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?
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.
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.
So many drummers, so little time.
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."
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.
Originally Posted by leeturner
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Years ago, I photographed someone selling Socialist Worker. He got all upset.
"Did you take my photograph?"
"I don't know who you are"
"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.
Roger (and you'll see quite a lot of street candids in the galleries and the Photo School at www.rogerandfrances.com)
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
"Where is beauty? Where I must will with my whole Will; where I will love and perish, that an image may not remain merely an image."
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...
Originally Posted by George Papantoniou
What film format is that?
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.
Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.