User Tag List

Thanks useful information Thanks useful information:  49
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 80

Thread: The ethics of posting street photography

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    06 May 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    172
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    The ethics of posting street photography

    I was thinking of posting some shots of my street photography, but paused as I pondered my own ethical dilemma.

    I had no permission. No model release.
    I never felt this as an issue until I contemplated posting on a website, open for anyone to see.

    Does a person's presence in a public place imply consent to publish their image?

    I don't mean people in a crowd, but a full, frame filling face.

    I found a thread where Kym proposed...
    "Is it ethical to photograph someone without their consent ?
    - Yes, with limits, i.e. in public is ok; but not through their bathroom/bedroom window"

    But let's take that discussion further, to the publishing of a person's image, that was taken without their consent.

    I'd love to hear your views.

  2. #2
    It's all about the Light!
    Tech Admin
    Kym's Avatar
    Join Date
    15 Jun 2008
    Location
    Modbury, Adelaide
    Posts
    9,641
    Mentioned
    18 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The law is relatively simple on this.
    Is the subject in public view and the image is not promoting a product (i.e. commercial)? then go for it.

    See: http://www.artslaw.com.au/info-sheet...aphers-rights/
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
    Digital & film, Bits of glass covering 10mm to 500mm, and other stuff



  3. #3
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
    Join Date
    24 Jun 2007
    Location
    Hobart
    Posts
    15,644
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Model release is only required where the photos is being used to promote something, advertising as such. So say you took a photo of a girl in front of a bus-stop, where the bus-stop had a big Coca-Cola banner. Then your photo is seen by Coca-Cola and they want to use it..then you need a model release.

    For general street photography, you do not!

    If the person is not undertaking something that a reasonable adult would expect to be 'private' and you took the photo from a public street, then there is no argument, you are free to post that photo.

    If we had laws about privacy and photography, and needed a person's permission to take their photo, every CCTV camera, speed camera, etc in the country would be illegal.

    Just post some photos, and enjoy the critique you get.
    Last edited by ricktas; 23-01-2012 at 9:55pm.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

    RICK
    My Photography

  4. #4
    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    27 Jun 2007
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    2,348
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I find it interesting that the OP spoke of ethics, and both replies so far have confined themselves to describing the law. They aren't the same!

    Me, I have no problems with posting photos of people without their permission (nobody owns their own image) but I can easily think of instances where I would refrain from doing so, just out of kindness if nothing else.

  5. #5
    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
    Join Date
    07 Dec 2009
    Location
    Eastside
    Posts
    1,639
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have to agree with Jim, at law is one thing, ethics entirely another. I too am not one who would refrain from posting a lawfully obtained image of a person just because they might not want it posted, or because I never sought their permission, but depending upon what the image depicts I may put aside asserting my legal right and choose not to publish instead.

    Think about all we have ever done in view of the public, and then consider if all of those moments might contain a few embarrassing or suggestive images if they were captured, and I'm sure there would be times most of us would rather not see displayed on a website.

  6. #6
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 May 2007
    Location
    Marlo, Far East Gippsland
    Posts
    4,911
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bowjac View Post
    But let's take that discussion further, to the publishing of a person's image, that was taken without their consent.
    The bold accent in the quote is mine.

    Those two words hold the key to the whole issue to me.

    I have absolutely no problems with taking and publishing images of people in public candidly.
    I apply my own ethical standards.
    I refrain from taking photographs of people that would demean them.
    Problem solved, if the image isn't captured then it can't be published.
    If you happen to take a photo of someone that fails your own ethical test when you review it, delete it, it cannot be published.
    If you continue taking photographs of people that fail simple ethical tests then you really need to question whether you are a photographer or a sensation seeker.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



  7. #7
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
    Join Date
    24 Jun 2007
    Location
    Hobart
    Posts
    15,644
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    my ethics are the same as the law here. It is not illegal, and I have no issue, morally, in taking or posting photos as described, therefore I referenced the law, and said, go ahead.

  8. #8
    It's all about the Light!
    Tech Admin
    Kym's Avatar
    Join Date
    15 Jun 2008
    Location
    Modbury, Adelaide
    Posts
    9,641
    Mentioned
    18 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ethics... Would you have published this image... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:TrangBang.jpg (By Nick Ut) ?

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    17 Sep 2009
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    822
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    While some beat their chests about what they consider ethical and we all run around in circles like headless chickens, the really sad part about all of this, is that while we have almost millions of images to look back over the last hundred years and more in terms of how we recall the past, how our culture, and our people have progressed, eventually, our childrens children will conclude that "people" stopped going out into the streets after 2000, as there will be very few still images of people in the street.

    And yes Kym I would have, and fortunately this image was captured by an incredibly brave photographer, who - among many brave photographers from the Vietnam war - were able to tell a story and deliver a message, and that message worked and eventually stopped the Vietnam war .

