And this is the sort of thing that happens in the UKSSR
"Flatter Me, and I May Not Believe You. Criticize Me, and I May Not like You. Ignore Me, and I May Not Forgive You. Encourage Me, and I Will Not Forget You."
Street photography is by definition, I think, candid photography of people. I photograph "in the street" so to speak, but now only as tourist. If there are people in the photograph, they are incidental and not the subject. I simply do NOT do street photography anymore because of the generalized social paranoia over such things. I photograph a lot of children but I would NEVER take a candid photograph of a child unless it was a relative or the child of close family friends, and even then I would get the parents' permission beforehand.
In the 1970s, I used to love going to fairs and photographing people, including a lot of children, but the reaction to cameras has changed dramatically. I do understand that some people do not like to be photographed and I always tried to be sensitve to that, but these days, it is quite different. The last time I took a picture of children at a fair, someone asked me, very aggressively, why I was taking that picture. It seemed to me to be completely obvious: absolutely gleeful children on an antique merry-go-round. Isn't that a great subject? Well, he didn't think so, and they were not even his kids. The craziest example was about 10 years ago when I was photographing a lovely art deco apartment building my city. One of the residents came right across the street and was furious with me for photographing the building where she lived. She threatened to call the police. I told her to go ahead, and she backed off, but today, I would simply pack up and leave, based on what I read about encounters with the police.
I am sure that someone will write a dissertation in the near future on the source of this new paranoia but it makes absolutely no sense to me. What do people think is at risk? How does a candid street photograph threaten them or their children?
If it's interesting and on public streets, I take the picture.
Cops at work - more trouble than it's worth.
Originally Posted by Markok765
And pretty girls for the wrong reasons.
Being grateful doesn't remove the problem of choice.
Originally Posted by joneil
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Nothing. Despite the issues with shooting that we all must have run into, we are quite spoiled in this regard here in the U.S. Public property and/or public view = public domain. It is yours to use artistically and journalistically, for money or not, with a few exceptions such as government buildings, power plants, use of telephoto lenses to look onto private property, etc. You are allowed to shoot and publish children unless part of a court order (e.g. you are a registered sex offender). You are even allowed to publish shots taken on private property that is considered to be a public area, such as a mall or a fair. The very first thing I do with anyone who asks me to stop shooting is to explain this calmly and politely. I carry a printout of the photographer's rights with me. Any more trouble, and the conversation ends with me calling the police, who have backed me up 100% of the time.
"commercial" shooting, as in shooting for hire, having a crew, props, models, set dressings, is another issue altogether and requires permits.
Most of all, once snapped, the pictures are your property, and my not be confiscated regardless of whether you have broken the law in doing so or not or not. They can be collected against your will as evidence in a crime, but even then, you can get them back (if they haven't been quote-unquote destroyed, damaged, lost, erased, etc.)
There is a crime in continuing to take pictures on private property *after* you have been asked to stop. The crime in that case is trespassing alone; nothing else.
In any case, they pictures are your property and may not be taken from you.
What I do try not to do is to be ham-handedly exploitive of any individual who is suffering and/or incapable of at least asking me to stop shooting for one reason or another, even when it is technically allowed. Even though it is allowed, I feel that the camera can be an unfair advantage to the mentally ill (and that means probably 75% of homeless people around here). Basically, I feel that anyone who, whether they are right or wrong, chooses not to ask me to stop, or does not notice me due to incapacity or an unfortunate situation, where a person in a "normal situation" would notice me or ask me to stop, is at an unfair disadvantage to me. If they are not equipped to have the argument, or feel that due to their circumstances they have no right to have the argument, it isn't fair that I shoot them.
I also will not shoot when I can help instead. For instance: someone just got hit by a car and I am the closest person who knows how to render whatever aid I can. I will shoot once I can no longer be of help, however. As the phrase goes, $hit happens, and there's nothing you can do about it in the grand scheme of things. However, I do not value my *possible* pictures more than I value my ability to *possibly* improve a stranger's well being.
Grey areas abound. Do you shoot a parent illegally beating his or her child in public, or intervene? Depending on what you do with your photos, taking the pics instead of intervening could actually do far more for the cause of child abuse prevention than stopping that one beating...but how do sit there are coldly decide that? It's all a heat-of-the-moment gamble.
This is why I love street photography. Every frame is an ethical decision in some way.
Last edited by 2F/2F; 07-14-2008 at 03:05 AM. Click to view previous post history.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
I once went to Hull,it was closed,
Originally Posted by Aurum
My experiences have been very similar to yours Don, and if I'm ever tempted to do any street photography again I'll make sure I use my quietest least professional looking camera, but above all my smallest, in case someone who's bigger than me, takes offence and sticks it " where the sun don't shine ! "
Originally Posted by Don Wallace
I like to photo drunks, particuraly ones that are passed out, they put up the least fight and always give you the responce you want!
Originally Posted by Markok765
I have also photoed homeless that were fist fighting, but damn if i didn't forget to stop the camera down and over expose that shot. However, in my defence, he was walking my way and did end up assaulting me, and then assaulted the woman that called the police, and her 10 year hold, then proceded to assault a police officer... that was the last mistake he ever made too.
Telephone poles and wires.... IMHO they ruin the whole shot.
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