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Seems to be becoming more difficult. First let me say that if I want to take a close up photo of a stallholder and their customers I will ask permission, and have never been refused. 

 

However last week I bought a rather splendid cauliflower from a market stall and then decided to shoot the remaining caulis. No trader or other person in sight, but a man suddenly emerged from an office and demanded to know if I had permission to take the shot! Too late, the photo was in the bag. A while ago I took a photo of a market from a distance, in a public place and too far away for individuals to be recognised, when the son of one of the stallholders approached me and demanded that I delete the photo. I refused. He said that he would contact the market owner and continued to harass me, when I told him I would phone the police if he persisted.  Both incidents in the UK.

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I guess it's the battle of wills, as in i will do it...and someone will want to stop you as they feel they just have to..This as you know Bryan is not new to us photographers, and happens all around the world..Some people just want to spoil our fun, and we are not hurting anyone but still we are seen to be stealing a moment in time, and an image of someones property..Well done on standing your ground, but sometimes it's just not worth the aggro...

 

I have photographed the Salamanca Market in Tasmania a few times and had no problems...so far that is.Yes you try to be discreet but with camera in hand you stand out especially if you are in close with a wide angle lens...I like to use both the long lens for candids, and the wide to get in close...Many years ago in the Victoria Market in Melbourne i was refused a few times when asking to take pictures, maybe the vendors were over photographed and getting camera shy...

 

I once many years ago in holidaying in Sydney and shooting stock of course, i was challenged by a shop owner because i pointed my camera in the buildings direction...I was taking a wider angle shot of the frontage including other shop facades...Well he wasn't having it and we had a full on argument on the pavement, i  told him i had the right to go about my business and i was in a public place...Well it got real heated and we both walked to a close by police station and pleaded our arguments..The police agreed that i was in a public space and had a right to make pictures, but was told maybe i was better off to find another frontage to photograph...

 

I was in Brisbane Queensland last September, and decided to go down to Surfers Paradise and shoot some stock..Well after getting some general street scenes, i wandered onto the beach to get some shots of beachgoers and the tall buildings behind..I was careful not to point my camera at children...Well all was going well and as i neared the water and was taking some pics of the lifesavers surfboard and the yellow safety flags, and  then was challenged by two young lifesavers who asked me what i was doing...and asked to see the images! I felt like a criminal with all the beachgoers looking at me!....we got the pervert....

 

Anyway i complied and they found nothing but general wide angled shots...They even asked why i took pictures of the safety flags...They said that someone had complained that i pointed the camera in their direction...They did not order me off the beach but advised that i be careful what i photograph...I told them i was an ex professional photographer just taking general travel shots....I knew my rights but i moved slowly from the area taking more pictures so as to show that i had done nothing wrong, and was not chased off the beach!

 

Yes Bryan this is what we photographers have to deal with when we take pictures in public, or of our surrounds..where ever we live these days.. 

Edited by William Caram
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I remember taking a wide angle picture of a very large office block from a multi-storey car park some distance away with a 5"x4" camera, tripod, black cloth over the head etc. The light was great but I hadn't been there long before security approached to say they'd had a complaint from someone in one of the offices (with binoculars presumably?). That was the end of that session but I had the pictures already. Actually that hardly ever happened then, more innocent times before the terrorist threat.  

 

I can't help wondering if, just maybe, your market trader friend knew that there were people working on the market that perhaps shouldn't have been.

 

 

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Encounters like these can be demoralizing. They make you feel like a criminal for no reason. The only time I've had any real trouble was in a large public market in Montreal. A security guard approached me and told me to stop taking pictures. I smiled politely, put my camera away and waited for the guard to go away. I then continued photographing without any further difficulties. A couple of pics from that shoot have become repeat-sellers on Alamy.

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Not the only time but most memorable. Late 2012 at Circular Quay Sydney; I have my brand new Fuji X-Pro1 and a 60mm lens with long shade on it. I'm staying in the one spot, but not for long and I'm photographing the legs and feet of people walking by - because I want a banner shot for my blog Street Fashion Sydney.. Well two Maritime Services Rangers quickly turn up (that whole area is some special zone) and start asking me what I'm doing. Then some guy next to me tells them 'I was pointing the camera at him'. I look him up and down, giving him the once over and - in front of the two ranges say 'I don't think so' meaning of course I would NEVER be interested in photographing the whining fool. I showed the ranges what was on my camera and shock horror - pictures of the pavement with legs shoes, bags nothing else!!! Even so there was some argy bargy and mention of getting the police - I told them to go ahead as I was aware of my rights.  But.. as I was finished anyway; put away my kit and wandered off. That said; I think things have actually improved; or I'm looking less threatening. No hint of trouble in years. Touch wood..

