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Author Topic: Ridiculous Feedback.  (Read 5329 times)

stamper

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Ridiculous Feedback.
« on: April 11, 2016, 09:55:44 AM »

All photographers who photograph in public places have been stopped from time to time and told that what they are doing is wrong. Now what is the most ridiculous thing that has been said to you by someone who thinks what you are are doing is wrong/illegal? One well dressed respectable guy, who I had taken an image of, told me he owned the copyright to the image and if he saw it published anywhere then he would come after me.

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Ridiculous Feedback.
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2016, 10:45:20 AM »

Arn't there countries (France?) where he would be correct?

Otto Phocus

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Re: Ridiculous Feedback.
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2016, 11:32:06 AM »

For me, it us usually a vague "security reasons".

What exactly does that mean?  It may mean that they don't know what they are talking about and are just using that catch phrase as a way to intimidate the photographer

I have always wanted to preempt this line with my own line of why I am I taking photographs here.... "security reasons".  :)
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MattBurt

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Re: Ridiculous Feedback.
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2016, 12:46:55 PM »

Usually where I shoot there aren't any other people but I have had a couple of instances where people made it clear they didn't think I should be there doing what I was doing.

One was when I was doing some moving water studies at a section of river that is just across the street from the end of the runway at out tiny regional airport. A car pulled in near where I was and an elderly man came out to question me. He wanted to know why I was there and what I was taking photos of so I told him and I could tell he didn't buy my story entirely. He made some vague "Can't be too careful these days." kinds of statements and I could hear talk radio coming from his car.  I just kept shooting as he questioned me and kept it non-confrontational which is always how I prefer to have my interactions. He left but I saw him drive by a couple more times over the next 20 minutes. Nothing came of it.

Another time a lady yelled at me that I was harassing wildlife when I was taking photos of some ducks on a pond. I moved closer to them and they quacked and moved to the other side of the pond, so there were at least slightly bothered by me. I was far enough away from her that we couldn't have a conversation so I just shrugged and got a few more shots in. She said she was calling the police and left so I waited a little while to see if they would come but they never did so I left. The thing about these ducks is this is also near the airport and workers regularly come with firecrackers to shoo them away when there is much air traffic. People also hunt them nearby so it's not like the ducks don't face much worse on a regular bases. The lady was very upset. Now this pond is set to become a dog park which should probably keep the ducks away from the airport.
IMGP0807-Edit by Matt Burt, on Flickr
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RSL

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Re: Ridiculous Feedback.
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2016, 03:01:05 PM »

For me, it us usually a vague "security reasons".

What exactly does that mean?  It may mean that they don't know what they are talking about and are just using that catch phrase as a way to intimidate the photographer

I have always wanted to preempt this line with my own line of why I am I taking photographs here.... "security reasons".  :)

Hi Otto,

I've run into that problem in Colorado also. Usually the guy who's telling you that is a rent-a-cop who hasn't a clue about the laws involved. Very rarely it's an actual (sworn) cop who doesn't know the laws. In the first case you can flip the guy off and go on about your business. If he tries to get physical you might end up with a hum-dinger of a court case, and if the guy has any money, or the outfit he works for has any money, you might end up in financial clover. In the second case it's best to go along with the cop and then talk to somebody on your city council about the unprofessionalism of the local police force. Usually that'll get back to the chief of police and there's even a remote possibility something will be done about it. I always like to point people to Bert Krages's "The Photographer's Right." It's at http://www.krages.com/ThePhotographersRight.pdf.

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Ridiculous Feedback.
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2016, 03:05:58 PM »

... The lady was very upset...

Just shoot her.*


* (with a camera, of course) ;)

MattBurt

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Re: Ridiculous Feedback.
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2016, 03:15:36 PM »

Just shoot her.*


* (with a camera, of course) ;)

Right! I did grab a shot of her just in case something weird happened but I was too far away from her for it to be of much interest.
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Rob C

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Re: Ridiculous Feedback.
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2016, 03:46:28 PM »

Three times; same thing: shooting in a hotel for a client.

Once was on the Costa del Sol where I was shooting a chain of them for a tour company, one of the hotels being the Don Pepe (I think it was called that, but it was ages ago in the 80s...) and the management refused to co-operate with the tour company request because they had a lot of celebrity guests who might object. Which is probaby fair enough, but how did they get around that for the original pictures, I wonder?

