll gladly supply my rates", will have to get something printed up.
    I don't normally photograph kids. Have been asked by a couple of friends and I found I prefered candid shots over having the parents directing the pose. I think the kids did too :wink: Pictures of kids can be challenging at times, parents (sorry, NON-photographic) parents seem to make thing worse and all you get are so-so pics of unhappy children.
     
  20. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Ian - sounds about right to me. In between my IT career(s) I had 4 years out in the Police and the following year working in social work. Nearly all abuse of children and also murders were committed by a family member or friends of the family. The very people that most people consider to be the ones they can trust.

    Rogueish - yep I do shoot portraits when asked but my conditions are that they are candid and I won't shoot any posed ones. I usually get told that they are the best pictures they've ever had of their kids and that I've captured something of them. From my perspective they are just natural candids but the parents and children are happy which is what counts.
     
  21. rakuhito

    rakuhito Member

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    more a reaction than anything else, but for what it's worth, i've always felt photography was sort of creepy - particularly in a public space when the pictures are of people and things and events not related to the photographer. i mean i always wonder why a person needs a photograph of what they can already see and are enjoying in the present. but that's just me.

    okay. back to the regularly scheduled programming.
     
  22. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    For me I quess the answer is because the picture is there and I've always felt it's part of a photographers responsibility to record moments of history (no matter how common a scene at the time) for future generations. But maybe I'm just being pompus :smile:
     
  23. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    No, Tony, I do not think you are being 'pompus'! People who take photos of "people and things and events not related to the photographer" are photojournalists - sometimes paid, sometimes it's just the nature of the person. For example...this past weekend there was an competition near where I live of Icelandic horses. I would have LOVED to have gone there & taken photos! Have you ever seen these horses?? They are beautiful! Anyway, I don't know anyone who has one and I've never riden competitively...I don't think I'm some sort of oddball because I would have liked to have taken a few rolls of film of this event...(I may be an oddball, but it has nothing to do with that :D). I think people who like to take endless rolls of film of women with no clothes are a bit on the odd side...but I also think they are creating something that can be beautiful. It's not my cup of Rodinal, but to each his own!
    I think the original point...about how frightened people have become is a valid one. It's a natural reaction...every day you hear about kids gone missing, child molesters who were pillars of the community...it's no wonder parents get scared when they see someone they do not know taking pictures of kids! As a parent and grandparent, it would get MY attention...and I have 'exposure' (no pun intended) to the photographic community. I think if I were going to shoot some photos at a playground of my (grand)kids, and there were other kids & parents there I would go to them first, introduce myself, point out my little darlings & explain what I am about to do. Just to ease their minds. If I have a card, Iwould give it to them. If I get their kids in a shot, I would send it to them. The way to conquer fear of the unknown...is to turn it into the known.
    Jeanette
     
  24. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Jeanette,

    Thank you your too kind too me :smile:

    I agree that introductions are very important and when I have a camera in my hand I take on the persona of an outgoing confident person. Being chatty is something I love when I'm out shooting so will often just make casual comment to someone nearby to see if I can start a conversation. That then gives me the chance to say what I'm doing and sometimes why. I never consider that I'm explaining out of an obligation but as a matter of courtesy. It's amazing how many new "friends" I have made this way and before I was married was a great way to get dates errrm back to the subject. When someone is openly taking pictures even though I hate my picture taken I am much more relaxed than when someone is lurking with a camera as it makes me suspicious in the first place.

    I love looking at the classics on the Magnum site and they frequently bring back memories of childhood and more importantly the happy ones. Although my parents didn't drink, sending the children to the corner shop to collect some beer was common. At the time the picture was taken (come on someone remind me who it was) it must have looked un-interesting to passers by, but looking back now it's a rare moment in history for us all to see and enjoy.

    Tony
     
  25. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    No problem, Tony! I just call them how I see them! You know us Americans! :tongue: haha
    Was that a shot done by Cartier-Besson??? I think it was a young boy carrying a couple bottles of wine. Great shot! I love those shots.
    Jeanette
     
  26. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Jeanette,

    Thank you that's the way I like em, maybe a throwback to having an American girlfriend when I was 14 LOL Yes that was the name in my head but I'm so hopeless at names I didn't want to commit myself without a prompt and I'm in the middle of the dusting & vaccing at the moment so didn't have time to check :wink:

    It really is a Great Shot and I get the feeling of being there whenever I see it.

    Tony