View Poll Results: Is it okay to post/publish unflattering photos of strangers without their permission?

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  • Yes

    19 27.54%
  • No

    50 72.46%
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Thread: Is it okay to post/publish unflattering photos of strangers without their permission?

  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by peach
    i polled "yes" cos i feel it's really too subjective whether a photo is deemed "flattering" or otherwise..
    for example, what about pictures that we take on our travels showing poverty, street beggars and so on?
    what about photographers who take pictures of things "as they are", like prostitutes and war - could you call that unflattering too?
    also, i don't think there should be such hard and fast rules about "not taking pictures of people eating"... Eating is part of our culture and pictures showing our culture is a great subject..
    documentary photography is an important category. Princess Diana was photographed bloodied with Dodi in the wrecked car. Many papers refused to use those photos by opportunistic paparazzi who even do not want to leave the dead in peace. I recalled there was an uproar over the use of such photos that time. There is also a line drawn by ethical photographers and photo editors over what can be used and what cannot be used.

    Common sense will tell you whether your travel photos of the poor, prostitutes, beggars are tastefully done with their dignity in mind. If your common sense doesn;t serve you well, other photographers will raise alarm bells. Just like this poll.

    photos of people eating is not a total no no. There are people doing it. It is how you do it. Photos of people eating can always be taken in many ways. And those that show the eaters in unattractive/ unflattering manner are shot but not used by respectable publications. Even if they really do have, then it must be with willing models or volunteers. Are the aunties in the photo willing participant in the photoshop to be shot in that manner and posted for all to view? DO not cloud the issue
    Last edited by snappist; 23rd October 2003 at 03:05 AM.

  2. #42

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    OT, I wonder how long is this going to last? Are there going to be satisfied results or ending? Words, opinions and feelings had been exchanged, IMHO, it's time to move on.

  3. #43

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    /* Newman puts on his flame resistant suit */
    Wow, I think this has to be the most controversial and interesting topic in a while! First of all, I must say that I do not know either snappist or azure personally but I have met a few clubsnappers.
    I applaud snappist for carrying on this fight with tediously long responses but I stand on his side for this issue. I'm not launching a personal attack against Azure but I did speak against his posting of a dead cat some time back. (Hmmm, wonder what happened to that thread?) I used to shoot pictures like his and maybe I still do occasionally 8). But at that time, there was no clubsnap and no broadband yet so never bother to post photos. Anyway, I believe many have seen his creative shots with friends who probably won't mind him posting their photos here. And from what I've read in this thread, many who are speaking for him do know him. And so I sense some bias. But to those people, I applaud your camaraderie. However, I think everyone should focus on the topic and not any individual.
    Yes, I think whether a photo is unflattering or not is subjective. But I think in the basic sense of the word, taking the shot of the 3 people as an example, would you or anyone you know like to be one of those people? I have for the past 3 years taken candid shots of friends and family, and have received valuable feedback from them on what kind of shots they do not like to see. And pictures of themselves eating is a main consensus, even for guys. Not just any eating shot but of those with distorted faces and gaping mouths.
    I would akin this kind of photos to those taken by paparazzis and published in tabloids eg. an out-of-shape celebrity wearing a bikini on a boat or another celeb arguing with her boyfriend. Those in the same line of the photog who took that shot may think that's a keeper but others who have a stricter set of rules would feel that that would be an invasion of privacy and is highly unethical. Another example closer to home would be those photos posted on sg*****.com. I believe there are many street shots of girls, who may have also unknowingly exposed themselves, taken and posted on the site without their knowledge and permission.
    In general, if the picture can cause discomfort to the subject or the subject's family and friends, it can be considered unflattering. If it has to be shown, at least protect the identity of the subject(s). And I disagree with the view that the subject must expressively object to the pic being posted irregardless of the state of the subject. The damage would have already been done. Take the case of the Bandung University kids in Indonesia who took their own private video and the Taiwanese female politician who was caught on video with her lover. Even when the law stepped in, it was too late. Pictures of war and street life are usually meant to educate or even propagate politics. And I've seen pictures of prostitutes and criminals with their faces/eyes masked out to protect their identities. Shows like COPS are meant as a deterrent to would be criminals and even then, some law breakers have their faces masked out as well. 'Stars' of Funniest Home videos are either the people who submitted those videos themselves or at least know the ones that did the submission. Would you dare to take a photo of yourself in an unflattering situation and post it here for everyone to see?
    Although there are many here who may be comfortable with each other after going out for shoots, this is still a public site opened to anyone's viewing. I have photos of friends which are placed on public sites but are password protected as I know they are not comfortable with the public peeking into their lives.
    So let's practise a bit more common sense and be a better photographer at the end of the day. Lastly, no one should stop others from responding to this thread if they want to. This is a public forum. Anyone can speak their mind subject to the regulations laid here by the Admin and the local law. If you don't like what is being discussed/debated, you can choose not to read it.

