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Thread: Split from: Things that make us Singaporean (Street and Candids)

  1. #1

    Default Difference Between Aesthetics, Etiquette, and Ethics

    To Azure:

    It is a common photographer's etiquette not to take photos of people eating their meals.

    And that photo you posted is a very ugly sight.
    "Dictates of etiquette also provide guidelines of what to shoot and what not. Everyone has had unattractive moments when eating, walking, or even thinking. Rarely does an embarrassing picture sum up the whole story."

    Pls pay more respect to people with your camera.

    On a personal note, your photos are so.. so..
    Pls do not make your photos to be worse by such photos.

    One more thing about what makes the majority of us Singaporeans; the lack of social etiquette.
    One more thing about what makes the majority of us Singaporean photographers; the lack of photographer's etiquette.



    From
    http://commfaculty.fullerton.edu/les...difference.doc
    "On the Difference Between Aesthetics, Etiquette, and Ethics

    Originally published in ETHICS MATTERS, a monthly column in News Photographer magazine

    Deni Elliott and Paul Martin Lester

    Welcome to the inauguration of our column, "Ethics Matters." We see this column as a collaboration between ourselves-a classically trained philosophy professor, who has spent some time in newsrooms and a professionally trained journalist, who has spent some time philosophizing. It is also a collaboration with you-professionals, academics, and students within the areas of still, video, and multimedia.
    We hope this column contributes to the ever-widening and vital discussion of practical ethics—professional responsibilities and rights related to the public good. But this column will not exist long if it is only a dialog between two professors. "Ethics Matters" lives through your contributions of cases, commentaries, conversations, and contentions. As space permits, we will include as many voices into the discussion as possible. Consequently, we will discuss issues of concern reported in the general and trade press, discussions on the NPPA-L listserv, and telephone and e-mail conversations.
    For this first column, we thought it wise to detail a number of so-called ethical issues that most of the time aren't. In other words, issues that are sometimes called ethical are really matters of aesthetics or etiquette. Knowing the difference between ethics, aesthetics, and etiquette helps focus the dialog on those issues that really affect subjects, victims, readers, and viewers. It is important to distinguish ethics from aesthetics and etiquette for two reasons. A question that is truly ethical deserves a response that addresses the human cost. If, for example, a photograph scheduled for publication is likely to cause pain, arguing that it is "a hellofa picture"—an aesthetic justification-doesn't provide the needed ethical grounding that is called for when someone complains. On the other hand, ethics can provide good reasons for publishing or airing images that readers and viewers find offensive. Sometimes, all aesthetics or etiquette aside, the public simply needs this picture—to have unpleasant information provided to them visually.

    Aesthetics
    There has been an increasingly disturbing trend from photographers to concentrate on aesthetics as a part of their general assignments. More and more photojournalists are asked to also be advertising photographers shooting fashion, food, architecture, portrait, and editorial illustration assignments. These assignments take photojournalists away from doing meaningful documentaries about social conditions in their community. These economically driven assignments are fueled by news directors, publishers, and photographers who don't necessarily distinguish between magazine and television commercial advertising and classic photojournalism documentation. When a young photojournalist is expected to split her time between news and corporate controlled images, it's hard for her to take herself seriously as an on-call visual documentarian.
    Aesthetic concentration can also result in undue emphasis on fixing supposed flaws in a picture-through lighting, cropping, dodging and burning, software filters, color corrections, and so on—that can, in the end, result in a misleading image. Imagine a not too uncommon scenario in which a photographer spends three hours on a fashion shoot in the studio and on a computer and then is asked to make a portrait of the mayor. Because of the advertising shoot, it is tempting to use all the tricks that are available to portray the mayor look as positive as possible.
    Aesthetics also involve how an image is used-size, location, and whether in color or black and white in print and the web or its length and position for television news reports. And here's an interesting part of this distinction—aesthetically pleasing does not imply ethical problematic. Unless a photographer, editor, or news director manipulates the aesthetic features of a news visual in a way that misleads or could cause harm to a subject, reader, or viewer, no ethical problem exists. Although aesthetic qualities cannot substitute a need for meaningful content, it is also not unethical to include graphically pleasing visuals in a publication or newscast as part of its daily variety of visual messages. These images may not elevate the profession to a higher standard, but nor are they are not inherently unethical.

    Etiquette
    Included in the etiquette category are topics that come up frequently on the NPPA-L listserv such as inappropriate dress at a funeral, showing vulgar images, or paparazzi-style pack coverage. Questions of this type seldom really belong in a decision of ethics. It may be justified to wear sandals, shorts and a Hawaiian shirt to a funeral (when Jimmy Buffet dies), to show vulgar images (when a presidential candidate gives a one-finger salute to a heckler), or to follow a celebrity or candidate who dares media attention (as in the case of Gary Hart), but it is the assignment's relative news value that can make rude behavior okay.
    Dictates of etiquette also provide guidelines of what to shoot and what not. Everyone has had unattractive moments when eating, walking, or even thinking. Rarely does an embarrassing picture sum up the whole story.

