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Old Sep 24, 2009, 10:06 PM   #51
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And let's talk about another photo. Pulitzer prize. Please find me signed releases from everyone in this photo:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:TrangBang.jpg

Or do you think the soldiers in this photo consented to have it shown on the web?
http://www.ap.org/pages/about/pulitzer/pulitzer.html

Or, how bout this photo. Main subject clearly visible and identifiable. Another Pulitzer. But I'm guessing he didn't give his approval either
http://photosthatchangedtheworld.com/?p=639

Again, photographs can educate. Most people aren't going to win the Pulitzer for their photos. But documentation is an important part of civilized culture. Which is why the Supreme Court upholds the concept. And you don't need to have a press pass to keep that right

NOw, before people start saying 'those are different, that's not street photography' - it's not so different. Make it illegal to post a photo without someone's permission and powerful images like these are never seen. It's a slippery slope when you start dealing in absolutes.
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Old Sep 24, 2009, 11:13 PM   #52
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John G why not compare apples to apples? Your shots are street photography. For the most part the people are just part of the scene, while the kind of street photography I dont agree with is the kind like chato's. He has singled out individuals, made them the centre of attention, and posted them on the internet and all without any respect for those individuals or taking into account whether they want their pictures posted or not. I just dont see how you can justify doing that legal or not there is right and there is wrong. And using other people for your own selfish reasons is just not right. If you want to post pics and you feel they wont mind at all, then at least ask them to find out. Nothing is going to be solved with this any longer. I see there are some who agree with me and some who dont -- and for those, lets just agree to disagree.
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Old Sep 25, 2009, 2:16 AM   #53
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I wonder if fuzzy old natural language is a part of the problem.

In this thread alone most people have referred to posting "their picture" or "my picture" when the referent is the SUBJECT of the picture.

In fact as (Gary Winogrand??) once said it's not your picture - it's my picture. You just happen to be the subject.

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without any respect for those individuals or taking into account whether they want their pictures posted or not
Except it's not their pictures he's posting, it's his pictures. My point is that the semantics of how we refer to these things suggests they have some kind of right or entitlement which they do not. The natural way that these things are expressed leads to confusion and anger which may be somewhat inexplicable. I am postulating that it is a philosophical and linguistic problem rather than a psychological or moral one.

In fact it's fairly common for photographers (in some cultures) to be harassed and even attacked. And yet in other cultures (even quite violent ones) photographers are quite welcome to take pictures and it may even protect them from harm. The picture-taking is regarded as being respectful of the subject, granting them status by being photo-worthy.

None the hypothetical examples of harm have even the slightest credibility in my view. There is nothing about those hypotheticals which could not have been equally true of hearsay from an eye-witness. Photography is speech. Actually I believe each photograph is worth about 1000 words. :P

Do paedophiles use pictures on the internet to find victims? I'm sure they do. Do disturbed children who later go on the rampage play violent video games? I'm sure they do. Do insane gun owners go on the rampage killing innocent people? Well we all know they do.

But paedophiles have other methods of finding children. Banning photography would make no difference. Video games do not cause children to become disturbed. Guns do not cause people to go insane and kill their neighbours. Violent people will use knives or cars or any one of a thousand ways to hurt their neighbours if they don't have guns.

Indeed I believe that Bynx is a proud gun owner. One who simultaneously holds the beliefs that gun ownership should be legal and posting pictures of people on the internet should be illegal. It's a strange world. :-) Consider the comparitive potential for harm from the two activities!!!!

Let us consider one of those hypothetical example in a bit more detail. A person escapes from an abusive partner, crosses the country to live in NYC. A picture is posted here and the evil ex-husband happens to see it. He also gets a call from his old friend who says he saw her on the street and she seemed very happy. With these two pieces of information his mind is made up. He crosses the country in his automobile, pauses to purchase a gun in Texas, buys a map of NYC to look up the street address, parks in a parking lot, asks a friendly policeman for directions (the map isn't quite detailed enough), stops in at a pharmacy to get some ibuprofen to calm his pounding migrane and still the voices in his head, stops for some coffee and a cigarette to ponder his plans. By now he's decided to go home after all, but then becomes enraged by someone telling him he's not allowed to smoke there. Finds his wife and shoots her. If we could only have banned: friends with telephones, cars, parking lots, guns, headache pills, friendly policemen, coffee, maps, and just allowed him to smoke in peace - any one of those things would have saved that poor woman's life. Oh yes - and of course posting pictures on the internet.

