Street photography – the ethics of photographing random strangers

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Paris, Leica M8, 21/1.4

Street photography is a genre that every photographer will try at least once in their career. Its broad appeal stems from the fact that you can do it anywhere; there’s a human element to the images that captivate the viewer, and if done well, can make for some extremely arresting images. However, it also requires balls. You have to get close enough to your subjects; and with people, invading personal space is uncomfortable (and possibly hazardous to health) for both photographer and subject. There’s a slight snobbishness about shooting with a longer lens, too – it isn’t seen as being hard core enough. In fact, these days, it seems if you’re not at f8, hyperfocal distance and sticking your camera and flash right up to somebody’s nose, then you’re not really doing street photography.

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London, Leica M8, Zeiss 21/2.8

There’s another approach, though. I think it’s much, much harder to shoot wide open with a relatively wide lens – say nothing longer than 35mm – and shoot without your subject knowing you’re there. This is what I like to call the stealth method – you don’t want to draw attention to yourself, and better yet, shoot without even bringing the camera to your eye. It takes a huge amount of skill and practice to nail shots this way, because you must be able to both guess focus correctly (if manually focusing) or know where your AF box is going to go – and at the same time know your lens well enough to visualize the field of view. You also have to be incredibly fast about it, because moments are fleeting and not repeatable. I’m not going to name names, but there are a number of popular ‘street photographers’ who don’t and can’t do this because it’s extremely difficult to do, and the yield rate is quite low for ‘perfect’ shots.

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London, Leica M8, Zeiss 21/2.8

*Shameless self plug: all of the images in this post, and all of my street photography, is done using the stealth method. When I was in practice and shooting hundreds of frames daily, I could zone focus accurately with my M8 and 21/1.4 at f2. Not anymore, sadly.

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Oxford, Leica M8, 21/1.4

However, the biggest benefit to this approach is the fact that you don’t intimidate or scare your subjects. If you don’t make somebody angry, they’re far less likely to be unhappy or actively object to you taking a photograph. And if people do notice, don’t stare back or give a stern look – though it’s usually human nature – wave and smile, and you’ll be surprised how many people wave and smile back at you. They may even strike up a conversation and let you get a few more interesting images.

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Paris, Leica M8, 21/1.4

There’s also the more subtle issue of quantum mechanics**. Basically, you as the observer won’t interfere with the scene – if you become a participant in the image, then the reaction you provoke from your subjects will necessarily disrupt whatever it was you initially wanted to capture. Bottom line: be anonymous, unmemorable, and blend in. If you’re in a touristy area, this might mean pretending to take random photos of everything and anything, whilst actually being very specific about what you’re looking for. Or it may mean using a compact and holding it in your hand, always being aware, and getting a grab frame in whenever you can. It means having to be both anticipative and reactive; you’ve got to be a bit of a psychologist to figure out who’s going to do what when, so you can visualize the scene in advance and be ready to capture it.

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Prague, Leica M9-P, 50/1.4 ASPH

**I deal extensively with the Schrodinger paradox and its application to photography here.

This brings me to the real meat of this article: what are the rights and wrongs of street photography? A comment by one of my readers on another post inspired the post; yes, I do shoot a lot of random strangers, especially when traveling, and there are often shots I see but may not take for various reasons. I don’t think it’s so much lack of chutzpah as the feeling that it may not be socially acceptable or ethically appropriate in various situations; photographing beggars and cripples is one of those things. Using people to portray contrasts or as anonymous human-scale elements in a frame is fine, but the one golden rule I stick to is that I’ll never take a shot that’s demeaning or potentially defamatory. You wouldn’t want the somebody to do the same to you, would you?

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Prague, Leica M9-P, 28/2.8 ASPH

Then there’s the issue of where and when – in most countries, you’re allowed to photograph in public effectively without restriction. There may be certain rules on tripod use because of obstruction or perceived ‘commerciality’ of the images, but that varies from place to place; in any case, most of the time I don’t use a tripod because of the weight and inconvenience. However, private property is exactly that: private. So if you’re told not to photograph, then you probably shouldn’t. And never use images for commercial or stock use if you don’t have the agreement of any identifiable individuals in the image. (Editorial use is different; you don’t need releases for people in news stories, but you also can’t really sell the images for anything else other than news.) Finally, I would be careful in politically sensitive countries or around police or other law enforcement agencies – they may have good reason for you not to photograph something, and ignorance isn’t a defense in court.