    Ethics
    Because visual messages have great emotional power to educate, entertain, and persuade, there is a great responsibility put on every image producer for public consumption. To deal with the ethical aspects of visual presentations in a truly ethical way, start by asking this question: Why am I showing my readers or viewers this image? Is this picture likely to cause harm? The best reasons, ethically speaking, to show any news image is that it moves people to care and/or it helps people safely navigate through their daily lives. The greater the potential harm caused by showing the photograph or videotape, the greater benefit it should also be. Consequently, a journalist must be clear why a subject is selected, what tools are used and why, what words accompany the image, and how those words and images are used. If those decisions cause harm to subjects, readers, and/or viewers then they need to be explained to those who complain. One value of having a working vocabulary of ethics is that image decisions can be justified without resorting to simplified explanations that concentrate on aesthetics or etiquette arguments.
    Historically, news photographers and videographers have been excluded from the compelling discussion of whether and how to run controversial material. But this new era of media convergence, in which photographers leave the darkroom for the newsroom, offers opportunities for collaboration that are starting to become standard procedure. The ability to separate out the ethical questions and the vocabulary to argue from a perspective of ethical justification helps visual reporters take their rightful part in the discussions and to expand the idea of collaboration."
    Last edited by snappist; 20th October 2003 at 09:54 AM.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by snappist
    To Azure:

    It is a common photographer's etiquette not to take photos of people eating their meals.

    [SNIP OFF A WHOLE LOAD OF CHEESE]
    Hi! I have to de-lurk for a while

    Personally, I think Azure's fire-and-forget shots are pretty decent. I think they are fun and full of spontaneity. I often forget myself and concentrate on taking "considered" shots. I often have to force myself to just have fun with the camera.

    Azure is just having fun.

    If you wanna pursue this further, PM me, baby.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by snappist
    To Azure:
    On a personal note, your photos are so.. so..
    Pls do not make your photos to be worse by such photos.
    And you mean u got proper etiquette with such unkind remarks in this thread?
    Last edited by lavenderlilz; 21st October 2003 at 02:57 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VincentLin
    Hi! I have to de-lurk for a while

    Personally, I think Azure's fire-and-forget shots are pretty decent. I think they are fun and full of spontaneity. I often forget myself and concentrate on taking "considered" shots. I often have to force myself to just have fun with the camera.

    Azure is just having fun.

    If you wanna pursue this further, PM me, baby.
    Totally agree with u on this, pal

  5. #5

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    To Snappist-
    I think your comments directed at Azure were totalling uncalled for.
    Azure's contribution to this forum goes perfectly with the theme "things that makes us Singaporean". Hi pic conveyed the theme very clearly - and I don't think he was trying to show "ugliness"

    Perhaps you could offer personal views instead of doing what I presume is a "cut and paste" on ethics, etc.

    You should take some lessons on doing a photo critique as well.
    Last edited by RedRum; 21st October 2003 at 10:32 PM.

  6. #6

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    To Azure,
    I apologise as I have been a tad too personal in my remarks.
    It is poor etiquette on my part alone to make such remarks.
    I got carried away with the point I want to make and got subjective.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    I know Azure did not want to show ugliness. He just wants to show that eating is a favorite pastime of Singaporeans. But I am sure there are better ways to show. as some have posted of coffeeshops kitchens, laksa and all...
    I just want to point out what I know from many years ago even as I started out in secondary schools photographic clubs. as I was told that it is bad social grace and photographer etiquette to take a picture of people eating. And posting it for the world to see. In that manner that is rather ugly as the subjects in the photos are portrayed. Just imagine if you happened to dig your nose in a quiet location (thinking that it is a private thing and there's no one), but there is this photographer with a long telephoto who shot you in the act and post it online. Will you be famous or fXXked? Imagine your mother or wife or yourself is caught in the photo.. in that "rather ugly" state of eating and that photo is posted for the world to see. Will you be pleased?

    My point restated. I take back my unkind remarks directed at Azure. That's all I want to say.
    Last edited by snappist; 21st October 2003 at 11:19 PM.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by RedRum
    To Snappist-
    I think your comments directed at Azure were totalling uncalled for.
    Azure's contribution to this forum goes perfectly with the theme "things that makes us Singaporean". Hi pic conveyed the theme very clearly - and I don't think he was trying to show "ugliness"

    Perhaps you could offer personal views instead of doing what I presume is a "cut and paste" on ethics, etc.

