Your thoughts? Creepy, but very legal, street photography

Started Mar 6, 2013 | Discussions thread
Beach Bum
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Don't judge me...
In reply to SpinningAround01, Mar 6, 2013

SpinningAround01 wrote:

A few weeks ago I was in the middle of Sydney CBD, Australia, to meet friends. They were running late and I was stood with my family waiting for them to arrive. It was a lovely hot day and at about 7pm, it was very busy in the middle of town.

So, I sat around waiting for our friends - traffic was terrible in Sydney, and I was people watching. I'm a camera geek and I noticed these two guys who were sat looking at a really nice Nikon - big FX body - smaller than a D3 or D4, probably a D700 or a D800, with a gold ring lens. Whatever it was, it was expensive gear.

So we waited for our friends, and I watched the guys with the camera. What they were doing was very subtle. The guy without the camera was sitting looking like he was talking on his iPhone. He was playing Spotter. He'd pick out all of the attractive women, most of whom were heading back from a day out at the beach - you can imagine what people heading up the pedestrian precinct in the middle of Sydney, after a hot summer day at the beach are wearing (or maybe not wearing)...

Spotter would whisper to the camera guy who'd make a show of peering through the lens taking shots of the buildings. Then Camera Guy would level the camera, pre-focus and as the target walked through the pre-focus spot, he'd shoot a half dozen shots at high speed.

They moved around a bit looking for good positions to shoot from. At one point they stood right next to me, and I heard the mirror slap from high-speed shots.

Then, a fire alarm went off and a bunch of security guards ran outside. Camera Guy and Spotter bailed out very quickly. The camera disappeared into a bag and off they went, down the road.

And so... I find myself quite conflicted. The law in Oz is very clear... if you are out in public, on public property, I can take your photo. There are ramifications if use that photo for commercial purposes, but on public property, I can spend all day taking photos of all the hot girls I like. I understand that if you walk through the middle of Sydney, someone may take your photo, irrespective of your choice of attire. Hell, for all I know, these guys were searching for the next fashion model of the year.

But it was odd, and a bit creepy, and I would guess that no one else watching had even the slightest idea what they were up to. So, I would like you thoughts.

Is photographing women in bikinis any weirder than guys who take pictures of flowers or insects. I think it's more natural.

BTW, I'm not an Aussie, I'm an American. I was just vacationing there because I like spending some time in the southern hemisphere when it's cold here. Some years I hit South America (and their beaches) and some years I hit up Australia. What can I say?

I like the bikini babes.

p.s. Thanks for letting me know what that alarm was. I was sure they were coming for me, but it's good to know it was a false alarm.

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