George, oddly, I find most people are aware of camera in NYC, hyper-aware even. Depends what part of town you're in. I mean little old ladies are less jumpy than the suits and security gaurds in financial district, but most people tend to be vigilant of their sorroundings. Especially white people...okay, that's stupid to say, I take it back, I mean certain types of people are trickier to shoot than others.
Anyway. I don't shoot much on the street, just as an exercise sometimes. But I've seen a few guys do it that really impressed me. One had the camera glued to his face, and it was really intense looking, and you just felt like he was not to be reckoned with. The other was the very opposite, very casual, and would kind of just walk up to people and SO casually photograph them at close range and just start talking, not even conversation, just start talking. Both had no skittiness or sneakeness and basically didn't give a damn. Most importantly they seemed a natural extension of the environs.
Last edited by GraemeMitchell; 08-14-2006 at 03:28 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Originally Posted by GraemeMitchell
Security guards are trained to be vigilient and suspicious so it's not surprising that they cast you a wary eye if you shoot them. But I've never had a probalem and have some great pics of cops walking a beat etc.
You can say as you please, but I don't think whites are any more wary walking around town than others. Heck , in this town, most folks walking around are so deep into their iPods or checking their e-mail on their Blackberries these days that I feel like I'm waliking in a city full of zombies! Just this AM I nearly barrelled over some guy exiting the bank in front of me when he stopped dead in his tracks in the doorway to check his friggin' e-mails! I've almost given up being outraged at such self-absorbed behavior.
I will admit that most of my day is spent in east Midtown which is chock-a-block full of camera-toting tourists it's easy to just start shooting with nary a glance. But I must say that many times when someone does notice I'm shooting something or someone - they made every effort to stay out of my way (almost to the point of tripping themselves up) so as not to "ruin" my picture!
BTW, NYC is one of the safest cities there is and I think there is more tolerance and acceptance here than most places. There has been a "sea change" in this town for the good. In part it reflects present-day relative prosperity so that most everyone is working and greater emphasis on preventing and prosecuting quality of life infractions. But I think that one of the few positive results of 9/11/01 is that so many of us here recognize we're all in this City together and we only have each other to rely on.
I just had my first "run-in" last week. My wife was giving birth to our second baby girl at a local hospital. It was a natural child birth (no C section) and I wanted to capture it on video as I did with our first child at that hospital 4 years ago. As my wife was delivering I was holding her hand with one hand, the other hand was on my very tiny palm sized camcorder. A nurse yelled out at me to stop videotaping immediately because video taping was not allowed at the hospital. Not being one to let a moment like the birth of my child go unrecorded, I "apologized" to the nurse and placed my hand with tiny camcorder on my wife's knee as if showing support. I pressed the record button and was able to tape the delivery. The same nurse yelled at me again and told the doctor. Luckily my child had just made it out. The doctor did not say anything to me, but the nurse gave me a look that would sink any battleship. Yes, I made her mad, but I recorded a once in a lifetime moment.
There are no signs posted anywhere in the hospital indicating that photography or video are not allowed. There was no mention of this on the admission papers either. My theory is that I was dealing with an overzealous nurse who had the same antiphotographer attitude mentioned in this post. My second theory was that she was probably trained by lawsuite-fearing supervisors who verbaly instructed her to prevent the video capture of childbirth. After all, those of us who did not go to med school don't stand a chance in court if trying to explain medical negligance. It would be too easy to just show the video without having to resort to the medical mumbo jumbo. Of course, if the delivery was done in good faith and in a proffessional way, why fear a video?
I seriously thought the nurse was going to call security and have me removed from room. Good thing the labor and delivery was very short. The interesting thing was that I was focusing only on my wife and newborn, not on anyone else. I did not feel I needed permission to record such a personal event in my own life.
Absolutely agree. And yes, you're right people are usually TOO kind in avoiding your picture. You're also right that midtown is a little easier to blend into the pack in.
Originally Posted by copake_ham
I guess I just meant that people do watch what you're up too if you have a camera, or if you're up to anything else. It's just a city where people are aware and they want to know what's up. Sure, most people don't seem to care if you take their pic in NYC but they'll still 'catch' you right away. That's what I was referring to. Most faint street shooters, when they're raising the camera, if caught, drop it down and look the other way...
My comments about whites being more 'camera shy'...well I shouldn't have made it b/c you're right it's not true. Just the people I've personally found confrontational tend to fit into a certain type. While other types can be very friendly and have a great sense of humor about it, but just personal experience, again, it was a stupid thing for me to write.
Last edited by GraemeMitchell; 08-14-2006 at 03:30 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I've heard hospitals don't allow people to photograph deliveries because if anything goes wrong the pictures end up being shown to a jury. I took photos of my youngest being born, but that was a few years back.
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I wonder why the act of videotaping or photography would concern hospitals? After all, if they follow procedures correctly they should have nothing to hide in front of a jury. I don't think they could claim any proprietary defense because they have no copyright ownership over the delivery procedure. I still think their main reason for not allowing any visual recording is because it is too easy for them to have a bully lawyer persuade a jury with legal and medical terminology. After all, a picture is worth more than a thousand words and if a jury could see the truth of what happened there would be no slick talk that would help cover up any wrongdoing. I don't think that it is to protect the privacy of the patient because if a patient consents there should be no problem. Also, all the patient's allegedly private information is given to nomedical personnell like debt collectors if he or she fails to pay the bill on time.
Photography and videotaping would keep public servants honest. Think of the police. They have video cameras in their patrol cars and videotape every traffic stop. Not to mention they photograph victims and their injuries to have an accurate depiction in court. The ethical question is that if someone has nothing to hide, why fear the camera?
I generally agree that you SHOULD be allowed to tape the birth of your child - but it is certainly w/in the rights of the hospital to prohibit it. Normally I'm of the school that believes "that it is better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission."
Originally Posted by snegron
But perhaps in this instance seeking permission from the doctor beforehand might have worked to overrule an overbearing attending nurse.
BTW: did you get a model release from the baby?
Some hospitals fear that there maybe lawsuits if the patients die due to some surgetical errors are that are caught on tape. But that's exactly what's needed in sometimes.
Originally Posted by snegron
I'm a nurse, and if I was assisting a delivery I'd probably choose to pretend I didn't see the camera. A birth is a monumental event and certainly worthy of being caught on film. I could see where they might ask for the camera to be turned off if there were complications. Fortunately I don't work in labor and delivery.
I work with post op patients though and recently had a patient who was struggling to take a photo of his knee incision while in bed and propped up on his elbow. I was more than happy to take the photo for him when he asked for some assistance. It's the first and only time I've ever used a camera phone! :o
...at the pool...
I was at the local pool for swimming lessons for my kids, 6 out of the 8 days they went. I took along my Mamiya 645 on a monopod and shot a few rolls of my guys.
On three occasions, a different staff member came up and said, "Just so you know, you're allowed to take pictures here as long as they're only of your own kids".
Of course, that was what I was doing. If I'd wanted to take some shots of, say, the lifeguard course going on at the same time, I'd have asked permission. I was, as usual, being careful not to have my camera pointing at any girls' bums while I was not shooting (which paradoxically means that one has to be aware of where all the bums are in order to avoid them....).
So, I'm wondering, since the Mamiya is hardly inconspicuous, could that have been an issue? If I'd taken my little Minox B, would as many staff members have noticed and said anything? No one hears mirror whack from a Minox. Also, you can get a Minox right angle finder for those true spy camera "around the corner" shots.