    You should take some lessons on doing a photo critique as well.
    This is not about photo critique. but the principles of taking photos.. its like some cornerstones that cannot be moved or modified.
    If you want a photo critique of what was posted of people eating. I am sure there will be little positive to be said of that in any objective manner.

    And I repeat. if his theme is to convey eating as a pastime. this secret shot of shooting people eating unaware is done in bad taste. pun intended. And to post the photo of these public people (assumed to be stangers and not paid models) online in their state of eating that is "not tasteful" (pun intended again) is not a nice thing. There are better ways to convey eating good food as a favorite Singaporean trait.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azure
    photo as posted... is that the most dignified representation of eating in singapore and on strangers who have become quite well exposed in their unique eating facial gestures. This is a photo of real people eating in an unsightly manner, not a photo of stray cats eating in void decks.

    exercise some responsibility in using your image capturing devices...
    most importantly, use more responsibility with that "post" button.
    some person's mother, wife, girlfriend or auntie are screwed big time with this unwanted exposure on the world wide web.
    Last edited by snappist; 22nd October 2003 at 12:12 AM.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by snappist
    This is not about photo critique. but the principles of taking photos.. its like some cornerstones that cannot be moved or modified.
    If you want a photo critique of what was posted of people eating. I am sure there will be little positive to be said of that in any objective manner.

    And I repeat. if his theme is to convey eating as a pastime. this secret shot of shooting people eating unaware is done in bad taste. pun intended. And to post the photo of these public people (assumed to be stangers and not paid models) online in their state of eating that is "not tasteful" (pun intended again) is not a nice thing. There are better ways to convey eating good food as a favorite Singaporean trait.
    Dun wanna get into the line of fire.......

    In the show 'pirates of the caribbean' it was qouted, "codes, rules and principles are but guidelines' (read: no need to die die follow)

    dun flame me. hehe

  10. #10
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    ermm... before the flames goes on burning, please kindly respect the original poster of the thread and his objectives.

    Thanks

  11. #11
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    Like it or not, these ARE activities that make us Singaporean....

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by snappist
    To Azure,
    I just want to point out what I know from many years ago even as I started out in secondary schools photographic clubs. as I was told that it is bad social grace and photographer etiquette to take a picture of people eating. And posting it for the world to see.
    You're way out of the league, brother.

    Your "holier-than-thou" attitude ought to be moderated. "What I did back in secondary school..." comments are really unflattering. Comments like these make you look like a fool.

    Sure (I give you the benefit of the doubt), you have some years of experience. So? Do you really enjoy your photography as much as, for example, Azure?

    I often look forward to Azure and gang's trip to my workplace. They show me all sorts of photos they took during their photo trips. The photos look so fun that I want so much to grab my camera and go out with them.

    Their photos made me think about my own passion. "Considered", "formulated", "rules of thirds", "precise", "technical"... words like these pop into my mind.

    There's no fun in my pictures. I strive to have fun with my photos. I want to convey enjoyment - of the subject and of myself.

    I know it makes me sound like one of those lomo-artsy types, but I'm not.

    Obviously, the original poster of this topic "Things that makes us Singaporean" has really hit on the spot. Your earlier comments on Azure (and your subsequent replies) constitute lack of grace and etiquette.

    Do a checksum. Your digits are really ruining it for you.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by VincentLin
    You're way out of the league, brother.

    Your "holier-than-thou" attitude ought to be moderated. "What I did back in secondary school..." comments are really unflattering. Comments like these make you look like a fool.
    ....
    Obviously, the original poster of this topic "Things that makes us Singaporean" has really hit on the spot. Your earlier comments on Azure (and your subsequent replies) constitute lack of grace and etiquette.

    Do a checksum. Your digits are really ruining it for you.
    VincentLim,

    I have refocused on the issue of taking unflattering photos of strangers and posting it on the www for all to see. And you are diverting from this issue I raised to launch a personal attack. What with passing judgemental remarks on me. Let me tell you, as much as you passed these remarks on me. The remarks passed also reflected on yourself.

    As I said, I had over-reacted on Azure and passed some snide comments. For that I had apologised. It was wrong on me. If I am wrong, I admit it and apologised. And thereafter, I concentrated to focus on the issue at hand.

    It is not about having fun in photography and shooting without a care in the world. It is about exercising responsibility in using a camera and not posting "unflattering" shots of strangers for the world to see. If that shot is flattering or at least "not unflattering", then I have nothing to say. But it is really unflattering from any angle.

