Photography anemosity

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Jarvman, Sep 17, 2006.

  1. Jarvman

    Jarvman Member

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    Right, so yesterday I was out photographing using my new 15mm lens, looking like the living dead after about 3 hours sleep. My mum, her friend and I went to a food festival which was being held in the town of Abergavenny not far from us. We were walking around the streets which were pretty packed with people when we walked by a busker out on the street playing on his guitar. Quite a tidy looking guy wearing a pork pie hat. I decided to take a photo so walked up close beside him as he was singing and took a photo down the street. He was included in the foreground of the shot but my lens was pointing nowhere in his direction. I stepped away and went to join my mum and her friend when I heared "Oi you, guy with the camera." So I turned around and said "Yeah?" to him. "Did you take a picture of me just then?" to which I replied "no". "Ah right, because that's pretty rude if you did. Why didn't you ask. Hundreds of people take my photo" or something along those lines. "ah, alright, uh sorry." is all I said. This is the first time anyone has ever confronted me about having their picture taken candidly by me. Later I saw a guy with his cameraphone pointed right at the same guy and taking a photo. It wasn't much of a confrontation but was I wrong not asking for permission?
    Instead should've I interrupted him in the middle of playing? The bloody lens wasn't pointed anywhere in his direction anyway so why get so uptight?

    Shared any similar experiences?
     
  2. Stewart Skelt

    Stewart Skelt Member

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    A busker who doesn't like to be photographed is in the wrong business. No, you should not have interrupted, or asked permission. He has chosen to inflict himself on the public in a public place and has no right to expect anything of you. If you were planning to publish the picture for money there might be a moral obligation on you to ask permission but in many jurisdictions I doubt there would be a legal obligation. If I were in old South Wales rather than New South Wales I'd go out now and take his photograph myself just to make the point.
     
  3. leeturner

    leeturner Subscriber

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    Jarvman, I have the same problem at a local market. A few of the people, maybe your busker, are working and claiming benefits so the last thing they want is a photograph being taken. You can be suspected of working for the benefits agency or worse, a member of the public looking to turn someone in.
    To give you an example there is a local who has been claiming disability for years yet when she forgot that one of the shops was closing the crutches were tucked under the arms as she ran to the shop! A photo would not have gone down well.
    I haven't had any animosity but have had suspicious glances, especially when photographing my children at the local park. I had to make sure that no other kids were inluded in the frame.
    Sad, but it's now better to ask before taking the shot.
     
  4. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    You should reply to the busker "Are you playing that music at me? Did you ask me if I wanted to listen to it first? If not, that's pretty rude as I may not be in the mood for your kind of music today."
     
  5. Jarvman

    Jarvman Member

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    Yeah, I see your point. I can be quite a quiet guy and would rather not ask for someones permission if it means approaching strangers with a camera, let alone getting them to sign a model release. if you're in the business of candids you don't want your subject to know they're being photographed anyway. If I'm going to study photography uni and eventually persue it as a career it's going to be something I have to get over.
     
  6. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Years ago, I photographed someone selling Socialist Worker. He got all upset.

    "Did you take my photograph?"

    --"Yes."

    "I don't know who you are"

    --"That's right."

    "You have a right to ask if you can take my picture."

    --"Yes, but I chose not to exercise that right."

    What's he going to do? Attack you? You are behaving legally. He may or may not be (the benefits question also applies to small market traders, apparently).

    Besides, I'd consider it rude to interrupt a song, and on top of that, as you say, it's a candid, not a posed pic.

    Be warned, though: there are people on this forum who cherish an imaginary 'right' not to be photographed. They say they don't have to give a reason why they don't want their picture taken. True. You don't have to give a reason for wanting to take it/taking it, either.

    Cheers,

    Roger (and you'll see quite a lot of street candids in the galleries and the Photo School at www.rogerandfrances.com)
     
  7. Christopher Colley

    Christopher Colley Member

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    Getting off of the bus once (with the ever present camera around my neck) I had a young man approach me and said he "I will kick your ass if you take a picture of me again without paying money first"

    funny thing was, I never saw the guy before and never took his picture, I told him this.. "oh,. well someone who looked like you took my picture yesterday.. and nobody takes my picture without paying me first"

    I walked off wondering how many busses this guy waited for so he could threaten a guy with a camera who he thought took his photo...


    crazy people I tell ya !

    edit: this was in front of an Arts building where 450 photography students attend
     
  8. George Papantoniou

    George Papantoniou Member

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    What is "anemosity" ??? - Just curious...

    About your question, when something like that happens to me, I take out my Colt Python Magnum .357 and all discussions come to a halt...
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    What film format is that?



    Steve.
     
  10. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I have photographed numerous buskers. Rather than interupt them to ask I find it is easier to catch their eye and with a raised eyebrow show them the camera. In every case I have received a nod in reply, got my shot and as a courtesy dropped a quid or two in their hat.
     