Edited by Kent Johnson
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I had a similar incident in Bundoran County Donegal Ireland last September. I noticed the front a garage workshop painted in orange and purple while driving by and thought it was oddly interesting because of its gaudiness.  I stopped to take a pic or two from across and down the street a little.  The street was deserted and there was no obvious sign of activity about the place itself. I snapped away for a few minutes and then the proprietor  came out demanding to know why I was taking photographs and demanding that I delete them. My explanations got me nowhere and he threatened to smash my camera. I suggested that we call the Guards, Garda, Police. A few more words were exchanged when I felt quite vulnerable before he eventually calmed down and walked away.

 

Bryan have you uploaded the cauliflower pics yet.

Edited by Futterwithtrees
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You have to consider the alterior motives people think you might have, most people don’t think you take photos for interest alone. Re. the property owner, could you be a reporter covering a critical story of their business? A potential property developer? A private investigator? In all these cases saying they are just for stock would be a useful lie. The same logic applies to photographing people in public, and it is a form of rudeness to point a camera in someone’s face without asking.

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1 hour ago, Futterwithtrees said:

 

Bryan have you uploaded the cauliflower pics yet.

 

Working on it, post processing cauliflowers not my forte 😉

 

It will be done...

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These experiences are disheartening, we've all had them. For every person I've encountered who felt threatened and insecure, there are hundreds who are confidant. As soon as we get a dry Saturday I shall be of to my favourite farmers market, with all the other photographers...

Edited by Mr Standfast
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3 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

I can't help wondering if, just maybe, your market trader friend knew that there were people working on the market that perhaps shouldn't have been.

 

 

 

My thoughts too ! Not paying tax, claiming invalidity benefit while working, a whole range of possible scams. 

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I'm not a follower of the Bruce Gilden school of street photography but I don't think we should forget that we have a perfect right to photograph anyone and anything in a public place and to gently and politely remind people of that fact if questioned, if only to counter the seemingly growing public perception that this isn't the case. 

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Countless people taking pictures with their phones out at the end of sticks, sometimes enough to hide the sun, everybody smiles… How fun!

Allow yourself to take a single DSLR out of your bag and you will see faces wince and embittered people ask you if you have the right to take photographs as if you suddenly became an unwanted paparazzi…

Edited by Olivier Parent
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This is a familiar scenario for me too. I always have in my back pocket a letter from the chief of the Metropolitan Police, which was distributed to all police forces in England, detailing the rights and responsibilities of photographers in public places (my three-word precis: "Leave them alone"). It's proved useful on a few occasions.

 

However, the most useful deflector of wrath is a phrase I've borrowed from Christopher Hitchens. If approached by someone who's angry at me for having the temerity to take pictures, I count to three, look up and say: "You know, I don't care to be spoken to in that tone of voice"... and carry on taking pix. They're up for an argument, and this just knocks the wind out of their sails. Magic!

Edited by John Morrison

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1 hour ago, Rob Lavers said:

You have to consider the alterior motives people think you might have, most people don’t think you take photos for interest alone. Re. the property owner, could you be a reporter covering a critical story of their business? A potential property developer? A private investigator? In all these cases saying they are just for stock would be a useful lie. The same logic applies to photographing people in public, and it is a form of rudeness to point a camera in someone’s face without asking.

In this particular instance my first thoughts were " He thinks i am either snooping for the Tax man or else the Paramilitaries".

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It took me ages to gain the trust of the local trawler skippers when i first turned up on the fish quay. Once i convinced them i'm not from the Revenue, Customs, Fisheries or Taxman and got a few images in the local paper they were fine. Now got to the stage if something interesting is pulled up in the nets i get a text and phone pic "what is it be along side at 5am". So worth the patience i think. 

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This is partly why I increasingly use my Sony RX100 rather than my Nikon D7000. The Sony is less conspicuous and I don't hold it up to my eye normally to shoot so it's also less obvious that I am taking a photo.

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Used to be that when I appeared on a building site (commissioned by the architects) half the builders would vanish when they saw the camera. Once the word went round that I wasn't from the DSS they would all reappear.