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Kuala Lumpur, Leica M9-P, 50/0.95

Finally, remember that in an increasingly connected world, we aren’t anonymous. It’s entirely possible for somebody to see themselves on another site somewhere; in fact, it’s happened to me a few times. It may be because I just look at more images than the average person and thus have a higher chance of seeing myself somewhere, but I’ve also had people message or email and say they were the person in the shot. I usually just send the person a copy of the image by way of thank you; in any case, you can’t do anything commercially with it, so there’s no harm in releasing a copy.

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Prague, Leica M9-P, 28/2.8 ASPH

I think if you stick to what your gut tells you about common sense and public etiquette, then you should be safe. Unless you’re a photojournalist, it isn’t worth getting the shot and then getting in trouble for it – there are exceptions, but they’re far and few between. Practice being fast and stealthy, but also courteous and friendly; and you’ll find that street photography isn’t so difficult after all. MT

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London, Leica M8, 21/1.4 ASPH

Comments

  1. Nice writeup, Ming, echoes my sentiments very closely.

  2. Thank you so much

  3. Vanessa LoPierre says:

    Ming, thank you for the article. I just started shooting street photography and was curious about the ethics. Beautiful photographs!!

  4. This article was well thought out and I agree with pretty much everything (except the optimal focal length for street photography – I like 50mm.) I also use a Leica and try to shoot wide open, which is high-risk in regards to missing focus. But when things work out the images are, I think, worth the effort.

    Looking at your images I can see that camera was often positioned at chest level, something I do as well when the need is to get the shot before people know you are capturing them, the quantum mechanics approach. I always feel a little guilty when I don’t put the camera to my eye, but sometimes you just can’t if you want to capture reality.

    Anyway great article and really great photos. I’ll be checking back regularly.

    • Thanks! I had to shoot wide open a lot with the M8 simply because it wasn’t exactly a great high-ISO camera – and yes, it’s risky but with practice I could zone focus at f2. (That ability also disappears quickly with lack of practice.)

  5. I have been engaged in a project for two years spanning 2600 photos of my daily commute via Chicago public transit. It does take balls and it takes ethics. It’s very easy to use a camera to poke fun or to pass. A photograph is a frozen moment in time as opposed to a complete encapsulation of the situation which allows a talented photographer to imply emotion or reveal fleeting I motions in their subjects.

  6. “in most countries, you’re allowed to photograph in public effectively without restriction.”

    I’m looking for a resource that lists what you’re allowed to do where. What are the basic rights or accepted situations where photography is allowed around that world.

    Suggestions?

    • Unfortunately, because there are so many minor variations, I don’t think such a resource exists – it would be a huge amount of work an subject to change every time a new law is passed. Perhaps and interesting project for a photographer-lawyer…

      • My broad question was looking for a broad answer. And really, I’m mostly concerned about knowing where street is not permitted or acceptable. I’ve never had a problem during trips to Europe, Beijing, Indonesia (Bali), and Mexico. But I approach street shooting with the US view point of “if you are in a public place and not photographing military spaces it is OK.”

        Where would that attitude get me in trouble?

        • As far as I know, I think Germany is the only place where you might have issues – from what I hear. Then again, I was told Austria was similarly unfriendly – but I was there last year shooting with abandon and no issues. I suppose if you look like a tourist, nobody is going to care much…one more point in favor of small, unobtrusive gear.

  7. if you really have to photograph a potentially forbidden building in a paranoid country, try popping your partner/companion in the shot. it is amazing what a “dumb tourist” can get away with:) and that applies to basic street portraits which is important for the less talented like me.
    great article. Thanks

    Tim

  8. Hi Ming, great post, as usual. Question: what do you use to convert your images to B&W?

  9. Ming,

    Thank you for sharing the excellent insights and images. I’m interested to know your thoughts on using cameras with touchscreen focus and image capture. I can envision the OM-D being used in this way as another method for grabbing for discreet shots. It is definitely less of a purist approach, but certainly an interesting application of a feature in my view.

