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Art or intrusion? Photographer Johnny Tergo's 'drive-by' portraits

By dpreview staff on Apr 11, 2013 at 01:54 GMT

Street photography isn't everyone's cup of tea, and for every Cartier Bresson, watching from a distance, there's a Weegee, pushing a camera into the faces of their bemused subjects without asking permission. Los Angeles-based photographer Johnny Tergo has taken this approach to a new level, rigging up his truck with a camera and bright studio strobes in order to 'bring the studio lighting aspect to everyday real life on the streets'.

To take his curb-side portraits, LA-based photographer Johnny Tergo pulls up alongside his subjects and takes their photograph from his truck, using a remote-triggered Canon EOS-1D Mark IV rigged up to two studio lights.

In an interview published by wired.com Tergo explains that as a freelance photographer he spends a lot of time on the road, and wanted to 'exploit his time behind the wheel' for a series of candid portraits of people going about their everyday lives.

According to an interview published at wired.com, Tergo 'leads moving subjects by pulling forward slightly, waiting for them to enter the frame'.

To achieve the studio-like lighting, Tergo has rigged his Chevy Silverado with two high-powered strobes, powered by twin 4000W generators in the truckbed. Inside, a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV is connected to a laptop, and triggered by a Pocket Wizard. Tergo has a dashboard-mounted iPhone for reviewing his shots via onboard Wi-Fi. On a normal day, Tergo claims to take '40 to 50' shots. 

This is Johnny Tergo's Chevy Silverado truck, rigged up with two studio strobes and twin 4000W gas-powered generators which are nestled in the truckbed.
His EOS-1D Mark IV is triggered remotely using a Pocket Wizard, and his subjects are captured from the passenger window on a 16-35mm lens. 

It's no surprise that some of his subjects don't react well to being zapped with high-powered studio lights from the window of a passing truck, and in the interview Tergo claims that 'a lot of people think I’m up to something nefarious'. Despite occasional confrontations, Tergo plans to add a second truck, and more lights to his portable setup, claiming 'I don't want to stop with good enough, I want it to be awesome'.

Although we're impressed by some of Tergo's work, his approach won't be to everyone's taste, and raises troubling questions about privacy. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Comments

Total comments: 376
12345
JohnMueller
By JohnMueller (Apr 23, 2013)

The law states as long as people are in plain sight in public it is perfectly legal to photograph them, including police in the line of duty, celebrities, children, etc. So what he is doing is perfectly legal regardless of what people think. People need to get over the fear of being photographed.

0 upvotes
jaygeephoto
By jaygeephoto (Apr 19, 2013)

Check out the photographs of Lee Friedlander for the original drive by iconic American images. They are timeless. This stuff is vacuous vapid crap. We can only hope that his driver's license gets confiscated.

0 upvotes
TacticDesigns
By TacticDesigns (Apr 16, 2013)

Hey, anyone remember this?

http://www.cameravan.com/

0 upvotes
drummercam
By drummercam (Apr 16, 2013)

Over the top, intrusive, but hey, anything to get noticed and make money in LA -- where, granted, characters who look like they just walked off of David LaChapelle sets are somewhat easy to find. I understand the temptation Mr. Tergo faces, and that Jesus-looking fellow is probably begging to be photographed every day.

But to the extent that being evocative has anything to do with it, Gregory Crewdson does far better with the real work of his series "Brief Encounters."

What I'm now interested in is DPR's note: "What do you think? Let us know in the comments." Is DPR going to provide a consensus view in a couple of weeks?

2 upvotes
Camediadude
By Camediadude (Apr 16, 2013)

And.. it looks like his 15 seconds of fame just expired :)

Cheap, shamelessly lazy and invasive tricks tend to do that, briefly flash in the pan and then disappear for good.

4 upvotes
Jeremy Park
By Jeremy Park (Apr 16, 2013)

I think there is alot of overreaction here. Essentially I feel the quality looks pretty poor as many point out and the idea not really that original. I knew a guy who was taking shots of people as the elevator doors opened, surprising them with his set up over a decade ago. My point is... if these were amazing shots, and perhaps with time behind us, we may consider them as more worthy and less intrusive.

