Girls on the beach -- off limits?

Started Apr 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
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jon404
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Girls on the beach -- off limits?
Apr 21, 2013

So the other day, I was learning how to use a 55-300mm lens, at 300mm. Went to the beach, figured that the bright sunlight would help with shutter speed, aperture, etc. Took a few pictures -- guys in the waves, girls on the beach.

Posted the images to a different forum, and got an immediate response... that the pix of the girls were illegal to post on the web, because the subjects could recognize themselves, unless I got a model release, and that 'sniper photography' was bad, looked down on by real photographers... something like that.

All of which got me thinking. It's true that a 300mm lens puts someone right in your face. Wow! Had no idea. Legality aside, is it just the difference between close-ups and wide shots -- for concerns about invasion of privacy?

And, on the legal side, don't we give up any reasonable expectation of privacy when we are out in public? Isn't beach photography the same as street photography? Now, the fellow who commented on my post was from Germany, and maybe the laws there are different than here in California.

As a slightly more extreme example, I could have walked south only half-a-mile more, from Torrey Pines State Beach down to Black's Beach, where the girls (and boys) don't wear anything at all. Do they have a reasonable expectation of privacy because of their nudity, or is that public nudity actually their invitation to photographers?

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Jonathon Donahue -- author, 'Drawing for Money' and 'Self-Publishing Secrets', at http://Jon404.com

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