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a question of ethics

 
 
Philip Homburg
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      10-21-2006
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Floyd L. Davidson <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>"Can you delete *all* of the pictures of
>me?"


Ah, that is what film is for.

>It was quite clear that this was not a frivolous request,
>that she realized that those pictures are indeed an invasion of
>her privacy, and that she was guilty of invading the other
>girl's privacy too.


Strange concept. You cannot expect that kind of privacy on public roads.

>She allowed me to keep all images that
>included her *with* either of the two children that I was
>specifically photographing.
>
>To be honest, I was just extremely impressed with her
>perception, even if she was destroying several really nice
>photographs!


Maybe I'm missing something. But how does the privacy argument change when
the picture includes somebody else as well?


--
That was it. Done. The faulty Monk was turned out into the desert where it
could believe what it liked, including the idea that it had been hard done
by. It was allowed to keep its horse, since horses were so cheap to make.
-- Douglas Adams in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
 
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Floyd L. Davidson
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      10-21-2006
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (Philip Homburg) wrote:
>Floyd L. Davidson <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>"Can you delete *all* of the pictures of
>>me?"

>
>Ah, that is what film is for.


That is why with film I absolutely would have to be more
careful, lest I annoy someone unnecessarily. With digital it is
very easy to show them what you are doing, and let them help
cull images that you don't want.

>>It was quite clear that this was not a frivolous request,
>>that she realized that those pictures are indeed an invasion of
>>her privacy, and that she was guilty of invading the other
>>girl's privacy too.

>
>Strange concept. You cannot expect that kind of privacy on public roads.


But this was not on a public road (it was inside a public
facility though).

Also, keep in mind that what is legal can be different from what
is moral, and both might leave a lot to be desired if you live
in a small community and value your neighbors. The value of a
neighbor is what allows us all to be here, and without it an
individual would not likely survive.

We don't, for example, have "road rage" here...

>>She allowed me to keep all images that
>>included her *with* either of the two children that I was
>>specifically photographing.
>>
>>To be honest, I was just extremely impressed with her
>>perception, even if she was destroying several really nice
>>photographs!

>
>Maybe I'm missing something. But how does the privacy argument change when
>the picture includes somebody else as well?


A *very* perceptive young lady, indeed!

A picture that is *only* of her, is just that. She is the
object on display, and the sensitivities of a 13 year old about
looks are astounding. A picture of her with someone else is a
"group" picture, and she is merely a piece of the object.

A very subtle difference, which took me by surprise when she
came up with it and at the same time demonstrated that it was
*very* clear in her mind even if she initially stumbled over how
to tell me what was okay and what was not. Indeed, as she
selected images to delete or not, she told me why for about half
of them, and she was precisely consistent (she also deleted some
based on technical faults, such as being out of focus). It was
impressive.

--
Floyd L. Davidson <http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson>
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska) (E-Mail Removed)
 
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Robert A. Cunningham
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      10-21-2006

"AustinMN" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) ups.com...
> Robert A. Cunningham wrote:
>> Last weekend I was traveling in my car with a friend when three emergency
>> vehicles passed us. A couple of minutes later we encountered the same
>> vehicles at the site of an accident. An SUV was on it's roof about 15
>> feet
>> off the shoulder of the highway. We stopped and got out and I took my
>> camera and started taking pictures of the vehicle. There were plenty of
>> first responders on hand, and I did not see any of the injured, though,
>> from
>> the looks of things there were probably some very serious injuries
>> sustained. After I took only one picture someone (not a police officer
>> or
>> the fireman, but a civilian) asked me who I was with. I think he
>> initially
>> thought I was a professional photographer, but he soon concluded
>> correctly,
>> that I was not, and he would not allow me to take any more pictures.

>
> Disclaimer: U.S. perspective...rules may vary in other places:
>
> Unless you were on private property, he did not have the authority to
> tell you that you could not take the pictures.
>
>> My friend, to my total surprise, agreed with him.

>
> Most people consider this kind of photography invasive, even when it
> isn't.
>
>> Some of the most moving photographs ever taken have been of subjects that
>> show death and destruction. Two examples that come to mind are from the
>> Vietnam war: 1. the photograph of the young Vietnamese girl running nude
>> down the highway after having being burned by napalm. and 2. the Viet
>> Cong
>> official who was shot in the head from point blank range during the Tet
>> Offensive in 1968.

>
> Both of those were photographed and published in a journalistic manner
> and for journalistic purposes. It changes the rules. Even so, the
> newspapers I read don't publish photos of horrific crash scenes any
> more, or at least bury them beyond page 2.
>
> For most non-journalistic (and non-evidentiary) purposes, there are
> serious legal ramifications to using photos of recognizable people
> without a model release. These issues generally do not extend to
> property, but in some limited situations may. I don't think an
> overturned, smashed-up car would count.
>
> Was the person objecting to you taking pictures at all, or taking
> pictures while rescue personel were still actively working the scene?


