What do you do if you get caught?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by monkey, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. One for you street photographers: Do you say anything if you've obviously been caught in the act of taking someone's photo, or do you pretend nothing's happened and saunter off? Or do you have another tactic?
    00905u-18971284.jpg
     
  2. Matt, you make it sound like what street photographers do is illicit and then ask them for their response, so perhaps this is a lame troll? I'm not a street photographer, so I can only answer from a subject's perspective. If you have any class at all, you will by word or gesture ask my permission before you take my picture. I will respond by word or gesture, that no you may not. Then you will put the camera down and politely walk away. Otherwise, I would suggest that you run ;>)
     
  3. First off, I don't sneak around. Anymore. It was a hard habit to break as a new street
    photographer because I was afraid of the confrontion. Then I realized that most of the fear
    and confrontation was coming from sneaking around. Now, when I take someone's photo
    and they notice I smile, and say or mouth, "Thanks." If they indicate that they'd like me to
    bugger off, I'll stop taking pictures of them.

    Don't be a sneak and you won't worry about getting "caught."
     
  4. m_.

    m_.

    If you are honest and be open with your intention of photographing someone, you won't get caught. My experience as a street shooter is that most sneak-around-get-go frames are worthless so I stopped doing that a long ago. I even go so far to tell myself that, if no one is looking into the frame, I am not going to click my shutter.
     
  5. That question crossed my mind yesterday. I was at the Horton Center in San Diego (a mall)<p>My 6 year old wanted to do a number two so I go to the bathroom with him. He goes to the stall and takes his time while I stand outside the stall, M6 hanging around my neck, leaning against a wall, my eyesin the direction of pisoars. So I'm standing there, reluctantly watching as others shake the last drops off thinking whether they think I'm some kind of perverted bathroom photographer. I tilt the camera lens down to hint that I am not there taking pictures and try to stare at my sneakers as much as I can. <p>About half way through my sons business a guy comes in wit a mall stroller shaped like car, carrying a 3 year old boy and a 4 year old girl. He proceeds to pee and the two kids in the stroller observe his butt and butts of two other peeing patrons. I thought it would make an interesting shot but did not have the guts or decency to pull the trigger. I was also thinking what I would do in case I got caught in the act. I would de-facto become a perverted bathroom photographer ;-)Signing off from San Diego airport on my way back to Maine.
     
  6. If you have any class at all, you will by word or gesture ask my permission before you take my picture
    aaah, yes sir! the rules of street photography...
    I think there's a distinct possibility that the use of words class and street photograpy in the same sentence may fall under the category of just plain bad English :)
     
  7. Did the stuffed animal get mad at you?
     
  8. Matt,

    When I first started street photography, I felt just like I think you are feeling now. I would try to inconspicuously blend in to the situation then just at the right moment try to get them when they would least notice me, try to get a good photo out of it. I got a few good ones but they didn't seem to be bold enough and were often cluttered with too many foreground elements (because I was shooting with a 35mm lens).

    After I got my first job as a paid photojournalist and I had to come up with real results, I became much more purpose-driven and street shooting became much more comfortable. Now I am very sensitive about it, but I take my shots discreetly but very deliberately, being easily noticed by the subject. I shoot first and ask questions later. You can't get back a shot that you didn't take, but you can decide to not use a shot that you did take.

    If a subject really makes it obvious that they don't want to be photographed, then I move on (unless they are the sole subject of what I am out to shoot of course). This was a big problem in Ukraine, where just about everyone is scared to death of anything that isn't absolutely everyday normal. I might have earned the same reactions by carrying around a hand grenade or a Kalashnikov.

    Anyway, the moral of the story is have a purpose for your photos and go shoot them like you have this purpose. People will notice, and it will make things a lot easier on you. If you have no purpose, or your purpose is bad, this will also be apparent to your subjects.
     
  9. "If you have any class at all, you will by word or gesture ask my
    permission before you take my picture. I will respond by word or
    gesture, that no you may not. Then you will put the camera down
    and politely walk away. Otherwise, I would suggest that you run."

    This is lunacy on the wing. If you are in public, a photographer
    may take your picture without any regard for your feelings on the
    matter. Should you be unable to control your feelings and
    express yourself physically, that's called asault, and it will rightly
    earn you a trip to jail.
     
  10. This thread has the potential to be very informative and helpful to many of us. I beg of you, please do not turn it into a shoving match.
     
  11. "Asking permission, ... by word/gesture to get my permission!"

    Hmmmm....I'd love to see a street shooter down on East Hastings Street in Vancouver
    (Home to some of Canada's most "down and outs") do this. The only thing you'd get is
    either MUGGED for your camera, or BEATEN up!

    There are a LOT of situations where you don't even raise the camera to your eye in order
    to get the shot due to risk of life and limb. Sometimes, you don't even make eye contact!
    Use hyperfocal distance focusing and be as subtle as you can to frame the shot. No, this
    isn't about doing anything illicit! It's about getting the shot and getting out of there with
    all body parts intact.

    When I get caught...I either make like I'm shooting something behind the person or I smile!
    At NO time is it worth getting into a scrap over!

    Good luck.... keep shooting!
     
  12. Jay's response is correct--IF you have common human decency and respect other people's rights as much as you wish they would respect your rights.

    I'm not a "street" photographer. I do enjoy taking candid pictures of other people in public places at times. But it's not a matter of "getting caught" in the act because I'm not trying to hide anything. Virtually everyone ignores me or overlooks me these days when I do this so I don't get many negative reactions. When someone does indicate they don't want me to take their picture, I nod and move on. As William Eggleston said in an interview I read recently, "There's always another picture."

    Incidentally, I've been reading about Paul Strand lately. In his early years in the 1910's, he did a series of street photos with a prism lens. This allowed him to make photographs of people without them being aware he was doing so. The most famous of this series is "Blind Woman, New York, 1916". My question is, why did he need to use stealth equipment to make a picture of a blind woman?
     
  13. "when I get caught I buy my wife a 8 carat diamond ring" K. Bryant
     
  14. As I recall, the blind woman in the Strand picture was not blind - at least, that is the impression the picture always gave me.
     
  15. I smile then depending on their gesture/expression, I either
    move on, keep shooting or chat with them.
     
  16. I think the mere threat, if expressed by Jay to the photog is assault. What he further proposes ("you better run") would be battery. In all fairness to Jay I think he's mostly kidding. If street photogs stopped the action to ask permission many of the finest shots in photography would never have been taken.<BR><BR>
    This question assumes a pic is already in the can when the photog gets busted. I make it a point to treat people with respect. It's not manners. I have respect for them. If they indicate no photo I smile and nod, thank them and move on. It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.
     
  17. ". . .respect other peoples rights. . ."

    That's the rub. The law, at least in the U.S. does no acknowledge a right not to be photographed in public and therefore there is no need to respect some psuedo-right that doesn't really exist. Its all about your perspective. You may feel despite a persons falsly based assumptions and expectations that it is their problem. Or you may yourself feel that you are invading a person's privacy when taking a photo and thus they should be a willing participator. If you feel you should ask, then ask. If not, and someone objects, than deal with it. Just be clear that what we are talking about is nothing more than your own set of values, perceptions and assumptions as well as a subject's, and your projection of what their response may or may not be. The issue is not one of "rights". (unless your stalking:)
     
  18. In the case of the original questioner's question, If his subject in that photo dared to complain, I'd make him go round and round until his stuffing flew out!
     
  19. [​IMG] Couldn't resist. I don't try to sneak around but I try not to cause any attention to myself either. Often I walk around like anyone else but try to hide the camera at my side. On many occasions I will be talking to people as I take their photo.
     
  20. H.C.

    Omigawd! East Hastings street in Vancouver is about the only street
    I have ever been afraid to walk on! And it is surrounded by some
    of the most photogenic areas in Vancouver!

    I kept my camera under my coat there.

    Jerry
     
  21. I always pack my Combat Commander with 3 extra mags.
     
  22. This is exactly why I photograph old grain silos. I don't want to get into a confrontation. However, if you ask first it isn't the same photograph.

    I got a picture of a clown at an event the other day and I don't think she ever knew I took the picture because she had here attention on a child.

    However, I felt like a clown was fair game.
     
  23. I've lived within a block of the *worst* section East Hastings for the last 11 years. It's weird, but it's not dangerous, really. Annoying, irritating, frustrating, maddening, but not dangerous for straights. There are all kinds of straight people going about their business, street nurses, social workers, people who work in the hotels, etc., etc., no one bothers them.
     