0 upvotes
harley13
By harley13 (Apr 16, 2013)

These are photographs??

1 upvote
nicolas guilbert
By nicolas guilbert (Apr 15, 2013)

The lightning is awful. What a waste of money and gear. He sure would do a better job walking on the street.

3 upvotes
DaytonR
By DaytonR (Apr 15, 2013)

Its always interesting to hear about a photographer doing something differently, who knows maybe in a few years time his images might captivate an audience ! BUT This guy should be very careful if he uses his kit on someone with photo sensitive epilepsy there could be serious repercusions ......

1 upvote
HBada
By HBada (Apr 15, 2013)

I agree about the epilepsy issue. It tells you more about society than photography. Many responses here are concerned with privacy, permission, etc, and many claim to dislike the work. But people are talking/typing about it. Good to see, from an art perspective.

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Apr 15, 2013)

Talk about being a really annoying photographer! It's basically ambush photography. Not cool. And I can easily see how the unsuspecting subjects of his photos would be creeped out, and even angered, by having a car slowly drive by and blast them with studio strobes. It's not exactly a subtle form of image capture.

4 upvotes
sizzlechest
By sizzlechest (Apr 15, 2013)

I find it funny how many comments there are about the content and composition, etc. Regardless of whether or not the images are pleasing aesthetically, the issue is his method of capture. I guess its sorta new how he uses the strobes, but I know I've seen street shots taken from peoples cars; didn't Gary Winogrand do alot of that?

1 upvote
Paul Guba
By Paul Guba (Apr 15, 2013)

No he did not.

0 upvotes
sizzlechest
By sizzlechest (Apr 16, 2013)

Maybe I'm thinking of Lee Freidlander

0 upvotes
AV Janus
By AV Janus (Apr 15, 2013)

And this takes place in America?
Lawsuit waiting to happen IMO.

Don't think so? Does he get out of the car and asks for proprietary usage of the photograph?

hahahaha!

2 upvotes
WellyNZ
By WellyNZ (Apr 22, 2013)

He doesn't need to ask permission for usage of the photograph. The subject is in public, they're fair game in most, if not all, western nations. There's plenty of information on the internet about this, google: street photography laws usa.

1 upvote
Paul Guba
By Paul Guba (Apr 15, 2013)

What ever. You can't call them portraits they do not engage the subjects. More like surveillance camera images. The whole process is creepy to me. Visually they are about as interesting as google street view images.

4 upvotes
funnelwebmaster
By funnelwebmaster (Apr 15, 2013)

Brilliant idea. It's edgy and interesting. No, it's not fine art portrait photography, but the streets of LA aren't all in Beverly Hills either.

2 upvotes
DaytonR
By DaytonR (Apr 15, 2013)

Nice summary !

0 upvotes
ItsNotThatEasy
By ItsNotThatEasy (Apr 15, 2013)

Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that we will soon be reading about a Mr. Tergo receiving a Darwin award?

6 upvotes
Camediadude
By Camediadude (Apr 16, 2013)

It is not a matter of if, but when.

4 upvotes
Alex Notpro
By Alex Notpro (Apr 14, 2013)

The photos look terrible. Poor composition. Both subjects cropped at the ankle. First shot has weird distractions in the background. Second one has harsh shadows, and a weird green cast. I think one of old my beginner books in photography recommended to avoid shooting from inside a car. I can see why.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
10 upvotes
Kabe Luna
By Kabe Luna (Apr 14, 2013)

Maybe ultimately he'll produce a set of strong images, but the ones currently on display warrant neither the expense of the setup nor the aggravation afflicted upon the subjects. I wonder if these will have a life beyond the digital realm where the appetite for editorial content is voracious, opening the door for 10 minutes of publicity for just about anyone.

3 upvotes
steveh0607
By steveh0607 (Apr 14, 2013)

What he does is actually a traffic safety hazard. Other drivers could be temporarily blinded by the light and hit something or someone. This guy needs to rethink what he's doing.

