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Old Oct 12, 2009, 9:53 PM   #51
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MrEdinarea51 - I think you've been influenced by too many conspiracy movies. I highly doubt the police have you on a watch list. They had a complaint and they followed up on it. There wasn't any need for them to proceed so the matter is over. I highly doubt if a girl goes missing 2 months from now if you'll get a knock on your door. Of course, if THAT girl went missing then yes I would expect a knock on your door. But so far, all I've heard is a complaint was filed, the police followed up (which is their job) and they dropped the matter. Everyone did what they were supposed to do.
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 9:59 PM   #52
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I agree 100% JohnG!

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Old Oct 12, 2009, 10:48 PM   #53
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JohnG In spite of your rather harsh words here, which are not required in my opinion, I will say that i agree with you in the idea of putting yourself in the father's shoes.

Yes I'd be concerned too. BUT that doesn't automatically mean that the father has the 'advantage' in the situation. The mere act of taking a photo isn't leading to the extreme where pedrophilia (sp) is the out come. The father possibly over reacted. And he has the RIGHT to over react.

My issue is with the cops.....that's where the test of reasonableness should have been. And in my opinion the cop wasn't reasonable and his call to the op wasn't appropriate. BUT it is standard proceedure.

I've seen situations where driving issues get phoned in...2 guys get involved in a little road rage...guy 1 calls the cops and reports him...guy 2 gets the call (and the mark)..regardless of the 'story'. (It just depends on who calls first).

In these cases, nothing is ever done...but 'records' are kept.
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 5:48 AM   #54
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In these cases, nothing is ever done...but 'records' are kept.
Yup records are kept. Something to think about next time you point your camera at someone elses kids without the OK. Whether you want those records on you or not is your choice.
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 6:46 AM   #55
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Dave,
what you seem unable to comprehend is what THE PERSON IN THE CAR MIGHT THINK. To them, like most rational people there's an enormous difference between a photographer taking photos of a kid in a gymnasium who the parents know and a stranger stopped at a stop light taking photos of a little kid in the back seat. To the person driving that car, the behavior is suspicious. You seem to want to make this all about the intentions of the photographer. But you're ignoring the perceptions of other people. If you deal with people in any meaningful social or business relationship, you'll find that perceptions are hugely important. What people have been trying to get you to understand is the perception of the parent. But you either don't care about what that person perceives or simply cannot put yourself in their shoes and look at things from someone elses perspective.
I don't ride around in my car for the purpose of taking pictures. But I take pictures when I'm driving around in my car. On a couple of occasions I have taken pictures of people in the car next to me.

Often enough, I do walk around for the purpose of taking pictures. And I do take pictures. Can you explain the difference?

Now saying this I am MORE than aware that people are paranoid. Now paranoia is a disease, not a normal condition. I gave up taking pictures of kids back in the early eighties when people became paranoid. But now, as my mental health improves or worsens, I am TIRED of being paranoid. And I am TIRED of people fearing these stupid little things that have no impact on their lives. I am TIRED of the increased alienation of one person from another. I am soooo TIRED of this that I intend, in my own little way, to combat it.

Now in my neighborhood, I'm a good person to start this process, because I've been doing it without a camera for over 30 years. Now so far, and over 3,000 pictures taken in a few months, only one person has objected to being a subject of one of my photographs. I've talked to many of the people I shoot. While I shoot for what I think will be a good picture, almost without exception, everything I do is done in the open. And if the person is unaware of being a subject, that is because of the nature of the opportunity - I hide nothing!

Do I care about what people think? You bet I do! And as a person who sees themselves as involved in the world, I don't see this paranoia as being something that Anyone should want to continue to live with.

Dave
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 9:52 AM   #56
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Let's put it this way: In my experience, based on the snatching and kidnapping among divorced parents and the like, that currently get a huge amount of media play and publicity, I have become much more careful of taking anyone's photo in public, without politely asking in advance.

I think the issue is to ask permission. Most people generally raise no objection to a photo. In some cases, particularly involving older folks, they are complimented by being asked for permission to photograph.

However, it is obvious to me that people today, are much more careful and protective when the photograph involves children under the age of say, 10 years old. So be careful, be polite, and use common sense. As Bynx has posted, records are kept and thanks to computers, records don't seem to go away like they did some 30 to 40 years ago.

