Suggestion from Frances Schultz, in the form of an imaginary encounter with Weegee:
"Excuse me, sir, I believe you are about to be shot. Would you mind falling to the right so it won't be a shallow photograph?"
Stieglitz, The Steerage. Another unposed street picture.
As for HCB's 'fleeting relationships', what evidence is there of this? I never met him myself but I have friends who did. One (Frank Drake) described his style as 'shooting before anyone had realized he even had a camera in his hand'.
Finally, Les, you may have seen my AP piece in which I suggested a national contest for street photography, every month, with modest prizes paid for out of lottery money. After the London bombings, suddenly the police were asking for pictures -- when the rest of the time they were trying to stop photographers taking photographs.
If they have a camera, they will be photographed. I photograph people that i find intresting.
Personally I have no problem with being photographed. But I respect the wishes of those who do not want to be.
"Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
One place in Japan where I don't hegitate to take pictures of people is Kyoto. I don't go after any geisha girls, but some do that. Some people, undoubltly the tourists just go nuts in the evening hours when the geisha girls are getting ready to go to work.
Sometimes the geishas are already companied with their clients when they are getting on a cab, etc, but you see a lot of flash light being fired from the cameras in the street. That's almost like the red-carpet treatment in Hollywood for some celebs appearing at a movie premire or something.
Although the geisha culture is a too big part of city's attraction to be avoided, I sometimes wonder if there's any complaint about the manner of picture-taking there in general.
Why couch your question in terms of "ashamed of" and "pusillanimous attitude"? I do not believe it is right to cast aspersions on the characters of people of whom you know nothing. For myself, although I do not seek being photographed, if I am in a public place then snap away - not being the most photogenic of subjects, they will end up unprinted!
Also, I have never been stopped by the police from taking photographs in London (they have no general power to do so) nor have I ever seen anyone so treated. The police may take an interest if you are near a government building (which in central London means just about anywhere), police officers being by nature or training drawn to unusual occurances, but once satisfied of what you are doing will leave you in peace.
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So by not wanting my picture taken, I'm small minded and ashamed? Get a life! You are making assertions based on what you think. Have you ever asked one of those people why they didn't want to be photographed? Each person has their own reasons for and against it. I'm often in situations where I have my picture taken quite a bit. Until recently not many avialed themselves of it. Why now as opposed to back then? It goes both ways. Why do you photograph some people and not others? Before you start making those innane asuprsions again, look at all sides of it. It also might surprise you to find out there is not one answer for everyone.
There's only one condition that matters to me is photographing the scene of a protest. Police use available photos as a record. They snach pretty much anyone who's been engaged and/or has witnessed in the activity, and they more than often use the record against certain individuals, unlawfully.
So, when I'm at the scene, I just fly away with my camera as fast as I can.
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
"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?"
You originally asked questions about feelings, not about rational arguments, so I wrote about my feelings.
A lot of people take pictures of me. I live in a tourist-filled city and I look rather odd. One of my main reactions to being photographed is mild amusement. Maybe you didn't see the smile on my face as I wrote my response, and ended with "That's what I don't like: being a part of a shallow photo." It's a feeling, you know. It's part of what I find amusing about being a photographer photographed, and there is the associated implication that a photograph that has me as the subject is necessarily shallow. You missed that one, didn't you? Does that put a different perspective on my definition of shallow? I'm not going to use one of those damned smiley faces forgoodnesssake. I'm British, dammit. Standards to keep and all that.
I was referring to the gutless. An analogy with Weegee is clearly inappropriate. I see plenty of guts in Weegee's photographs.
Engaging or connecting with the subject does not imply talking to them, of course, and wouldn't always be appropriate.
Bourke-White? A dilettante*.
*Just my opinion.
huh? stop speaking British...use American. The TRUE version of English.
Originally Posted by Alexis Neel
Quiet you american
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks