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Old Jul 29 2009, 03:00 AM   #7
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Edinburgh
Gender: M
Default Re: Street candids in Edinburgh

Hans - Yep, I zoomed in but couldn't determine what the shiny thing was!

As an aside (and obliquely addressing Hans' point above) - I have done nothing more with the balloon girl and grumpy woman shot. On reflection, I am uncomfortable about it since it's borderline in my ethics when it comes to candid shooting.

Let's be clear - the UK, like many countries, has absolutely no restrictions on photographing in clearly public places. Except, obviously, government-restricted areas like nuclear bases!

But the woman was clearly grumpy, unhappy and the image is somewhat unflattering. Further, the picture includes a child under the age of 16. Such is the paranoia about child exploitation in the UK, most photographers employ a self-denying ordinance unless there is specific parental permission.

Otherwise, I have a personal set of rules which are useful guidelines:

◆ Street candids are necessarily intrusive, but I try not to be exploitive - particularly emotional situations which are fraught in a bad way.
◆ Some images will be unflattering. That's where the 'kindness' factor comes in. For instance, if the subject comes across as 'ugly' in a otherwise humorous context, well that's when you have an internal debate
◆ I usually try to obtain some form of consent. There's no point in approaching people in advance; you lose the essential spontaneity as people adopt their 'public' face. Post facto, if possible, I try to attract their attention, smile as I point to the camera then give a thumbs-up and an affirmative nod to indicate I captured a good 'un.
◆ Sometimes, I'll approach and show them the image and, if they ask, email them a copy.
◆ If, in the last circumstance, they are unhappy, I will delete the image in their presence.

Obviously, there's wriggle-room in the above points. Sometimes there's a sub-text which makes the picture compelling. Generally, my rule-of-thumb is compassion. Posing the question - "How would I feel?" generally gives you the right answer.

What do others think?

Here's a starter - a down-and-out in Edinburgh's Grassmarket. Exploitive? Intrusive? Or social comment? Discuss.

Farclas is offline   Reply With Quote