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12-29-2011, 09:06 AM   #1
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Photographic ethics, outdoor people shooting

Hi!

Got myself a K-x (love it) last month and have been taking some pictures here and there. Nothing especially good yet. I was wondering about something. I love to take pictures of people. Everyday stuff. However, a lot of people are really uptight about being taken pictures of, I guess I am too. Some people gets furious lol.

I see a lot of nice photos of people in everyday situations around but I'm wondering how to go about to get these, heheh.. I'm not a stalker or creeper and I don't stick my cam up people's noses, but I haven't tried going downtown photographing in case people go nuts. I am wondering what your experiences are?

12-29-2011, 09:15 AM - 1 Like   #2
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This question hasn't popped up for awhile. OK, you can take various approaches to street shooting. Be stealthy. Be aggressive. Be disguised. Be straightforward. Be exploitative. Be artistic. Be repulsive. Be in a group. But whatever you do, show no fear.
12-29-2011, 09:35 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
But whatever you do, show no fear.
the only rule that counts
shoot with an ultrawide or a 300 mm or anything between (my 14 is my favourite street lens on my Pentax)
12-29-2011, 09:52 AM   #4
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And just run away if someone comes at you?

12-29-2011, 10:06 AM   #5
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nope take their picture

never had anyone run at me, if they ask nicely i delete the shot. then i change cards and recover it later if it was a good shot

mostly i am obvious in busy areas and stealthy in less busy areas.
12-29-2011, 11:16 AM   #6
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As for laws: If you live in a democratic country, you almost always have the right to take pictures of anyone in any public place. Streets, squares etc are public places. So are other places open to the public such as sub-way stations, shops etc, but in these cases, the owners may prohibit use of cameras, and then you must obey. If there are no sings, a guard or other employee can inform you that photo are forbidden, but in that case any shots taken before they informed you are legal. Someones private ground that is not open to public is never public place, and you should assume that you need permission to shoot there. These are sort of the standard terms. More or less small or large deviations exist between democratic countries. For example France have some strange laws. If you go to non-democratic countries, read up on the local laws well before and be careful.
Also count on that public, guards and police may have a different and incorrect opinion. Even police who should be educated on the law. I've also heard that in some places, guards and police incorrectly try to use anti-terrorist laws against photographers (for example UK). Non the less, the last year I have done street shooting both in the UK and in France with no problems. In all my years of street shooting I've only had minor problems once with a fellow who had a very strange idea of how the law works in Sweden.

In addition to the law is of course your own moral. Personally I would in most cases respect if someone asks to not be photographed, but I will only ask in advance in some cases. Most street shots I want to make could not be taken if I ask in advance. There are also some limit to what shots I would show, cases where they will stay on my hard disk or be erased, but I would have to tell from case to case.

As RioRico indicates, best way is usually to behave as it is completely natural that you are there with your camera. Don't look guilty. Don't act guilty. Don't even feel guilty.
12-29-2011, 11:18 AM   #7
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Unless you are born that way, having no fear while taking pictures of pefect strangers requires practice.

I would start with shooting at large public events where people are expecting photos to be taken. I find parades to be a great place for this. Flip from the people in the parade to the audience. Use a long lens. The people in the parade themselves will often pose for you. Especially if you have a big camera/lens and taking pics in a very obvious manner. Wave, ask them to smile etc. After a while of doing this, the audience around you will get used to you and you can take pics of their reaction to the event without any problems. Some of them will even ask you to take their pic!

Some examples:

Last edited by psychdoc; 11-14-2015 at 03:36 PM.
12-29-2011, 11:20 AM   #8
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Out in public I have never had anyone ask me not to take there photo. I have had people ask me to take there photo on multiple occasions. I have many more ask me to take there photo with their camera. Most people know that if they are out in public (especially places were people will have cameras) that they are fair game to have there photo taken. Mostly all you have to fear is fear its self. If you are not doing anything wrong (and you are not) then most will not have a problem but if you show fear then you maybe doing something wrong (at least it will look that way to them) so they will have a problem. If anyone asks just smile and go into how this is a great place for photos, stuff like that. They will most likely either get into it to photography or loose interest and wonder off. The biggest problem is how to reduce the observer effect to get the photos you want.