The second time was in a far lower class of joint near Palma, where I hadn't even bothered to show the paperwork to the Reception - I just walked into the gardens and set up overlooking the pool area. A staff guy came over and said that people were objecting, so I said, my fault, I should have shown you the paperwork first. So off we went, watched by the entire poolside population, and when the manager read the document he said no problem, just go back and do your stuff. Which I did. Nobody from the pool came near me. I was hoping they might. Photographing a chain of hotels is very boring work.

The third and - so far - last time was more a refusal to shoot than anything else. I asked the PR guy of the Carlton Hotel Cannes if we could use his hotel as location for a calendar page; he asked about the client, and on discovering it was for beer, said sorry, had it been for brandy... So there you have it: even big money ain't equal. Got my revenge by shooting the whole goddam hotel from a Riva offshore. (The big block with twin domes/breasts is the Carlton.)

Oops! There was another time: the Cala di Volpe hotel in Porto Cervo wouldn't let us go inside to shoot alcohol-related stuff: the Aga Khan owned the entire landscape. We got our shot outside.



Rob C
« Last Edit: April 12, 2016, 04:34:08 AM by Rob C »
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BJL

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Re: Ridiculous Feedback
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2016, 04:23:51 PM »

One well dressed respectable guy, who I had taken an image of, told me he owned the copyright to the image and if he saw it published anywhere then he would come after me.
If the publishing is commercial, he would be half right in many countries; not in his owning copyright, but in the photographer needing his permission to use his image commercially.  One simple discussion: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Photographs_of_identifiable_people

On non-commercial publishing of a person's recognizable image, I know little beyond that they vary a lot between different legal jurisdictions. For example, Canadian law gives people who are recognizable in a photograph some rights with respect to its public distribution even if not for commercial purposes: https://cippic.ca/en/FAQ/Photography_Law#distribute
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RSL

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Re: Ridiculous Feedback.
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2016, 04:26:04 PM »

That's a great shot, Rob, and I can see the reflection of your middle finger raised toward the hotel.

Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Ridiculous Feedback.
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2016, 05:03:38 PM »

That's a great shot, Rob, and I can see the reflection of your middle finger raised toward the hotel.
+10.   ;D
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bassman51

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Re: Ridiculous Feedback.
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2016, 05:58:40 PM »

1. I was with a photo workshop group shooting the Boston city skyline at dawn from Harborwalk, the public promenade which runs along the waterfront in front of the Moakley Federal courthouse.   A rent-a-cop came out and told us we couldn't shoot the courthouse (not true, check Flickr or Google for images) or even the city from the promenade - which is part of a public park. 

I didn't even realize the courthouse was there, but when I turned around it made a cool picture. 

We ignored him. 

The images were great.

2. I was shooting moving headlights and taillights from an overpass one evening, about 15 minutes from my house.  A local cop pulled up and grilled me.  He said some local residents were sure I was a terrorist.  I told him I would be a while.  He came back in 20 minutes and said there were more complaints, and he didn't want to find me there when he came back the third time. 

I left because I was done. 

The images were terrible. 
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Ridiculous Feedback.
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2016, 06:12:58 PM »

... shooting the Boston city skyline..

Or you can should from a moving boat...no cops in sight ;)

Rob C

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Re: Ridiculous Feedback.
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2016, 04:59:57 AM »

That's a great shot, Rob, and I can see the reflection of your middle finger raised toward the hotel.

Damn! I thought I'd managed to avoid that digit showing!

The Aga Khan's Sardinian resort, and the Cala di Volpe hotel's refusal really did annoy me. Inside, and obviously poolside, you could buy any alcohol you wanted (they even had the Fox discotheque, should you want to see girls), but as alcohol is not allowed in some Moslem jurisdictions (since when was Italy one?) the public face has to be one of hypocricy.

When pleasure is of itself too complex an issue for some, what hope for greater understanding between faiths?



The locally supplied police did drive past and then park and watch, but I think they were more interested in the model and my wife than in what I was doing. Not in their wildest dreams could we have been mistaken for kidnappers, the number one threat in the area.

As an aside: during that trip I saw a boat whose name registered a while later back home in Spain when a local yachtbroker commissioned me to shoot pix in Alcudia for a charter brochure. Turned out to be the same boat I'd seen in Porto Cervo, and it belonged to Pete Townshend of the Who. According to the crew, he wouldn't go ashore there (Sardinia) due to worries about the safety of the kids... nice to be famous.

I enjoy my relative poverty. Yeah. It would be nice to be super-rich and totally unknown, though.

Rob

P.S. Kodachrome, but it appears now more like a misadventure with Velvia!
« Last Edit: May 17, 2016, 05:11:05 AM by Rob C »
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stamper

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Re: Ridiculous Feedback.
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2016, 05:53:07 AM »

A few weeks ago whilst I was taking photographs on Glasgow's - Scotland - subway an employee told me it wasn't allowed and another told me I needed permission from a station manager. Re produced from their website.