    Cheers!
    Last edited by Newman; 23rd October 2003 at 05:15 AM.

  4. #44

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    Snappist, you made your point.

    Spinning a long story and justifing for your existence. I applaud that.

    I can simply picture you as one of those people who would hand a stack of documents to the officials and proclaiming abuse to dolphins at Underwaterworld Sentosa.

    Of course, at the same time, engage media coverage so that you can enlist help of bulldozing your point across Singapore.

    Man, you should be in show business. Either that or a journalist... that might humble your loud opinions a bit.

    Oh what the hey, join up at grassroots level and see how much better you can improve our lives.

  5. #45
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    Considering that the picture is deliberately 'unflattering', I answer 'no'.

    Digging nose in public is pretty unflattering.

    I do try my best to ask permission to shoot portraits of strangers, or I will show them the picture to ask if they like it (I use a digital camera).

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by VincentLin
    Snappist, you made your point.
    Spinning a long story and justifing for your existence. I applaud that.
    I can simply picture you as one of those people who would hand a stack of documents to the officials and proclaiming abuse to dolphins at Underwaterworld Sentosa.
    Of course, at the same time, engage media coverage so that you can enlist help of bulldozing your point across Singapore.
    Man, you should be in show business. Either that or a journalist... that might humble your loud opinions a bit.
    Oh what the hey, join up at grassroots level and see how much better you can improve our lives.
    VincentLim,
    You have also justified your "sarcastic" existence. I applaud your sarcasm.

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by yowch
    Considering that the picture is deliberately 'unflattering', I answer 'no'.

    Digging nose in public is pretty unflattering.

    I do try my best to ask permission to shoot portraits of strangers, or I will show them the picture to ask if they like it (I use a digital camera).
    Hi,

    Do make an attempt to view the picture he posted and read all the previous posts first. I'm afraid you have gotten the wrong idea of what this thread is about.

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by yowch
    Considering that the picture is deliberately 'unflattering', I answer 'no'.
    Digging nose in public is pretty unflattering.
    I do try my best to ask permission to shoot portraits of strangers, or I will show them the picture to ask if they like it (I use a digital camera).
    The nose digging incident as described is a painted scenario.
    The actual image which is unflattering, unattractive of strangers in public that is posted is here.

    http://forums.clubsnap.org/showpost....38&postcount=8

    It shows someone's mother or someone's wife sticking her tongue out to reach for a piece of chwee kueh. It also shows someone's auntie, wife, sister or relative with a twisted lip as she appears to be using her tongue to clear an imbedded material in her tooth. Thus her twitched look and veins on her neck.

    To many, this is an unattractive or unflattering image of total strangers enjoying a meal in public. And worse, I reiterate, the image is posted for all to see as it fits the artist's idea of eating as a Singaporean favorite as an entry to the thread "Things that makes us Singaporean (Street and Candids)".

    How would anyone like their wife, auntie, daughter, sister, cousin, niece or themselves to be shot like them unknowingly and posted for the world to see?
    Last edited by snappist; 23rd October 2003 at 11:04 AM.

  9. #49

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    my point about subjectivity is, what is flattering or not is really dependent on the person being taken.. i, for one, actually do not find the picture of the 2 ladies and the man really all that grotesque.. as a matter of fact, this IS how Singaporeans eat, like it or not... and the fact is, it DOES make a statement about how Singaporeans are - relaxed, eating, socialising alfresco..

    consider this: http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?t=48756

    would you call that flattering? would this man want his picture posted? is this considered irresponsible posting as well?

    what about the people who commented on it? e.g.
    "Mrs Chan catches Mr Chan buying flowers for his mistress...."
    "this man looks very scary..."
    are they irresponsible/unkind for their remarks too?

    many of the pics under Streets and Candid will fall into this category unless they were "posed" pictures (in which case i don't see a point for them being there)..

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by StreetShooter
    1. I think the guiding principle should be "Do unto others as you would have others do to you". Don't post a picture where, if you substituted the subject with yourself, you would be unhappy with the photo being posted.

    2. As pointed out, "unflattering" can be subjective. A secure person with a well developed sense of humour can appreciate a shot of himself in a funny situation, while another person may take offence.

    3. I think it's OK if the person cannot be clearly identified ie the back is to the camera, or the face is partially obscured.

