Am I the only one this has happened to?

Orangutan

EOR R
Sep 25, 2010
2,140
3
johnrudoff@yahoo.com said:
Quote from: johnrudoff@yahoo.com on April 21, 2014, 11:44:14 AM
Remember that you have every right to shoot whatever is publicly available
And they have the right to insult and berate you for it; neither is civil. If you wish to claim every millimeter of the law, you must concede to others the same.
Orangutang, I must respectfully disagree with you. It is correct that I have the right to shoot whatever is publicly available. And onlookers (including police or security guards) do have the right civilly and politely to ask me about my activities. But they do not have the right to threaten, harass, detain, intimidate, or in general cause fear or disruption to me. If I as a reasonable person (and I do NOT mean those professionally-offended professional victims) am intimidated or made fearful by an insulting or berating onlooker, I have the right to be free of that intimidation. (The handout on the adkins website is quite clear on this point.)
I said "insult and berate," not "threaten." Of course, exercise of free speech rights does not exempt anyone from other applicable laws. But then, engaging in photography doesn't exempt anyone from other applicable laws either.

The US Supreme Court gives wide latitude to free speech: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snyder_v._Phelps

In short, someone is legally entitled to come up to you and call you all manner of nasty names for any reason, or for no reason. So long as it doesn't cross that magic, legal line, it's "free speech."

If you want to stand on the law as written and decided by the courts, it applies both ways. If you want to celebrate your own right to engage in activities that some people would find offensive and intrusive, you should be prepared to celebrate the rights of others to engage in activities that you find offensive. My argument, however, is an ethical argument, not legal.

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/n/nealboortz210988.html
 

johnb

I'm New Here
Feb 24, 2013
19
3
Abergavenny, Wales
So far I haven't had anything like the unpleasant experience that the OP reported. I suspect I'd try and make sure that my actions were unlikely to be misinterpreted and, if they were, I'd go for a conciliatory approach.

This is a fascinating discussion that has raised a number of issues and thrown up a number of questions. Without wishing to hijack the thread, I would be grateful for an answer to one specific one.

I'm in the UK. We have, at least, two different legal systems in operation here (English/Welsh and Scottish - I haven't a clue how things work in Northern Ireland). We don't have a written constitution and formal rights arising from it. The English/Welsh system is based on Common Law, a mishmash of legal precedents and common sense.

People over here got very jumpy about public space photography after the bombings in London in July 2005. It certainly wouldn't have been wise to spend a lot of time trying to photograph a railway station or an airport, say, in the immediate aftermath of that. In February 2009 Section 76 of the Counter Terrorism Act came into force and appeared to open the door to making it an offence to take pictures of members of the police. The BBC covered this at the time and the police in London tried to enforce this interpretation on at least one well reported occasion, despite earlier assurances in Parliament that this wouldn't happen. References have been made to US First Amendment Rights and EU rulings in follow up debates but neither apply directly.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7888301.stm

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2009/jul/21/police-search-mobile-phone-court

http://www.urban75.org/photos/photographers-rights-photographing-police.html

http://www.theguardian.com/law/2011/aug/31/do-we-have-right-to-film-police

Does anyone on this forum know what the current state of play is in the UK when it comes to photographing the police in a public place?
 

IMG_0001

Amateur photon abductor
Nov 12, 2013
364
0
RustyTheGeek said:
I know this might sound strange but... what exactly do pervert photographers do with up close 300mm action shots of children playing in a park that could be so bad?

I mean... the kids are fully clothed. Right? They're just playing or walking or running or sitting. What's the difference in what the picture means in someone's camera compared to what the live in-person action in the park means, right in front of everyone?
...
Probably it is not about the pictures as such, but about a fear of a possibility of stalking kids and of the photographer documenting the habits of a child/family in preparation for the real crime. However, I doubt that there is that much preparation in most case of child abduction. I feel like these are more often than not performed on impulse. Mind you, I'm no specialist...

RustyTheGeek said:
...
Don't even get me started on what girls wear in pre-school, kindergarten, elementary all the way up through high school that their parents see no problem with buying and dressing them in because it's in style. Many parents dress their kids (girls) like barbie dolls with things like "Juicy" shown across their pre-pubescent butts and then complain that other people are perverts. If you have had kids in school in the last 20 years, you probably know what I mean. Some boys aren't much better, dressed like thugs and gangsters. This explains why many schools went back to mandatory uniforms to keep the peace and stop fights and gang related violence.

I don't know about everyone here but if I'm going to shoot up-close shots of people that might get me in trouble, it will be of attractive women. Not kids. And in this day and age that should be OK, right? I mean, if you go by what we all see in the media, advertising, clothing ads, movies, etc. Or maybe not. Sorry, I'm just confused. And not necc in a good way. :(
Well, I concede that it is a common sight that young girls and boys are dressed in ways that I found to be questionable. However, I don't think 'this day and age', 'the media, advertising,...' or the way a woman (lightly) dresses herself are decent motivations or excuses to photograph that 'attractive woman'. Do women get raped (or children abducted) because of the way they dress? Of course not. Well, I think a similar line of thought should prevail here.

