After 911 I kind of lost the knack for street photography. I teach college, and one of the classes I teach is on urban development, so I often use the pictures I take of urban environments. I generally feel extremely uncomfortable taking pictures of people without their explicit permission. I rarely use a zoom lens, basically, I shoot everything with a 50 mm and 85 mm prime.

I am currently in Berlin, working on a little mini-project called the "Blade-runnerization" of cities (e.g., how urban environments have increasingly been taken over by advertisement and huge flashing and moving billboards).

My approach is to ask permission before I take a picture, especially when taking pictures of official buildings (goverment, etc.). If I see a security guard, I go up to him and ask whether it's ok to snap away (rolling out my credentials if necessary).

I used to love taking pics of kids. But now? Forget about it! Luckily, I have 7 step sisters and brothers, so there are plenty of photo opportunities.

I also think it's important to respect people's private spheres (independent of what the law allows you to do or not), so clandestine photography is out of the question for me.

YMMV.

Ricardo