Have a great day.

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Old Oct 13, 2009, 1:37 PM   #57
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i firstly thought about this as a photographer, and the first thing that came into my head was "why shouldnt he take the pic, hes doing no harm"
then i thought about it as a parent, and what if it was me in the car with my daughter, i came to the conclusion that i wouldnt like it, based on the fact that, i didnt know he means no harm, parents are protective? sometimes overly so, but its human nature, would i have phoned the police, no. would i have followed you and asked what you why you took the picture? yes i think i would have.
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 2:39 PM   #58
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of all matters in this world where politeness should be extended, it should be in matters of young children. is it that terribly difficult to ask permission from the parent if you absolutely must shoot someone else's child? is it that hard to refrain from shooting people in the car next to you from your car? (snapping ppl through windows is not art btw)

i mean seriously, that this has even gone on for 6 pages worries me. it seems like a pretty simple error in judgement.

yes, the dad should have been worried, yes he should have called the police, yes they should have followed up. the op realized his mistake and no one was arrested. it seems like everything happened as it should following the initial error in judgement.
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 10:33 AM   #59
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i firstly thought about this as a photographer, and the first thing that came into my head was "why shouldnt he take the pic, hes doing no harm"
then i thought about it as a parent, and what if it was me in the car with my daughter, i came to the conclusion that i wouldnt like it, based on the fact that, i didnt know he means no harm, parents are protective? sometimes overly so, but its human nature, would i have phoned the police, no. would i have followed you and asked what you why you took the picture? yes i think i would have.
I spent a half hour stuck on Second Ave, and spent the time taking pictures of passing cars. Suspicious? Why? I found it kind of interesting. Sometimes when I'm driving I shoot various scenes; for example this scene of construction.



Now under certain circumstances I can see where taking picture of a car from a car might be regarded as suspicious.

For example. It's a quiet block, you are in your car ready to go, when a stranger stops in the middle of the block, pulls over next to you and takes a shot.

You are parked in your car kissing your girl/boyfriend, someone pulls over and shoots.

You are driving on either steet or highway, and someone recklessly pulls over and with one hand, shoots you, while with the other precariously trys to avoid hitting other drivers and/or pedestrians.

Short of these and equal scenarios, taking a picture of someone from your car into their car, is no different than me shooting on Second Ave.

The point here is that all of the above activities would be suspicious AND annoying with or without a camera! And this is what courtesy and common sense mean in practice. Simply ask yourself if you would be reasonably offended by someone running up to you, blocking your path, and getting in your face without a camera.

In the scenario's I've just described above, it's NOT the camera that is suspicious.

And the same can be said about the incident described on this thread.

Dave
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 10:46 AM   #60
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Short of these and equal scenarios, taking a picture of someone from your car into their car, is no different than me shooting on Second Ave.
Dave - I believe here is where the differences lie. For me, if I'm at a stoplight and the car next to me has a guy taking a photo of my 3 year old in the back seat - that's suspicious. That's me as a father. I'm 39 years old and at least where I live, having a person in one car take a photo of someone in another car is nothing I'm used to seeing. It's out of the norm and therefore a bit odd and given the subject of the photo is a toddler, it raises my suspicion. If I were alone in the car and he took a photo of me I would find it very odd, but I wouldn't call it suspicious.

I think the issue here is you believe everyone has or should have the same viewpoint as you do. I would suggest if you asked this question to 100 parents in my area:
"If you were stopped at a stoplight with your toddler in the backseat and looked over at the car next to you and saw a man taking a photo of your child in the backseat. Would you consider that suspicous?" I'd be willing to bet a large sum of money the vast majority of those parents would say "yes".

It's not illegal for me to stand at a playground and hand out candy to children. I'm not breaking a law. But a majority of parents might find that behavior suspicious.

So I think the flaw in your argument is the assumption that most parents do or should think like you do. As a parent of a toddler I for one do not. And I'm a photographer - and I'm a proponent of street photography. But someone at a stoplight taking a photo of my child in the backseat is indeed suspicious to me. It's not part of the social norm where I live. And I'm guessing most parents who aren't artistic photographers might lean towards this viewpoint. I took an informal poll of 5 parents in my office - all of them would find that behavior highly suspicious. Not scientific by any stretch. But I didn't find one parent that felt that was normal, expected behavior.
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