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
8 upvotes
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (Apr 15, 2013)

If he's in the right lane, crawling along, his lights won't be blinding other drivers. They're aimed to the side, not towards traffic. Too bad they're such ugly photos. How they were taken is the most interesting thing about them.

0 upvotes
AngryCorgi
By AngryCorgi (Apr 14, 2013)

These photos really don't appeal to me at all. Definitely not worth annoying people over.

5 upvotes
SRT3lkt
By SRT3lkt (Apr 14, 2013)

Wrong world needs wrong photographer.

2 upvotes
starwolfy
By starwolfy (Apr 14, 2013)

There is nothing wrong, at least in my country, to take others pictures in public places as long as these pictures are not degrading one's image.

of course people may get angry sometimes so there is obviously no reason not to apologize in such case and try to explain your project. If the person don't agree then just delete the picture...

The fact of using a flash on random people may be taken as rude but it is an other matter wich is not related to photography IMO.
It is more a matter of how people may behave and interact with each other, especially when we don't know each other. What we can do, what we can't do, what happens if we do what most people would take as rude.

I think the biggest issue here is that most of people would just react by becoming extremely angry directly...so there is small room left for discussion.
I think we should try to relaxe and keep in mind no one is hurt...that was just a picture and a bounce of light... Now ready to explain each other ?

2 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Apr 15, 2013)

Who judges what is degrading? Or perhaps you meant taking photos of people without their consent is degrading to the photographer.

0 upvotes
bjboogie
By bjboogie (Apr 14, 2013)

Other than the fact Tergo's images are a bit rawer and less polished, and arguably less artistic, how are they fundamentally different in process from the sidewalk strobe photos taken by celebrated art photographer Philip Lorca Dicorcia. Google his name for images and decide for yourself. Dicorcia set up a camera, a strobe and triggering mechanism on a covered sidewalk and took random portraits of people in New York. He blew them up in all their exquisite detail, printed a book and sold prints for $20 -30 thousand dollars each. He was sued by the elderly Jewish man you'll see in the Google images for violating his privacy and won. see also: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/14/arts/art-in-review-philip-lorca-dicorcia-heads.html ... and ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nussenzweig_v._DiCorcia

3 upvotes
chj
By chj (Apr 14, 2013)

Just to clarify, the case was dismissed against Dicorcia, so the case was "lost". "Winning" a lawsuit usually means the person that sued is successful.

0 upvotes
Lights
By Lights (Apr 14, 2013)

It's a little different, someone taking street shots as opposed to shining strobes out of a vehicle. Kind of amazing that someone hasn't flipped a rock or two at him...or worse. Yeah I'm sort of a fan of good street shooters, and this guy except for a couple of shots doesn't make it with my view of it (not exactly a HCB, Maier or Winogrand), but of course, it's well that everybody has differing tastes.

1 upvote
InTheMist
By InTheMist (Apr 14, 2013)

The images though...

With the exception of Jesus-guy and the lady in front of the garage door, they're entirely lifeless and boring.

How can you get great composition when pointing the passenger's side of a pickup?

1 upvote
John Shum
By John Shum (Apr 12, 2013)

Editorial or photoj photographers will be arrogant about this and say that you could get an even better shot if you had stopped the car, and invested 2 mins talking to the subject and ask to make some pictures, but you do this for 10,000 hrs and you'll start to carve out a true specialty.

0 upvotes
Idreamphoto
By Idreamphoto (Apr 12, 2013)

What privacy in public place? The question is not relevant.

2 upvotes
Frank Neunemann
By Frank Neunemann (Apr 13, 2013)

How about human dignity?

4 upvotes
YD
By YD (Apr 13, 2013)

If he pulled that on me I'd take a baseball bat to his rig.

7 upvotes
Midwest
By Midwest (Apr 13, 2013)

Human dignity may be a consideration; a bigger one for me is who in the world would care to see any of these twice, let alone once? Random pictures of strangers staring into the camera from 30 feet hold absolutely no interest to me, at least. What's the attraction?