I find the way that many or even most people choose to live their lives unpleasant in one way or another, but I sure am glad that we live in an open society. I can't imagine taking pleasure in owning a gun or smoking a cigarette or drinking alcohol or ... but I do quite like taking pictures. How about I don't object too much if you do those things and leave me alone to get on with my picture-taking? But like I said - commitment to the principles of an open society is not much the fashion these days. I'll just try to make my way through the world enjoying the end of the golden age of freedom.
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Old Sep 25, 2009, 6:49 AM   #54
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Craig, go through life and take pictures of anything or any one you like. Im not against that. Im only against posting them without some kind of consent from those individuals. Go through life on your merry way, but why at the expense of someone else. Crowd scenes are ok. But if you pick on a particular person with the purpose of posting them on the internet nothing you can say will convince me that it is right.
I live in an apartment building. I get along with my neighbors as long as I dont hear them or smell them. Our units are pretty sound proofed. But it is possible for someone to really crank the music up so loud that it can be heard by others. Its not against the law to play the music. But it is not right it has to be so loud that it can be heard in other apartments. Its the selfish attitudes of others that causes problems. Should they be allowed to play their music, of course. Should they be allowed to play it so loud its at my expense, absolutely not. Should you be allowed to take pictures, of course. Should you be allowed to use those pictures at the expense of someone else, absolutely not. And there is where we disagree. Of course, you are going on about theirs and ours and talking about things which arent relative at all. Just semantics. The photos that get taken are the property of the photographer. But the use of them when it pertains to an individual who is the focus of those photographs should have some say as to whether they are going to be plastered on the internet or not. This is not written in stone and there are exceptions to this but expressly the way the photos of those individuals have been posted in the threads in question, should have had an ok from them before being posted.
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Old Sep 25, 2009, 7:18 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Bynx View Post
But the use of them when it pertains to an individual who is the focus of those photographs should have some say as to whether they are going to be plastered on the internet or not. This is not written in stone and there are exceptions to this but expressly the way the photos of those individuals have been posted in the threads in question, should have had an ok from them before being posted.
Bynx - please answer this question. In those pulitzer prize winning photos, people were the subject and they are very recognizable. Should those photos not be published if recognizable individuals in them who are ABSOLUTELY the focus of photo not given permission for publication?

If you think it's OK in those cases, what is it that's different about Chato's photos that makes it NOT OK. This isn't a trick question. Should the subjects of those pulitzer photos have a say? If not, why not. If so, do you think their wishes outweigh the benefit these photos provide to society as a whole?

I don't like dealing in hypotheticals which is why I posted links to specific photos. Photos whose subjects were CLEARLY individual people. And I've seen no evidence that subjects gave permission for the photos to be published. I'm just trying to understand where you distinguish between when a photo can be published without permission and when permission must be obtained prior to publishing.
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Old Sep 25, 2009, 8:17 AM   #56
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Chato didn't take those pictures with the specific intention of plastering them on the internet. It wasn't his purpose. He took the pictures because he finds street photography interesting, finds the interaction between people and their environment interesting. He posted them on the internet to get feedback on whether they were any good or not. He might equally, or indeed additionally, be showing those pictures to a mentor, a friend or a photography club.

He may have an intention to publish a book or get a gallery show, or simply peruse them for his own enjoyment. Maybe he's going to hand out copies on the street. Why is it that posting them on the internet is the problem?

You seem to have a particular problem about this and no reason that you are unable to articulate beyond "I don't like it". What is it about the internet that matters? As it happens we can estimate quite well how many people have seen the pictures; certainly it's not a number bigger than you might get at one of the larger photography clubs. There is clearly something about the medium that makes it worse to you and I don't understand why.