  24. rowlett

    rowlett Moderator

    Question: if you're shooting a 35mm camera with a 15mm lens, there's not always a practical reason to bring the camera to your face to get a shot. So I tend to hold the camera out somewhat from my body, or even at my side when the shutter is released. Does that make me a sneaky photographer when shooting people on the street in this way? Maybe it does if I'm looking the other way while I'm taking a shot. Anyway, I just do it. Sometimes it's not always a "nice" thing to do to take a shot without asking, but I do it anyway. A street photographer sometimes is like a hungry bear in the wild. That the bear eats the moose or the baby moose doesn't particularly make him a "nice" animal, but it is natural for him to do it.
     
  25. I never asked...he never knew (full frame).
    [​IMG]
     
  26. Ditto
    [​IMG]
     
  27. Didn't HCB sometimes use an assistant to help deflect attention or instigate shots? I think I read somewhere that he'd do some fairly sneaky things, occasionally really getting subjects pretty PO'd.

    I'm cursed with too much regard for others privacy, and my own, to be a good street photographer, and I'm not sociable enough to bring on the winning smile with strangers. I respect and admire those who can do it either through charm or bluster, but I actually don't like people that much.

    What I do like is more or less urban landscape, architecture, debris, signage and general "stuff", with the occasional person in the way but preferably not, and what really pisses me off is when some meddling a*s harasses me for something that's none of their business.

    I've got a ways to go with this also, but I agree it's better to be upfront with what you're doing. Don't cower, that invites challenges, and if someone takes issue with you, deal with it then.
     
  28. Do you say anything if you've obviously been caught in the act of taking someone's photo'

    Now, isn't that part of the adventure of street photography, the hunt. Hey, hunters get caught, eaten alive even;)

    You just have to think on your feet. Big smile always helps...folks like big smiles.

    Only a photo folks, not going to harm anyone, i left my 44 Magnum at home.
     
  29. smiles work...
    small book of examples of your pics works...
    explaining your right to take pics in public, for the hard cases, works...
    giving up on explaining it all to them and walking away works...

    pretty much in that order too....
     
  30. of course, that assumes that I'm even paying attention to their after reaction in the first place........most of the time I'm zoning in on the next image to capture.........
     
  31. What is the dividing line between taking a picture of a cathedral or einteresting store front that inevitably will have some people around it and street photography. Where is the border people being extraneous extras and invasion of privacy. If the person is five feet away and centered in the frame, it probably is intrusive. If they are walking through the scene about 25 feet away from you, it is probably not intrusive. But how does one distinguish? As you all know, there are many situations in which it is totally unrealistic to have all people out of the frame.
     
  32. If you get caught? Come to Canada where people could generally care less about having their picture taken. If I ever feel overly awkward I usually just start banging on the side of my camera, saying "Goddamn old thing never works!" and just look puzzled. 'Cause everyone knows we're really gullible!
     
  33. RUN, YOU FOOL!!!! (Unless you are a LOT bigger than they (and their friends) are, or carry a piece).
     
  34. A bit of fear, apprehension, tells you that you are alive. Not just a automated 9 to 5 robot, with a pension. Scare yourself.
    0090FF-18973984.jpg
     
  35. Ted Kozack --Ha, 3 extra clips? Just in case 37 people or one elephant decide to attack
    you? <P> Anyway, I like looking at street photography, but I don't think I am cut out for it.
    One solution happened to me in Osaka the other day though. A cute Japanese girl saw that
    I had a camera and smiled at me, grabbed her friends and gave me the ubiquitous peace
    sign as I snapped the shot. I guess street photography is easier and less morally
    troublesome if they approach you...
     
  36. If you are trying to get a spontanious picture, don't ask. There are certain situations where the impact of the photo will not be compromised if you ask first, so ask. You may actually get a better shot.

    I shoot mostly with a 50, which seems to keep you just slightly outside of people's "personal space". If you are swift and low key most people will never know you were there. Try to pre-visualize the shot before you put the camera to your eye and attempt to predict the action. You will be noticed if you are standing there focusing and screwing around. Set the camera to the appropriate hyperfocal distance and forget about absolute sharpness. Most famous shots are out of focus. If it's a great shot, nobody will care if it's a little soft. Just lift, aim, shoot and drop it. If possible lower the camera to advance the film. I sometimes use a friend as cover.

    If you get caught smile, say thanks, try to charm them a little (if appropriate), show them some samples of your work, offer them a print, tell them you are taking a photo class, are an artist etc. Run like hell if you have to.


    Feli
     
  37. <<If you are in public, a photographer may take your picture without any regard for your feelings on the matter.>>

    It does not surprise me that Kevin wouldn't hesitate to disregard the wishes of another human being as long as he could hide behind the law. Thanks for a perfect example of what I meant when I said anyone with class would ask permission.

    <<Should you be unable to control your feelings and express yourself physically, that's called asault, and it will rightly earn you a trip to jail.>>

    Actually it's called assault and battery, and there are plenty of people in this country in jail for it, many of whom have been there before and will be there again. Most of them haven't got 2 nickels to rub together and couldn't care less about a civil suit. None of which would be much consolation to the wannabe weekend Leica street shooter who can't work, walk or eat solid food for six months as a result of a beating. Then again I am quite positive Kevin would only practice what he preaches on a subject he was certain was weaker than him, as bullies are wont to do.
     
  38. <<There are all kinds of straight people going about their business, street nurses, social workers, people who work in the hotels, etc., etc., no one bothers them.>>

    You can tell they're straight just by looking, or do they wear signs on their backs that say "I'm Not Gay"?
     
  39. <<I think the mere threat, if expressed by Jay to the photog is assault. What he further proposes ("you better run") would be battery. In all fairness to Jay I think he's mostly kidding. >>

    Thanks for the legal opinion Mr. Darrow. "Is he kidding, or is he nuts enough not to think about consequences to himself before stomping me into a wet spot? Do I feel lucky?"...that's the question the street photographer should be asking himself.
     
  40. Jay, since you're 6'5" and Kevin is 6'6" (and can kick your ass), the normal rules of conduct don't apply to either of you.
     
  41. wouldn't hesitate to disregard the wishes of another human being as long as he could hide behind the law

    Not picking on you Jay, but making a point.

    10,000 folk just died of malnutrition whilst you posted your thoughts. What about their wishes?

    Sure they would sooner have their photo taken.
     
  42. Gerald,

    Regardless of what Jamie says, "It isn't the safest area in town!" That's why I always shoot
    with a friend when down in that neighbourhood.

    Jamie,

    For the majority of folks going about their business, yes, the area is rough but "usually"
    the drug addicts, drunks, prostitutes etc will leave you alone. However, we're NOT talking
    about "just going about our business." The discussion is on street photography, and this
    means taking pictures in the environment "of" folks in the neighbourhood.

    So, while people (in general) WILL leave you alone if you walk by them minding your own
    beeswax... aiming a lens at them with the intent of photographing them (and getting
    caught) IS what we're discussing here! Contrary to your beliefs... it can and probably does
    get mighty rough down there at the best of times. The crime stats don't lie...that's why it's
    one of Canada's roughest (and poorest) neighbourhoods.

    BTW, "...not dangerous for straights." :>) Sorry, I couldn't resist! (LOL)

    Cheers
     
  43. "I will respond by word or gesture, that no you may not. Then you
    will put the camera down and politely walk away. Otherwise, I
    would suggest that you run ;>)"

    It wasn't a hypothetical homeless person threatening a
    photographer in this passage, it was you. Since we all know
    just how much you fear litigation, (by your own words, it's a chief
    reason you don't post pics) then I would think that an earlier
    poster was correct, and your threat of physical violence against a
    photographer was a joke.

    FWIW, the reason you don't see me post any street pics is that I
    am overly concerned with the reaction of subjects to my
    presence. A chickensh*t, in other words :-(
     
  44. Then if you haven't got class you've at least got common sense. Personally I could never quite understand how the absence of compassion for others could possibly coexist with an artistic soul in the same individual. That's why the "I've got a right to take anyone's picture in public so I'm going to take the shot whether they like it or not" attitude seems like it would be more of an obstacle to really great human-interest photography than a catalyst. Seems like a better fit for a news photographer or a paparrazzi--someone out to purely document--than an artist.
     
