Consent in Street Photography

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by movingfinger, Nov 24, 2021.

  1. I liked the article. I think she ran down the issues quite well. I like her photography, and the photo that prompted her article I think is super good. I mean its so candid, captures such a gentle moment and is so well organized like a renascence painting, like a Pieta with 3 persons.
    Also, I've been shooting long enough to get busted many times :)
  2. The background? I assume it was cropped, What were you shooting?
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
  3. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I make no assumption the image was cropped. This image was the one cited and it was provided as an example.

    My observation of this image is the fellow in the brown sweatshirt is bemused as to why you would be taking a photo of the woman's back.

    The image's story could be easily interpreted as this fellow in brown being the Main Subject, and the Photographer is the (unseen) Secondary Subject. If there were to be a caption, then a suitable one would be a dialogue from Main Subject to the Secondary Subject "What is this guy up to?"

    I expect that most folk would understand that dialogue: probably most people would think the same dialogue themselves, if they observed a male Photographer making one, or especially series photos, only of the back sides of women.

    Addressing your question directly - you could sort your street images into two sets.

    One set where you note "a male person in the background giving me a nasty look". The other set where there is no such observation. Then you could count, in each set, how many photos there are of the backsides of women.

    Doing that, at the least, will be the beginning of one quantifiable experiment on the road to attaining the explanation you seek.

    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
  4. Notice how many people are watching Sam take his photo. People in the background often are checking on a street shooter.

    "I make no assumption the image was cropped." right. But based on unusual format dimensions, context and past format postings....
  5. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Agree. However in samstevens' image it is difficult to nail down a "male person giving [sam] nasty looks". Similarly, in the image I posted, the woman, OoF background extreme camera right, was looking at me for a moment; the man didn't, the boy didn''t either. I do not recall a "nasty look" what I do recall is when the woman got closer to the kids, she giggled. My take was she saw humour, as did I, and she understood why I wanted to capture that humour.

    Similarly in samstevens' image, I see a few people looking toward the Photographer; my take is that they are simply checking out the scene, of which samstevens was part, but not necessarily singling out samstevens, and certainly I cannot depict "a nasty look".

    My point being, royall_berndt is specifically concerned about "nasty looks" that he receives from "male persons", "a good number of times" , when he is shooting street photography: with that in mind, my suggestion stands as one way that he might reach his answer.

    If the image was cropped, then perhaps royall_berndt will post the whole frame. And doing so, he might also answer your question "What were you shooting?"

    Additionally, if the image was cropped and then used as an example, then that totally defeats the purpose of asking the question and seeking assistance to find out why so many people give this Photographer so many "nasty looks".

    For that question to be addressed, it behoves the questioner to post the whole image, (if it was cropped).

    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
  6. Unfortunately, I perceive a trend for 'liberalism' to have become (not so passively) aggressive, and the "you can't say that!" brigade are eroding the right to free speech and perverting language at an increasing rate.

    For example the simple word 'gender' which, with a tiny few exceptions, was once accepted to be fixed at birth, has become confused with sexual-preference and lifestyle-choice. Sorry, but I simply refuse to accept that there are more than 3 genders. Dress, behave and copulate in whatever fashion you wish, but don't expect other people to create a special name and category for what you choose to do. And don't berate otherwise Liberal people for not going along with that Orwellian Newspeak. Policing language is effectively policing thought - and we know from history where that leads.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
  7. Yes. And the word awful once meant inspiring wonder. Language, and culture, evolve. That’s hard for some people, welcome by others.

  8. "Dress, behave and copulate in whatever fashion you wish, but don't expect other people to create a special name and category for what you choose to do."

    We had the gender naming discussion at TG dinner as one of the guests' daughter had gone trans and is now a "they" or a "them". One thing I would say is that other people didn't create the new pronoun's trans people use. These folks chose the name for themselves. Personally I think it's a clumsy locution for a pronoun, but it's their choice on what they want to be called. I know the language gets a little tortured, but think of it as if someone insisted on calling you a girl in conversation, you might not like it.

    I had, but couldn't find a photograph of this trans person I took a year later with the beard more fully grown in and a mustache I think.

    Allen Herbert and luis triguez like this.
  9. "The 1 out of 100 of yours that might not, though put in the context of your body of work, I wouldn't necessarily think you innocent of sexualizing her as you do the other young women you photograph" Sam

    Harsh statement, Sam. I do not think this photo was sexually explicative... Indeed, one could come to a conclusion, that many of your set up photos are sexually explicate of gay folk. Particularly, looking at your past portfolios. The above photo?

    Me, I prefer pure candid photos; there's for me, a honesty of the moment...a special capture.

  10. Sam, your past portfolio of folks dicks, just hanging there.

    Sort of making me feel somewhat lesser, looking at the size of them;)))

    I've had feelings of inadequacy since.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
  11. As I said, I fully accept the existence of three genders, which includes neutrality. It's the other two dozen genders that I'm informed have been invented that I take issue with.
    I would expect no other response from the passive-aggressive and self-righteous 'liberal'.

    To clarify: Yes, I'm irked by the devaluation of words such as "awesome" and "enormity"; it removes expressions of events beyond words from the language.
    I'm also dismayed that there appears to now be an entire generation that can't string together a short sentence without inserting the word "like" between every other word. Dismayed, but not apoplectic about the above.

    However, I take task with the description "evolve". Devolution would surely be a far better descriptor?
  12. Speaking of devolution, look how quickly we went from “I’m losing my freedom of speech” to using that freedom for name calling.

    sticks + stones
  13. Getting back to the OP question about consent. I think once you ask, it becomes more portraiture rather than street which should have a more extemporaneous feel about it.
  14. It should also have feelings from or among the people in the shot. Otherwise, it's more of a snapshot recording the passage of time. There should be something that makes you smile, or cry, or emote something.
  15. If this is your experience, it's valid and likely has to do with the way you ask and the resulting shot you choose to take.

    It's not, however, the experience of every street photographer, many of whom ask for permission and come up with very compelling street photos that would likely not be seen as portraiture.

    There are many ways to ask permission. One can quickly gesture to someone on the street who may simply nod back agreement but not adopt a pose for the photo and just continue what they were doing.

    And no rulebook exists that says that a posed shot can't be street photography.

    Then there's the example I gave above of asking a group of guys playing basketball in the schoolyard if it's ok to take pictures while they go about their game, candidly.

    And then there's not asking permission and being waved off just a little too late!

    don't shoot me
  16. Well, at least he didn't have his finger on the trigger. ;)
  17. Why do I see in Sam's photos a gay guy, dressed up as a girl, showing their rear end? Why do I see a photo of a half naked bloke? And then we have a guy in a uniform how nice.

    I see little in these photos to do with street photography, other than set up photographs of titillating sexuality.

    "The 1 out of 100 of yours that might not, though put in the context of your body of work, I wouldn't necessarily think you innocent of sexualizing her as you do the other young women you photograph" Sam

    Pot calling the kettle black.
  18. I know many photographers who do ask permission and they get great results. With me, I think most people can tell I am taking or about to take their photo, so it is not a surprise if I decide to do so. They are free to object, but not all that many do. In the past, occasionally, people would put their hand up to cover their face, but nowadays with the ubiquity of cell phones I find this happens less often. I have asked permission on a few cases when it would be just too awkward to not do so. All this is rather moot at present as due to Covid I have not been street shooting for about 2 years.
  19. I've been doing a lot of empty street shooting. :)

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