    • If you’re going for waist level or overhead shots, then it’s great; if you’re shooting at normal eye height, then holding the camera at arms’ length and jabbing at the screen is going to attract more attention than just shooting surreptitiously. Furthermore, you’re also going to have less stability than with the camera to your face. You can do it – that’s what TLR shooters do anyway – I just don’t see the point.

  10. Reblogged this on A Piney Walk About and commented:
    Great article on street photography

  11. Another well thought post. My preferred tool for “stealth” street photography without taking the camera to the eye is the x100 because of the completely silent shutter mechanism. The manual focus implementation could be better, and the look of the camera could be more discrete, but its good enough already. It has allowed me to get some pretty intimate portraits of people that i don’t think I could have taken with any other digital camera.

    I long for a digital equivalent to the Oly XA, though. The camera i’ve enjoyed the most street shooting in “snap without looking through the viewfinder” mode.

    • Thank you. I like the GRD-III best for this kind of work; it’s small, silent and fast. And has that neat hyper focal ‘snap’ feature that bypasses AF if you just mash down the shutter. You can slip and optical finder into the shoe and not bother with the LCD at all.

      In the same vein as your digital XA, I’d like a digital GR1v – and the GRD series isn’t it, the sensor is much too small…

  12. Interesting article…there are ethical questions, and you seem to be against a certain segment of online sensations who advertise themselves as “street photographers”, operating with a flash and a single focal length. They can be annoying, as they see themselves as the “true” street photographers…

    • I don’t claim to be a street photographer – I do some personal ‘life documentary’ work while out and about and an opportunity happens to present itself, but my focus is controlled-situation commercial photography.

      However, ask yourself this: you’re out and about minding your own business, enjoying the day. Would you mind being photographed from a distance – if you happen to notice him, the photographer nods and smiles back? You’re not even sure if he was taking a picture of you. What about if somebody came up and shoved a camera and flash a foot away from your face? It’s not a question of ‘true’ or not, it’s just basic human courtesy – something that seems hugely lacking these days. The real world is not a convenient gathering of test subjects! If you expect to be respected and treated with decency as a photographer, then you should act in the same manner. There’s a reason why paparazzi are disliked…

  13. I shot with LX3 for few years. I shot exclusively at the wide end using the method you described. I got so good at it that i could almost see the frame and the placements without even looking at the frame. Also, i knew the frame by heart depending on where on my waist/tummy i placed the camera.
    Here’s my LX3 set, if you have time, please take a look:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/agnihot/sets/72157619540388908/

    By the way, your website really rocks. It had to take a “real” photographer to do this…if you know what i mean.

  14. Reblogged this on Photography Re-Blogger and commented:
    A great article on the basics of getting started with Street Photography.

  15. This is a great article. Good advice and well written by someone who clearly cares about the people he’s photographing, I wish more people had this respect.

    • Thanks Tim. I just try to treat others as I’d expect to be treated – I don’t mind being photographed if a) people are friendly, and I always agree; b) people ask; c) I don’t notice them. But if somebody stuck a camera six inches away from my face with a flash, I’d probably grab and smash it on the pavement. That’s just rude.

  16. Marcus Leow says:

    i do street photography too. I stay in Singapore and the people here don’t really like photos of them being taken. And everyone stares at me when I bring my camera out. Any tips to improve stealth?

    • Always have it out, keep it in your hand; that way your bag action can’t draw attention to yourself. And try using something smaller, or just smiling and nodding if you get noticed. It’s not so much the act that bothers people, it’s not being asked. Oddly I’ve never had odd looks when using a tripod (for architectural work), because you’re so obvious and out there that people will simply move if they care. They just assume you’re photographing something else.