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
1 upvote
funnelwebmaster
By funnelwebmaster (Apr 15, 2013)

"If he pulled that on me I'd take a baseball bat to his rig."

And you'd probably wind up in jail.

1 upvote
T3
By T3 (Apr 15, 2013)

Just because something might not be illegal doesn't mean it's necessarily acceptable. This just gives other photographers (especially other street photographers who use more subtle or more polite ways of capturing people on the street) a bad name and bad reputation. When photographers act badly, it makes us all look bad. Photographers are getting hassled more and more all the time, and this "drive-by" photography doesn't really help. It just increases the animosity against photographers.

2 upvotes
Frank Neunemann
By Frank Neunemann (Apr 19, 2013)

Let me add personal rights to human dignity...

0 upvotes
HBada
By HBada (Apr 12, 2013)

It is art, to me. The subject and technique are purposeful for an in-your-face capture. The Tergo website shows that he is obviously a capable photographer, and this is just one aspect of his capabilities. Most of the images under street - still life are quite 'traditional' but one gets the feeling that Johnny is not traditional. He should be applauded for pushing the boundaries of street photography.

I see a lot of criticism here, without any substance.

BTW, I'm sure he realized the mirror was visible in the street scenes. Personally, I can accept that additional piece of context included in the scene.

Street photography always can be an intrusion. Surprising someone with a camera in their face may have a benefit to society; my view is to avoid the shots that don't. However, I have experience with professions that require ethics to be considered - thus having a purpose and not adding trauma to otherwise traumatic scenes are always on my mind.

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
quangzizi
By quangzizi (Apr 13, 2013)

Ok so do we call this the "in your face" technique or what? Cause I fail to see how this is street photography. This is literally getting people blind by the flashES and taking the pictures. This is not merely intrusion (most street photography are stealthy even) but offending those people. What if that old man happened to have a poor heart? If he just do it in a new creative way then no one will complain. This is not creative. The field of view is narrow. The flash is too much for the picture. Most importantly, those pics lack a soul and a feel of street photography.

4 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Apr 15, 2013)

It's not art, yet. What's needed is for this guy to be discovered by a curator from a famous museum who is bored with higher quality images. After that, the sky's the limit.

0 upvotes
Earthlight
By Earthlight (Apr 12, 2013)

..."raises troubling questions about privacy"

Why? The pick-up and the light-blaster-on-the-pole are hardly stealthy. Licence plates and all. I'd rather worry about the ubiquitous cellphone videographer. :)

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
bobus
By bobus (Apr 12, 2013)

There is no expectation of privacy in public places, and clearly not all the subjects are offended. Although they do seem to be mostly grumpy old people.

2 upvotes
bobus
By bobus (Apr 12, 2013)

I would like to see someone do this kind of shooting of people who are taking shopping carts out of the supermarket's parking lot. I bet you could get some very funny expressions.

1 upvote
dbateman
By dbateman (Apr 12, 2013)

I don't like the images I have seen so far. Also I think he very luck he has not been shot yet. And I don't mean from a camera.

2 upvotes
jbjones
By jbjones (Apr 12, 2013)

It really bothers me that the side view mirror is visible in the shots. Very distracting to me.

1 upvote
jbjones
By jbjones (Apr 12, 2013)

8000 watts of power, is that really necessary?

0 upvotes
Phil_Leeds
By Phil_Leeds (Apr 12, 2013)

A wannabe street photographer who hasn't got the bollocks to meet his subjects on equal terms. The act of startling the crap out of somebody is not my idea of photography or art. His level of intrusion and his method of doing it are bordering on harassment.

Similar results, if not better, could be achieved with a mobile phone and a walk around the block combined with a few uploads to instagram.

Doesn't deserve the publicity he is getting in my opinion.

9 upvotes
quangzizi
By quangzizi (Apr 12, 2013)

The Tergo effect? More like the terror effect.