That person did not want me to take any pictures at all. He was quite
adamant about it. At first I thought he was with law enforcement, but then
I discovered he was just a civilian, like me. I did not interfere with
rescue personnel in any way. In fact, I was quite a ways away from them.
>
>> I am in no way comparing my pictures to the one mentioned above, but my
>> question is how does one determine when it is ok to shoot pictures of
>> events
>> that cause immense grief to others?

>
> I am sure there are those from one end of the spectrum to the other.
> For some people, it is *never* OK. For others, it is OK to photograph
> anything (such as the cold blooded murder of a spy you mentioned
> above).
>
> When my grandmother died (about 30 years ago), an adult cousin of mine
> took a Polaroid snapshot of granny in the casket. People were
> outraged. But today, they pass around a very old photo of her
> grandfather. I have virtually proven that it was a "death portrait,"
> where the deceased was sat up, effectively strapped in place, and
> photographed. Those who objected to granny's Polaroid have no problem
> with great-great grandpa's death portrait.
>
> The differences are many, but one of the big ones was the purpose. My
> cousin wanted a picture of his grandmother, but wasn't willing to
> persue getting a copy of one of the very many that were taken in her
> lifetime. Death portraits were popular at a time when photography
> almost always involved a professional, and was relatively expensive.
> Families would sometimes have them done when no other photo of Papa
> existed.
>
> If you were shooting the scene for a series on drunkeness (whether for
> journalistic or artistic purposes), I would not object - assuming drunk
> driving turned out to be a factor in the collision. If you were
> shooting it in order to add to a collection of gory scenes for your
> Halloween haunted house, I might.
>
> Austin
>



 
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Robert A. Cunningham
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      10-21-2006

"Derek Fountain" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:4538d973$0$97219$(E-Mail Removed) reenews.net...
> > We stopped and got out and I took my
>> camera and started taking pictures of the vehicle.

>
> I'm going to play devil's advocate here, and don't actually believe in
> what follows, but I'd be interested your or others' responses to it.
>
> What you don't make clear in your post is why you started taking pictures.
>
> The average car wreck isn't that interesting a subject, and nor are
> injured or distressed people, unless you're recording a news event for a
> local paper. Which presumably you weren't?
>
> Why did you want to take photos of the scene? Without an obvious and
> sensible reason, one might conclude that's you're a weirdo who considers
> his photos of destruction, injury and potentially death some part of your
> "art."


A valid question. I certainly don't think of it as part of my "art." By
far the vast majority of my photos are scenery, nature, animals, etc. I've
been taking photographs since the mid-60's and this is only the 4th photo of
a car accident I have ever shot. Three of them were taken because I was
driving buy and I had a camera. The other one was taken because I was in
the area when the accident happened. None of them show any blood, gore, at
all, so it is hardly an obsession.


 
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Robert A. Cunningham
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      10-21-2006

"John McWilliams" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Robert A. Cunningham wrote:
>> Last weekend I was traveling in my car with a friend when three emergency
>> vehicles passed us. A couple of minutes later we encountered the same
>> vehicles at the site of an accident. An SUV was on it's roof about 15
>> feet off the shoulder of the highway. We stopped and got out and I took
>> my camera and started taking pictures of the vehicle. There were plenty
>> of first responders on hand, and I did not see any of the injured,
>> though, from the looks of things there were probably some very serious
>> injuries sustained. After I took only one picture someone (not a police
>> officer or the fireman, but a civilian) asked me who I was with. I think
>> he initially thought I was a professional photographer, but he soon
>> concluded correctly, that I was not, and he would not allow me to take
>> any more pictures.

>
> If you were out of the way of all official personnel, and there was no aid
> you could possibly render, and you were not standing on private property,
> you were within your legal rights.
>
> But ethics? Morals? Too much of a judgement call. No right answer that'll
> apply to everyone.
>
> So, what motivated you to stop and shoot?


Three emergency vehicles had passed us. That aroused my curiousity. When
we arrived on the scene, I pulled over and grabbed my camera with out even
giving it any thought at all. It never even occurred to me that I was doing
anything wrong. I did not see any injured people, although I am sure there
were some, just from the appearance of the vehicle, but I didn't see them,
and they are not in the photographs that I did take.
>
> --
> John McWilliams



 
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Ludwig
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      10-21-2006
gpsman wrote:

>
> I've shot a few crashes with cops on the scene. Staying out of "the
> way" no official has ever said squat to me. A couple of the drivers
> told me not to take pictures of their crash and my reply was, off the
> top of my head the first time, "Sorry. If you don't want pictures
> taken you should crash in the privacy of your own home".


