Taking pictures in public

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by sincere, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. sincere

    sincere TPF Noob!

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    Sometimes when i am in public with my camera, i can feel quite unconfortable taking pictures because some people might be on there that dont want to be on there, wich can result in an unnessesary discussion.

    Does anyone know what i am talking about? How do you feel about this?
     
  2. deanimator

    deanimator TPF Noob!

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    It depends what you want to do do with the photo. The laws in some countries are different, but there is one main principle you should be able to apply and therefore avoid a lot of trouble.
    Make sure your photo does not mock or make a fool of anyone in it.

    If the photo is to be used for something commercial (excluding journalism or documentary) then you must have a model release.

    On privately owned land or buildings, then you need permission of the owner.
     
  3. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    'First do no harm' is a good rule for Doctors and for photographers too. Smile, be happy, most people will react to you the way you present yourself. If they are just in a bad mood, Sux for them, keep moving. ;)

    mike
     
  4. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, I understand your feelings of being uncomfortable with a situation where a person might get inside your frame but doesn't want to be there.

    Now if it is a wide scene in a busy public place, everyone who walks there runs the risk to be photographed, it is just a part of life. More so in the cities where tourists, journalists, hobby photographers (!) are to be expected more than, e.g., in a tiny village like the one where I live.

    If they realise you work with a long zoom, and if they know enough to understand that you might have zoomed in on them from afar to detach them from their surroundings and take a candid portrait style pic, zoom back in, smile, nod and walk your way. You have a RIGHT to take any photo you want to when you are out in a public place. Even in Germany! Afterwards, though, your rights are more limited in Germany than they would be in the States, for example. For while in the States you may publish said candid portrait with no further problems on your website or on a forum like this, you may not as easily do the same in Germany. We have this so-called "Recht am eigenen Bild" which not only excludes the commercialisation of a candid photo, but also its publication. So actually, a forum such as this would be excluded for showing. To take things very, very literally, even showing said pic to your mom, partner, child, whoever close to you, would be excluded, but who is there to watch over THAT!?!? No one. Hence: no real restrictions there.

    On the other hand, if said photo represents something like a theme, say: "Summer in the city" and you express said theme with a photo of a bunch of people enjoying ice-cream in a cone each, what is there to say against it? In how far do you "violate" their "right to their own image" (which is my own translation of the photographed person's "Recht am eigenen Bild"). Less even, if the photo is a good one and everyone looks nice.

    There may be differences when the photographed person is severely handicapped, in miserable living conditions, a child (worse even: a child hardly wearing any clothes on a hot summer's day!) --- with such photos I personally would be very careful. While even in our country you still have the right to TAKE them, always assuming you are out in public places, publishing them might open up a whole new dimension. If their identity can be derived from the photo, and this photo might make known to others what was supposed to remain a secret (someone being led into a law court, who later shows to be a convicted whatever, for example), you could get into trouble.

    As a rule of thumb I say: the more public the place and the busier, the easier it will be for you to be there and take photos, also including people, and the less your people photos might be offensive for whichever reason (and if only because the facial expression of the photographed person is much to their disadvantage), the safer you are.
     
  5. sincere

    sincere TPF Noob!

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    I didnt have any bad experience yet but i do notice some people looking at me kinda funny. I mean the pics are take are just for me so i can practise, nothing more or less.
     
  6. DeepSpring

    DeepSpring TPF Noob!

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    It's something many photographers feel and you just have to keep going out there and eventually you will get over it.

    What helped me was I would sit on a bench or low wall with my camera up to my eye looking like I was taking a picture. When someone interesting walked by I would snap them. They didn't think anything of it because I was there before they were and assumed I was shooting something else. Now and then someone even goes as fast as they can past you and says sorry.

    I don't know how old you are or if you still have school but shooting school events definitely helped build my confidence.
     
  7. sincere

    sincere TPF Noob!

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    That is hillarious! I think thats gonna work great for me, thanks!
     

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