7 upvotes
///M
By ///M (Apr 12, 2013)

A: distracted driving is an issue, and I can't imagine a cop not writing him up for it with all those screens (video monitors are illegal if visible to the driver in the US)
B: Why is the IQ on these so poor with that camera and lighting setup? I would go back to the drawing board and come up with a better solution to shooting street.
C: With all that gear, he could not keep the mirror out of the pics?

5 upvotes
Danlo
By Danlo (Apr 12, 2013)

I have no trouble with this at all. How come people dont scream about all the survailance-cameras everywhere? You are being videotaped everywhere you go these days -pickin your nose, and scratching your crotch, so when a serious photographer tries a new aproach, people get upset??

7 upvotes
hondo2
By hondo2 (Apr 13, 2013)

no problem for me either. in addition to what you pointed out we have the gdamn patriot act that lets our wonderful government spy on email, phone calls, and more than likely our location through gps on cell phones.

where's the outrage and whine about those practices?

1 upvote
Riquez
By Riquez (Apr 16, 2013)

You're both right, but i think the difference is that surveillance images are kept private, not shown online & we accept that its for security purposes. Its also faceless, in that we are not usually aware of it & there is no person present.
I imagine that if every security pole had a camera man, then when he swung it in your direction people would shout abuse, throw rotten fruit etc, but they dont do that because its robotic.

0 upvotes
JohnMueller
By JohnMueller (Apr 23, 2013)

That's my very point. if people are okay with surveillance cameras capturing us everywhere we go, then it's no different when a "photographer" does it. Remember, the only reason we caught the Boston bombers was from surveillance camera footage.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Apr 12, 2013)

Seems like it triggers lots of feelings. Maybe its art after all :)

But no --- this is (as many have said) just annoying.

6 upvotes
SRT201
By SRT201 (Apr 12, 2013)

Breaking wind in an elevator will get reactions as well. Hmm... Art also?

:-)

4 upvotes
photoramone
By photoramone (Apr 12, 2013)

Oh!! It just occurred to me, Is this still his FIRST truck???

2 upvotes
photoramone
By photoramone (Apr 12, 2013)

Do you suppose that it's LEGAL, or Friendly, even?? I once took a picture of four ladies in a shopping mall, all were dressed in middle-eastern garb (Burkas) and you could see nothing more than their EYES. I was incredulous that they were very angry that I had taken this picture of them, out in public... My response to their complaint was, I'm very sorry, I won't do it again... But later, it occured to me that , How could they Prove, in a court of law, that it was the four of THEM??? BUT, I believe that, with-out getting their PERMISSION, I shouldn't have "done that Drive-bye" thing.. I'm just sayin!!!

4 upvotes
bobus
By bobus (Apr 12, 2013)

"I was incredulous that they were very angry that I had taken this picture of them, out in public... "

That's a muslim thing.

1 upvote
Jeff Peterman
By Jeff Peterman (Apr 12, 2013)

A shopping mall is not a public place - it has owners who can set rules about photography. Many malls have signs saying "photography not permitted without prior approval."

2 upvotes
JohnMueller
By JohnMueller (Apr 23, 2013)

You are allowed (in the USA) to photograph people in the mall or in any place that is generally open to the public unless otherwise posted or told by the owner or an agent of the owner not to take photos. If you do take photos they can not ask you to delete them, they can only ask you to stop taking photos.

0 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (Apr 12, 2013)

Just dumb. (and shallow)...wait....it's L.A.?

2 upvotes
franco montana
By franco montana (Apr 12, 2013)

google street view does the same

2 upvotes
zycamaniac
By zycamaniac (Apr 12, 2013)

No, Google blur out a lot of stuff, and they do not blind you with massive strobes.

Google would have lost quite a few streetview cars if they tried to add those stupid strobes on it.

3 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Apr 15, 2013)

Do Google Street View cars go down the street blasting strobes in people's faces?

1 upvote
Stefan Stuart Fletcher
By Stefan Stuart Fletcher (Apr 12, 2013)

I'm not particularly impressed by the result. It could almost be called "wannabe roadkill photography". Unfortunately, I can't do better (even if I had a more effective technique) because French law makes this absolutely and completely illegal. French privacy laws regarding prior consent from models are quite clear on the matter.