  17. Great subject Ming and well put.
    I took pictures from people in public in many different countries. In many Latin America countries, they dont you to photograph them, until you show a few bucks. I also found that simply asking if it OK to their pictures, usually people are OK with it. Of course respect those who do not agree, and wish them very friendly a very nice day. Of course, these are not the spontaneous shots, but when in London last year, I made it my subject to grab the diversity of the London people, so I simply asked, “Hello can I please take your photo?” The majority agreed and some of the shots are here: http://www.photosbyfrans.com/London.html
    Even those photographed from the back knew I was shooting them. A very nice experience, all done with 50mm. (back to the basics with just one prime and enjoying it)
    One “stealth” distraction trick that worked for me in other situations, is to have the (D)SLR hanging around you neck and shoot with a little backup camera from the hip, so to speak.
    Your blog is a joy to read. Unfortunately we dont have PAYPAL, otherwise I would join your contest.
    Best regards,

    • Thanks Frans. You could even forgo the DSLR and act like a tourist with the point and shoot, that usually works for me…probably helps that most people think I’m just a crazy Asian…

  18. Nice article, Ming. Leica used to be the ultimate stealth camera, but I’m finding my little NEX-7 with a tiny 35 or 50 Summarit mounted is better. Zone focus and an almost non-existent shutter sound which is more reminiscent of the film Leica’s really work well.

    • For some odd reason, the digital Ms are much louder than the film ones, or even the M4/3 cameras; the OM-D has a nice quiet ‘thunk’ that you don’t really hear even if you’re a foot away from the camera in a noisy environment. Yet somehow I don’t think I’d ever be 100% satisfied with an electronic shutter; it somehow lacks that pleasingly confirming mechanical-ness we’ve come to associate with ‘serious’ photography.

  19. Robert Stark says:

    You cogently state, “Basically, you as the observer won’t interfere with the scene – if you become a participant in the image, then the reaction you provoke from your subjects will necessarily disrupt whatever it was you initially wanted to capture. Bottom line: be anonymous, unmemorable, and blend in.”

    This is the same problem for the social anthropologist. Very interesting dilemma.

    • I think whatever the answer to the dilemma, it’s very important to remember that ultimately, we are all human – and should behave and treat others as such.

      • Robert Stark says:

        Of course you are right; respect is the most important, moral concern. But I was thinking of the dilemma from the “scientific” and scholarly point of view — where the anthropologist affects the behavior of the social group being observed so as to invalidate the research. This criticism was leveled at Margaret Mead, for example.

        • Absolutely; it would invalidate the research if you were to consciously affect the outcome. But how is the researcher to thoroughly objectify the outcome if they too are human, and therefore somewhat biased? Doesn’t that also invalidate things to some extent?

  20. Ernie Van Veen says:

    Thanks for this perfectly-timed post, Ming. I’m off to Sydney tomorrow for a 2nd hand camera market and a bit of street photography. I think I’ll give the stealth method a go.

  21. Good read. Though one small part bothered me, “invading personal space”. As a street photographer, I feel obligated to say that there is no such thing as personal space for anyone, even the photographer, the moment you step out into public view. If you’re out and about, be prepared to be photographed. Such a misconception, people thinking there is something like “personal space” outside.

    • There’s no such thing as privacy, but personal space remains. There’s a big difference between shooting somebody from six feet away, and six inches. Try it if you don’t believe me.

      • Pretty sure Gilden could pull that off if his camera could focus to that distance. But then again, who would beat up an old man? Lol But personally, I’ve shot at 1m and that’s fine.

  22. Paul H. Buch says:

    Great article, Ming.

  23. Very well said Ming. Use common sense. And have balls :-) At least 8-9 years ago I was photographing in Paris using my Hasselblad at the time and also had a 35mm camera slung over my shoulder and was nearly assaulted by someone I was photographing on one of the Ponts on the Sien river. He demanded money and I gave him a few Francs {pre-Euro} to stave off the conflict.

    Fact: When in Paris, and wanting to photograph store fronts, it is polite to ask the shop keeper’s permission. I’ve never been turned down.

    When I first started to photography storefronts of some cool stores, shop keepers would get upset because I did not ask. They were dubious of what the images were being used for. I’ve been told there is some kind of privacy law in Paris about taking photographs in public of individuals even buildings, and especially with a Hassy at the time I think it looked way too professional and a bit intimidating. Although I’ve never researched the Parisian law re: photography in public. A “bonjour” and simply asking has allowed me access to almost anyplace I’ve wanted to photograph their. Ming, have you had any experience with their privacy issues?

