Friday, October 06, 2006

Should We?

This photo was taken at a arts street fair, one of my first efforts to take photos of people in public. I am a shy person so this was not easy at first but once I got into the photography of it most of that dropped away. Nonetheless, I have been asking myself since, not just about the legality of taking photos of people without first asking permission, but the right we have, the ethics of it, the fairness of it.

This photo in particular, always makes me think about that question, not because its particularly unflattering but because the one guy clearly resented being photographed. Which I really didn't realize until I looked at the photo later on.

7 Comments:

Blogger Robert said...

You can take photographs of people in public places without asking permission. People in public places can reasonable expect to give up a certain amount of privacy. This has been tried and tested in courts of law on many occasions. The law basically states that people in public places are part of the scenary and are fair game. It never hurts to ask permission out of courtesy, but there are occassions like this shot where it would be impossible to ask. By the way, a nice candid shot. The look on the guys face is priceless.

7:46 PM  
Blogger Lisi said...

I like photos of street scenes so obviously they most often have people in it. Think of the many photos we took not for posting but when we were travelling...btw, the look of that guy would kind of scare me...

11:45 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I take lots and lots of photos of people, but always ask first. You can still get candid shots, e.g. my Fair shot of a man with a huge toy, as well as others (see kate-musings, Sept. 2 & 3). Without permission I've taken photos of parades, and probably other kinds, too, which I cannot immediately recall, but it seems that there is an expectation of photos under those circumstances. Because of international travel, I'm particularly sensitive to and careful of not taking photos without permission. If someone did that to me, I'd be really annoyed and would break more than the camera. Ask first, Louz, is my recommendation.

PS. I just saw a blurb on CNN internet about a baby born at the Tucson International Airport--what a jet-setter.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Louz said...

I dunno. The most interesting candid shots are of people who for a moment are openly themselves, when they are most vulnerable, the intimate moment when the public mask slips. That's why kids make such good subjects. Adults often have mixed feelings about being captured that way.

I would be curious to know what that guy was thinking - not to mention why he's holding an umbrella on a sunny day.

Well somebody planned it wrong, having a baby in an airport :-)

10:35 AM  
Blogger Sally said...

He's just such a pin-up, clearly he's sick and tired of all the paparazzi attention - you were just one photographer too many. Poor bloke. ;-)

6:05 PM  
Blogger Nathalie said...

I've asked myself the same questions, not sure what the answer is !

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Gavin Hart said...

Some people seem to think that photographers invade their privacy. However, there is no privacy in public. No one can expect a street to be private. Everyone is taking photos in streets nowadays.

A small compact point and shoot camera often goes unnoticed but a large SLR camera seems to be more intimidating. The funny thing is, the results are much the same as far as the image is concerned. It must be a kind of paranoia that some people have that makes them sensitive about being photographed.

I don't want to do anything unethical, but I would not get many photos if I had to ask everyone beforehand, especially in a crowd situation.

6:02 AM  

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