Sensitive.

I can't help but wonder how you'd feel if you'd just lost several
members of your family and the use of your legs in an accident, and some
rubberneck stood around taking photos of your misfortune. Personally,
I'd wish him dead.

 
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Robert A. Cunningham
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      10-21-2006

"Floyd L. Davidson" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> John Smith <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>Robert A. Cunningham wrote:
>>
>>> I am in no way comparing my pictures to the one mentioned above, but my
>>> question is how does one determine when it is ok to shoot pictures of
>>> events
>>> that cause immense grief to others? I'm sure that if the mother of the
>>> little Vietnamese girl saw the photographer take the photo of her
>>> daughter
>>> she would have been extremely upset, but that photo had a powerful
>>> impact
>>> in this country.

>>
>>My standard is to take pictures only if the subject is unusual, or
>>front-page newsworthy, or nobody was seriously harmed. Some examples:
>>
>>*I did take pictures when the under-construction university dorms burned
>>down, as the only harm was to the university's insurance company.
>>*I did not take pictures when the house down the street burned down.
>>*I would not take pictures of a three-car accident.
>>*I would take pictures if the president's limo was one of the cars.
>>*I did not take pictures when a car drove off the edge of a parking
>>garage.
>>*I would take pictures if the car stopped halfway out.

>
> That is all very interesting, but I honestly don't see any valid
> logic to it.
>
> Why not take pictures of a three-car accident? (The various
> insurance companies might be happy to see your images...)
>
> What makes the President any less sensitive to whatever it is
> that you want to protect than anyone else?
>
> Likewise, the neighbor's house fire is something you definitely
> *should* want pictures of, for a variety of reasons; while the
> dorm fire is merely passing trivia.
>
> --
> Floyd L. Davidson <http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson>
> Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska) (E-Mail Removed)


As the original poster to this story I just want to thank everyone for
expressing your opinion on this subject. I read all of the comments, and
I'm totally surprised by the number of participants. It was a good
discussion, and I learned a lot. As to what I would do in the future, if
the same type of situation occur it would depend on whether I was by myself
or with the same friend. If I were by myself, and I came upon an accident
site, I would probably stop, get out my camera, but this time I would not
even walk toward the site, and I would rely on my 12 power zoom, so I would
not attract any attention from anyone. Thanks again for the great
discussion.

Robert A. Cunningham


 
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Grant Robertson
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      10-21-2006
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
(E-Mail Removed) says...
> That person did not want me to take any pictures at all. He was quite
> adamant about it. At first I thought he was with law enforcement, but then
> I discovered he was just a civilian, like me. I did not interfere with
> rescue personnel in any way. In fact, I was quite a ways away from them.


Ws that person one of the victims? Related to one of the victims? Or was
that person just a bystander with control issues?
 
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Robert A. Cunningham
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      10-21-2006

"gpsman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) ps.com...
> Robert A. Cunningham wrote: <brevity snip>
>> An SUV was on it's roof about 15 feet
>> off the shoulder of the highway. We stopped and got out and I took my
>> camera and started taking pictures of the vehicle.

>
>> After I took only one picture someone (not a police officer or
>> the fireman, but a civilian) asked me who I was with. I think he
>> initially
>> thought I was a professional photographer, but he soon concluded
>> correctly,
>> that I was not, and he would not allow me to take any more pictures.

>
> What does "wouldn't allow" mean?


It means the guy just flat out told me I could not take any pictures. And
since he was considerably larger than me, he was going to make you I didn't.
There was no doubt about that.
>
> I've shot a few crashes with cops on the scene. Staying out of "the
> way" no official has ever said squat to me. A couple of the drivers
> told me not to take pictures of their crash and my reply was, off the
> top of my head the first time, "Sorry. If you don't want pictures
> taken you should crash in the privacy of your own home".
>
> You are a "freelance" or "independant" photographer. Nobody who shoots
> for a living is going to pay the slighest bit of attention to any
> non-official request to stop shooting in a public venue. And it's very
> unlikely any official will order you to stop shooting, they will tell
> you to move.
>
> Your first responsibility is to render aid. Once that has been
> fulfilled you are within your rights to shoot. You may capture some
> evidence intregal to a later investigation... or a salable pic.
>
> The Shooter's Credo: It's easier to receive forgiveness than
> permission. And far more expedient.
> -----
>
> - gpsman
>



 
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Mueen Nawaz
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      10-21-2006

Philip Homburg wrote:
> So photos of destruction, injury, etc. cannot be art?


http://youtube.com/watch?v=vC2pBMJLUCo


--
Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!


/\ /\ /\ /
/ \/ \ u e e n / \/ a w a z
>>>>>>(E-Mail Removed)<<<<<<

anl

 
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