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Author Topic: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?  (Read 30964 times)

distant.star

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Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #75 on: March 19, 2013, 01:44:36 PM »
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Wow, I just noticed this thread has been viewed over 5000 times. Lot of people interested in not getting a beat down!

I want to quote from that Slate piece as it makes an excellent point regarding the mood of people today:

"McDonough said that tackling street photography today versus the 1960s and 1970s is radically different. He explained via email:

'The reaction is different today. Cameras are much more ubiquitous now. In the ‘70s there was a whole different atmosphere, it was much more laid back then. People didn't particularly care if you were photographing them. By today's standards, where there's so much media trying to get information from people, people are much more wary. People see cameras as containing the possibility of exploitation. Everyone is spying. Local government, advertisers—they all want to know what it is you are thinking and doing. People were less paranoid in the ‘70s.'”


One thing I know is that people are on edge. There seems to be a palpable anger just under the surface. This can explain why they might react unpleasantly to someone with no authority who seems to be hitting them with just one more damn affront they can't really do anything about. This is why it's all the more important to smile and be nice.

For me, there is no street photograph ever taken that was worth getting hurt for. If your encounter has come to the point of threatening someone with a monopod, you've already lost. It's now only a matter of tallying up the damages. And with the number of people carrying guns now, the damages can get really out of proportion. As the Patrick Swayze character says in the movie, Road House, "No one ever wins a fight."
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Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #75 on: March 19, 2013, 01:44:36 PM »

Chuck Alaimo

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Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #76 on: March 19, 2013, 02:02:58 PM »

If you publish a picture of someone without a release and the subject finds out, they can come after you.  Find a good lawyer.


As far as I kow, this is only true if the image is used for commercial advertising purposes.  They can try to sue you of course, but to what end?  To most, the money gained from the lawsuit would be far less than the cost of hiring a lawyer and going to court.  People are sue happy, when they know they can make a buck.  So unless you are making a killing off of selling that photo for a billboard display, the likelyhood of legal action just isn't there.
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Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #77 on: March 20, 2013, 01:23:23 AM »
This is an example of when a smile comes in handy. This is a bunch of awkward teenagers on a street in Phnom Penh last year. The picture in itself is not good at all, I couldn't find room getting out in the street and then missed the composition altogether. But I like it because the guys were just hanging around trying to look bad. When I walked up to them and gave them a smile, they got in position except one guy who ran off. So like several have said already, communication is everything. However I must add that I do like candids also.

Sella174

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Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #78 on: March 20, 2013, 08:02:30 AM »
If you are going by yourself you might want to keep a pistol on your belt ...

Over here in South Africa that will get you beat up ...
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J.R.

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Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #79 on: March 20, 2013, 08:09:41 AM »
If you are going by yourself you might want to keep a pistol on your belt ...

Over here in South Africa that will get you beat up ...

In India it will be reported in a hurry and the cops will be swooping in to check your gun license. It'll be worse trouble because the cops here have the habit of - shoot first, ask questions later
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Sella174

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Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #80 on: March 20, 2013, 08:26:27 AM »
... the cops here have the habit of - shoot first, ask questions later.

Bah, our cops generally do the same, although they usually also shoot second, third, some more (plus a few bystanders) and then return to the station for tea. Questions are optional.

Seriously, over here very few policewomen carry guns and most high-ranking officers neither, as they were violently targeted by drug-gangs for their service pistols. Kung-fu dogs have proven to be better law-enforcement tools than guns.
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Caps18

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Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #81 on: May 08, 2013, 11:04:53 AM »
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For me, there is no street photograph ever taken that was worth getting hurt for.

I don't know, there have been a few historic images.

Yes, people are getting paranoid.  However, I also try to avoid people in a lot of my photographs though.
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Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #81 on: May 08, 2013, 11:04:53 AM »

Rienzphotoz

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Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #82 on: May 08, 2013, 11:29:00 AM »
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Lot of people interested in not getting a beat down!
I'm pretty sure everyone is interested in not getting beat down ... After all that is in our best interest :)
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Grumbaki

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Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #83 on: May 27, 2013, 10:04:32 PM »
Again, a small foot print helps...

