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Thread: Personal ethics clash with Street photography

  1. #1

    Default Personal ethics clash with Street photography

    Hi guys,

    As I've seen many street photographs myself, I feel like taking a few too. So occasionally 5-6 years ago, while having my compact camera, I'll go out and shoot...

    Now, I looked back and realised that most, if not all of them are just snapshot and show nothing more of what a street photograph should capture (emotion, mood of people). So I decided to retry my attempt again, this time into capturing emotions and such...

    But then, 3 attempts passed and I'm terribly disappointed with myself

    My street photography philosophy to set is: To capture the moments, the emotion at that single instinct

    My personal ethic: Not to take photo of people if I do not have permission, it's consider rude and inconsiderate...

    So, what happened these 3 times is that, whenever there's something in front of me, I'll take out my camera... and..... hesitated... -_-;; Many a times I missed the moment, many a times I did not press the shuttle button... such a failure

    Can anyone offer me their advise on street photography? Feel quite shitty about it
    また再建しましょう~ ^_^

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Personal ethics clash with Street photography

    I think it's quite hard to give any advise...just shoot more I guess. And it would be good if you can somewhat predict what will happen

  3. #3

    Default Re: Personal ethics clash with Street photography

    I like to capture moments and encountered similar situations when I started my street photography. I was badly scolded by an uncle for taking a picture of him without permission in Chinatown. After that, I have learned to ask for permission first if I want to take close-up photo or use the long prime lens 85mm at somewhere I'm not noticed by that person
    By the way, some ethics still kick in. I never shoot somebody in handicapped, sick or when they are in their very ugly situation, unless I get permission from them.
    Kent Wong Photography |Leica Q & Leica M-P 240 | 75 & 28mm Summilux

  4. #4
    Member Irvine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Personal ethics clash with Street photography

    u shld see how bruce gilden does it admire his courage

    Google is your friend. Make use of it.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Personal ethics clash with Street photography

    Many of the people in his shots were in "shock" expression
    Kent Wong Photography |Leica Q & Leica M-P 240 | 75 & 28mm Summilux

  6. #6

    Default Re: Personal ethics clash with Street photography

    maybe you can use a more discreet camera and shoot from the hip.
    alternatively you can develop a thick face

  7. #7

    Default Re: Personal ethics clash with Street photography

    I'm one of those guilty ones with not much ethics

  8. #8

    Default Re: Personal ethics clash with Street photography

    maybe try 20 ft, 15 ft, 10ft and slowly progressing to 5 ft away from your subjects just to build up that confidence? I think a 50mm is a great lens for that. Not too sure about Bruce Gilden's style now, looking back. Sure he is famous and all, but what does that video shows? Shooting deers in the dark with a flash? I guess it's a personal preference. Getting real close only shows what kind of risks you are willing to take. But not necessary better than one 10 feet away.

    I think you need to find out what personality you are. Photography should be enjoyable, not a stressful one. Where are you willing to go? Nothing you do is right or wrong.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Personal ethics clash with Street photography

    btw, ethics is definitely not measured by how close you are to your subjects..or at what juncture the photo was taken. It has to do with intention. And only you will know if you are ethical..not the subjects.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Personal ethics clash with Street photography

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    btw, ethics is definitely not measured by how close you are to your subjects..or at what juncture the photo was taken. It has to do with intention. And only you will know if you are ethical..not the subjects.
    well said bro

    I've taken pictures which are frowned upon like these 2:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/agnosticgary/5342101005/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/agnosticgary/5316433826/

    My intention isnt to take pictures of them, put them on flickr for them to be made fun of but more like to document such people that we see in our everyday life at the corner eye as we rush to work etc not paying much attention to them.

    I hope to create social awareness, that they are very much part of our society in everyday life trying to make a living for themselves as well & trying to fit in.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Personal ethics clash with Street photography

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulKami View Post
    Hi guys,

    As I've seen many street photographs myself, I feel like taking a few too. So occasionally 5-6 years ago, while having my compact camera, I'll go out and shoot...

    Now, I looked back and realised that most, if not all of them are just snapshot and show nothing more of what a street photograph should capture (emotion, mood of people). So I decided to retry my attempt again, this time into capturing emotions and such...

