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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
    In the thread about 'what don't you photograph on the street', two people have expressed their opposition to having their picture taken, in quite strong terms.

    This intrigues me. When I'm in public, I'm fair game. Why shouldn't I be? What have I to be ashamed of?

    How do others feel about this? And how do they feel about people who feel they have some sort of right not to be photographed?

    How much poorer would photography be if everyone took this pusillanimous attitude? What would happen to our understanding of the past? Because, afer all, the present soon becomes the past...

    Cheers,

    Roger

    There can be any number of reasons why one wouldn't want to be photographed. I know quite a few people (mostly female friends) who seem to be adamant about the fact that they look horrible in pictures. Doesn't matter if you can show them they do, in fact, look great, they'll always say they hate the way they look in pictures. And when it's a stranger on the street, it's hard to know if that photo might end up published. When it's a friend taking snapshots and they're sure it'll go no farther then that group without their permission, they'll be ok with it, but for a stranger, they'll never know.

    LoL, a few months back, there was a young lady on the bus who had the most gorgeous eyes I've ever seen. I could have just snapped a picture without her knowing, but since I've always been told to ask first, I did. Poor girl stammered for a good 30 second before I finally told her she was allowed to say no, I wouldn't be affended lol. It's really a shame, it would have made a great picture.

    The annoying part of it was the two teenagers sitting directly behind me that decided I was trying to hit on the girl and spent the rest of the bus ride making comments about the "dirty old man"

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helen B
    That's what I don't like: being a part of a shallow photo.
    Dear Helen,

    Can't quite see your argument.

    First, would you dismiss Cartier-Bresson as shallow? Because I can't believe he always 'engaged with' his subjects in the sense of talking to them first, etc. Likewise Brandt, Bourke-White, Brassai, Rai, most of the staff of Picture Post...

    Second, who decides what is 'shallow'?

    Third, even if it is 'shallow', what do you lose by being in it?

    Cheers,

    Roger

  3. #13
    Les McLean's Avatar
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    I don't mind my photograph being taken when I'm in a public place although like Helen I dislike the cowards who use long lens to do it. I also enjoy making street photographs and use my favourite 20mm lens to do so thereby giving the subjects every chance to question me or turn away, for I am often very close when I make the exposure. However I do have one personal rule, that is, when I process the film if an exposure is, in my opinion, showing the subject in a manner that I would not like a loved one shown I destroy the negative. No matter who we photograph on the street everyone deserves to be given dignity.
    "Digital circuits are made from analogue parts"
    Fourtune Cookie-Brooklyn May 2006

    Website: www.lesmcleanphotography.com

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helen B
    If 'pusillanimous' is applicable, then I think that it should be applied to many street photographers. The sneaky ones, who try to take our pictures without us being aware - and fail, most of the time. I'll also add superficiality to the charges. They haven't the guts to engage, to connect with their subject, because all we are to them is an opportunity to demonstrate their cleverness.

    That's what I don't like: being a part of a shallow photo.

    Best,
    Helen
    I think the more a photographer knows about their subjects, and the more the subjects know about the photographer, the better. This is what could be aimed at, whatever kind of photography it is. Then within that, do the best you can towards it.

    I think not engaging with subjects for the sake of it is often down to laziness. it's surprising how little you have to do, even with street photography to gain consent, and to dig a little deeper.

  5. #15

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    Dear Les,

    I completely agree as a general rule about not making someone look silly but even there I can willingly make exceptions e.g. politicians.

    For me, 20mm would usually be too 'in your face' (though my 38mm Biogon on the Alpa is equivalent, I suppose) but anything up to 90mm seems fair to me.

    The point is, are we willing to ban street shotography? And a good wedge of travel photography? Because if we personally refuse to be photographed, that's what we're advocating.

    Cheers,

    Roger

  6. #16
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Much of the experience of city life consists of random fleeting encounters between strangers. I can see as much of a case for that sort of photography (Cartier-Bresson) as for the sort of street photography that is more documentary and personally engaged (Bruce Davidson).

    If I'm in the public sphere, I'm fair game.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  7. #17
    FrankB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
    First, would you dismiss Cartier-Bresson as shallow?
    Interesting you should mention CB, Roger. Wasn't he notoriously camera shy?

    For myself, I don't like being photographed for the simple reason that I've only ever seen two photographs of me (in 38 years!) that I've liked. The vast majority of them I've detested.

    That's enough reason for me, and as I'm the only person I have to justify myself to...!
    The destination is important, but so is the journey

  8. #18

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    Salgado. And at least three-quarters of reportage. Two more reasons not to reject street photography.

    As for 'laziness', I've done a modest amount of work for the Tibetan Government in Exile. Getting to know the community -- and indeed, getting letters of introduction -- is a bit different from getting to know every individual whom you photograph.

    Yes, CB was camera shy. Tough. Sauce for the goose, etc.

    Cheers,

    Roger

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
    First, would you dismiss Cartier-Bresson as shallow? Because I can't believe he always 'engaged with' his subjects in the sense of talking to them first, etc. Likewise Brandt, Bourke-White, Brassai, Rai, most of the staff of Picture Post...

    Roger
    In fact CB often had some sort of relationship with his subjects, however fleeting....
    Martin Parr is a photographer who specialises in 'fleeting moments' but makes every effort to inform people he has photographed before publication of any photographs...

  10. #20
    Les McLean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
    Dear Les,

    I completely agree as a general rule about not making someone look silly but even there I can willingly make exceptions e.g. politicians.

    The point is, are we willing to ban street shotography? And a good wedge of travel photography? Because if we personally refuse to be photographed, that's what we're advocating.

    Cheers,

    Roger
    Roger, I agree with your view of politicians probably because in my opinion most of the crop that we have here in the UK cannot be described as people

    I'm also in total agreement with the unwillingness to ban street photography but to prevent the possibility of a ban we must first persuade the politicians that we are right. Might be a long job!
    "Digital circuits are made from analogue parts"
    Fourtune Cookie-Brooklyn May 2006

    Website: www.lesmcleanphotography.com

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