  45. PS, if you notice on my "you better run" post, the smiley emoticon? The only time I think I might be capable of losing it and throwing caution and good sense to the wind, is if some hump was taking pictures of my daughters.
     
  46. Hmmm. The law is the law. I don't think there's much "hiding behind it." It's the closest thing we have to a collective social contract. The law does us well and does us ill, cuts both ways in lots of areas of life. Maybe I'm a "city dweller," but having my relations with strangers mediated by law doesn't seem unnatural to me at all. Personal or neighborly relations are far and away the exception, not the rule (even with neighbors!).

    That said, in my amateur endeavors, if someone holds up their hands to their face or something, I don't take their picture. No point or fun in it for me.
     
  47. A well timed cough in the all tile bathroom was needed here.No one was the wiser.
     
  48. some hump was taking pictures of my daughters.

    Your holy grail. But what about the other daughters of humanity...sadly ,they are not from your loins.

    So let them die!

    My seed, my contribution to the human race. It will be a better place...my seed is divine.
     
  49. Arse staring values. Sorry mate, but you need to get a connection with humanity.
     
  50. Walking with
    0090Kj-18975984.jpg
     
  51. There's a story.
     
  52. I was looking over my camera one day on the subway. A guy came over and began to threaten me for taking his picture. When I wordlessly flipped open the camera to show there was no film in it, he kept right on threatening. He was looking for a fight that day, and one excuse was as good as another. People like this are out there. They walk around having fantasies about how they are going to half kill, hospitalize, cripple, etc., the next guy they can find an excuse to fight. Such people belong in asylums, but they are running around loose. Sooner or later--let us hope sooner--they pick on the wrong man and end up in the morgue. Moral: if you live by the sword, you'd better carry a big one, because all the swords will be out for you.
     
  53. Allen: No point in discussing anything with you until you sober up. Mate.

    Randy: There's a world of difference between someone with a chip on their shoulder looking to kick butt, and someone defending his minor children. With each court case the rights of perpetrators expand while those of victims contract. I believe my young daughters have the right to enjoy a walk on the beach or an ice-cream at Carvel or a romp on the swings without some strange man pointing a camera at them and snapping pictures. Do I belive every guy who would take their picture is a pervert? Of course not. But if I tell him "No" and still he persists after seeing that I am a very large very angry guy, it's going to go a long way toward me suspecting that he probably is up to no good, even if in reality he turns out to be just someone convinced that his right to take photos of anyone in public absolves him of any need to be concerned for the wishes of others. And I'm
    going to stop him from getting the chance to use those pictures, and I'm going to take my chances in court if that's where I land. Perhaps it's about time that a new predecent is set. Concensual sex becomes rape after the woman says "No." The right to photograph in public should become assault after the subject says "No."
     
  54. Straight
    Not deviating from what is considered socially normal, usual, or acceptable; conventional.
    Conventional to an extreme degree.
    Whatever...
     
  55. Y'all are all a bunch of wusses. I'll take all of you on. Me & my pointy boots :)
     
  56. I agree totally with Jay. (Did I just say that?)

    His instincts concerning his daughters are absolutely spot on. I would not dream of attempting to photograph other peoples children and I would want a bloody good explanation from some stranger in the street who was trying to photograph mine. (I have 2 daughters)

    If they insist/persist after being told not to then it IS interference. I would hope a polite but firm "no" would be enough.
     
  57. Interference? Is this football or photography?
     
  58. To Jay: Your threads hear are just another example of your arrogance and inablity to remain silent on a topic you addmittedly no nothing about. Entire libraries of photography books would not exist if your ridiculous philosohy prevailed. I guess you just can't keep from responding even when you're ignorant about the subject matter. It definitely detracts from those posts where it seems you might be making a intelligent equipment comment. Stick to what you know!
     
  59. As if anyone on this forum, or any street photographer I've ever heard of, trails along after subjects, snapping away, over the protestations of the subject?s legal guardian. Right... I think someone paparazzi fantasies are getting a little out of hand.
     
  60. Trevor: "I would not dream of attempting to photograph other
    peoples children........"

    If the worst thing that ever happens to a child in the course of
    growing up is being photographed by a stranger then they've
    been fairly fortunate. Would the world's children really be safer if
    they'd never had to confront the prying lenses of HCB, Marc
    Riboud, Gene Smith, Gene Richards, William Klein, Willy Ronis,
    Mary Ellen Mark, Bruce Davidson, Susan Meiselas, Sylvia Plachy,
    Alvarez Bravo, Salgado................?
     
  61. >Jay . , jul 28, 2004; 09:45 p.m.

    >after seeing that I am a very large very angry guy

    Yawn. You aren't going to do anything but remain angry, lard ass. I'll take your picture
    whether you like it or not and you won't do ANYTHING about it. Got it? Go back to
    being a second-rate Puts and quit talking about what you know nothing about--
    actually taking photographs.
     
  62. Boris, please do not try to convince me that I should not act in my children's interest when necessary.

    Any parent will tell you that instinct has more to do with it than law or whether HCB did it or Jay's opinion or your opinion or famous street photographs of the past or whether its 'art' or whatever.

    It is a very basic protective thing and people out with their children WILL get protective whether the wannabee HCB likes it or not.

    People should use common sense and common courtesy when photographing the public. Its not hard to do.
     
  63. Trevor, it doesn't surprise me that you feel protective towards
    your daughters, but, would you really feel that they'd been
    violated if, say, grant or Ray, photographed them unawares?
    Would you be happier if the list of photographers I gave had
    never photographed children? Something strange seems to be
    happening in US (and probably UK) culture, where it's imagined
    that there's a paedophile waiting around every corner. The really
    sad fact is that, statistically, the most likely abuser of a child is a
    member of of it's own family rather than a shabbily dressed
    stranger.
     
  64. Boris. I understand that and it is true that the danger from random attack is miniscule compared to the everyday threats like getting run over on the way to school but we all live in the same society (the photographer, me, you and my children and yours) and it would be arrogant for a photographer to completely ignore the fears and suspicions society has (even though we all may know the actual statistics often fail to support our fears).

    Arrogance is, unfortunately, a trait amongst many photographers. They are "beyond the herd" somehow special and "apart". The vocabulary of the photographer reflects this...

    Shoot, capture, nail, take, grab... etc

    All are suggestive of violence. OK that is too paranoid maybe but we are all (yes, even the homeless and the drunks and the nutters) individuals and not just 'specimens' under the photographers lens or drive-by photo mugging victims. I think the photographer should always consider him/herself part of the crowd in these interactions and not above it, god-like.
     
  65. "Personally I could never quite understand how the absence of compassion for others could possibly coexist with an artistic soul in the same individual."

    Taking pictures of people is often driven by compassion - I think Winogrand would be a prime example of this. If a photographer is committed to portraying the human condition, then this may require making images that go beyond mugshots of consenting models. The viewer may well need to be equally compassionate in order to get the message as well - Witkin comes to mind.

    Jay's infantile boasting about his capacity for completely uncalled for violence is routine on this list. 250 pounds, 6'6", ex-marine, etc etc. If he had really met and beaten up Winogrand or Friedlander or Frank, he would be remembered only as a criminally violent fool. Those photographers, on the other hand, are remembered for having cast light into the darkness of modern life - darkness exemplified by the violence Jay and his like advocate. The fact that he has several fishtanks full of cameras makes it only the more sad that he doesn't understand what photography has the potential to do.
     
  66. An awful lot of testosterone (or something akin to it) coursing around the bodies of the apparently male contributors to this thread. I guess that meanwhile the wymmyn are just away from their computers, taking photos. Still, it's been worth it for some good photos above, not least the two urinal shots.
    Meanwhile, a question for Tony, related to his/your explanation above. What's your rate of moderate success in hip shooting with your 15mm? Let's suppose that you've just loaded your camera with a 36-exposure film, have screwed the 15mm lens into it, and take a stroll down whatever you find an ideal route for hip-shooting with it. You're in no rush, and take your time: for one shot in half a dozen or so you realize as you're pressing the shutter, or just after you've pressed it, that you've made a mistake, but you have some thought of at least mild success with the rest. Right then: as you look at the contact sheet, how many of the frames deserve a second look? And how does this number compare with the number that you get when you use a slightly narrower lens (21mm? 25mm?) in a similar way?
    I must confess that I've rarely tried to use my 15mm in this way. I have tried so to use my 25mm and my results have generally been crappy, even by my abysmal standards. And while I used to love using the 15mm lens in other ways, I generally hated the results: if everything wasn't just right they'd scream "ultrawide gimmickry!" Your tips -- in addition to the obvious "Practice! Practice!" -- would be most welcome.
     