    How would you like to see on the net or on newspapers a photo of you and your wife/girlfriend enjoying a meal with distorted jaws and tongue sticking out and its taken/published without your awareness/permission by a photographer who simply enjoys his craft and find the photo interesting enough to depict a favorite pastime of Singaporeans??? And to post it ??!!?? So happened that it is Azure, a prominent forumer, who posted it. If it is any other, I would have raised this question too. And would it generate as much support and defence from forumers who know him and not look at my point objectively?? Simply because a killer enjoys killing doesn't warrants him a license to kill. Simply because a rapist enjoys raping doesn't warrants him a license to rape. And simply because a photographer enjoys taking photos doesn't warrants him/her a license to take any photos and post any photograph for all to see. That is the issue. Get it?

    I have done a checksum.
    I am focusing on the issue objectively.
    Note: I am not resorting to further mudslinging. To do so will be lowering myself to the level of the mudslinger.

    Quote Originally Posted by VincentLin
    Dude, your quote on "diverting from this issue I raised to launch a personal attack" simply affirms your intended aggression towards Azure.
    Let's bring this discussion to PM.
    I do not PM on this matter, prefer to make my thoughts open and transparent to public scrutiny in a public forum. There is nothing to hide.

    These are my last words on this matter. I closed my case. Whether there is intended aggression or not, I have over-reacted. There is nothing between him and me. And whatever unwarranted aggressiveness I showed, I am sorry to him and all affected sympathetic supporters of Azure.

    I hereby just want to raise an issue that is paramount to basic courtesy of photographers on shooting members of the public. Shoot all you want and care to make yourself happy..... if it is unflattering, do not publish/post it for the world to see unless the subject consent to it being so. Ask yourselves, will the two aunties be happy to see themselves in this manner as captured in that photo and posted on the www? Will people who know the two aunties be happy to see their friends/relatives being captured unaware in that unflattering state and getting all these unwanted exposure just because a photographer feels the photo fits into the theme of a thread? For your info, the guy in that photo looks familiar to me.

    The next unflattering photo of you, your friend or your relatives caught unaware could be published/posted and let's see whether you will react, under-react or over-react. Period.
    Last edited by snappist; 22nd October 2003 at 12:59 PM.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by snappist
    VincentLim,
    I have refocused on the issue of taking unflattering photos of strangers and posting it on the www for all to see. And you are diverting from this issue I raised to launch a personal attack. What with passing judgemental remarks on me. Let me tell you, as much as you passed these remarks on me. The remarks passed also reflected on yourself.
    Dude, your quote on "diverting from this issue I raised to launch a personal attack" simply affirms your intended aggression towards Azure.

    Let's bring this discussion to PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by snappist
    Simply because a killer enjoys killing doesn't warrants him a license to kill. Simply because a rapist enjoys raping doesn't warrants him a license to rape. And simply because a photographer enjoys taking photos doesn't warrants him/her a license to take any photos and post any photograph for all to see. That is the issue. Get it?
    the difference is that the former two are prohibited by law and the latter not. simple answer whether warrants or not is not for you to say but for what is legally prohibited or not.

  16. #16
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    The discussion on photographer's etiquette is OT here.

    Since snappist has started another discussion thread in the "General" forum on this topic, please continue the discussion there.

    I will clean out the all the OT posts in this thread in a short while.

    Thanks.

    Roy
    Moderator
    As complexity rises, precise statements lose meaning and meaningful statements lose precision.

  17. #17

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    Can I kindly request that the issue of the "posting unflattering photos" be brought to another thread that snappist had posted (http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthrea...threadid=49006) or somewhere else. Pls respect the thread starter and the project he had started.
    (Since VincentLin have requested the issue to brought to PM and snappist had started another thread)

  18. #18

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    To Roy Goh,

    to continue the discussion there is correct. that is why I started a poll.

    But to delete the posts of which the majority of arguments from both sides stand will mean to delete the background of the discussion of this issue.

    If this issue is important to you as a moderator of this forum, pls do not delete these posts. If this issue is not important, pls go ahead and erase what were said by both sides.

    Thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snappist
    To Roy Goh,

    to continue the discussion there is correct. that is why I started a poll.

    But to delete the posts of which the majority of arguments from both sides stand will mean to delete the background of the discussion of this issue.

    If this issue is important to you as a moderator of this forum, pls do not delete these posts. If this issue is not important, pls go ahead and erase what were said by both sides.

    Thank you.
    I am not a believer of deleting posts.

    My intention was to split the discussions into a separate thread, move that to "General" and then lock it.
    As complexity rises, precise statements lose meaning and meaningful statements lose precision.

  20. #20
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    I am closing this thread temporarily to faciltate the thread splitting.

    After the split the original thread will be re-opened to allow members to continue to share their pictures realted to the topic.

    The off topic discussion posts will me moved to "General" and remain closed as any further discussions should carry on in snappist's poll thread.

    Thanks.

    Roy
    As complexity rises, precise statements lose meaning and meaningful statements lose precision.

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