Quote Originally Posted by scootermm
I know my rights as a photographer [...] but just because legal action cant be taken against a photographer doesnt mean it is ethical ...
I couldn't agree more with the above statement, Scooter. When one thinks of how laws are made, and how absurd some laws are, the legality of an action means next to nothing, ethically speaking.

So the real question remains: Was it ethical?

Well, that depends on your ethics. What are your ideals?

I have been struggling with this for a while, and I am starting to get some direction in this regard.

What I am doing is this: drop all your notions of right and wrong, legal and illegal, holy and sacrilegious, and start from scratch. Unfortunately, that ultimately results in questioning everything (and I do mean everything, existence and such).

I know... I have no life. Or rather, I live a very confused life.

But anyway, here is where I stand right now. I take anything harmful and consider it negative, or unethical.

So, if your photograph in anyway harms, or insults (and insults are indeed harmful) the owner of the store, I'd forget about it. In the end, we do not know what drove the woman to act as she did, and nothing good can come out of insulting her.

This reminds me of a quote by Albert Camus (I've been reading a lot of his work lately):

"The evil that is in the world always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence, if they lack understanding." The Plague by Albert Camus.

In the end, we may be (and probably are) as ignorant as the old lady, and the best solution would be a mutual understanding, which in turn can only come out of humbleness (for you have to be able to admit that you are in the wrong, as must she).

I hope that this helps you sort it out some, instead of just confusing the matter further.

good luck,

André Rosenbaum de Avillez.