Topic – Taking photos of random people in public places. You may extend to buildings and animals, in fact any photos of anything in public places.
When is this not acceptable ? When is this not allowed or one is breaking the law ?
Your opinions and experiences please.
Background – Yesterday Ray raised an interesting point about legal and ethical/moral considerations being separate. Personally I don’t agree, they are different but often inherently linked. People do often do the right thing because the law says so. Other times people do do the right thing even though they aren’t restricted by law.
I’ve been in many public places and often been photographed by both still and video cameras. Personally I don’t mind that much, but does perhaps feel a little bit of a liberty, especially if I don’t know what footage is going to be used for. I’ve seen how cuts can be made so the meaning of words can be completely changed. Contexts can be changed and words can be spun, this is a harsh reality. And I know how powerful editing software is in terms altering photos that are very unflattering, at best, a complete lie, at worst.
Please correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t the native Americans believe it was something like “having their soul stolen” if their picture was taken.
Celebrities and people who are currently famous or infamous, spend their whole day and night, every public moment with cameras thrust in the faces, zoom lenses taking photos from miles away.
I recently asked to take a photo of a man’s parrot and the conversation quickly moved to one of a commercial nature. So I withdrew. A photographer reader advised that he’s often experienced that people often want to whore themselves for their photos. Chequebook journalism he called it. Just one of those things he said. Paying money to take photos seem a little unethical to me, especially since I’ve given my own photos for free.
I’ve been forcibly prevented taking photographs of my previous employer’s building in Stamford Connecticut (UBS). The security guard came running up and told me to stop, which I did, as I didn’t want to lose my job. I’ve since found out that buildings can be copyright. But the reason in this case was they were worried about terrorists scoping up their buildings. I am not a terrorist by the way.
And another incident I was taking pictures of a group of tourists, and a very aggressive female member of the group came right up in my face and basically told me to F off. Then started taking picture of me, the very thing she’d asked me not to do!
Also in the UK I believe we have the most CCTV cameras per capita of anywhere in the world. Some may say this intrudes into privacy. The loss of privacy may be worth the benefits in security.
I’m interested in the legal, moral and ethical considerations, so happy for answers that relate to any. I’ve found that your opinions broaden my knowledge, they don’t necessarily change my beliefs, but they do enhance my knowledge. There’s also the random Google’r and WordPress users who’ll find this later on. I’m also a keen photographer myself, as most of you know.
Thankyou in advance for contributing.
Please note: Good manners are a mark of a charismatic person – so please keep comments civil, constructive and related to the topic, or they will be moderated. Thank you for your co-operation on this.
Sometimes I do not read comments straight away, and not always able to reply to every comment. I do read ALL comments, and will comment if I think there’s something that I want to add.
Warm regards, Don Charisma