Evaluate the photographer and the subject in these public scenarios

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Mirrorless Crusader
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Evaluate the photographer and the subject in these public scenarios
10 months ago

In each of the following, the photographer is standing in a public place (i.e. park, plaza, beach), pointing his camera and lens at various people at an average distance of 15 feet from his subjects. He does not focus on any one subject for an unusually long time. He then turns toward a new subject, who takes notice.

1. The photographer is using a standalone digital or film camera. The subject asks not to be photographed, the photographer declines. We've already done this one ad nauseum so consider it a baseline.

2. The photographer is using a tablet. The subject is not sure if he/she is being photographed, but conditionally asks the "photographer" to stop if he is taking his/her photo. and the photographer declines.

3. Same as #4, but the photographer is using a cellphone instead of a tablet.

4. The photographer is using an Olympus Micro 4/3 camera with the 15mm body cap lens. The subject is thoroughly confused by the sight of a camera being used with seemingly no lens attached. He/she makes the same conditional request as in 2 and 3, and the photographer declines.

5. The photographer is using a Samsung Galaxy NX, Nikon S800c, or some other device that is primarily a photographic instrument but also has other functions which the "photographer" could plausibly be using. The subject, almost certainly unaware of the camera's alternate functions, asks not to be photographed. The photographer denies taking photographs, the subject asks the photographer not to photograph them regardless, and the photographer refuses.

6. The photographer is using his brain to take a photograph through the lenses of his eyes. Strictly speaking this does constitute photography, even if it is only archived in human memory which is unreliable and unverifiable from the perspective of others. The subject knows s/he is being photographed and is simultaneously photographing the photographer in the same manner. The subject asks not to be photographed, and the photographer declines.

Evaluate the behavior of the photographer and the subject in each scenario. Consider two key questions:

A. What is the justification, if any, for distinct sets of ethical rules between photographing with the camera, the eye, and the multipurpose device?

B. When staring at a man-made device with a lens, what criteria determine whether it is reasonable for the subject to ask the device user, conditionally or not, to not take his/her photograph? For example, does the size and protrusion of the lens matter?

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