    But then, 3 attempts passed and I'm terribly disappointed with myself

    My street photography philosophy to set is: To capture the moments, the emotion at that single instinct

    My personal ethic: Not to take photo of people if I do not have permission, it's consider rude and inconsiderate...

    So, what happened these 3 times is that, whenever there's something in front of me, I'll take out my camera... and..... hesitated... -_-;; Many a times I missed the moment, many a times I did not press the shuttle button... such a failure

    Can anyone offer me their advise on street photography? Feel quite shitty about it
    Take the picture first and ask their permission? if they don't allow then delete it? if they ok then post on clubsnap to share your skills!!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Personal ethics clash with Street photography

    im happy you are happy with what you do

  13. #13

    Default Re: Personal ethics clash with Street photography

    But some of these people do not want to be chosen as the subject in your pictures for whatever reason it is. Again it goes back to the ethics question.....
    Quote Originally Posted by Royale With Cheese View Post
    My intention isnt to take pictures of them, put them on flickr for them to be made fun of but more like to document such people that we see in our everyday life at the corner eye as we rush to work etc not paying much attention to them.

    I hope to create social awareness, that they are very much part of our society in everyday life trying to make a living for themselves as well & trying to fit in.
    Kent Wong Photography |Leica Q & Leica M-P 240 | 75 & 28mm Summilux

  14. #14

    Default Re: Personal ethics clash with Street photography

    Quote Originally Posted by kentwong81 View Post
    But some of these people do not want to be chosen as the subject in your pictures for whatever reason it is. Again it goes back to the ethics question.....

    Hi Kent, honestly when you shoot the street genre with people as the main subjects, 90% of them wouldnt wanna be your chosen subjects really.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Personal ethics clash with Street photography

    Thanks guys for discussing about this topic with me T_T

    I'm glad that I'm not the only 1 around whom feel bad at taking others, and find it a hurdle to overcome in order to take street photography...

    I tried to take it discretly actually, and somehow, I feel that it wasn't the kind of photography I'm looking for... I'd like to be the one who walk around with a camera in my hand, taking photos at that moment... It's the personal ethics that's toying with me, and urgh... that really sucks...

    To quote what kentwong81 mentioned: "But some of these people do not want to be chosen as the subject in your pictures for whatever reason it is. Again it goes back to the ethics question....."

    Very strong statement to describe how conflicting I feel, how I deal with that 90% What bout you guys? What's your philosophy on streets that overcome this 'ethical issue'?

    @ Royale with Cheese: I like that photo of the man selling tissue >_<
    Last edited by PaulKami; 13th January 2011 at 03:11 PM.
    また再建しましょう~ ^_^

  16. #16

    Default Re: Personal ethics clash with Street photography

    well for me i have same issues as you. i will juz take things which i am comfortable with although i really envy those ppl who can take very nice street photos. its like i really wan to take the photo tat person but ethical mind just kick in and i will let the subject pass without taking anything =(
    Last edited by random-pax; 13th January 2011 at 03:15 PM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Personal ethics clash with Street photography

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hy-GkSN7_-g

    play this music in your headphone while you are shooting. Trust me, you will overcome whatever barrier.

    On the other hand, if respecting others' privacy in a public area(oxymoron right there) is so holding you back from doing your thing, don't shoot. Why are you fighting yur inner demons? It'll kill you.

    AS to how others have managed to have done it, well, they pressed the shutter when they needed to. No 2 ways about it. And do it quickly.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Personal ethics clash with Street photography

    See how Scott Woodward took some amazing shots at Singapore red light zone:

    http://www.scottawoodward.com/photo-...age/red-light/

    Street photography and reportage photograhy require certain adventurous stuff....the special moments only happen once, you take it or you leave it....
    Kent Wong Photography |Leica Q & Leica M-P 240 | 75 & 28mm Summilux

  19. #19

    Default Re: Personal ethics clash with Street photography

    Scott seems to have lots of hip shots in the streets but likely got access into the room action with a price..hence had time to compose.

  20. #20
    Senior Member sinned79's Avatar
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    Default Re: Personal ethics clash with Street photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Royale With Cheese View Post
    *frowns*

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