    4. Always be prepared to take down a picture if someone has raised an objection.

    5. If a picture of a person (flattering or unflattering) has no redeeming value ie not interesting or good-looking or funny or making a point, it should not be posted in the first place. Then again, all these qualifying factors are highly subjective, aren't they?
    so far the best post...

  11. #51
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    I saw the photo that Snappist was refering to.

    I felt that it was pretty unflattering. A shot a few moments earlier or later will still be showing them eating, but maybe with a more flattering pose.

  12. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by peach
    consider this: http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?t=48756

    would you call that flattering? would this man want his picture posted? is this considered irresponsible posting as well?

    many of the pics under Streets and Candid will fall into this category unless they were "posed" pictures (in which case i don't see a point for them being there)..
    to peach,

    there is a clear divide between candid and inappropriate shots.

    That shot you linked is a candid shot of a man with a shocked expression. If I am the man, I will not be much offended if I see it. I am not being seen in any unflattering or unattractive manner.

    If that old man is in that image with a highly unattractive posture or act (i.e. no offense just for illustrative purposes; like scratching his pelvic area or diggin his nose), then I would deem that as inappropriate to be posted.

    Common sense is highly lacking here. Clouding the issues with these examples showed a lack of common sense.

    With your nick as peach, I assume you are of the female gender. Put yourself in the lady's shoes and be posted with a fully stretched out tongue towards an ice-cream as you enjoy your favorite haagen daaz.
    And a photographer took this photo with you unaware. And posted it up on Clubsnap. Later it landed up in www.sghotbabe.com and www.sglicker.com

    So that is an okay candid shot??
    Last edited by snappist; 23rd October 2003 at 12:18 PM.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by snappist
    Do not misrepresent my points or pose misconceptions on the issue at hand!
    Nope I was not mispresenting your points. I was simply stating my own opinion & observation.

    By stating that I am "misrepresenting" your points - you seem to be doing the same too.

  14. #54
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    snappist

    the issue at hand here is unflattering shots of strangers.

    As for shots of gals being posted in sg*****.com (flattering or not), its totally wrong due to the negative image that such websites have.

  15. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by snappist
    VincentLim,
    You have also justified your "sarcastic" existence. I applaud your sarcasm.
    Hey hey, I'm flattered.

  16. #56

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    The facts speaks for itself.

    It is tiring to follow this thread and replying to salvos and salvos from defensive followers of a person they assumed I am attacking. And not to mention the sarcasm and personal attacks I am deflecting from by replying to them. I am not attacking any person now. I am bringing to attention an important issue and hope that photographic forums in Singapore will not have repeat postings of photos like http://forums.clubsnap.org/showpost....38&postcount=8 or even dead/mutilated cats as Newman mentioned. I viewed that posting with dead cat before and it replused me immediately. Maybe that is why I decided to act on the recent photograph.

    Let me tell you an account I personally went through. This is not a scenario.

    Not long ago, I went with a group of photographers to an island for photoshooting. This group of girls and guys included some prominent photographers as well as newbies. On one morning, we are to trek to a jetty to catch a boat for a morning cruise to other islands. As we treked through the villages, one of us, (B) who is a very prominent local award winning photographer, soon felt the need to answer nature's call. There were the three of us guys in the front with the girls and other guys a good distance away and not visible to us. B soon relented and went to do his business behind a tree and bushes while my playful friend and mischevious me, joked and schemed about capturing that moment of B in front of bushes doing his business to poke fun on B later.

    As B was answering nature's call, I quickly took my DSLR to take a few snaps of B. It was a side view with clear identification of B and a stream of liquid jetting out, without sight of any genitalia though. B realised that he was being shot but he cannot do anything as he was in the middle of business.

    When B finished, my friend and I taunted B that we have a shot of a fireman fighting fire in the forest to show the rest. B show some embarrassment and just kept quiet. He did not go after me or my friend. We continued to trek to the jetty.

    On reaching the jetty, we rested in a snack shop for the rest to reach. As the group fully reassembled, I started to review the photos taken. As I went through the shots, I asked myself whether I really wanted to show this around? What good does it do to anybody? Does it make me a better candid shot photographer? Does it embarrass B unneccessarily? I am not a small kid now and my actions could mean many consequences; dimensions of proper behavior, moral, conscience, friendship and even legal.

    So I decided that these shots of B in that moment by me, despite being taken in clean fun, is not proper in the first place. At that moment, I went to B and showed him the photos in the DSLR. And I told him that I am deleting these photos and no one will see them ever. And I proceeded to delete the photos one by one before him.