AIB: It's Your Fault
 
May 8, 2013
1,853
1
Parents are being conditioned by our news media to think that any male is a potential danger. It seems not a potential danger but a probable danger. Despite the statistics that show that children are more likely to be molested by family members, friends of the family, and people in "trusted" positions (clergy, teachers, coaches, camp councilers, boy/girl scout people...) than by total strangers.

Not saying that total strangers are not involved in child molestation, they are, but not to the extent being reported. Parents need to understand that most adults are not potential child molesters. It was one of the hardest things for me to learn as a parent/grandparent. You have to be alert, but not paranoid.

Like most issues pertaining to photography, it is not Black and White ;D

If someone is exclusively taking pictures of little girls on swings/slides that is different from someone taking general pictures of a playground. The problem is that an observer will be unable to tell the difference. The only way to tell is to look at the pictures, which is starting to infringe on the personal rights of the photographer.

Photographers have the same rights as other people.

Unfortunately, I have knuckled-down to society and I avoid taking pictures that have other people's children in it. Once I was out in the field taking pictures of butterflies and three young girls entered the same field I was in.

What did I do? I quietly and quickly left. Being an older man, in the same isolated field as three strange girls is too much of a risk. Did I like it? no. Was it fair to me? no. But, I thought, and still think, it was the prudent thing to do.

Nothing is harder to prove than proving that you did NOT try to molest a little girl. And let's be honest, that whole innocent until proven guilty does not apply to old men when young girls are involved. A simple accusation is often enough.

A tog friend of mine told me a story (whether it is true or not I dunno). In England, where he lives, there were instances of a group of women with children asking a photographer to take pictures of their kids playing. They would then extort money from the photographer or claim that he was attempting to molest them. Yikes!

Talk about easy money, I am sure any photographer dumb enough to take pictures of strange kids without some witnesses would pay a lot.

So any talk about what rights photographers have or don't have is only part of the story. Photographers have to be careful, and to be sexist about it, male photographers have to be extra careful. If you are an old man. Forget it. It seems I am guilty even before being accused. :mad:

It is not right, it is not fair. I wish it were not this way. But no one ever said that life is fair or nice.
 

Northstar

EOR R
Mar 31, 2012
1,673
0
105
US - Midwest
AcutancePhotography said:
Parents are being conditioned by our news media to think that any male is a potential danger. It seems not a potential danger but a probable danger. Despite the statistics that show that children are more likely to be molested by family members, friends of the family, and people in "trusted" positions (clergy, teachers, coaches, camp councilers, boy/girl scout people...) than by total strangers.

Not saying that total strangers are not involved in child molestation, they are, but not to the extent being reported. Parents need to understand that most adults are not potential child molesters. It was one of the hardest things for me to learn as a parent/grandparent. You have to be alert, but not paranoid.

Like most issues pertaining to photography, it is not Black and White ;D

If someone is exclusively taking pictures of little girls on swings/slides that is different from someone taking general pictures of a playground. The problem is that an observer will be unable to tell the difference. The only way to tell is to look at the pictures, which is starting to infringe on the personal rights of the photographer.

Photographers have the same rights as other people.

Unfortunately, I have knuckled-down to society and I avoid taking pictures that have other people's children in it. Once I was out in the field taking pictures of butterflies and three young girls entered the same field I was in.

What did I do? I quietly and quickly left. Being an older man, in the same isolated field as three strange girls is too much of a risk. Did I like it? no. Was it fair to me? no. But, I thought, and still think, it was the prudent thing to do.

Nothing is harder to prove than proving that you did NOT try to molest a little girl. And let's be honest, that whole innocent until proven guilty does not apply to old men when young girls are involved. A simple accusation is often enough.

A tog friend of mine told me a story (whether it is true or not I dunno). In England, where he lives, there were instances of a group of women with children asking a photographer to take pictures of their kids playing. They would then extort money from the photographer or claim that he was attempting to molest them. Yikes!

Talk about easy money, I am sure any photographer dumb enough to take pictures of strange kids without some witnesses would pay a lot.

So any talk about what rights photographers have or don't have is only part of the story. Photographers have to be careful, and to be sexist about it, male photographers have to be extra careful. If you are an old man. Forget it. It seems I am guilty even before being accused. :mad:

It is not right, it is not fair. I wish it were not this way. But no one ever said that life is fair or nice.
You make good points....and you're right, a simple accusation can have terrible consequences.
 