    My recent gear acquirements are an X100 and an Oly OMD EM-5 with a 25 1.7, and a 45 1.8, for extra stealthiness. I’m looking forward to traveling light and leaving my big rig and L lenses at home.

    Sorry to hijack this post….I found this on Flicker and seemed to sum up photography rights in Paris:….

    Directphoto ® says:

    I want to explain further here, that France doesn’t have anti-photography laws. You can photograph more freely here than you can in lots of other places, like in China, all Arabian countries, etc. The problem is not taking the photo but in what you DO with the photo after taking it that posses the big problem. If it is a commercial work like a building, an art work, or a portrait of someone, you CAN publish them for non-commercial, editorial, informational use. But you MUST give a credit line to the Architect or the Artist. Even the Arche and the Eiffel Tower at night. But you will need the permission to license the photos if used in an advertisement, or commercial use (posters, etc). A Property/Model Release is the permission. This permission is only granted upon paying a license fee. This is why it is “forbidden”, the copyright owners want to get a cut of the payment so you must negotiate a fee to them. It’s that simple. Once you understand that, you will see that you can almost do what you want. You should however ask people before shooting them. It is considered disrespectful if you don’t . In my experience, If you can ask politely and explain what you are doing- 95% of time people will accept. Again the idea here is to ask before, or they may not like that you did so without asking them first.

    • No negative experiences in Paris beyond one guy who decided to stick a finger up at me, but I did realize the Leica wasn’t as stealthy as I thought when a dude on a bicycle rode past and shouted out ‘Nice Leica!’.

      I find it’s much easier to apologize then lose the shot. However, private property laws for commercial use are pretty much the same all over the world, so in general it’s a good idea to get a property release beforehand if you plan to do a commercial shoot with a building – unless it’s a public park or something. At the end of the day, people just don’t want you profiting unfairly from their property (and understandably so).

  24. Travis Rhodes says:

    I have a list of questions, answer only those you feel inclined to answer.

    What draws you to street photography, its so wildly opposite spectrum of your commercial work?
    What do you look at when composing the image?
    How much of a purist are you?
    What makes a great street photo in your opinion?

    I am torn about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principal being applied in street photography. I like to interact with my subjects a lot. There are times that I don’t and just let the scene develop naturally. However, I feel that if something has drawn me to an individual(s) and through some rearrangement on my part I can enhance the image, I have no problem doing so.

    • It’s practice for me – keeps me sharp; seeing, anticipating, and working quickly. As many influences as you can get are great, because cross-breeding them helps you make unique images.

      I look for an interesting moment, an emotion, or something that encapsulates the place or space I’m in.

      Purist all the way.

      The photo has to say something – you need to be able to identify the subject; the composition must be well balance; exposure, focus and lighting (i.e. the technical aspects) must be bang on. I don’t tolerate near misses for commercial work, and I apply the same standards when I shoot street – I’ll treat it as a photojournalism exercise.

      • This shows in your images – stunning examples of street photography, technically perfect but also captivating subjects giving a real sense of the people and places.
        I *really* don’t get this so called street photography of shoving a camera in someone’s face and capturing their reaction, usually surprised or bewildered.

        • Thank you. I don’t think there’s much point in that either…you don’t get anything that’s at all natural-looking or representative of the subject, plus you just annoy people to boot…

  25. I could not agree more, Ming. I still try to do this at least once per month, that is, in ‘stealth’ mode. It really ends up being a great hand-eye coordination excercise and without the benefit of a viewfinder, really helps to get you to the limits of both your gear and your reflexes/ previsualization skills. I like pushing it at night or dusk w/ fill flash, camera at hip-height, while I am looking at someone…and having them think it just went off by accident. Try it when the background is cluttered or undesirable for other reasons…

    • Or go even further and don’t bother looking at the camera. There’s another technique where you hold the camera in one hand, swing a little as if gesticulating or walking exuberantly, and time the shot at the apex of the swing so everything is stationary – it’s one of those things that can be a useful trick if you can pull it off.

  26. hjkimbrian says:

    thanks for the article ming. there seem to be different schools of thought on street photography (getting up & close vs. respecting personal space). i think your article well explores both sides, and your pictures substantiate your claims too.