Even if they weren't, the results do not justify the hassle. It clearly isn't "studio" lighting, just bad outdoor lighting and drive-by shooting has sinister connotations. Surprise is not spontaneity.

4 upvotes
dbateman
By dbateman (Apr 12, 2013)

This is also true in the US, but on a state by state basis. It is illegal for me to take an image of a person in MD without their written consent. However many people still just take the image. If you get sued, then you have to worry.

0 upvotes
robogobo
By robogobo (Apr 12, 2013)

I'm learning how conservative and unimaginative most DPReview readers are. What a bunch of pedantic, judgemental boring old grumps!

15 upvotes
LWW
By LWW (Apr 12, 2013)

I am too sometimes amazed at the things write on this site. One thing that really irks are over generalisations, such as the above post. For your info Robo, from a quick look at the 'about us' on this site
"These days it is the world's most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography site, with an audience of seven million unique visitors a month (around 20 million visitor sessions) reading over one hundred million pages.
I don't think that the 300 or so comments thus far come anywhere near most, do you?

3 upvotes
agentul
By agentul (Apr 12, 2013)

this Tergo kid better not come near my lawn! back in my day we didn't blast 4 kW light in stranger's faces, i tell you.

1 upvote
bobus
By bobus (Apr 12, 2013)

It's really just a tiny minority of disgruntled pedantic, judgmental, boring, grumpy old men!

1 upvote
LWW
By LWW (Apr 12, 2013)

So now its not most, its a minority.
The 'likers ' are scratching for substance and relevance, just like the (artist?).

0 upvotes
hondo2
By hondo2 (Apr 13, 2013)

"back in my day we didn't blast 4kw light"

lol, no but have you ever been shot by a press 4x5 [or ancient kodak using 620 film] with one of those giant household lightbulb base falshbulbs? slow film and invariably f8 means you were shot with more light than this dude's truck can muster from a distance.

0 upvotes
cacv12000
By cacv12000 (Apr 16, 2013)

These grumps are upset because in their narrow minds they can't understand why nobody is discussing them or having articles written about them. They see themselves as superior to Tergo and it angers them to see him getting the attention that they feel they deserve themselves.
Their ego is bruised and instead of putting their efforts towards something constructive, they lash out at others.
It also doesn't help that the title of this article was written in such a way to incite this kind of behavior.

2 upvotes
Frank Neunemann
By Frank Neunemann (Apr 12, 2013)

I love doing street photography myself, but while walking in the streets. I prefer to ask the possible subject for permission and a "no" means no.

I think that it is perfectly acceptable to shoot people the Bresson way, but these photographs are badly composed, badly lit and people look scared, stunned or plain stupid.

Why all this technical effort and equipment? Or is Mr. Tergo just too gutless to get out of the security of his truck and interact with his subjects? His approach is close to immoral, IMHO.

... what a jerk.

10 upvotes
jsandjs
By jsandjs (Apr 15, 2013)

And a "yes" may destroy what I wanted to take before asking.
I was wondering if a high iso setting without the adding light....

0 upvotes
mb65
By mb65 (Apr 12, 2013)

Definitely inappropriate.

In general I do not like street photography as it mostly involves aiming at subjects without asking permission. I saw many so called street photographers just pointing huge DSLRs in the face of people while on holyday in exotic places. Pics can be very good but I just do not like it. We are not in a zoo...

6 upvotes
Reg Ister
By Reg Ister (Apr 14, 2013)

I agree completely with you, except your last statement.... We ARE in a zoo .

0 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Apr 12, 2013)

What a worthless loser.

Aside from the fact that this is immoral and produces lousy photography, what happens when he triggers a medical response in his victims? I can get opthalmic migraines from regular on camera flashes fired directly at me. Debilitating, but not dangerous. I avoid studio strobes like the plague. What if he triggers a seizure in someone?

7 upvotes
bobus
By bobus (Apr 12, 2013)

Just a worthless loser!!!