5. Photography
Sensible photography is welcomed on SPTís subway trains and in stations. Passengers can take photographs with small cameras/mobile phones for private purposes provided they adhere to the following guidance:

    Pictures taken cannot be sold or used for commercial purposes.
    No obstruction or inconvenience is caused to staff and/or passengers.
    Photographs cannot be taken of security related equipment such as CCTV cameras.
    Flash photography is not allowed at any time.
    Tripods and ladders are not allowed.

GrahamBy

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Re: Ridiculous Feedback.
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2016, 10:45:39 AM »

Arn't there countries (France?) where he would be correct?
Not entirely.

http://www.droit-image.com/droit-a-limage-des-personnes.html

http://blog.droit-et-photographie.com/droit-a-limage-dune-personne-photographiee-dans-un-lieu-public/

In brief, for photos taken in a public place, you have the liberty to take any photo that doesn't seek to embarrass. Ie, don't take a photo of someone taking a pee under a bridge.
This is supported by the "right of information" and the "right of artistic expression", but they conflict with the individual's "right to their image", so it can often be a case by case.

To publish for profit, if any person is clearly the specific subject of the photo and is not a "public personality", then you need their permission. If they are just part of a crowd, or they are photographed in such a way as to be unrecognisable, this does not apply. There is also the notion of tacit assent, ie if the person is taking part in a public performance, they are considered to be offering their image to the public.

The second link above is interesting: a woman agreed to model, photos were taken, and the photographer wrote asking her to ok the images. She did not reply and he subsequently included those images in an exhibition. She asked for money... The appeals court finally decided that since the photos were taken in a public place and with the participation of the model, they were not of a nature to embarrass or an invasion of privacy. Hence, the right of artistic expression won out.

If on the other hand the subject immediately manifests his unwillingness/displeasure, and he is clearly recognisable as the subject of the photo, then putting him on a gallery wall would be risky.

Also, dead people and people apparently committing a crime for which they have not yet stood trial are out. Public people doing private things unrelated to their public persona are out (ie no politician peeing under a bridge shots...).

In any case the subject doesn't own the copyright: that would mean s/he could take the photo and publish it without the photographer's consent.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Ridiculous Feedback.
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2016, 11:58:26 AM »

... In any case the subject doesn't own the copyright...

Not in the legal sense, of course, but in a layman terms, as you said: "right to their image."

GrahamBy

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Re: Ridiculous Feedback.
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2016, 11:37:47 AM »

A few weeks ago whilst I was taking photographs on Glasgow's - Scotland - subway an employee told me it wasn't allowed and another told me I needed permission from a station manager. Re produced from their website.

That sounds much like the French railways (SNCF). The basic principle is that if you are not making a huge fuss to take pics, no one will bother you (and don't shoot the faces of the anti-terrorism soldiers walking around with lethal weaponry).

The RATP (metro/buses/trams) however argues that there is a chance that taking someone's photo might make them angry (it takes very little to anger a Parisian), which will start a fight, and they really don't need that sh*t, thank you. There are however plenty of metro photos about and no sign of the RATP hunting down the photogs... but images of recognisable faces are rather rare from Paris compared to other cities.
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luxborealis

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Re: Ridiculous Feedback.
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2016, 11:50:22 AM »

Not exactly in line with what Robert intended but a good story...

 My only run in was when I was in Grade 10 on a field trip to Berlin. This was back in the 70s, so the Wall was still up and quite functional. We had some free time and were on the East Berlin side of Checkpoint Charlie and I was, what else, raising my camera to my eye. In no time flat, a rather stereotypical-looking well-dressed "man in a trench coat" came up behind me demanding my film. He spoke German but I could clearly understand what he wanted, and it wasn't a selfie with me! Being in high school, with little money for film, I had budgeted for two rolls of 36 slides for this trip so I was damned if I was going to give up 1/2 my shots. I told him, quite honestly, I had not taken the photo: "Nicht foto, nicht foto!" was all I could think of. Besides, I hadn't taken the photo (damned manual focus, manual exposure - and it was a Practika, no less!) After a thorough lecture, in German, he left us alone.

My friends later told me I looked like I was about to sht bricks, so the guy probably believed me.
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pw-pix

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Re: Ridiculous Feedback.
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2016, 04:15:43 AM »

The silliest comments are I get are "What are you doing?" and "Can I help you?".
Typically from security persons, but occasionally from members of the public.
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