In a couple of recent threads, the relationship between ethics and photography has been touched on. In what ways do ethics, if at all, relate to photography? Among people who see some photographs as art, there are those who maintain that art is above ethics . . . it is expression and anything goes. I'm not one of them, though I give more leeway to expressions than to other actions we perform. Photographs that are other than art also bear on ethics. I am responsible for my photographs. I make them and commit to them. I am also responsible to my subjects, and to viewers to some extent. I have little control over viewers' interpretations. Nevertheless, I bear a degree of responsibility for what I put out there. I don't have it all sorted out, but in often shooting middle-aged gay men, and by creating intimacy and expressing vulnerability, I am portraying someone's humanity and that strikes me as coming with at least some self-imposed or intentionally-decided obligations. Those obligations don't have to be restraints or restrict my expression. Ethics can and does enhance my expression. I have a desire to be, and for my photographs to be, genuine, even when staged and "manipulated". This genuineness has little to do with "candid" or "spontaneous" and more to do with personal motivation, intention, and stance. For me, being genuine, photographically and otherwise, requires my active participation in what I'm doing. Though I may at times feel led by my camera, I can't escape certain things by feeling that way. Have you ever taken a photo or not taken a photo because you felt it was partly your duty or because it went against your values or morals? What about your photographs overall? Are you doing good or are you having fun (not mutually exclusive), or practicing in a realm of ethically-free beauty or aesthetics? There can be good in bringing beauty or a personal perspective to light. There are other photographic goods: making people aware of political and social goings-on, exposing things that have been hidden, etc. Among documentarians, photojournalists, and forensic photographers, there are various "codes" against fabricating or manipulating photographs in order to misinform or mislead. Do you respond to that code or any sort of code? Moral obligations may be owed when shooting people on the street and when shooting homeless people. Do we owe homeless people something? Do we owe it to our viewer to show them what homelessness is like? How do we do that? (At what stage could good intentions cross over into superficial pathos?) What might we owe ourselves? Some will not separate personal from photographic ethics. To an extent, I don't. But I think it's not a bad idea to take a look at how those ethics may or may not influence the making of our photographs. And finally, how do photographs (our own or others) influence our ethics?