    Heres a further list of images that changed the world.

    http://pinguy.infogami.com/blog/vwm6

    These truly demonstrate the saying that an image is worth a thousand words.
    William

    www.longshots.com.au

    I am the PhotoWatchDog

  10. #10
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 May 2007
    Location
    Marlo, Far East Gippsland
    Posts
    4,911
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Kym and William, I think we need to draw a clear line between an individual practising a hobby ( I would think that the vast majority of "street photography" would be done on a non commercial basis ) and photo journalism or presenting newsworthy images in the public interest.
    Obviously public interest and history changing images deserve to be captured and published so that we all may be reminded of events.
    Celebrity stalking by paparazzi and covert snapping of people that may be morally questionable simply don't fall into either public interest or news worthy categories to me.

    Also, William, do you not find it interesting that the moral minority that is photobucket has seen it fit to delete / censor several images in that link you provided?

  11. #11
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
    Join Date
    24 Jun 2007
    Location
    Hobart
    Posts
    15,644
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    The other issues with ethics, is that we all have different ones. I could post a photo that I am happy posting, but someone else's ethics find the photo over-steps their own pre-defined boundaries. Ethics are generally not something that is thrashed out and agreed upon (other than general societal norms). We each have our own, and none of us are right or wrong, about how we define our own set of ethics. So if you are happy posting something, do it, if you are not, don't do it. It really is up to each individual.

    The Law provides us with a boundary, a limit, generally based on societal ethics. So Law and Ethics are intrinsically interwoven, and discussing one without the other, is probably unlikely.
    Last edited by ricktas; 24-01-2012 at 8:40am.

  12. #12
    Going Cold Blooded outstar79's Avatar
    Join Date
    25 May 2011
    Location
    Meadow Springs
    Posts
    6,773
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    "The law is generally on the side of the street photographer. As long as the subject is in public, and doesn’t have the expectation of privacy, it is legal to take their photo. Common sense needs to come into play as well of course. You can’t disrupt law enforcement or get in people’s way, and for lack of better terms, do something pervy. If it was illegal the paparazzi couldn’t exist the way they do today. However, there’s a big difference between the paparazzi and the modern street photographer. The paparazzi seek to create a story by any means necessarily regardless of the ethics behind it. A good street photographer captures an existing story and leaves it untouched."

    http://jasonmcgorty.com/2011/11/the-...t-photography/

    Myself, If you're out in the public - you're fair game. Everyone has their own strict moral codes and ethics that they live by. Myself, I'm just an artist capturing my muse on my digital canvas.
    Last edited by outstar79; 24-01-2012 at 9:22am.
    Canon 7D Mark II


    Adam Brice

  13. #13
    It's all about the Light!
    Tech Admin
    Kym's Avatar
    Join Date
    15 Jun 2008
    Location
    Modbury, Adelaide
    Posts
    9,641
    Mentioned
    18 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks William!
    I would have published it, I would also publish similar images if I happened to be in the right place at the right time to capture it.
    I have taken and published some street images, including homeless persons.

    I don't see a difference between photojournalists and amateurs, as they both want to capture and communicate a story.
    In fact nowadays we are encouraged to submit images and video to news services, thus in once sense we can all be photojournalists.

    I also agree that there is a big difference between capturing a story and creating one.

    In the end go out, take photos, and share them. We are all better for it as we learning about each other and society.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    17 Sep 2009
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    822
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    Kym and William, I think we need to draw a clear line between an individual practising a hobby ( I would think that the vast majority of "street photography" would be done on a non commercial basis ) and photo journalism or presenting newsworthy images in the public interest.
    Obviously public interest and history changing images deserve to be captured and published so that we all may be reminded of events.
    Celebrity stalking by paparazzi and covert snapping of people that may be morally questionable simply don't fall into either public interest or news worthy categories to me.

    Also, William, do you not find it interesting that the moral minority that is photobucket has seen it fit to delete / censor several images in that link you provided?
    re the last comment - yes irony in itself - ridiculous.

    Street photography is one of those things that is and should be open to anyone - regardless of size of camera, or whether its moving or still images.

    I do think that stalking of celebrities is a step too far, although many of them require, encourage, and court the same snappers when it suits them. Most celeberity gossip crap is hugely unnewsworthy to me, but clearly I'm in the minority because they're just feeding the demand - so people out there stop buying the crap, that will sink the market overnight !

    And yes what some people regard as unethical some regard as quite acceptable - see the Jetstar photo comp, for a difference in views on that one.

    The law however, makes it abundantly clear that taking pics in the street is not a crime, and other than the usual caveat for commercial use exemption, there is no need for permission, this is our free society, it best left like that IMHO.

    Its not really on anyone's side btw, street photographers include those with their camera phones.

    Go forth and take pics - record the way we live, work and play. Be compassionate, be empathetic, and if someone asks you specifically to remove a pic (my belief is that if they ask nicely there is always a reason which would be fair and reasonable, and doesnt need an explanation about the intricacies of their life), I will do it.