  67. Trevor: "Arrogance is, unfortunately, a trait amongst many
    photographers."

    Yes, arrogance is a fairly common trait in photographers, and,
    when it comes to talented photographers, it's almost a given.
    There's very little worthwhile "art", photographic or otherwise, that
    could have been produced without a large dose of arrogance.

    "Shoot, capture, nail, take, grab......All are suggestive of violence."

    I share your distaste for these terms. Having said that,
    testosterone fuelled fantasies seem way more prevalent with the
    average amateur on photonet than they do in the world of
    working photographers. I can live with the word "shooting", but it
    borders on the farcical when people here begin debating
    whether a Leica is a more potent weapon than a Nikon. Can you
    imagine Nachtwey arguing with Salgado over whether an EOS1v
    is more lethal than a Leica R6?

    ".......we are all.......individuals and not just 'specimens' under the
    photographers lens........"

    True, we aren't "just" specimens, but it doesn't automatically
    follow that when we are specimens under the lens that we must
    by definition be violated victims.

    ps I didn't mean to suggest earlier that either Ray or grant are
    sartorially challenged..........
     
  68. Boris, have you seen the film/DVD War Photographer, about Nachtwey? If he is at all arrogant, he hides this very well indeed.
     
  69. Peter, the film was more interesting for what it hid about
    Nachtwey than what it revealed. I don't believe that any
    photographer working at that level is without arrogance, and I
    don't intend that as a criticism.
     
  70. As I understand it, the law says you are free to take pictures of people in public unless they ask you to stop. If you then persist, you are committing a crime: harassment. You are also turning into the kind of bully I was talking about above: someone trying to provoke conflict.

    I thought we were talking about pictures of ourselves; but re-reading the thread, I see that the ground shifted to daughters. If I were in some unusual circumstance with my daughters--at a nude beach, say--I can imagine not wanting photographs. Otherwise, I would see a stray photographer as harmless. My daughters might even be flattered by the attention.

    Years ago, I snapped a picture of a teenage girl at a beach. I didn't do it furtively, and she noticed. Soon, she was standing on her head (literally!), dashing through the surf, and striking glamorous poses. I kept clicking until her mother went over and said something to the girl; then I stopped and she stopped. The girl and I were entertained by the moment, and no one was harmed. No, I never printed the shots.

    To be fair, I must report that this incident occurred more than twenty years back. The emergence of the Internet and the various "candid" pages on it make for a different atmosphere. We are both more and less tolerant about being photographed in 2004. The ground for public shooting is trickier, and I do not pretend to have the unspoken rules all figured out. If you do, post them quickly!
     
  71. the law says you are free to take pictures of people in public unless they ask you to stop. If you then persist, you are committing a crime: harassment.
    I take your word that this is true where you are and I'm fairly sure that it or something like it is true where I am. But different people are in different parts of the world, which have different laws. Another likely problem is the definition of "public" (and the erosion of the unambiguously public via the increasing importance of arguably private shopping malls and the like).
     
  72. I let my cameras do the talking.
     
  73. Yes I am partly guilty of the 'daughters' theme taking hold. My mistake was to jump to the part of the thread that was getting edgy and one of Jays previous updates had him talking about his kids. It is only now that I have 'got' the whole thread. Sorry Matt.

    I would suggest an essay on this very subject by Don Mullin in his 1987 book 'Perspectives' (ISBN: 0245543686 pub. Harrap). For such an experienced (too experienced for his own good!) war/documentary/press photographer it was refreshing to read his thoughts on the morality of his job but particularly his feelings concerning the photographing of ordinary people in public spaces going about their (often desperate) lives.

    I will not try and tell you what he wrote as I could not do it justice but it is well worth getting the book for the essay and, of course, superlative documentary photography.
     
  74. Don Mccullin is who I meant. Sorry.
     
  75. Phew. Thanks people. <br><br>So, let me get this straight; if you're bigger than your subject shoot away, if not it becomes an ethical matter!
     
  76. I think people's reaction to a camera is often indicative of how they view life in general. In my experience, it's rare, but some people are just inherently angry. I didn't even see these people when I first framed the area for a potential shot, I was looking at the light. Suddenly they appeared and the one guy decided to make himself the issue. The most offended people are usually just in the general area, you aren't even pointing the camera their way, but they think it's all about them for some reason.
     
  77. forgot the photo...
    0090a7-18980884.jpg
     
  78. I walked across the street to this woman and didn't converse with her until after I'd started photographing. She was very gracious. Some people are just natural and friendly. Isn't that what we live for?
    0090aI-18980984.jpg
     
  79. I'm aware of people's feelings, and I'm aware of the social climate today. Children are great subjects for those of us who appreciate their special character in a perfectly innocent way. Still, I take note of parents who are in the area, and if they seem the uptight kind, I move somewhere else. I never continue photographing someone's kids if they ask me to stop (happened once that I recall). What were my motivations here? Decide for yourself.
    0090aV-18981084.jpg
     
  80. btw Trevor, the "wannabe HCB" comment you should know better. Leave that BS to Jay. Why do you make pretty colored pictures of boats? Because you're a wannabe? Or because you're interested in photography and the things you photograph?
     
  81. Well said, Ray.
     
  82. Jay: "I am a very large very angry guy.........."

    Jon: "You.........lard ass. I'll take your picture whether you like it or
    not and you wont do ANYTHING about it. Got it?"

    I've suggested this before, but surely after their latest outbursts
    it's time to stage a celebrity death match between Jay and Jon.
    They're clearly both ready to rumble. B and H are more than
    willing to promote it - Henry Posner has even made it clear he'd
    like to personally referee the fight. Don King is eager to manage
    the winner, and reckons he'll have no trouble getting a
    subsequent bout against whoever triumphs in this weekends
    Super Heavyweight contest between Mike Tyson and Jim
    Nachtwey.

    Come on people, let's make this happen. If not for ourselves,
    let's do it for the children...........
     
  83. There were numerous famous and respected photographers mentioned here. One of their common traits appears to be compassion for humanity. Many of their photographs testify to this compassion, even when they poke gentle fun at some of our human activities. If they were asked to stop taking pictures by one of these subjects, what do you think they would do? Many here obviously lack this degree of compassion and respect for their subjects. I expect that's why some photographers get to be respected in the profession and others do not. It's not always about the picture.
     
  84. Would you mind having your photo taken? And would the photographers
    attitude matter for your decision?
    <br><br>
    Only theoretical thoughts, since I'm neither a brad pitt look-a-like
    nor a celebrity, so it's quite improbable that someone would jump in
    front of me blinding with a stroboscoping flashfire, but anyway:
    <br><br>
    In general, I don't mind to much being photographed, although I
    somehow dislike not being in control of my image. Ever walked out in
    a rush, with loose tie, two different socks and planning to shave
    later in the car? Would make a funny pic for sure, but I'd get quite
    angry about it. And who knows, tomorrow you see yourself, totally
    out of context, in one of those funny emails.
    <br><br>
    Another thing I (and probably most people) would not appreciate is
    to be regarded as a disposable "object". If you photograph people
    like you would photograph a brick or a dog, be prepared for negative
    reactions. This applies also to exotic natives in distant countries.
    <br><br>
    Being sneaky will be the worst. What would you think if someone took
    a photo, and then tries to sneak out?! What is this, a private
    investigator, someone gathering information, and visibly afraid to
    get caught?!
    <br><br>
    Is it so difficult to respect other people, they simply are no
    flowers
    or sunsets at anybody's disposal to fill a frame. Smile, nod, if
    they don't want - respect it and walk away.
    <br><br>
    Law was mentioned. Laws are completely irrelevant in this case,
    since what we are talking about is behavior and manners. You behave
    bad, and will have nothing to complain about when you trigger
    corresponding fedback. If you show respect, as anyone should, you
    still may meet
    one of those people always looking for a fight, but in general you
    will have a much happier life.
    <br><br>
    Laws are no excuse for anything. In germany it was perfectly legal
    to kill innocent people 60 years ago. Brought to court years later,
    those lowlifes shrugged their shoulders and said "it was legal, and
    I was entitled to do it" and got away, humiliating the victims a
    second time. Just to give a very extreme example, I hope you get the
    point.
     