  27. I’m enjoying your blog a lot. So, If I were to put together a photo book of street images, and sold it that would be violating the law, right? I mean with out a release from everybody in it. Or is there something about, if it’s art and not stock it’s OK. How about charging for a workshop and showing those type of images. Just curious. I’m interested in this type of photography, but haven’t yet tried it.
    Thanks for the ideas!

    • Thanks Bob – it’s a gray line. So long as you’re not using the likeness of the person to promote a product or service without their permission, you’re generally okay. Art and editorial (if you can prove it) are fine too.

  28. William Jusuf says:

    very good and insightful article Ming…

    I am practicing the street with full manual focus..
    it could be either 2 ways.. at least for me now ..
    either its totally stealth .. without the person knowing…
    or
    smile, talk, introduce myself even ask for the person if she/ he want the photo emailed… (actually i already took the shoot before the acquaintance process)…

    its quite challenging. at least in my place to do this.
    I ve been tossed away by mall securities many times..
    even last week,
    in public park .. some USA embassy securities (+/- 500 feet away from park across the street) stop me and interogating us (3 photography lover) doing photos in the public park (with only 35-50 mm lens.. how we can spy the 500 feet away embassy ?)

    but its all worth the results and happiness..
    btw what focal do you love the most for street? I only learn to use 35 mm and 50 mm (being 52 and 75 in apsc or 70 and 100 in m4/3)..

    great insight Ming

    William

  29. adultsatires says:

    Splendid photos! A moment captured in time by a camera lens… A piece of history, a moment frozen in time to lend. :)

    • Thank you!

    • Mae Smith says:

      I have to say I find most of your pictures brilliant. But, I feel shooting from far away is incredibly rude if you don’t speak with them after. I also find your photograph of the girls in the restaurant an invasion of their personal space.

      • It often isn’t practical because there are either too many people in the shot, or they move away and the moment is fleeting. I don’t know about you, but if you observe carefully you’ll find you’re probably in thousands of images without your knowledge. Anything that takes place in public is fair game so long as you don’t use it for commercial purposes without consent.

        • Having recalled that the late Willy Ronis of France was reportedly successfully sued for some photograph he made, I Google’d and found this note @ >> http://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/willy-ronis-v-flower-seller/ <<

          –to wit : QUOTE <>END QUOTE
          I don’t see any comment (of the few) indicating that this law has been revoked/revised.
          !? !!

          • ?! Once I actually did have a bona fide, visible-characters quote.
            One further try, though yes the URL will get it, and more.
            In 1999, Willy Ronis was sued for a photograph he had taken in 1947; that year, while covering grand Parisian markets, he had [taken] a photo of a youn flower seller, named Jacqueline, in Les Halles. In 1984, Ronis and Jacqueline came into contact again through a mutual friend. Ronis remembers, “she kissed me and gave me flowers and we became almost close friends.” For years, she had the photograph framed in her shop.
            But in the 1990s, the French legislation changed, pronouncing “owner ship of one’s image”. This law –which was also [retroactive]– is perhaps the most stringent privacy law ever enacted by any country. Manipulated by lawyers, as Ronis put it, the flower seller successfully sued then 90-year-old Ronis. Ronis was fined 2500 [pounds is symbol'd, but that seems wrong], and his agency, Rapho, somewhat more; although he could still show the phot in exhibitions, the court banned Ronis from reproducing the photograph in print media, lest copies end up in France. [!!? <--editorial exclamation :o] So precise was this non-dissemination clause, that when the Guardian interviewed him, he could not allow [them] to reprint the photo in britain, in case copies reached across the channel.
            (I typed this, but otherwise didn't make it up.)

            –dl*
            ====

          • Not to the best of my knowledge, but then again it’s France…guilty until innocent and all that.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Street photography – the ethics of photographing random strangers […]

  2. […] Ming Thein on street photography and ethics […]

  3. [...] About the author: Ming Thein is a Malaysia-based photographer whose career has spanned fine watches, wildlife, photojournalism, travel, concerts and food. Visit his website here. This post was originally published here. [...]

  4. [...] About the author: Ming Thein is a Malaysia-based photographer whose career has spanned fine watches, wildlife, photojournalism, travel, concerts and food. Visit his website here. This post was originally published here. [...]

