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Author Topic: Communication with those being photographed  (Read 775 times)

KLaban

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Re: Communication with those being photographed
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2019, 07:04:26 am »

Think of the possibilities here: we could start a thread to rival Brexit and the Constitution (U.S. Variety).

Why do you feel it's your right to photograph people having an intimate moment? Does the fact it's in public make the moral difference, or is it all "jolly good sport!"?

Say it was your own flesh and blood caught in a rash moment on a doorstep, all hot and undone: would you shrug, and say cool, the photographer is right, he's just another hunter after human prey - not a thing to worry about. Hey, why not catch my future grandkids too, whilst you are at it - you could paste them up online and maybe supply their school addresses too?

I very much doubt your mind would slip in that direction when it becomes personal.

The truth about street photography is simple: we are, at heart, voyeurs; we do what we think we can get away with, and when somebody kicks the shit out of us we cry foul! and run to Mummy. I am as guilty as the rest, but don't lie and try to pretend it's my right to pry and be a friggin' pain in the public ass. We all try to be invisible because of our own, inner sense of guilt at what we are doing. And the guilt arises from knowing it's not right.

And you will carry on regardless?
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Rob C

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Re: Communication with those being photographed
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2019, 09:04:02 am »

And you will carry on regardless?

It depends, Keith, on how threatening the moment may look to me. (More situation ethics - on my part.) Mostly, I avoid people now in my pix, and deal with things that may not actually exist at all except in my own mind. It isn't just a matter of fear of assault or even any trace of morality on my part; frankly, I find most of humanity pretty dull as physical entities. Maybe if I lived somewhere else I'd see more interesting people, as I mentioned in the past. Then, no doubt, my anxiety levels would rise to compensate for the fresh blood. But even so, I know I would really be trying to do fashion work without the assignment or collaboration. Frankly, I just like making pix of pretty people, and to do it well requires some control. I don't want to catch people looking awkward or foolish; selfies are limited in their attraction. ;-)

Thinking about it makes me realise again that much of Leiter's people work - apart fom his black/white, often with friends and lovers - was with people as very secondary actors, often just shadows or blurs through glass and moisture. Even his fashion work had problems being particularly specific to one person, even though he used his girlfriend quite often too. I get the impression from what I can find in my few books and online, that he wasn't much interested (photographically) in people, really, more in a kind of theoretical way as perhaps I am too, with a few snappers I admire, whereas his interest was firmly focussed upon artists with pencil, brush and stone...

;-)

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Communication with those being photographed
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2019, 10:07:49 am »

... Why do you feel it's your right to photograph people having an intimate moment? Does the fact it's in public make the moral difference...

Yes.

If it is moral to have an intimate moment in public, it is moral to photograph it. Although I do not see it through the prism of morality.

I have nothing against someone photographing my kid in public.

I have everything against physical-violence response to a non-physical perceived “threat.”

KLaban

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Re: Communication with those being photographed
« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2019, 10:21:50 am »

It depends, Keith, on how threatening the moment may look to me. (More situation ethics - on my part.) Mostly, I avoid people now in my pix, and deal with things that may not actually exist at all except in my own mind. It isn't just a matter of fear of assault or even any trace of morality on my part; frankly, I find most of humanity pretty dull as physical entities. Maybe if I lived somewhere else I'd see more interesting people, as I mentioned in the past. Then, no doubt, my anxiety levels would rise to compensate for the fresh blood. But even so, I know I would really be trying to do fashion work without the assignment or collaboration. Frankly, I just like making pix of pretty people, and to do it well requires some control. I don't want to catch people looking awkward or foolish; selfies are limited in their attraction. ;-)

Thinking about it makes me realise again that much of Leiter's people work - apart fom his black/white, often with friends and lovers - was with people as very secondary actors, often just shadows or blurs through glass and moisture. Even his fashion work had problems being particularly specific to one person, even though he used his girlfriend quite often too. I get the impression from what I can find in my few books and online, that he wasn't much interested (photographically) in people, really, more in a kind of theoretical way as perhaps I am too, with a few snappers I admire, whereas his interest was firmly focussed upon artists with pencil, brush and stone...

;-)

Rob, the question was would you carry on regardless, believing what you are doing is not right? Not, would you carry on regardless, believing you might be caught and deserve to have the shit kicked out of you?
« Last Edit: September 20, 2019, 10:26:30 am by KLaban »
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RSL

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Re: Communication with those being photographed
« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2019, 11:43:05 am »

One thing I’ve noticed is that the street greats, HCB, Frank, Helen Levitt, etc., don’t make – or at least don’t show – pictures that would seriously embarrass their subjects. But the distinction has to be based on personal judgement. Here’s an example of a situation where the shooter has to make a choice. Had these kids been somewhere private as I walked by I’d have skipped the shot, but there was a crowd around them, so what they were doing was, in effect, a public performance.

I stay away from the pathetics: hoboes, drunks, zonkers. If they were normal people they’d be embarrassed to have their pictures shot or shown. But there are plenty of supposed street shooters who seek out these pathetically easy targets and are sufficiently ignorant of the genre to think they’re making great street pictures.

In the end what you shoot has to be based on your perception of moral norms. Unfortunately, those norms have been descending rapidly since the sixties. We’ve reached a point where anything goes, but that doesn’t mean you have to follow the trend.
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Alan Klein

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Re: Communication with those being photographed
« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2019, 11:57:34 am »

Nice shot Russ,  The lips do it.  Here's my take.  More innocent and playful.
Take my hand by Alan Klein, on Flickr

Rob C

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Re: Communication with those being photographed
« Reply #26 on: September 20, 2019, 02:25:06 pm »

Rob, the question was would you carry on regardless, believing what you are doing is not right? Not, would you carry on regardless, believing you might be caught and deserve to have the shit kicked out of you?

I doubt it, bringing it down to that moment.

I'll give you an example: we were on Rhodes, shooting a Tennent's Lager calendar and had gone down to Lindos a couple of times. On one of those days, we were shooting, on and off, right at the edge of the sea, and got into conversation with the late Reginald Bosanquet who was there with a black friend as well as another tv news man and his wife, whose names escapes me as I write. During the chat, he grabbed a can ring and put it on my wife's finger and told her they were engaged. She laughed. Anyway, we went up to the restaurant to get something to eat because the sun was too high and there was no point wasting film. Whilst there, we noticed Reggie, still at the water's edge, surrounded by a bevy of young, topless girls, having what looked like a perfectly innocent fan session. Our model got all excited and said, look! look! get the picture, the Sun will pay you a fortune (she was one of their models-of-the-year a couple of times), but I said no, let him be; he's on holiday, give him a break. Was that the real me? Probably; to the amazement of almost everyone I knew in those days, I was never money-driven, which was just a bit of good luck on my part, not that I had no need for it. I rather follow my love than my greed.

I hope this answers your question more fully, Keith; it's impossible to tell, with total belief, what might happen until the moment is upon us.

On the other hand, I have made pix of strangers just because they make a perfect illustration to some theme that they cause to spring into my mind. If I can find it, this was one such:

Going all technical: it was probably the D200, but certainly on Matrix metering with, I think, the old manual 1.8/50 Nikkor or the equally manual 2/35 Nikkor, which tells me that five years ago I could still focus manually, five years made one helluva difference, I'm afraid. That said, I must pull out the 35mm again and see how manual works post cataracts. It did take a massive adjustment of the diopter wheel to get to a good point again last week, but as I had the auto 50mm on the camera, that was no focussing test, just a test of seeing the image in the finder!

« Last Edit: September 21, 2019, 03:38:49 am by Rob C »
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