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Old 29-01-2005, 18:51   #1 (permalink)
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Candids

How do you feel about taking picures of strangers in public places?

I've seen some fantastic photography where the subject is just going about their normal daily routine, but everytime i've said to myself "Right, lets get out and try this" I've been put off the idea before the camera has even come out of the bag.

I find myself feeling like i'm invading someones privacy or spying on them.

On another note, have you ever been confronted about snapping away in public by a person who wasn't happy for you to take their picture with out their permission or maybe by someone who didn't want you taking pictures at the particular location?
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Old 29-01-2005, 19:26   #2 (permalink)
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I used to do this when using a film camera years ago and did actually get some great shots but that was with a 70-210 lens so most of them never knew they'd been shot. The zoom lense is great for that and I used to take some of buskers as they were always happy to pose and I'd chuck in a few quid after as well

The only problem I ever had was when one ugly looking bloke saw me taking a picture of him and he swaggered over with his mates asking what I was doing, I simply winked and replied it was cos he had such a nice ass!!! His mates started taking the mickey so much he turned bright red and walked away whilst I was blowing him kisses!!!!
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Old 29-01-2005, 20:28   #3 (permalink)
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Inspired, Jase!

Don't issues with model release forms come into this somewhere?
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Old 29-01-2005, 20:38   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catdaddy
Inspired, Jase!

Don't issues with model release forms come into this somewhere?
i wouldnt think so as they are not ' posing ' for the picture, and are not getting paid for the picture to be taken,

its all got something to do with ' being in public view '.,like a supermodel on the beach, anyone can take a photo of her/him if they want, and even sell that picture ( unless expressly forbiden by a court order taken out by the subject prior to the photo being taken )

so get snapping ,

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Old 29-01-2005, 20:42   #5 (permalink)
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I thought that you only needed a model release form if the work was going on to public display.
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Old 29-01-2005, 21:17   #6 (permalink)
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Just done a bit of research on the internet. It seems that un-posed photographs which are for either editorial, news or personal use do not need a release form. They are only needed for comercial photographs.

Can't find out where this is written in legislation though?

Some of the best portraits are of strangers that don't even know they are being snapped. I will certainly be making full use of my zoom lens to try that medium.

Have not yet been challenged by anyone for taking a photo in the wrong place though.
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Old 29-01-2005, 21:47   #7 (permalink)
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and just to add to that,

any photo taken by you ( me ) is our own coppyright, even if someone has paid for a portrait, or commisioned a photograph, unless specifically written into any contract that you give up this right ( of coure the financial rewards would reflect such a contract )

even if a person has forbidden the publication of any pictures taken by you ( such as a court order ) you still own the right to keep such photographs for ' private ' use

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Old 29-01-2005, 23:31   #8 (permalink)
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Steve is just really nice
Steve is just really niceSteve is just really niceSteve is just really niceSteve is just really niceSteve is just really niceSteve is just really niceSteve is just really niceSteve is just really niceSteve is just really niceSteve is just really nice

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If you are uncomfortable with this type of photography a long lens allows distance between the subjects and you and gives you that comfort zone to work in. I have taken many a “candid” photograph both at close up and far distances from the subject. The thing that I find is surprisingly that most people are more shocked that you are and will usually just carry on with what they were doing even if they spot you taking their picture. You would be surprised how many people are actually flattered by you wanting to take their photograph, if you approach them and are confident but polite they behave remarkably well and most will even pose if you want them to.