  85. If I ever get to Miami, I think I'll cary both my streetshooters in case I shoot Jay :)
    [​IMG]
    And back on topic, it's easy with a digital, you get your picture and show it to your subject to get permission. In germany you have to get permission to publish a picture if your subject is not:
    • a subject of contemporary interest
    • a spectator at an event of contemporary interest
    • part of a bigger picture

      So if you took a picture of a scene with one person standing out, you'll be better off with a modell release type of permission to publish the picture. If you'll just show a print to friends, you're probably fine but I've got a release for this one:
      [​IMG]
     
  86. <<I'll take your picture whether you like it or not and you won't do ANYTHING about it. >>

    Jon, even that defenseless little bookseller wasn't afraid to shove your camera in your face...you remember, the one you bragged about kicking him in the face? If you saw a guy like me, or even someone you thought remotely capable of cleaning your clock, you'd sh*t yourself running away like the obvious little cowardly bully you are.

    Unlike you I've never claimed to have attacked anyone in the course of civilian life, only that I would not hesitate to use force if necessary to protect my children from perceived harm. Would anyone here who is a parent not sacrifice whatever it took to do that?
     
  87. Do Lugers come in a chrome finish?
     
  88. I think people's reaction to a camera is often indicative of how they view life in general. In my experience, it's rare, but some people are just inherently angry
    Oh I wouldn't know about that Ray. I certainly wouldn't say that that applies to all people. At the risk of making this thread political (if it isn't already), which I don't want to do, I'll just vaguely volunteer that with some people---given their background, their place in society, or the way they have been viewed or treated by society---anger, suspiciousness, mistrust, any kind of hostility, latent or otherwise---may very well be anything if not entirely appropriate responses to the type of photographic encounters that you and I have out on the street.
     
  89. Matt, thats not a Luger! It's a "Pistole 08" made in 1918 by Deutsch Waffen Manufaktur.
    I'd consider it a "user" in good condition. It's got some corosion marks, there are some scratches in the finish under the safety latch. All parts have matching serial numbers and it had a CLA three years ago.

    I can get 6 out of 9 shots into the inner two rings of a duell target at 15 meters, not worse than with my FN Browning HP and much better than the Walter PPK.

    <extremly big grin>
     
  90. may very well be anything if not entirely appropriate responses
    I imagine we share some agreement on this Andrew, though I think "understandable" might be a better word than "appropriate".
     
  91. I have gone out strictly street shooting only a few times. I take a 28 and hyperfocus and shoot holding the camera firmly from my chest or waist. This way no one knows I am releasing the camera. However, I have often included folks in my shots which is a tad different from street shooting as they seem to know they are not the primary subjects but just passing through a scene and don't seem to care about the camera. I don't think many people enjoy being photographed straight on by a stranger so he or she can use the photo for who knows what.
     
  92. Ray:

    The Girl and her Shadow shot is awesome ...
     
  93. i'm wondering if you're playing the devils advocate here. would you not allow ANYONE to photograph your children? ever? or would you make your decision to stop them (or not) based on your perception(idea) of who the shooter was as a person? (you can base this on appearance, personality, aura, whatever)

    not sure about UK (trevor) but the USA is very paranoid and people are scared. maybe a bit side tracked, but it seems that everybody is on the lookout for a lawsuit these days. i'm very careful about shooting children as i'm aware of these social situation here in N. america. i don't like it one bit. we are getting to be a very hypocrytical people.
     
  94. As a photographer class means to take stuning photos. Shoot first then ask. If they say no, say fine and move away.<p>

    If you ask first it will not be street photography but portraits.
     
  95. A separate definition of class just for photographers? What you've described is selfish ambition, and your attempt to conceal it with a preposterous semantic fiction only serves to prove exactly what you are pathetically trying to deny.

    <<
    jay and trevor...
    matt m (toronto) , jul 29, 2004; 09:35 p.m.
    i'm wondering if you're playing the devils advocate here. would you not allow ANYONE to photograph your children? ever?>>

    I can't speak for Trevor. I am an advocate of my children's safety from the devils in our midst. I allow my children to be photographed in the sane, normal contexts that any responsible parent would... by other parents and local news media at school and extra-curricular activites, by a pro hired by the school, by a pro I hire, by other parents and kids at parties and events, just to name only a few. None of these are even remotely close to letting them be photographed by a stranger on the street, and only a fool or an idiot arguing for argument's sake alone would propose that it is.
     
  96. You might not even know if they were photographed by a street photographer Jay.
     
  97. If I was a fishtank then I'd definitely respond with violence if Jay
    attempted to take my picture in the street.........
     
  98. Jay, but what if people take photos of you say, in a rally. Would you beat the person up?
     
  99. "What you've described is selfish ambition, and your attempt to conceal it with a preposterous semantic fiction only serves to prove exactly what you are pathetically trying to deny. "

    What he's described is the reality of taking a particular kind of picture which has proved its value over many decades and hopefully will continue to do so.

    If you really believe that everyone with a camera is a "devil", then your reaction is understandable - although your presence on a photography list is mystifying. But as someone else pointed out above, most devils are in the family.
     
  100. May you try not use offensive words, as pathetic when you speak to me? I'm only giving my opinion following my own photography practice, not looking for a fight with anyone.<p>

    Let me sumarize my experience in a few sentences.<br>
    Taking pictures is not offensive,<br>
    Taking street pictures is not offensive,<br>
    Taking children photography is not devilish<br>
    Most of people are flattered been choosen by the street photographer when they notice it. Most parents are flattered when you take a picture of their children.<p>

    I never sneak, I never hide, I take pictures openly and friendly. Most people come to me to discuss friendly with me never to hit me.
     
  101. to answer the original question, no i don't say anything. I just smile when they see me. I pretend to like them and then walk off. No 2 ways about it.
     
  102. If I get caught, I either smile, or ignore them, or talk to them (depends on the situation). It's no big deal. I have years of experience photographing thousands of people over hundreds of hours in many cities/several countries to back that up. The internet's the only place where people make a fuss over it.

    [And I'm not too worried about having -my- ass kicked by someone who needs a pipe wrench to focus a 75 Summilux.]
     
  103. I'm not a street photographer - I'm not particularly comfortable photographing uninvited - but there are thirteen people in this frame and not one of them is paying me any attention, even though I'm 6'5" and I'm crouched within a couple of feet. I think what I'm learning is that the human reaction to being photographed can be a primitive one (as Jay's reaction demonstrates) and that people can very quickly sense whether or not you mean them any harm with your camera. Give off the right 'vibe' and you can almost disappear.
    0091J7-18994584.jpg
     
  104. Nice photo Kevin. Very nice.
     
  105. Kevin and Mike are right. It's your attitude people react to. I've got a couple of stories, but
    they're not the norm and barely worth discussing. Common sense, acting like you belong,
    and a smile work 99.99% of the time.
     
  106. <<I think what I'm learning is that the human reaction to being photographed can be a primitive one (as Jay's reaction demonstrates)>>

    I'll have to accede to your authority on that one as you are a rung or two lower than I on the evolutionary chain.

    I think I've expressed my position in a rational and sane manner that every parent can relate to. I don't really believe--nor does anybody else here who has children, whether they admit it or choose to join the pack of yapping canines nipping harmlessly at my heels--that anyone would remain complacent and blase to a stranger with a camera snapping pictures of their children. The few misguided peons here who continue to take what I say completely out of context and try to paint a picture of someone whose values are at odds with those of society are so laughably obvious in their bumbling that it doesn't even merit a thoughtful response.
     
  107. <<[And I'm not too worried about having -my- ass kicked by someone who needs a pipe wrench to focus a 75 Summilux.]>>

    Mike, one could also use a pipewrench to focus a street photographer.
     
  108. ever heard of "the evil eye"? heh, you big strong he-man SPs should fly to Sicily, take pix of children and report back to us. if you return that is ;)
     
  109. Maybe a pipewrench on the camera would've helped this.
     
  110. with all due respect jay, this paranoia of yours is one of few huge problems in our culture today.
     
  111. With all due respect Matt (and that isn't much)you are obviously not a parent or else you've got your head deeply inbedded in the sand, to the detriment of your children. I did not create the situation,the kidnappers, perverts, pornographers and the court system that sets them free to do it again are wholly to blame for it. The very fact that you call it "paranoia" marks you as someone who is clueless and far out of the loop on the issue. Every day children's lives are dstroyed by some pedophile and the vast majority of parents are fed up with laws and courts that place the rights of young victims dead last.
     