0 upvotes
zycamaniac
By zycamaniac (Apr 12, 2013)

Yeah, zap people in the street for your own gain and call it art.

I can see that there will soon be a newspaper headline talking about an obnoxious camera car guy getting shot, with car set aflame via Molotov Cocktail.

9 upvotes
agentul
By agentul (Apr 12, 2013)

hey, leave the car alone!

1 upvote
zycamaniac
By zycamaniac (Apr 12, 2013)

I suppose those gangbangers might want to reuse it for their next crime...

0 upvotes
bobus
By bobus (Apr 12, 2013)

Zapping people!!

I don't understand how anyone can do things for his own gain!

2 upvotes
KHemmelman
By KHemmelman (Apr 12, 2013)

I don't do street photography because I don't want the hassle of dealing with complete strangers who are most likely going to be suspicious of me and not want to sign a model release. I suspect this guy is the same way, so he took the easy way out and does it secretly without permission or approval. Basically a roving peeping-tom. I have to say, what he is doing is a real "cheap shot". (no pun intended)

5 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Apr 12, 2013)

street photography almost has to be done without permission. If you stop and ask you have ruined the shot. All street photographers do this or they are doing something different than street. Most choose to use availible light as not to call attention to themselves

9 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Apr 12, 2013)

There is no reason you can't ask for permission to use the shot after you have taken it.

3 upvotes
zycamaniac
By zycamaniac (Apr 12, 2013)

And if the shot is flattering with polite request, I think a lot of people would be glad to give the permission.

If not, it's their face, it's their body, who are we to force them to be in our pictures?

5 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Apr 12, 2013)

you dont have a right in public not to be photographed

5 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Apr 12, 2013)

You are not getting it. It is about what is the DECENT and RIGHT thing to do not what you do or dont' have the right to do or what is or isn't legal. Your attitude and the multitude of other "street photographers" that have similar attitudes is why street photography is becoming more and more intrusive, voyeuristic, and down right exploitative.

8 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Apr 12, 2013)

what street photography is photojournalism done for art. it cant survive asking permission. and no there is nothing wrong with photographing strangers. people in america are getting to uptight about this. you cant document anything anymore. because everyone thinks your doing something nefarious when really your just taking a documentrary approach to phototgraphy. no one used to care about this stuff now everyone is a dick about it

2 upvotes
zycamaniac
By zycamaniac (Apr 12, 2013)

Why, because you've been screamed at for taking photos without asking?

Or did you tried to blind them first with a few well aimed studio strobes?

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
1 upvote
chj
By chj (Apr 12, 2013)

@Josh152 I agree that this photographer's method and the attitude of some street photographers can be intrusive. Treating people with decency is much more important than legal rights. However, being open and friendly about it goes a long way. I don't ask permission first because I want an unposed shot. But when someone notices me taking a photo I always smile and offer to show them the shot. With the right approach, most people are flattered that someone would want to take their photo.

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
zycamaniac
By zycamaniac (Apr 14, 2013)

Well said. Legal laws define the absolutely lowest standard, they define guilty or not. You can be an absolute anus and still be legal.

But it is nice to see a lot of people prefer to stay out of the anushole category by their own free will, instead of under legal threats.

2 upvotes
Poss
By Poss (Apr 12, 2013)

Deer in headlights ?

2 upvotes
Mrrowe8
By Mrrowe8 (Apr 12, 2013)

No one questions his invasion of an individuals privacy .. Even Diane Arbus had interaction with her subjects or Bruce Davidson lived on the street in Harlem when did his work .. Why do drive by shots if the concept of drive by is only an excuse for not getting ur equipment stolen or hands dirty .. And the photos r ok but over kinda been done before ..

1 upvote
LWW
By LWW (Apr 12, 2013)

Typical of the 'wannabes' in photography in this day and age. You see it all over, get the gear - easy, to do something of excellence with it - now thats a bit tricky.
Wait a minute! lets find something rediculous and obnoxious to get the name up in lights, someone will take it on as and interesting and acceptable.

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
Total comments: 376
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