People seem to be more accomodating of iPhones rather than big zooms pointed directly at them.

Once again I'll advocate the other way around. The smaller the gear the sneakier the attempt the shadier you will look.

Obvious behavior, big smile, relaxed and "who gives a damn" attitude would be my tips.

A previously "sneaky" friend of mine changed his ways and he got some very "nice" pictures of an religious extreme right demonstration this weekend...

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Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #84 on: May 28, 2013, 01:18:15 AM »
You can shoot people crowds in the city without a legal problem. What the people do if they realize that you take pictures is the other problem.

If you shoot single persons in the city without a model release you have a problem. But if the person is not the main subject it´s no problem.

My advice: Ask the people before taking a picture.

For street photography I recommend the Leica M. A 1Dx or 1Ds Mark II with a big lens like the 70-200 2.8 II IS on it is a total overkill. Sometime you have really fun with the people. 


readycool

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Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #86 on: May 28, 2013, 05:12:57 AM »
One time I was on a wedding and just taking some food and decoration shots ..and some guy aggressively said something like "don't you take any pictures of me!" :o
How would you respond to that?

kaihp

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Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #87 on: May 28, 2013, 05:44:18 AM »
One time I was on a wedding and just taking some food and decoration shots ..and some guy aggressively said something like "don't you take any pictures of me!" :o
How would you respond to that?

"Sure, I'll make sure not to take any pictures of you".

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Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #87 on: May 28, 2013, 05:44:18 AM »

alexanderferdinand

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Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #88 on: May 28, 2013, 07:24:25 AM »
Be friendly, smile, try to get "connected" to the people, if they are close.
My small RX100 is very stealthy, a DSLR like a 1 or 5 gets attraction.

Never had any trouble, knock on wood.

The law:  depends on the country. Doesnt help getting beaten, but later..... its good to know, whats "right" and whats not.

To play official: never thought about this, so my ID working for the police would be helpful. And the yellow jacket.
Good idea!!

pj1974

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Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #89 on: May 28, 2013, 08:10:44 AM »
I've lived in 3 different countries for periods of some years each, and have visited many more countries for 'some week to some months' each.

Sad that in some parts of the world there is so much fear about 'street photography'- and indeed even aggression when a photographer is around with his / her camera in hand. I have researched the laws in various countries and know my rights. I also am an official photographer for events (eg some sports events, church events, youth camps, official openings, etc)

Thankfully I've never been threatened, or felt very harrassed. I am naturally a friendly, smiley guy. But stereotypes are difficult, as I'm a non-married middle aged male - so if I'm alone (eg on a beach) some people might think I'm there to capture photos of unsuspecting people ... for sinister purposes, which is far from the truth! :/  Usually though when I'm at the beach I'm with friends - so that does feel 'easier' if I have my camera then, and especially if they have their phones and/or cameras out too! :)

Only once (about 5 or 6 years ago) when I was photographing crashing  waves on quite a remote beach, did one young surfer (read about 20?) stop surfing and come to me and ask if I was taking photos of him and his mates. I said I wasn't, I was capturing the waves and landscape. He asked me not to take photos of them. I responded in a friendly manner: "No worries mate, as I said I wasn't doing that and I won't take any photos of you". However that was the only exception.

When I travelled to Thailand, for example - I used my 7D with 15-85mm most of the time, especially around people (only using my L white glass less often).  I was very thankful to note the friendly and open nature of the Thai people I met. I usually started conversations with people first anyway - that's just my nature.

But I know from various parts of the world - and for some - religion also has an impact on this - photography is much more difficult and threatening. While I prefer visiting 'friendly / safe' places - if in an area of 'photography vulnerability' - I'd probably not take so many photos, and no where there is a feeling people don't like it.

Regards

Paul (now in Australia)
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Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #89 on: May 28, 2013, 08:10:44 AM »