Sporgon

5% of gear used 95% of the time
johnb said:
So far I haven't had anything like the unpleasant experience that the OP reported. I suspect I'd try and make sure that my actions were unlikely to be misinterpreted and, if they were, I'd go for a conciliatory approach.

This is a fascinating discussion that has raised a number of issues and thrown up a number of questions. Without wishing to hijack the thread, I would be grateful for an answer to one specific one.

I'm in the UK. We have, at least, two different legal systems in operation here (English/Welsh and Scottish - I haven't a clue how things work in Northern Ireland). We don't have a written constitution and formal rights arising from it. The English/Welsh system is based on Common Law, a mishmash of legal precedents and common sense.

People over here got very jumpy about public space photography after the bombings in London in July 2005. It certainly wouldn't have been wise to spend a lot of time trying to photograph a railway station or an airport, say, in the immediate aftermath of that. In February 2009 Section 76 of the Counter Terrorism Act came into force and appeared to open the door to making it an offence to take pictures of members of the police. The BBC covered this at the time and the police in London tried to enforce this interpretation on at least one well reported occasion, despite earlier assurances in Parliament that this wouldn't happen. References have been made to US First Amendment Rights and EU rulings in follow up debates but neither apply directly.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7888301.stm

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2009/jul/21/police-search-mobile-phone-court

http://www.urban75.org/photos/photographers-rights-photographing-police.html

http://www.theguardian.com/law/2011/aug/31/do-we-have-right-to-film-police

Does anyone on this forum know what the current state of play is in the UK when it comes to photographing the police in a public place?
I am from the UK, and I am pretty sure that in the letter of the Law it is not against the law to photograph a police officer in a public place. However, the police detest being photographed, let alone filmed. There have been any number of instances of gross police misconduct, not just in the UK, where a mobile phone video has turned up, often first posted on the web, which shows the police's version of the events to be completely false.

Unfortunately now the growing number of Terrorism Acts that are being passed and amended are interpreted by much of the police in the UK in such a way as to be to their advantage in any number of cases which clearly, from the outset, had nothing at all to do with terrorism.

Believe it or not a heckler at one of the Labour Party conferences, an old man in fact, was arrested under the Terrorism Act and removed. The police were publicly ridiculed by the press, but then of course it is a free press that keeps a country free, and having a good line on suppressing of photography is definitely a worrying move in the wrong direction.
 
May 8, 2013
1,853
1
Especially when the police have no problems photographing/recording what they do. But when someone independent of the police force photographs/records the police in action, this is somehow wrong in the eyes of the police?

As long as the photographer is not interfeering with what the police need to do, I feel that society can only benefit by having independant records of what the police are doing. The police are in a position where they can have the most influence on a citizen's rights. With this authority comes the need for oversight to prevent abuse. We can't have oversight if the police can "accidently" turn off their cameras or "accidently" lose data files so that only their side is recorded.

To turn a phrase back on the police: "If the police are not doing anything wrong, why should they be concerned with being recorded when in a public place?"

That's what they tell us, right?
There are gooses and ganders.
 

TeenTog

Fear no man, for he bleeds just like you.
Jun 26, 2012
133
1
Palatine, Il
www.teentog.com
While jdramirez brings up some good points, there are a couple of things he mentions that I think could potentially cause problems. I would think that the method of grace and kindness should be the first one used, rather than starting off by being hostile or confrontational. I'm pretty sure that responding to criticism or hostility with such statements as "I have the right to do this," "F*ck off" or other self-righteous, pretentious phrases is a bad way to handle the situation."

Meeting hostility with hostility will only escalate the confrontation, and by being on edge or immediately pissed off will only increase the suspicion of an already suspicious individual. I agree with the idea of not having to justify your actions or prove yourself, but I look at that as: you aren't required to prove yourself, but that doesn't mean that it's a bad idea to show someone that you aren't a pedophile or "spy."

Just be congenial and good natured, offer to show them your photos, hand them your business card, and try to appear as friendly and non suspicious as possible. doing that should put your average concerned parent at ease. If doing that doesn't work, chances are you're dealing with someone that has severe trust issues and won't be satisfied with a simple response. In that case, bringing out the serious face and legal lingo or offering to let the cops handle it would be necessary.

Just my opinion. But my philosophy is to always treat people with respect and maintain integrity, even when dealing with a "moron." Remember that one bad experience with a photographer could lead to that person mistrusting all photographers, further breeding mistrust and suspicion among the public.
 

jdramirez

EOS 5D MK IV
May 31, 2011
2,944
0
42
TeenTog said:
While jdramirez brings up some good points, .
I was thinking about this earlier... And I was thinking that you could go the other direction and be super pervy and say, I'm not here for the kids, but the naked dogs... oh yeah... I have to do this since the state took away all my pets.
 

