RX1 San Francisco Market Street at Night

Started Feb 9, 2013 | Discussions thread
earful Senior Member • Posts: 1,170
Re: permission to photograph people in public

teseg wrote:

sean lancaster wrote:

Len_Gee wrote:

See this:


Since I don't do street photography now but interested to try.

What is your response and comments?

I'm interested in what you think.

The link doesn't address the topic we are discussing.

This one is more on target:


For everybody “ethics” means something else. If you ask an lawyer what “ethics” means, he or she would probably bust out a legal book and give you a very lengthy and official answer. However ask it to the average person, and they would give you an answer which co-incited with their personal upbringing/culture/heritage.

Ethics is in the eye of the beholder. If you take images which you feel are exploiting of other people, it is. This is because you are the final person in determining what is and what isn’t exploitative. Do you get up in peoples’ faces like Bruce Gilden and take photos of them when they don’t want you to but don’t think it is exploiting? If your intent is to showcase the people in your everyday life doing ordinary things, it isn’t exploitative.

So the next time you are shooting on the streets, think deep and hard about your mission as a street photographer. Are you trying to exploit the people in the street, or capture the their beauty and soul? You always have the final say.

who is actually being "holier than thou" may depend on one's perspective. in this instance, i have to say that i don't think these photos as photos represent the op's best effort. therefore, in my mind, the spectre of mere exploitation raises its head. unlike some, i did not automatically reject the op's photo of the homeless person in the mall as somehow out of bounds; i actually thought it was a pretty good photo. so i have to conclude about myself that i don't have the automatic rejection reaction to photos of the homeless as some. at the same time, i also don't find myself attracted to taking such photos. many years ago i lived in india for awhile. i never felt the urge to photograph those living and dying on the streets of calcutta or the women in the cages of bombay. that was a personal matter, however, and i can imagine some gifted photographer doing exactly that in a manner that reminds all of us of the essential humanity of people living in those conditions. so for me, the dividing line may not be the subject matter or even the intent or purpose. it may be ability of the person behind the camera to change my view of the world.

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