    I've wandered around Belfast in the 80's and 90's shooting some of the most dangerous areas at the time. I've wandered around Harlem in New York without fear or retribution, I've wandered around the slums of Glasgow, Liverpool, taking pictures of people, with and without their permission. I've spent the last 3 decades plus of shooting for my personal satisfaction (and if I'm shooting for clients, will always ask permission and gain a release), I'd never felt threatened until about 10 years ago. Which is when attitudes to photographers or people with cameras began this hypocritical dual path way. Seems its ok to shoot on small cameras or phones, but take out a camera that I would normally use, and its like there is this dual system of acceptability and tolerance - or should I say lack of ?

  15. #15
    Account Closed
    Join Date
    03 Mar 2010
    Location
    Townsville
    Posts
    889
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Aside from legalities, my personal guideline is to reverse the situation.

    i.e. Would 'I' be comfortable in that person taking photos of me ?

    Would 'I' be comfortable in that person using those images of me on the net or a gallery somewhere ?

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    08 May 2010
    Location
    Nanuet, New York
    Posts
    643
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I tend to think the above poster has a good view. But I totally agree with the sentiment that there is a huge difference between a journalistic image and 'street photography'. The two are not totally disjoint, but I tend to view them as different things. The journalistic image is designed to convey a purpose - more than words (in the cases shown these photographs were necessary to convey things to the public which didn't understand). The picture of the young girl burnt by napalm is a masterclass in journalism as are many of those listed in the great images. The defining difference to what we are talking on here however is they are not Street Photography - they are capturing a moment and placing it into context - Street Photography seems to descend to just snapping people with an almost stalker like quality (not all, but much of what I have seen disturbs me more than the graphic image above as an intrusion of privacy).

    Let me paint you a picture. I shoot alot of weather stuff as you all well know, and sometimes get asked to do the journalistic style images for tornado aftermath. Now, picture the situation to what is akin to street photography - your life has just been exposed for all to see, you may have dead family members, you have probably only got the clothes on your back. Are you really going to want someone taking pictures of you, without asking first? I actually don't use the images I have with people in those situations because I don't feel it appropriate - it isn't needed to convey the emotion when people can draw empathy from the contents alone. I still ask permission even though strictly I don't need to, but perhaps thats because I end up in being in a first response situation.

    I actually have a real problem with the snapparazzi effect that seems to dominate street photography - its very similar to the personal intrusion presented by the so-called paparazzi of the celebrity culture (In fact I would argue it is the closest form of photography to street photography). I personally don't like street photography, purely because if it came to me having my picture taken without my knowing I would be very unhappy (especially if it appeared somewhere). I think this argument has alot of merit; while it is fine to say there are too many limits on what we can and can't do, there are also a few too many liberties which are taken too far. Its all about moderating both sides of the coin.
    John
    Nikon D800, D700, Nikkor 14-24 F2.8, 24-70mm F2.8, 50mm F1.8D, 70-200mm F2.8 VRII, Manfrotto 190XB with Q5 PM Head,
    SB-900,600, portable strobist setup & Editing on an Alienware M14x with LR4 and CS5 and a Samsung XL2370 Monitor.

    Stormchasing isn't a hobby...its an obsession.
    For my gallery and photography: www.emanatephotography.com

  17. #17
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    06 May 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    172
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks everyone. This has been a fascinating discussion.

    Clearly every photographer has a different ethical standpoint, that they may (or may not) adhere to.

    The law then draws a clear line to ensure behaviour does not occur that is contrary to the standards of general society.

  18. #18
    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    27 Jun 2007
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    2,348
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bowjac View Post
    ...

    The law then draws a clear line to ensure behaviour does not occur that is contrary to the standards of general society.
    That's the theory anyway.

  19. #19
    Fishy bricat's Avatar
    Join Date
    06 Apr 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    777
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I tend to have a differing view to most expressed above. I have seen photo's of a tennis player with her breast exposed whilst playing a shot, certain "celebrities" getting out of cars without knickers and exposing genitals and of course numerous paparatzie pushing and shoving to take photo's of the latest celebritiy. Is there no more privacy. And I don't think the public want to see these images necessarilly and I would guess they were published without express permission of those photographed. True it may not require permission but it does not make it any less embarrasing.

    I do think we need a change in attitude and the law so as to show more respect to people caught in an in-approprite or compromising situation. Some things need to be left unsaid or seen. JMHO cheers brian
    Cheers Brian.

    Canon 7D Kit lenses EFS 18-55 IS EFS 55-250 IS EF28-90 Canon EF 2xll Extender Sigma DG150-500 OS Speedlight 420EX. 580EX

  20. #20
    It's all about the Light!
    Tech Admin
    Kym's Avatar
    Join Date
    15 Jun 2008
    Location
    Modbury, Adelaide
    Posts
    9,641
    Mentioned
    18 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Paparazzi is one thing, street photography is another.

    See: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...razzi-as-a-job

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •