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Graham Smith
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On invasion of privacy

Post by Graham Smith » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:26 pm

There is no legal expectation of privacy in the UK and I believe that's the case in the UK also. So just be careful of what you do and who you do it in front of :D

I would like to think that the photographers rectitude would steer him/her away from taking pictures that could cause the subject embarrassment or damage their reputation.

Regarding Matt's picture of the guy sitting on the kerb, the consensus appears to be that there was no invasion of privacy. Now what if that person were distraught? Does that change things?

These are pictures I took immediately after gale force winds caused damage in my home town. Here a woman discovers that a building had collapsed on her car.
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minniev
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Post by minniev » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:51 pm

Wonderful images that fall in the journalistic category, and with emotional impact. What loss would we have if there had been no images of Iwo Jima, no images of Viet Nam, no images of 9/11, no images of the civil rights movement, no images of Katrina. Our most iconic photographs would not exist.

I would never run up to an injured person or a weeping person and stick a camera in their face like a paparazzi, but journalistic photos taken from a respectful distance and used to make important events become "real" to those who didn't witness them first hand have influenced our awareness of the world and shaped government policy and public opinion.
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Post by Duck » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:16 pm

As much as people may protest, I think deep in the back of their minds they know they are fair game out in the public. News dissemination is part of our culture and we witness, through the media, people in distress all the time. Those who object when the camera is turned on them likely do so out of sheer emotion, whether grief or anger or just a power play.

In the end, all photos distill down to intended use. If you think about the thousands of photos you have taken that have never seen the light of day, multiplied by the hundreds of thousands of other photographers who have done the same, the chances of a photo of anyone in a compromising position being publicized is insignificantly small (unless you're a celebrity). Of those that do get pushed, the majority of them are published in very small circles. Even globally accessible venues like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or a forum, the viewing audience are small. How many of us can boast "followers" in the thousands?

Unless there is something newsworthy or controversial to make an event or image go viral, most just fade into obscurity in a fairly short period of time.
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Charles Haacker
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Post by Charles Haacker » Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:09 pm

In this case, Graham, I consider these newspictures, a different category than what I think of as "street." Obviously there can be all sorts of angels-dancing-heads-of-pins discussions either way. Maybe "street" is just a different form of photojournalism. Minnie points out that some of the very best photojournalism is tragic. The poor woman you photographed is surrounded in every picture with the cause of her obvious distress, the context that makes these (to me) newspictures as opposed to street. If such a thing happened to any of us I expect we would visibly react much the same way, and a nearby photographer would capture similar images.

Graham, you are correct so far as I know that in the US there is little to no expectation of privacy in a public place. She is on a public street where a building has toppled, and dang if it didn't destroy her car. Without even flipping open your notebook and going over to get her particulars (which you would do if you were a newsman) we can create backstory. Maybe it's brand new. Maybe her only means of getting to work. Maybe belonged to her late husband so it has sentimental value. Maybe it's not insured.

As a working professional I had a different mindset if I were on assignment. Sometimes I might even have a pass on a ribbon prominently displayed. I was official. I was credentialed. I had a reason to be there and taking pictures. My dad was a working pro and had been a newspicture photographer in WW2. By the time I knew him he had a commercial studio and was no longer a newsman but he always had a big 4x5" Speed Graphic in the car. One of my earliest memories is of him stopping the car near a whacking structure fire and jumping out camera in hand. It was instinct with him, and in those days the big press camera itself probably gave him a certain pass in a time before cops and firemen insisted on actual credentials.

But it remains for me to be shy and retiring and probably waaaaay too much of an I-need-permission nut. Being credentialed, being "on the job" always gave me a totally different mindset than if I were not. I could never be my dad jumping out of the car to cover a newsworthy event unless I were somehow given explicit permission. I am in awe of fellas like you who can! (Y)
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Post by St3v3M » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:23 am

I think there are two sides to every story, but what it really comes down to is intent. Are they journalistic, artistic, or blackmail?

I think they're well taken and at the worst wonderful photos for the insurance company. Wonderful discussion! S-
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