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What do you do if you get caught?


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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.

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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.

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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.
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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!
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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...

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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.




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<<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.

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<<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"?

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<<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.

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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.

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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.




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)



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"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 :-(

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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.
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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.
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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.

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