But I am interested, because if anything I would have thought it should be the other way around. I don't care if people I have never met or never will who live on the other side of the world see a picture of me or my family. If that picture could make them laugh or cry or ponder some deep meaning then that seems like a good thing to me. If there was anyone at all who I might not want to see it, it's those people in my neighbourhood. If I were caught on camera looking goofy and the photo were put up on the wall of the local coffee shop, well that might be a little embarrassing. But to you all the way across the Atlantic? Well, heck I hope it gives you a good chuckle.

As for me, my mind is not made up about anything. New evidence in any science-based question can change my mind. New discussion or logic or argument about a social, moral or philosophical question can change my mind about any topic. If there really is nothing anyone can say to change your mind about this then it's hard for me to understand why you started the thread in the first place. Were you just looking for a poll?

But clearly this is not just about Bynx, many other people feel the same way.

I am not sure that anything can be "just semantics"; language is the stratum in which our thoughts are created. I have postulated that it may be that the way we refer to a picture of someone as being "their picture" may incline us to think that the subject is due some extra consideration that they are not. Perhaps an example from another language where this is different may shed some light. Or perhaps not, it was just a topic for discussion.

Perhaps there is a genuine moral issue that I cannot see and has not been explained. Or perhaps it is simply one more element in our superstitious & magical thinking which we all suffer from in some ways but (hopefully) struggle against where we can.
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Old Sep 25, 2009, 10:43 AM   #57
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I just cannot see how any of the examples posted could be considered harmful, or create problems for the subjects. To postulate that they could create an issue for a worker playing hooky, or possibly make a child more vulnerable to a pedophile, or uncover a person in the witness protection program, although being plausible, just seems highly unlikely. I like others have never heard of something like this happening, and it could just as easily happen from an on location newscast over the local tv station. I personally don't have any issues with my image or any images of my being posted from us being in a public place. I don't find street photography all that interesting to view, nor do I do any street photography, but I believe everyone has the right to do so if they choose. Creating a law would be nearly impossible to enforce, and would seriously jeopardize many of the freedoms we have fought to preserve. There are many things I disagree with, but recoginize that my opinion isn't the end all or absolute truth, and to say another shouldn't do something because "I don't think its right" is a narrow minded, intolerant point of view.

These images also help preserve moments in time that we can look back on in the future.
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Old Sep 25, 2009, 10:50 AM   #58
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...I agree we are being photographed constantly in large cities but those photos are never seen by anyone for the most part. Only if you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and those photos are scrutinized by law enforcement do they get seen.
There are many cameras that you can see online. Here's one example (Times Square). If you select Cam 13, it has a pretty detailed closeup view of one area. You'll have to wait for the Google ad to finish playing to see the camera video.

http://www.earthcam.com/usa/newyork/timessquare/#

There are *many* more around in cities all over the world (both still and video cameras). You'll find a number of them on this site:

http://www.earthcam.com/

Since some of the photos under discussion were taken in NY, be aware that even the NYC DOT has many cameras (taking both still photos and video) that anyone can access from a browser.

http://nyctmc.org/main.asp
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Old Sep 25, 2009, 10:56 AM   #59
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IOW, if you're in public, you don't have any reasonable expectation of privacy, and you should not assume that only law enforcement has access to photos of you.
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Old Sep 25, 2009, 12:25 PM   #60
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Interesting shots of NYC from the earthcam. But I didnt see anyone being singled out. The camera is there and its walker beware if you walk in front of it or not. I guess the cameras were installed to keep down high crime rate. In response to rjseeney, while you might not mind you or your wife or children's picture put on the internet what about those who would mind and dont have a say in it. And Im talking about the picture being taken by some guy with a camera walking through your neighborhood. Nowadays almost everyone has a camera on them in one form or another. Its pretty sad to then expect a short walk to get milk will end up on the internet. Talk about losing or giving something up. I love photography but Ive never considered taking any individuals photo to post on the internet without their input. And JohnG. Having looked at your examples I dont know your point. They are nothing like what Im talking about. By the way that napalmed vietnamese girl is grown up now and lives a couple blocks from me. That photo of her didnt do her any harm at all. In fact after world wide sympathy for her it opened the back door to instant entry into this country. Show me some examples of people just posting pics of individuals minding their own business who have been posted without their permission. And Im not talking about some newsworthy event. Just people minding their own business.
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