DAZ

12-29-2011, 12:04 PM   #9
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Welcome daniekr. Take a look at this post https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/mini-challenges-games-photo-stories/43981...ml#post1713587
The entire thread itself should be of interest to you as well!
Looks forward to seeing your shots there.
Larry
12-29-2011, 12:09 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by DAZ Quote
Out in public I have never had anyone ask me not to take there photo. I have had people ask me to take there photo on multiple occasions. I have many more ask me to take there photo with their camera. Most people know that if they are out in public (especially places were people will have cameras) that they are fair game to have there photo taken. Mostly all you have to fear is fear its self. If you are not doing anything wrong (and you are not) then most will not have a problem but if you show fear then you maybe doing something wrong (at least it will look that way to them) so they will have a problem. If anyone asks just smile and go into how this is a great place for photos, stuff like that. They will most likely either get into it to photography or loose interest and wonder off. The biggest problem is how to reduce the observer effect to get the photos you want.


DAZ

Yep i've had the request , usually when i'm in a sketchy section and frequently by drunks and crackheads who ham it up

Never had police issues (well G20 aside) even in england and shooting police at parliament (well those ones were shot with a holga fisheye )
12-29-2011, 12:33 PM   #11
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I find making it look like I'm trying to take a picture of a building, tree or whatever and they've simply strayed into shot works well. I've only twice had people get knarky with me, and I pointed out to them that they're in the UK so are almost permanently on CCTV and asked what's worse, a person trying to improve their skills in an art-form an an open manner, or our own gov't spying on us with hidden cameras for god knows what purpose. Ended up with 'yeah, screw the state' type conversations in both cases, and requests to take and forward some posed shots of them. I would say that if someone is annoyed, stay calm, explain what you're up to, show them the shots you've taken (with the strap wrapped really well around your wrist) and be ready to point out that you've got a couple of kilos of metal and glass in your hand to defend yourself with. Last one was a joke of course, but I have considered that when shooting late at night in dodgier bits of town.

Last edited by wildweasel; 12-29-2011 at 03:01 PM.
12-29-2011, 06:12 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
Never had police issues (well G20 aside) even in england and shooting police at parliament
You can now be arrested and have your photographic equipment seized for taking pictures of police officers in the UK... This apparently helps them fight terrorism... Although it's more likely that they keep getting 'caught' doing things they shouldn't be 'caught' doing...
12-29-2011, 06:51 PM   #13
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The problem we need to overcome is not the disapproval of others but our own timidity. My solution has been to try small experiments that push the edge just a bit. Over that past couple of years I've gained more confidence in just going out to take shots. If someone gives me a disapproving look, I don't take the shot. A smile and a waved camera will usually get me either a shrug, a smile or simply ignored. I take all those as permission.

Be careful taking photos of small children without their parent, police, or people in compromised situations. The first two avoid problems. The last is simple consideration.







Last edited by mysticcowboy; 12-29-2011 at 07:01 PM.
12-30-2011, 02:41 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by daniekr Quote
Hi!

Got myself a K-x (love it) last month and have been taking some pictures here and there. Nothing especially good yet. I was wondering about something. I love to take pictures of people. Everyday stuff. However, a lot of people are really uptight about being taken pictures of, I guess I am too. Some people gets furious lol.

. I am wondering what your experiences are?
I use a Kr with a f1.7 50 mm or a small 70-200mm .some people say ask other say take them and make it look like you are trying for something ele but you have in the end to learn to overcome your shyness. I find a huge smile works and a point at the camera often is a good move.

Also stand still at one spot , people get used to you being ther and pointing a camera , stand at street crossings just a small distance from bus stops etc.
There is a flikr web site for a 100 club, the idea is you approach 100 people and [strangers] and ask to photograph them, lost the web address sorry.

Have look at Flickr: 85mm.ch's Photostream Thomas has a blog on this subject,

some of my street stuff is here. people and faces - a set on Flickr
12-30-2011, 02:47 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by psychdoc Quote
Unless you are born that way, having no fear while taking pictures of pefect strangers requires practice.

I would start with shooting at large public events where people are expecting photos to be taken. I find parades to be a great place for this. Flip from the people in the parade to the audience. Use a long lens. The people in the parade themselves will often pose for you. Especially if you have a big camera/lens and taking pics in a very obvious manner. Wave, ask them to smile etc. After a while of doing this, the audience around you will get used to you and you can take pics of their reaction to the event without any problems. Some of them will even ask you to take their pic!

Some examples:

That's a great shot! Both in itself, but in this thread also because it demonstrates the two most common reactions on street shooting. Anything more than the slightly reserved reaction of the girl in green is very uncommon.
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