  112. > Definitely this.
    0091Q0-18996084.jpg
     
  113. jay,
    your first line sums your character up to me. hypocrite. you speak of manners and courtesy in public and then you make childish statements like the one above.
    as said before, a majority of the the child abuse/pedophailia cases are found within the family or friends. very rarely is it a stranger.
    stop being an arm chair warrior.
     
  114. At least you're talking about a photograph now Jay. Nice going.
     
  115. <<very rarely is it a stranger. stop being an arm chair warrior.>>

    Matt I thought your first post gave away your ignorance but it seems you still have plenty of it left. Family and "friends" of the family (included here are teachers and clergy) do indeed make up the majority of child *molestations*, but such acts by strangers are anything but rare and when they do occur are almost always accompanied by additional violence and sometimes murder. And the subjects of child pornographers are rarely ever their family members.

    Matt you are simply attempting to regurgitate sound bites and passing them off as knowledge. After you've been called in on a few dozen cases to do forensic dentistry on bite marks made on children by these monsters, then come back and tell me I'm an armchair warrior. Meantime stick to what you have a clue about, whatever that might be.
     
  116. ok jay, let's drop the child molestation issues. now i'm just calling you for being hypocrytical. your points are very valid, but why can't you leave it at that...instead you have a diarrhea(sp?) of the mouth that just can't seem to stop without adding an insult.

    "Meantime stick to what you have
    a clue about, whatever that might be." - why finish like that? serves no purpose but to insult.

    i've met with a few people on this board. they have some sense of who i am. but again, i don't know you , you don't know me. you or i could be (name your character) putting on a show. in your case, pick a persona and stick with it. get a spine, don't flip flop.
     
  117. This has officially become a Mexican standoff.
     
  118. Jay, of these "dozens" of cases of molestation and murder, in
    how many did the perpetrator start off by taking the victims
    picture in public?
     
  119. ...'Cause if there was even one, that would make you sound a
    little less in need of a tranquilizer dart to the hindquarters.
     
  120. I can recall at least three where witnesses said the saw the defendant earlier loitering with a camera near the child's school, and another at a playground. In all but one case however it was a camcorder. There was also a case not that long ago that my brother brought to my attention where a convicted pedophile was arrested for stalking kids with a camera. Evidently he stupidly thought that by using a telephoto he could stay far enough away to avoid being guilty of a parole violation!

    But the most common illicit use of unauthorized photographs of children is to composite their faces onto the bodies of "petite" adults in lewd poses and engaging in sexual acts. I golf with a prosecuting attorney and he's the one who told me about it, I would have never have had the imagination to think that one up.

    Don't get me wrong, I believe that the majority of street photographers are just out for their own amusement or dream of becoming the next HCB, and have no nefarious intent whatsoever. I just am not willing to make the automatic assumption that the one who's snapping my kids is one of the good guys. But the level-headed among you already knows that. All this is just a couple of the usual suspects trying to bait me and me giving them just enough rope to hogtie themselves with their own clownish doubletalk.
     
  121. Don't get you wrong? Oh, NOW, you're speaking sensibly! After
    threatening bodily harm to anyone who snapped your pic in
    public without your permission? After hinting that a pipe wrench
    would be just the tool for the job? After implying a connection
    between candid street photography and kidnapping, pedophilia
    and murder?

    Your attempt to sound reasonable comes a few years too late; I
    think all us "usual suspects" "get you" just fine.
     
  122. A few years ago, I was out walking with my nephew, who must have been about 7 years old at the time, and his dog, a 200-pound English mastiff. As we waited for a red light to change, a street photographer jumped in front of us, squatted down, fired off a frame and ran off.

    Since I have been taking photographs on the street in New York for about 20 years, I understand what he was doing and I recognized the irresistible appeal of photographing small boy with big dog. Still, his behavior creeped me out. If I could have run after him and confronted him without abandoning my nephew, I would have. And I can easily see the situation might have escalated into one where, well, I would want Jay backing me up, regardless who might legally have been in the right.

    Fast forward a few weeks. My sister-in-law was out with my nephew and the dog. A photographer for the New York Daily News snapped a shot of them, non-furtively, and then requested their names to use in the caption. The image was published and my nephew has a print of it on the wall. (For what it's worth, the photographer in this case was a woman.)

    Perhaps it's not the act of photography but the manner in which the photographer behaves that makes all the difference in many cases.
     
  123. Don't get me wrong, I believe that the majority of street photographers are just out for their own amusement or dream of becoming the next HCB, and have no nefarious intent whatsoever. I just am not willing to make the automatic assumption that the one who's snapping my kids is one of the good guys.
    I don't think we're getting you wrong. It seems pretty clear that you think assuming that those who might be snapping your kids are among the 0.00001% who might have a criminal intent justifies your belligerence. You make the blanket statement that any parent would share your paranoia, but no one so far has leapt to support that assertion (and I think there are quite a few parents who read this board). If you genuinely think that assaulting strangers for no obvious reason will actually make your children proud or make them feel safe, you really should consult a family counselor.
     
  124. For the sake of those lacking in stamina, I'd like to offer edited
    highlights of Jay's contribution to the debate:

    Jay: ".....you will ask my permission......I......respond.....no.....you
    run......street shooter who can't work, walk or eat solid food......as
    a result of a beating......Do I feel lucky?......some hump was
    taking pictures of my
    daughters......defending.....children.....pervert.......I am a very large
    very angry guy.....he......is up to no good.......The right to
    photograph in public should become assault......shove your
    camera in your face......kicking him in the face......If you saw a guy
    like me......you'd sh*t yourself......cowardly bully......devils in our
    midst.......lower.....on the evolutionary
    chain.....rational......sane......stranger.....children.....you are
    obviously not a parent......kidnappers, perverts, pornographers,
    pedophiles....molestations.....violence......murder......child
    pornographers.......armchair warrior.....loitering with a
    camera.....stalking kids......lewd poses......sexual
    acts.......clownish doubletalk."

    I can't imagine a more eloquent illustration of the greatest
    problems facing the USA today - ignorance, fear of the unknown,
    and downright paranoia. Either that or Florida has become an
    awful lot more scary since I last visited Disneyland.........
     
  125. Boris, was it you that had the funny story about Jay getting pasted in Knightsbridge? I can't
    find it...
     
  126. Brad, my post regarding Jay and the Knightsbridge gangstas
    was deleted. If you google jay and kensington it'll probably throw
    up his original, and way beyond parody, post regarding life in
    London's bleakest ghetto.
     
  127. Mike, your remarks are quite ironic following as they do Jonathan's comments which contradicts in advance your main assertion. Truly disappointing for someone who I had previously respected as being above the meager level of people like Brad and "Boris Chan" (cousin to Charlie Karloff no doubt)whose truncated intellectual capacity limits their contributions to a cacaphony of thought-less rote reminiscent of a parrot sideshow.
     
  128. <<Either that or Florida has become an awful lot more scary since I last visited Disneyland.........>>

    Disneyland is in California you pathetic ignoramus.
     
  129. I found the 'Kensington' post, and a few more gems, and if you
    don't mind, I'll give them the same treatment:

    "...Watch yourself! I was in London... accosted by
    miscreants....start trouble with a fella twice their size ....crack
    their skulls like pigeon eggs!"

    "I travel... in Europe... carry a camera bag... with a shoulder strap
    *and* waist-belt .. vest *with zippered pockets* and *under* a
    windbreaker. ....keep the UV off my arms ....try to not get into thick
    crowds... walk with a "purposeful stride" ....stern expression on
    face... both hands free, game for a fight."

    "...on the street in Kensington, holding an M6... puffing
    good-sized cigar. Two young men... shaved heads ...assault...
    took hold of tripod with ballhead... crack open their shiny domes
    like a raw egg.... guy started cursing ...loudmouth ...epithets... I
    immediately struck... injured one of them...legalities... you're
    prey... ended up in hospital.. stay calm.. rational.. follow
    ...instincts!"
     
  130. Kevin, the more the merrier!

    Jay: "Disneyland is in California you pathetic ignoramus."

    Jay, I'm happy to bow to your superior knowledge of the world of
    8ft glove puppets. I have no doubt you've reverse-engineered
    Micky, Minnie, and Pluto too.......
     
