Offensive photography?


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phusion

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Apr 19, 2008
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#2
offensive is quite a strong word. In my opinion, I think anything that violates the person's privacy or against social acts.. or causes the person to be affected either morally or emotionally?
 

dennisc

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Oct 24, 2002
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Freezing Upp Thomson/Mandai!
#3
Don't know about others but to me it has to be bad composition :bsmilie:
Nudes, sexy, gruesome, etc are ok as long as it's meaningfully and tastefully delivered along with the mood.
 

faineant

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Oct 2, 2008
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#4
The issue is not the word "offensive" but what "Offensive Photography" means to you. :cool:

:bsmilie: dennisc : good answer!
 

Oct 4, 2008
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West
#5
The thing is, different people gets offended by different things....

To add to the complexity, offensiveness can be of "n" number of dimensions. There are many ways a person can get offended in many different contexts and in many different conditions, situations, timing, mood, weather, etc....

What's offensive within a particular set of parameters may not be offensive in others.....

A picture of a baby would provoke a reaction of of love to a newly wed couple but provokes a reaction of offensiveness to a couple who just had an abortion or miscarriage...

What you should seek is not offensive photography but provocative photography... Something that provokes a mood, be it offensive, exciting, funny, etc....

A good photo provokes different reactions from different people :D They may not be the same reaction, but they provoke a reaction.....possibly an offensive one.

The more varied are your viewers reactions, the better you are a photographer.....

Photography is like a movie, if your intention is to provoke one kind of reaction and you do it too obviously, you would be a B Grade movie...Go watch a B Grade movie and you'll know what I mean. The story line is cliched and it is very obvious that they try to provoke a certain kind of reaction. Leave it a bit open to interpretations, a bit more witty, from a fresh perspective and less cliched and things will improve.....

What is offensive to Singaporean? Look at the cliches and twist it around a bit, add some witt, add some humor, color, perspective....
 

Last edited:
Oct 4, 2008
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#6
Just to add... In my opinion, a good photographer tells a story and many knows what story he/she is telling...

A great photographer provokes a reaction, and many may not understand their own reaction :D
 

ombre

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Sep 3, 2008
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#7
This is a very subjective question. But I think I kind of understand what you're trying to get at. I would therefore disambiguate the word "offensive" as "stepping on someone else's toes", or simply causing any negative feeling such as a simple irk. And "Photography", in this sense, I don't think it means composition, but more of pressing the shutter, or even if you don't shoot, I think simply pointing the camera will fit the term "photography" here.

If I were to put myself in the shoes of another, I would not like to be photographed without permission. However, if I didn't know I was being shot, then you wouldn't have "stepped on my toes". Neither would you have violated the law or other rules of privacy. (unless you shot me changing in my room or something). Even in a public event, say a ballroom dance, I think the rules of courtesy must be treaded carefully.

Some obvious 'violent, agressive and typically offensive' photography I can think of is bursting the shutter in someone's face without their consent. Or when you are constantly pointing the camera at someone (even without clicking) when he or she is clearly avoiding you. How ironic that this coincides with "offensively" distributing flyers. I believe the reactions are the same.

This situation I'm about to bring up may be slightly in the grey areas. Is it polite to take a shot of someone posing for another camera, when you're not an agreed 2nd photographer? Could even be strangers. What do you think?

Lastly, I'm sure how you post these photographs will affect. I believe someone law-trained here mentioned that you are allowed to use photographs of strangers even commercially without prior permission. I think these still keep within the lines that if the subject's true identity is substantially protected, and no harm is orientated. So, if you're snapping pretty girls, keep them away from 'trashy' forums?

I hope these opinions I've raised are in line with your question. Cheers =)
 

tjhan

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Feb 11, 2007
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#8
An offensive photo is that that involves the subject of attack such as a striker scoring goals, a soldier firing his gun at the enemy.
A defensive photo is the goalkeeper saving the shot, or a guy wearing a bullet proof vest and a ballistic shield.
 

faineant

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Oct 2, 2008
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#9
Lightsaber: :bsmilie: Of course I know diff ppl have diff opinions. I don't need a catch all answer, all I want is an opinion from an individual. I think you didn't get my purpose of the question. But anyhow thanks for the reply!

tjhan: Haha good one!

ombre: thanks!
 

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#10
Offensive or not is defined in the cultural context of a person or a society. Just look how street photographers in New York work (there was a link in the sub forum). The same style would be considered 'offensive' here in SG whereas in NY the people don't bother much. Do you remember the cartoons of Mohammed? Can't remember a better example ... the results are well-known.
But all this has a rather negative implication. I would also look at the positive side where pictures shake up the conventional thinking and question the established and beaten tracks of thoughts. That's what I really appreciate. Some describe it also as 'new perspective' - but that's too mild. Maybe the term 'provocative' fits better here.
 

kenkht

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Sep 21, 2008
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#12
If you shoot a lot of kids that don't belong to you, you might be consider offensive to the authorities in some countries and be investigated as a paedophile!:sweat:
If you shoot upskirt, ho boy... jail cell:nono:
If you shoot Ah Bengs... better have a good pair of running shoes!:bsmilie:

So what's offensive....
 

paesyl

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Aug 3, 2007
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#13
Offensive is subject to terms and regulation in a country, organization, group, community or even to individual.

If CS states no nude photo in the forum and you post it here that is a offensive photo to the forum community. And the moderator PM you to take it down, you better do so.
 

Octarine

Moderator
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Jan 3, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#15
a photo only becomes offensive when someone takes offense or feel offended.
But then it's only offensive to that particular person.

What is the intention of this thread? We won't find a single clear answer to that topic ...
 

eng_keow

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Oct 8, 2004
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#20
I agree that it is going to be very subjective and there is no way one can define in this kind of forum where there is a wide spectrum of members from all walks of life with different levels of 'maturity'.


What I think is more important is being sensitive to the people in the forum and place pics with a link if you think that it may be offensive to some.


If you find half the ppl here slamming you, I'm sure you will know that the pic is offensive. :bsmilie:

There have been some threads with the pic showing some undergarment of a model sitting down and this has not gone down with some though some say that it is ok. :dunno:
 

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