 

Alex

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I have over 1500 images on Alamy taken in markets around the world - I tend to gravitate to them as they are crowded, colourful, interesting and represent the culture/lifestyle of the places I am visiting. 

I always shoot with a DSLR and a wide to medium lens. 

It has been very rare to find people objecting to photos being taken - the main times have been when I have (accidentally) taken a photo of a stall which has a "no photo" sign up - problem is these signs are often small and difficult to see. When this has happened I am always happy to delete the images taken.

I occasionally ask permission to take a photo when I want to specifically take a posed image of a stallholder with their produce. Most of the time I dont as I want natural rather than posed images of the market. 

In general I find standing at the side of a stall the best position as the image can then get the stallholder selling produce to the buyer, and you dont appear to be putting a lens into anyones face! It's also good to take images quickly and move on rather than staying in one place too long - people can begin to feel they are being picked on!

Most important thing I think, is to be open, friendly, smile a lot and dont creep around with a long lens in the background

 

Kumar

 

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4 hours ago, Matt Ashmore said:

This is partly why I increasingly use my Sony RX100 rather than my Nikon D7000. The Sony is less conspicuous and I don't hold it up to my eye normally to shoot so it's also less obvious that I am taking a photo.

 

I find the exact opposite: I try to always be as "normally" conspicuous as I can to anyone who sees me taking photos.

 

I work very hard to avoid anyone seeing me taking a photo in such a way that it would look to them like I was hiding the fact. And I try to catch the eye of folk around me to acknowledge I've seen them, they've seen me, a friendly nod of the head "hello" . . . and I walk with my DSLR well and truly visible.

 

I also find this approach has opened doors for me over the years, with even the occasional "come over here, you'll get a better view" invites allowing me to go beyond official barriers, away from all the mobile phones hovering in the air and getting in the way of eye-level shots.

 

Might not work in all of the situations others might find themselves in, but serves me and my subject matter well.

 

EDIT: not too dissimilar to what Doc wrote while I was writing, the bit about not creeping around in the background 🙂

 

DD

Edited by dustydingo

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5 hours ago, John Morrison said:

borrowed from Christopher Hitchens.

Along with Lemmy,  Hitchens is one of the few heroes I still have. Much missed and more relevant now than ever.

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7 hours ago, Bryan said:

 

Working on it, post processing cauliflowers not my forte 😉

 

It will be done...

 

Steamed is best, with a little cheese sauce perhaps. 😋

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What surprises me most about this thread is the righteous angry so many of you show to having any controls or limitations whatsoever on shooting pictures of strangers or things in a private or semi-private place. What is it you think security guards are supposed to be doing? I agree with Dusty about being obvious rather than trying to be invisible. I just go about things as if I have permission to shoot. 

 

In NYC Subways, the cops have stopped me from shooting a couple of times and told me shooting in the Subways is against the law. It is not against the law, but I just thank the officer and take the train to another station. 

 

When I was doing travel marketing shoots for airlines, I would get the client to give me two letters of introduction, one in English the other in the language of the country I was going to. Now days, being semi-retired and shooting only editorial stock, I don't feel overly concerned about having a problem with any one subject or image. I just move on. In the long ago, when I was a hardcore PJ, I followed just one rule: get the picture. I was shooting in the Duke Street Food and Drink Market today. Nobody paid me any attention. 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, aphperspective said:

It took me ages to gain the trust of the local trawler skippers when i first turned up on the fish quay. Once i convinced them i'm not from the Revenue, Customs, Fisheries or Taxman and got a few images in the local paper they were fine. Now got to the stage if something interesting is pulled up in the nets i get a text and phone pic "what is it be along side at 5am". So worth the patience i think. 

If they were worried about the Revenue, Customs and Taxman, why didn't they mind their pics being put in the paper?

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though i understand out rights as photographer, based on some of the extremist views being thrown around nowadays (eg, Close all borders, taking someone's hijab off in subway) i can understand why people would be suspicious of photos taken.

 

not same but related, this is what a CBC reporter (Canada's public broadcaster) had to face on public property reporting about the party in power in Ontario

 

 

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1 hour ago, Colin Woods said:

Along with Lemmy,  Hitchens is one of the few heroes I still have. Much missed and more relevant now than ever.

 

Agreed... about Hitch rather than Lemmy. There isn't a week goes by when I don't watch him (and Harris, and Dawkins) on YouTube...

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