  5. [...] recorders, we must endeavour not to become public nuisances. In a previous article, I talked about the ethics of street photography and the importance of maintaining basic human standards of politeness and courtesy; something that [...]

  6. [...]   Street photography is a genre that every photographer will try at least once in their career. Its broad appeal stems from the fact that you can do it anywhere; there’s a human element to the images that captivate the viewer, and if done well, can make for some extremely arresting images. However, it also requires balls. You have to get close enough to your subjects; and with people, invading personal space is uncomfortable (and possibly hazardous to health) for both photographer and subject. There’s a slight snobbishness about shooting with a longer lens, too – it isn’t seen as being hard core enough. In fact, these days, it seems if you’re not at f8, hyperfocal distance and sticking your camera and flash right up to somebody’s nose, then you’re not really doing street photography.  [...]

  7. [...]   Street photography is a genre that every photographer will try at least once in their career. Its broad appeal stems from the fact that you can do it anywhere; there’s a human element to the images that captivate the viewer, and if done well, can make for some extremely arresting images. However, it also requires balls. You have to get close enough to your subjects; and with people, invading personal space is uncomfortable (and possibly hazardous to health) for both photographer and subject. There’s a slight snobbishness about shooting with a longer lens, too – it isn’t seen as being hard core enough. In fact, these days, it seems if you’re not at f8, hyperfocal distance and sticking your camera and flash right up to somebody’s nose, then you’re not really doing street photography.  [...]

  8. [...] Thein is a very good street photographer and he wrote an interesting post on the ethics of street photography. Take a few moments and have a read and them come back here for my take on ethics. [...]

  9. [...] Paris, Leica M8, 21/1.4 Street photography is a genre that every photographer will try at least once in their career. Its broad appeal stems from the fact that you can do it anywhere; there’s…  [...]

  10. [...]   Street photography is a genre that every photographer will try at least once in their career. Its broad appeal stems from the fact that you can do it anywhere; there’s a human element to the images that captivate the viewer, and if done well, can make for some extremely arresting images. However, it also requires balls. You have to get close enough to your subjects; and with people, invading personal space is uncomfortable (and possibly hazardous to health) for both photographer and subject. There’s a slight snobbishness about shooting with a longer lens, too – it isn’t seen as being hard core enough. In fact, these days, it seems if you’re not at f8, hyperfocal distance and sticking your camera and flash right up to somebody’s nose, then you’re not really doing street photography.  [...]

  11. [...] is a great article about the ethics of shooting on the street, and has some great discussion of street photography [...]

  12. Anonymous says:

    [...] can use the stealth method to capture street shots, without ever looking through the viewfinder. Street photography – the ethics of photographing random strangers This technique can result in wonderful candid images – as the subjects will most likely have no [...]

  13. [...] Street photography is a genre that every photographer will try at least once in their career. Its broad appeal stems from the fact that you can do it anywhere; there’s…  [...]

  14. [...]   Street photography is a genre that every photographer will try at least once in their career. Its broad appeal stems from the fact that you can do it anywhere; there’s a human element to the images that captivate the viewer, and if done well, can make for some extremely arresting images. However, it also requires balls. You have to get close enough to your subjects; and with people, invading personal space is uncomfortable (and possibly hazardous to health) for both photographer and subject. There’s a slight snobbishness about shooting with a longer lens, too – it isn’t seen as being hard core enough. In fact, these days, it seems if you’re not at f8, hyperfocal distance and sticking your camera and flash right up to somebody’s nose, then you’re not really doing street photography.  [...]

  15. [...]   Street photography is a genre that every photographer will try at least once in their career. Its broad appeal stems from the fact that you can do it anywhere; there’s a human element to the images that captivate the viewer, and if done well, can make for some extremely arresting images. However, it also requires balls. You have to get close enough to your subjects; and with people, invading personal space is uncomfortable (and possibly hazardous to health) for both photographer and subject. There’s a slight snobbishness about shooting with a longer lens, too – it isn’t seen as being hard core enough. In fact, these days, it seems if you’re not at f8, hyperfocal distance and sticking your camera and flash right up to somebody’s nose, then you’re not really doing street photography.  [...]

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