The law basically says that anyone is fair game in a public place. I usually apply common sense and to date have only had one altercation with the police. I was with a friend in the centre of Manchester where there is a water feature that consists of many, many separate water jets that randomly shoot up into the air. This is right in the city centre and on public property. During the summer many children are taken there with parents to splash and play in the water offering some great photo opportunities. We had been there for about 40 mins when we where approached by a lone policeman, he said that there had been complaints made about us and asked what we were doing. I told him that we where both amateur photographers and were taking photographs intended for a competition. He tried to get heavy with us until I made it clear to him that I knew we where not breaking any laws and that we were on public property, I offered to show him the photographs (which were mainly of kids smiling faces and throwing water about) but he was not interested. He agreed that we were not breaking any laws but didn’t want to have to sort out any hassle if any of the parents should decide to stop us taking photos themselves. The conversation continued for a short while but in the end we just moved on to save the hassle. The moral??? Know the law I suppose, and be prepared to retreat to save trouble even if you know you are right.

A good place to learn people photography is the car and bike shows. Many of the companies hire pretty girls to promote their products and they are paid to look pretty and be friendly. They will happily pose for you and most of the time they are used to being in front of the camera. Nice smiles and good poses are usually given without any or with virtually no guidance. The only problem with this is once you have started to get a few shots you will find many other “men” also jostling for their attention. One minute they are all yours and the next you have an audience. Its all part of the fun.
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Old 30-01-2005, 01:21   #9 (permalink)
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My personal rules are :

Do not take a pic from private land without permission.
Do not take a pic of someone on private land without permission
Do not take a pic knowing your going to sell it without a model release form completed, if practical.
Do not title an image on what you think is going on ie: "Joe Bloggs doing something naughty"

I try to rule myself on these points, and I do not think I have broken any yet, but I dare say I will at some time.

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Old 30-01-2005, 10:41   #10 (permalink)
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i find this sort of thing interesting, ive not got any photos of strangers yet, i have a few of family but i dont take good family shots for some reason, cant do it
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Old 30-01-2005, 11:27   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for the feedback on this guys

Youv'e helped me to try and get my head around the situation.

I think I'll begin by visiting the many tourist photo stops and try a few candids with the help of my zoom. :cry:

I'll probably still feel like a voyeur though!
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Old 30-01-2005, 12:09   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalfailure
I'll probably still feel like a voyeur though!

[smilie=l: [smilie=l: [smilie=l:
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Old 04-02-2005, 10:01   #13 (permalink)
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The trick to this is confidence - go out and practice.
I've been at this for about 25 years now and the first shot is still the hardest to take - after you get into the swing of it, it's fine.
Go to a crowded place where people expect to see photographers - popular tourist destinations in London like Covent Garden are ideal - and just start snapping - better if you're on digi for cost issues. Use a short focal length lens and try and get close - be friendly, not awkward and surreptitious - talk to people - don't hide behind your camera like a perv.
Smile a lot - you can get away with murder - I once took a photo of a border guard in Zimbabwe during the troubles a few years back and the guy wanted to shoot me! After a lot of smiling, I actually got him and his mates to pose for a semi-formal group photo which I sent them later on.
If you are comfortable taking the pictures, your subjects will be too.
Big rule this: if someone asks for a copy of the print and you say yes - make sure you do. If you don't want to, say no right there and then.
Now get out and practice!
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Old 05-02-2005, 21:40   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Candids

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalfailure
How do you feel about taking picures of strangers in public places?

I've seen some fantastic photography where the subject is just going about their normal daily routine, but everytime i've said to myself "Right, lets get out and try this" I've been put off the idea before the camera has even come out of the bag.

I find myself feeling like i'm invading someones privacy or spying on them.

On another note, have you ever been confronted about snapping away in public by a person who wasn't happy for you to take their picture with out their permission or maybe by someone who didn't want you taking pictures at the particular location?
Just use a longer lens, or shoot from the hip, or lower down. My opinions are that they're in teh public domain, it's tough really. Not much they can do about it. Just be careful sniping at kids... for obvious reasons.. in fact, in today's paranoid environment, best not even try that at all.

I've had people have a go at me when they notice, but again.. tough really... not much they can do legally, and if they want to get nasty, then the law is on my side.

If your pics are for your own use, or not for commercial gain, there's no need for a nodel release anyway, so anyone outside is fair game.
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