  131. Moving past Jay's rhetoric -- obviously intended to rile you guys and, boy, does he ever succeed -- I think he is making a fundamentally valid point.

    When photographing other people's children, shouldn?t we proceed with due respect for the natural protective instinct that all parents have for their offspring?

    I remember seeing one of my normally peaceable, liberal friends turn violent when he thought a docile homeless guy was a threat to his young daughter. It was comical at the time, but I understood where he was coming from.

    What harm is there in seeking implicit permission by exchanging smiles with the parent or guardian before clicking the shutter? Is the image ever worth making the mother feel that her child might be at risk?

    I am not arguing against the conventions of street photography in general. I have shot my share of camera-shy adults in public places. I have shot reluctant manual laborers and grown men fighting in the street. I have continued to photograph an arrest in progress, even after the police ordered me to stop.

    But I would never focus on a child without seeking the parent's permission first. Doing so just doesn't seem right to me.

    I know from experience that furtive or aggressive behavior on the part of the photographer can leave the parent unsure of the photographer?s intention, as it left me unsure in the incident involving my nephew and his big dog, posted above.

    I don't think a social rule that allows and encourages photographers to behave that way represents a wise societal choice.

    Candid pictures of children can be true works of art. Look at Eisenstaedt's shots of Parisian children at an outdoor puppet show. Read his books, and you will come away knowing that he got his shots by treating everyone with respect, not by popping up and alarming people.

    Kevin and Mike, I enjoy your posts and admire your photographs. I'd love to know your opinion on the basic issue, as opposed to your reaction to some of the more inflammatory remarks that have been posted.
     
  132. Jonathan: "I remember seeing one of my normally peaceable,
    liberal friends turn violent when he thought a docile homeless
    guy was a threat to his young daughter. It was comical........"

    You find it comical seeing a homeless guy get slapped around
    because one of your friends can't correctly read a situation on the
    street? Far from parenthood leading to enhanced levels of
    understanding and empathy, I'm beginning to see a common
    theme of fatherhood (particularly of daughters) leading to
    paranoia and violence. When it comes to caring about the safety
    of children I've also got to wonder about the wisdom of a 7 year
    old having a 200 pound dog. Why stop there, maybe get him a
    tiger or an alligator for his eighth birthday?

    "Eienstaedt.......got his shots by treating everyone with respect,
    not by popping up and alarming people."

    I shudder to think what you or Jay would make of Bruce Gilden's
    (arguably the best US street photographer of recent years)
    working methods - he's staggeringly confrontational. Having said
    that I don't think anybody here has advocated that photographers
    should have the right to be aggressive and alarm people, merely
    that the act of taking a picture in itself is not inherently some form
    of violation.
     
  133. Jonathan, I don't think anyone on this thread has said that
    popping up and "alarming people" is how they work. Almost all
    the comments have mentioned the necessity of somehow
    indicating to the subjects that you mean them no harm.

    I would never just jump in front of a kid and thrust my camera in
    his face like a papparazzo. But as the father of a 3-year old girl, I
    sure hope my desire to protect her wouldn't cause me to act like
    a savage just because someone took her picture without my
    permission. There are enough real threats to her safety without
    me making up imaginary ones.
     
  134. nothing's happened..;)
    0091sq-19005584.jpg
     
  135. Boris, i'm surprised, don't know why, to learn that Gilden was confrontational. thanks for that tid bit, Gilden is one of my favs. do you have any good link that has info about the man himself? i'd appreciate it.

    as for the rest of the thread, i can't even begin to muster the aggression and the hatred in the rhetoric and the penchant for violence, etc.. so barbaric and scary.
     
  136. Balaji, no I don't have any links regarding Gilden's working
    method - you could try googling "bruce gilden" and
    "confrontational". It's kinda hard not to be confrontational working
    with a 28mm lens and flash in a busy street........
     
  137. Travis, did you ask his permission? 'Cause he sure looks like he's about to crack your skull like a pigeon egg with his pipe wrench.
    I think poor Jay's been watching too many Chuck Norris movies on TV... :-(
     
  138. Permission? what's that?
     
  139. i'm not into street photography myself, but what I can add is that a photog's right wary widely acorss the globe. In the US you don't have the right to expect "privacy" as you walk in a public space. It isn't so in many other countries so that is something to factor in.

    Personally I don't find photos of random strangers all that interesting in general, at least not for my personal portfolio, but that might change someday. Regardless, I would have a hard time taking photos of anyone with the purpose of sharing them on the Internet w/o acknowledge the subject's wishes.
     
  140. Once again I have to thank Kevin for clearly demonstrating publicly how his eagerness to discredit me combines with his ineptness at doing so, resulting in further proof of my assertions and him making a fool of himself for the umpteenth time. Here is the complete text of the "Kensington Incident" which clearly shows what Kevin tried in his pitifully obvious way to conceal from the forum, namely that while I am prepared to act in defense of my family or myself, I have the judgment and self-control of any rational individual:

    <<Jay . , jan 15, 2002; 11:27 p.m.
    A couple years ago I was standing in front of a hotel on the street in Kensington, holding an M6 with a 50/2 and puffing on a good-sized cigar. Two young men with shaved heads walked up, one stopped to my left and the other went past me, stopped and turned around. ASsuming this was to be an assault, my left hand went into my coat pocket and took hold of the folded Leitz Table tripod with medium ballhead, I was prepared to crack open at least one of their shiny domes like a raw egg. The guy on my right started cursing me out for smoking the cigar, which is when I realized they were both quite inebrated. At that point I just stood there saying nothing, and eventually the loudmouth ran out of epithets, they both got bored and left. Had I immediately struck and seriously injured one of them, I would have spent the rest of my travel time and budjet on legalities; OTOH had I acted scared (if you run, you're prey) I might have ended up in the hospital. A lot depends on being able to stay calm and rational and follow the right instincts.>>
     
  141. Those who believe they are accurately summarizing Jay's posts with their clever use of multiple ellipses probably also believe that Oliver Stone accurately documented the "conspiracy evidence" in his movie "JFK."

    Those of us who are Dads (and/or Uncles) are quite likely, depending upon the circumstances, to experience unease/annoyance/concern/fear/anger when strangers take photos of the kids whose well-being we regard as our primary responsibility.

    We should not, however, respond with unlawful threats or violence. That's first of all wrong, and second, more likely to be counter-productive. And I don't think that's behavior I'd want my kids to emulate either.

    Having said that, the feelings I've described are genuine. Yes, we know that 99.999999% of the camera-toting public certainly intend no harm. Every once in awhile, though, we find that statistical assurance less comforting than we should.
     
  142. <<But as the father of a 3-year old girl, I sure hope my desire to protect her wouldn't cause me to act like a savage just because someone took her picture without my permission. There are enough real threats to her safety>>

    Perhaps that's the difference in our thinking Kevin. I can't see being selective in what types of harm I protect my kids from. Then again we kids were never drvien around in an open car by our father while getting his beer buzz on and my mother billowing secondhand smoke in our faces, so maybe my lack of expertise in social anthropology is partly to blame for being unable to jump the cultural chiasm that seems to separate us on this issue.

    <<We should not, however, respond with unlawful threats or violence. That's first of all wrong, and second, more likely to be counter-productive. And I don't think that's behavior I'd want my kids to emulate either.>>

    I agree with everything else you said Michael but this is a little too submissive and passifistic for this old soldier to swallow whole. As such I have the judgment and coolness "under fire" to keep my head in a tense situation as evidenced by the unexpurgated version of the Kensington Incident above. Sometimes the answer is retreat and sometimes the answer is to stand your ground, but the question is always the same: how best not to become a victim. That is what I hope my children will emulate.
     
  143. Jay, I'll take your word that in real life you're a model of
    judgement and self-control, but you sure harbor a lot of sleazy
    and violent fantasies. I guess we should all be grateful that you
    can live out your Dirty Harry madness harmlessly online.
     
  144. jay,
    i think peoples responses to you would be more positive if you were to be more courteous in your posts. too often you throw out insults and it seems as this is your only weapon. i know it's trolling for attention, but how about you lighten it up a bit and see where it takes you. my mother taught me that if you don't have at least one positive thing to say, you have nothing to say at all.
    give it a try! :)
     
  145. I would hope the fun (and the manipulation) implied by the
    elipses would be obvious. The full text is even scarier, though.
    In Jay's world, an open beer = alcoholism; an occasional
    cigarette = lung cancer; and a person capturing your childs latent
    image = pedophilia and murder.