Northstar

EOR R
Mar 31, 2012
1,673
0
105
US - Midwest
jdramirez said:
TeenTog said:
While jdramirez brings up some good points, .
I was thinking about this earlier... And I was thinking that you could go the other direction and be super pervy and say, I'm not here for the kids, but the naked dogs... oh yeah... I have to do this since the state took away all my pets.
JD...I've read many of your posts that fall along a similar theme as to the one above and I've concluded that you either:

1. love a little weed/grass/mary jane....?
or
2. love a little jack daniels or john daniels(credit "scent of a woman")
or
both of course...why discriminate.

::) 8) :eek: ;D ;) ::) ;D ;D ;D ;D

peace
 

distant.star

EOR R
Jan 19, 2011
1,813
0
USA
wetracy.smugmug.com
TeenTog said:
Remember that one bad experience with a photographer could lead to that person mistrusting all photographers, further breeding mistrust and suspicion among the public.
Photographers ARE the public. Holding a camera does not set one apart from the mass of humanity.

The mere fact of my taking pictures in public does not make me a special representative of the photographer class so that my every act speaks for "photographers" and may enhance or taint the perception of photographers in the world.

I see many people wearing crosses as religious symbol -- am I to judge a whole religion by what one of them does?
 

jdramirez

EOS 5D MK IV
May 31, 2011
2,944
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42
I'm actually stone sober... So yeah... I'm a little off kilter... but the wife occasionally laughs.

Northstar said:
jdramirez said:
TeenTog said:
While jdramirez brings up some good points, .
I was thinking about this earlier... And I was thinking that you could go the other direction and be super pervy and say, I'm not here for the kids, but the naked dogs... oh yeah... I have to do this since the state took away all my pets.
JD...I've read many of your posts that fall along a similar theme as to the one above and I've concluded that you either:

1. love a little weed/grass/mary jane....?
or
2. love a little jack daniels or john daniels(credit "scent of a woman")
or
both of course...why discriminate.

::) 8) :eek: ;D ;) ::) ;D ;D ;D ;D

peace
 

Orangutan

EOR R
Sep 25, 2010
2,140
3
distant.star said:
The mere fact of my taking pictures in public does not make me a special representative of the photographer class so that my every act speaks for "photographers" and may enhance or taint the perception of photographers in the world.
Sites such as these (of which there are many)

http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/
http://youarenotaphotographer.com/

may be funny the first time you look through them, but if you think about the subjects as real people with lives, friends, etc, it becomes clear that we all open ourselves up to humiliation if we happen to pick our noses or pull on our shorts absentmindedly, or even dress badly one day.

So yes, actually: whether it's fair or not, everyone with a camera in public is a representative of "photographers."


I see many people wearing crosses as religious symbol -- am I to judge a whole religion by what one of them does?
It's an "in-group" vs. "out-group" thing: my beliefs should never be impugned based on a few bad apples, but yours? Well, it's just proof of what we should expect from your kind!
 

Northstar

EOR R
Mar 31, 2012
1,673
0
105
US - Midwest
jdramirez said:
I'm actually stone sober... So yeah... I'm a little off kilter... but the wife occasionally laughs.

Northstar said:
jdramirez said:
TeenTog said:
While jdramirez brings up some good points, .
I was thinking about this earlier... And I was thinking that you could go the other direction and be super pervy and say, I'm not here for the kids, but the naked dogs... oh yeah... I have to do this since the state took away all my pets.
JD...I've read many of your posts that fall along a similar theme as to the one above and I've concluded that you either:

1. love a little weed/grass/mary jane....?
or
2. love a little jack daniels or john daniels(credit "scent of a woman")
or
both of course...why discriminate.

::) 8) :eek: ;D ;) ::) ;D ;D ;D ;D

peace
Some of your material is pretty damn funny ;)
 

TeenTog

Fear no man, for he bleeds just like you.
Jun 26, 2012
133
1
Palatine, Il
www.teentog.com
Photographers ARE the public. Holding a camera does not set one apart from the mass of humanity
Sorry, bad word choice on my part. What I meant by public is the people that don't go to the dog park with very expensive, "professional" equipment. I agree that holding a camera doesn't set us apart from humanity completely, but by going into public with a big white and making pictures of things near people, you are certainly in a way different from those around you, and representing the rest of our kind, per say. Photography is an art with a community, is it not?

For example, the Hobby Lobby near my house has pretty poor customer service. I consistently have bad experiences there. Now, if I were to go to a different location, I might expect the employees there to be rude. I would expect that because I automatically, if unconsciously, associate Hobby Lobby employees with bad customer service all because of my bad experience at one location. It's neither good nor fair to the employees, but It takes several good experiences with a few members of a group to erase a single bad experience.

As to your crucifix comment: same deal. Just because it's not fair to judge an individual and apply it to the group does not mean it doesn't happen.