  11. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    As someone who has taken photographs of buskers and had my photograph taken whilst busking, I would say that is probably the best way.

    Steve.
     
  12. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Far and away the best way of doing it. But then, two-way courtesy usually is.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  13. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I'm in the US, so the rules might be different, but I've found that countries that generally follow English Common Law have somewhat similar rules. The general rule is that one does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy when out in public. The other general rule is that one can photogaph whatever one can see from a place that person can legally be, such as a public street. This is for editorial purposes, of course. If you are taking a photograph for advertising, that gets into different rules.

    Thanks for teaching me a new word - busker. What a wonderful one.
    juan
     
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  15. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    I shoot street a lot, and while it is my right take a candid and all, I generally make an effort to ask in some fashion or other depending on the situation. In this case I would just made eye contact and gestured with my camera that I was going to take a picture without really interrupting his performance. It depends on the situation so YMMV.

    Regards, Art.
     
  16. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I think it's important to distinguish between what's legally permitted and what's polite. My understanding is that, in most countries, it's legal to take photos of people without their permission, although using those photos commercially may require a model release. What's polite is another matter, and is largely a matter of opinion. My opinion is that asking permission, at least when it's possible, would be polite.

    To add my own anecdote to the mix, a couple of weeks ago I was out wandering around town with my camera. I'd taken one shot on that walk, a photo of a gully, with no houses in sight. Some time later a guy in a pickup truck pulls up and starts asking me questions, starting with "where do you live." At first I thought he was asking for directions, but then he came out with "why were you taking pictures of my house?" The guy was quite confrontational and insisted I'd photographed his house, although he hadn't even been there at the time -- he was going on the word of his wife. I explained that photography was my hobby, that I had not photographed his house, etc. He persisted and eventually asked for my name, at which point I walked away. Fortunately he didn't pursue me, but it was certainly a nerve-wracking experience. Unfortunately, he probably believes that I did photograph his house and is worried that I'm a burglar, if not worse. Call it self-perpetuating paranoia.
     
  17. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Me too. I don't suppose the gentleman asked if you'd like for him to favor you with a tune, eh?
     
  18. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    define buskers please, i think i know but would like to have a correct definition.
     
  19. Troy

    Troy Subscriber

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    I've busked all over Europe myself. Most buskers I know (and me too) just like a tip for the picture. Especially if they think you're a tourist. They're selling the music, but also the quaint notion of a person on the street, doing something picturesque and somewhat outdated. Know what I mean? It's like someone stopping by, listening to the tune, tapping their toe, clapping when it's over, saying "good job mate" and walking away without dropping some coin. It's not illegal, but it's not nice either.
     
  20. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Hi Ann, this is a busker. :smile:
     
  21. Will S

    Will S Member

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    Busker? anemosity? quid? .357? What language are you people speaking!!?

    Serious question: What is your 15mm lens and how do you like it? I've been drooling over the 15mm at cameraquest.com for my Bessa R3A. Finally settled on the snapshot 25mm, but I may have to reconsider.

    Thanks,

    Will
     
  22. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    The Queen's English good sir! For a guide to English/British monetary terminology see here (you'll need to scroll just over halfway down the page for the slang money words, meanings and origins list.
     
  23. Jarvman

    Jarvman Member

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    It's a 15mm Super Wide Heliar, the same lens you're looking at right? It's pretty nice. I'm enjoying using it. Finding good applications for it is tricky being so wide, I'm forcing myself to shoot a whole film with it to test it out. It's just about having it on you in those certain situations I suppose. I'm ten frames along. Off to the supermarket in a sec to shoot some candids from the hip. I deliberated over whether to buy the 15mm or 21mm, but I think I'll buy the 21mm in a month or so to go with it, after getting the Heiland Splitgrade Controller I want. I'll have 15mm, 21mm, 35mm, 50mm and 90mm then. Won't need any more after that, apart from another camera body perhaps.
     
  24. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    In the USA some guy busking with a pork pie hat at a street fair is fair game. I'd probably tell him to piss off......unless of course he was more rotund than I.
     
  25. Will S

    Will S Member

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    Yep, that's the one. I decided that the 25mm was a better deal and probably more useful, but I may have to get both! I really like the 25 "snapshot" btw, the viewfinder is quite nice. Still getting used to the uncoupled focusing though.

    Thanks,

    Will
     
  26. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    In case you guys care about Canadian law, here's the twist you have to remember: you can take any bloody picture you may well like, any time, of anyone.

    BUT! you are not allowed in the slightest to make commercial use of the picture IF the person is recognizable. In this case, it's no print sales, no licensing the picture, etc without model release, or an explicit agreement.

    So start taking backs and feet shots when you travel to Canada. There's nothing like a candid picture of a set of toes to improve your artistic career.