    The point I want to make is that if the photo you have taken of the subject could potentially cause any discomfort, embarrassment or ill feeling to the subject, whether you know him/her or not. Then pls do not take the photo. If you insist to capture that photo, pls do not ever post or publish it for the world to see.

    I am signing off now.

    I wanted to sign off earlier but thought against that as this matter weighs enough importance to get it into our consciousness so that it is never repeated. If it is repeated, at least the poll shows that there should be enough people with common sense to tell the poster off!

    At this moment, here is the result of the poll.

    Is it okay to post/publish unflattering photos of strangers without their permission?
    63 people voted as at 23-10-2003 02:30 PM
    Yes [ 17 ] 26.98%
    No [ 46 ] * 73.02%

    The poll speaks for what is the right thing to do.
    Last edited by snappist; 23rd October 2003 at 02:33 PM.

  17. #57
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    no offence, but i dont think the poll speaks for itself. there is a significant, albeit the minority, group of pple who feel otherwise. having a 73 percent doesn't mean that it is the "right thing to do". ultimately, it would be an exercise of the person's own indvidual discretion. unless u get an overwhelming majority of 95% or greater against the examples u have singled out, i would venture to suggest that you may be over optimistic to conclude that "the poll speaks for what is the right thing to do".



    Quote Originally Posted by snappist
    At this moment, here is the result of the poll.

    Is it okay to post/publish unflattering photos of strangers without their permission?
    63 people voted as at 23-10-2003 02:30 PM
    Yes [ 17 ] 26.98%
    No [ 46 ] * 73.02%

    The poll speaks for what is the right thing to do.

  18. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by snappist
    The facts speaks for itself.

    It is tiring to follow this thread and replying to salvos and salvos from defensive followers of a person they assumed I am attacking. And not to mention the sarcasm and personal attacks I am deflecting from by replying to them.
    You have a siege mentality plain and simple. Those who don't suscribe to your views are followers of another? How quaint.

    It is indeed tiring to read your tirade and numerous veiled insults at others who happen to disagree.

    Your interpretation of the "truth" and what is "common understanding" is but just a facet of your own coloured view.

    You professed to be making an opinion poll from the start and requested for people to post freely. However, you then hounded and sarcastically questioned any who posted an opposiing view. Interesting concept of freedom with a loaded gun pointed at you?

    Basically,I feel that your argument would have been given much greater weight if the photo in question was significantly more repulsive, such as of the nature which you described in your experience, unfortunately this is not so.

    To think that some can actually find a shot of people eating offensive or repugnant shows that there is a great divergence in views over what is acceptable and what isn't. Ultimately the boundaries of acceptable behaviour are to be set by each individual and bears no relation to this poll.

    As I have said before, you have a propensity to pronounce judgement on others all too quickly.

  19. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by peach
    what about the people who commented on it? e.g.
    "Mrs Chan catches Mr Chan buying flowers for his mistress...."
    "this man looks very scary..."
    are they irresponsible/unkind for their remarks too?

    many of the pics under Streets and Candid will fall into this category unless they were "posed" pictures (in which case i don't see a point for them being there)..
    I don't think those comments were unkind nor irresponsible. If someone were to mention that the man looks ugly, then that would be an unkind remark. It's just like someone saying I look fierce. Is that an unkind remark? These are just interpretations of people's expressions and actions.
    Just like also saying 'I think your model looks sian' or 'Your model looks depressed' which is meant to describe the mood conveyed by the subject. But if you were to start commenting that the model looks fat,ugly,nerdy,etc then that is downright mean.
    Actually, the kind of pictures that you take depicts your own mentality. You would need to have a matured (ie more responsible) sense of thinking when you take pictures of people especially. Look at works done by photojournalists. There should always be a good message that you want to convey with your photos. And not just take a picture because the opportunity is there.

    Quote Originally Posted by lavenderlilz
    As for shots of gals being posted in sg*****.com (flattering or not), its totally wrong due to the negative image that such websites have.
    And why do such websites have a negative image? It's because photos were taken of their 'victims' in compromising situations and posted without their permissions. If you look at the galleries at pbase.com, there are many photos depicting nudity and such but they are well taken and I believe the subjects know that they would be posted for public viewing. There are always nice comments about how well the shots were taken even though some photos are on the brink of pornography.

  20. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerstorer
    To think that some can actually find a shot of people eating offensive or repugnant shows that there is a great divergence in views over what is acceptable and what isn't. Ultimately the boundaries of acceptable behaviour are to be set by each individual and bears no relation to this poll.

    As I have said before, you have a propensity to pronounce judgement on others all too quickly.
    Alamak, he said unflattering lah not offensive or repugnant. Unless that person is eating human body parts or something like that....

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