    Instead of poking fun of people who try their hands at street
    photography (HCB wannabees!) you should try it yourself; the
    real world interaction with living, breathing human beings - not
    your own imagination, in other words - might give you the sense
    of perspective you so obviously lack.
     
  146. puffing on cigar<BR>
    a clear spring in Kensington<BR>
    crack their shiny domes<BR>
     
  147. basho?
     
  148. Brad that was lovely. However, I have it on good authority that the
    big guy from Florida is, along with all his other talents, a Haiku
    master. So watch this space........
     
  149. Kevin, thanks for clarifying your position for me. I basically agree with you. However, we do seem to have some admirers of Gilden in this discussion and -- correct me if I'm wrong, which I may very well be -- I believe one of Gilden's techniques is to use flash at close range on unsuspecting subjects. I think that the average pedestrian would be rightly alarmed by such behavior. (If I'm wrong, my apologies to Gilden.) I prefer Eisie's approach as well as his results.

    Boris, I did not find it comical to see a homeless guy slapped around. What I found comical was my friend's reaction, and I restrained him from slapping anyone. And, on your other point, English mastiffs make great family pets.

    It's fun to argue, but I'll bet that Jay has never actually taken a pipe wrench to anyone (at least, anyone who didn't deserve it!) and that Kevin would do anything he had to to protect his daughter. When the chips are down, I suspect we're all pretty similar.
     
  150. lacking intellect

    unable to outthink me

    fool thy name is Brad
     
  151. "...I suspect we're all pretty similar."

    In real life, anyway. On the internet, all bets are off. ;-)
     
  152. This is about the longest I've been able to stave off the inevitable boredom once some of your minds have run out of steam. I'm impressed with myself.
     
  153. <<"...I suspect we're all pretty similar."

    In real life, anyway. On the internet, all bets are off. ;-)>>


    Kind of like the WWF, or lawyers in court.
     
  154. Jonathan: "........English mastiffs make great family pets."

    I used to share your opinion, but, sadly, ours was devoured by
    Tim, my 4 year old's pet crocodile. I now feel that they're entirely
    unsuited to the rigours of modern family life.
     
  155. If you're bored, Jay, why not try photography as a hobby?
     
  156. passifistic
    I'll pass on that spelling.
    this old soldier
    General Douglas Macarthur?
     
  157. This debate of 'Do I ask permission or not?' is a question I ask myself everytime I find myself in a situation when an urge to shot, whatever it may be.

    There are no rules in street photography. I once had
    1. an angry mum lashing out at me for 'taking' (I was only framing then .. did not press the trigger) her infant daughter at a public wading pool and
    2. a chief priest who ask if I could send him a copy
    3. a not-in-uniform inspector in downtown Kuala Lumpur threatening me with arrest for taking pictures of him and his men handcuffing 'illegal immigrants'.
    4. a traffic police in HangZhou working much harder .. later asking me if I am from the press. I told him no and said he's doing a good job. He went back to his post and let me take close up shots.
    5. Fifty security guards in Shanghai and one very stern captain.
    6. A friendly monk permitting photography in a temple despite a clear sign 'no photography allowed' outside the door.
    7. Lovers on park benches in the evening
    and many more

    You just stand your ground and insist it's a public place and you will continue to shot, in some situations telling them if they don't like it they can get out of my camera's sight. If the place is on private grounds you explain why you find them or the place an interest to you. 8 out of 10 times you find they will leave you alone.

    I carry a 12inch gurkha army knife in my back pack, originally for hacking through the rain forest .. so far have yet to rely on it for protection against assault.

    The thing to remember, street photography is an adventure itself. If you are afraid then give up steet photography and stay with landscapes, even then 'ever tried to asked a lion in the open safari for permission?'. You read the situation and adjust. Remember you decide the rules. Size the situation to decide if you stand your ground or in my case of the fifty secruity guards I gave a thumbs up sign and walk friskly away from the scene.
     
  158. Johnathan, I think the incident you describe sounds more like a case of obnoxious or rude behavior than threatening behavior, but I'm not one to see a threat around every corner. There are as many ways of doing street photography as there are street photographers, and some people may use methods that I wouldn't. That doesn't mean I'm willing to pass harsh judgements against them.
    If someone is presenting an immediate physical threat to me and/or those I feel I should protect, then I'll defend myself or them with whatever force I consider neccessary (which I'd hope is as little as possible). The kind of "threats" described in this thread would be much better addressed by notifying the police and letting them make a determination of whether physical force is justified or legal action is needed. If someone as belligerent as Jay claims to be came at me with as much force and determination as he describes, I would have legal justification to smash his head in with my camera.
     
  159. "fool thy name is Brad"

    Jay, if you have to resort to this kind of thing, then you've already lost the argument. The problem is, we can give you the information, but it's very clear that no-one can give you the understanding.
     
  160. Mike, thanks for highlighting the distinction between obnoxious or rude behavior, which legally we all have to put up with, and threatening behavior, which we don't. I basically agree with you on that point.

    However, I would like to raise some follow-up questions.

    First, is the line between mere obnoxiousness and true threat always easy to draw?

    Second, does the line change when children are involved?

    Third, when does mere obnoxiousness rise to the level of harrassment? After the first close-range flash? The second? The third?

    Again, I'm not trying to negate street photography, nor do I have a problem with popping fifty flashes in the face of public figures engaged in newsworthy conduct.

    I just feel that every social interaction is a balance of rights. From your posts and photos, I imagine you would set the balance about where I would (in other words, in exactly the right place!). My concern is with those who are less sensitive to the reasonable sensibilities of other people.
     
  161. <<If someone as belligerent as Jay claims to be came at me with as much force and determination as he describes, I would have legal justification to smash his head in with my camera.>>

    You'd have as much chance of doing so as you would legal justification. Zero.



    <<Another Bob , aug 01, 2004; 06:16 a.m.
    "fool thy name is Brad"
    Jay, if you have to resort to this kind of thing, then you've already lost the argument. The problem is, we can give you the information, but it's very clear that no-one can give you the understanding.>>

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And the only form someone with your lack of originality is capable of.
     
  162. This thread is actually more fun if read backwards(the threads, not the words) in order. Sort of like the movie Momento or Irreversible. Try it.
     
  163. Kevin Mendenhall , jul 31, 2004; 03:43 p.m.: "If you're bored, Jay, why not try photography as a hobby?"
    Kevin, This is the most blasphemous statement I have read. Jay is fast approaching 10,000 posts, must be a photo.net record!
     
  164. Me, unoriginal?!? Aaaawwww....
     
  165. Don't argue with Jay. He is the Walrus. Koo-koo-k-choo,
    koo-koo-k-choo!
     
  166. Brad that was lovely. However, I have it on good authority that the big guy from Florida is, along with all his other talents, a Haiku master. So watch this space........
    Thanks Boris. But not to worry about Haiku Master Jay - he missed several essential elements in his lame attempt.
    Kind of funny - his often self-touted superior intellect yet again comes up on the short end. Some things never change.
     
  167. Brad, I have to admit I was kind of disappointed with the big guy's
    failure to understand the the basics of haiku. That said I'm
    meeting up with him this coming weekend, so I'll try and get to
    the bottom of his dismal offering - my hunch is that he was just
    messing with us.

    Jay has also asked me to put in an appeal for his many fans at
    photonet to sponsor the annual Manatee Madness Festival.
    Every summer, me, Jay, and the classy guys from the country
    club, get together, sharpen our harpoons and lay waste to
    Florida's manatee menace. Each year the festival raises funds
    for a different charity, and this year we've chosen to give to Lens
    Trauma. Lens Trauma exists to provide therapy for the many
    innocent children who every year have their lives destroyed by
    street photographers and their grotesque hit-and-run tactics. So,
    Brad, Ray, and grant, here's your chance to give something back
    and atone for the many young lives you've blighted with your
    selfish behaviour. All we're asking for is $10 for the head of every
    harpooned manatee.
     
  168. My Goodness!!!

    Where I come from, just outside D.C. we've just celebrated our 154 homocide of the year. It's not over yet, still the merry month of December.
    Anytime someone wants to aim their camera at my children, Have at it!! Just leave your guns at home!!
    The people who do these killings would just as soon shoot with a gun as a camera.
     

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