5 bucks

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    I have been toying with myself about posting this picture all week. I don't usually take many shots of people for various reasons.. here is one.

    Flinders Street station, with the other flickrpeeps, waiting for some to catch up.
    This guy caught my eye, I didn't think I caught his. I quickly snapped...no probs.
    A few minutes later, he came over, and said that I had to give him $5 for the picture I just took of him. I told him I didn't have $5, and things started to get slightly ugly.
    He then told me to give him the film, when I told him it was digital he got more pissed, and I deleted the photo - well one of them in front of him..
    He went on and on, telling me to give him $5 - to get money off my friends and give it to him.
    I just started to move away and he started abusing me, with all kinds of insults - telling me he would smash my camera in my face...Until we met with the others and pretty much crossed the road.

    Did I do the wrong thing?
    Should I have uploaded at all?
    Should I have left the original photo?

    jayejaye, micn2sugars, banterland, and 5 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 20 more comments

    1. jodes i am ages ago | reply

      veronika - I have not profited from this photo at all. And I feel you have missed the point. The guy did not engage me - he demanded and was agressive from the start.

    2. Dongix ages ago | reply

      In my opinion, I don;t think you did something wrong but then that could be relative. For the guy it must be wrong for you to take a picture of him. But what I really think is that for sure the guy is in a bad mood but more importantly he needs money and just wanted to intimidate you until you give in.

      We (I and my wife) were in Melbourne once (just near Flinders Street) and a guy suddenly came to us and ask money. He wasn't a beggar for he didn't look like one. We politely told him we don't have money and he left.

      This guy that you took picture of found a "valid" way to demand money from you and to even harass you. If he was furious just because he is furious, he would'nt have asked $5 from you for a start. He would have just insulted you.

      But oh well, that's one of the adventures of being a photographer.

      I had some moments too but not as hostile as the rest of the members here. I try to avoid them actually. I am not that adventurous. (yet)

    3. concerned sheep [deleted] ages ago | reply

      You don't owe this guy anything. Not one penny. You don't even owe him an apology. He had no right to threaten you. STREET photography is just that - photos of people in public places - in their natural habitat. He decided to be in the public, so he is at risk of being photographed.

      I shoot street all the time and have been 'caught' by people; I simply tell them that it is not illegal to take their photo - and that their photo is not going to be used in a public setting.

      You should not have digitally covered his face. What makes him different than a photo you take of a flower? Or a tree? Or a shadow? The difference is HIS issue...clearly psychological if he's going to get aggressive and threatening towards you.

      Know your rights - and propose your rights to anyone who threatens your rights.

      If your friends were nearby, you should utilize them as 'backup' - because they should know that taking a photo of a person in a public place is NOT WRONG.

      See my photos for some examples (well, some of my street shots).

    4. tuxcomputers ages ago | reply

      I had to reply before I read the entire thread whether they have been corrected or not so forgive me if it has already been said:

      Goose-Step Girlie wrote:

      The rules have changed in Photography over the last few years

      Oh really? Which "rules" are those? The law has certainly not changed as you are trying to suggest in any Australian state that I am aware of.

      As for your so called school requiring you to get model releases then I suggest they add another part to the course to correct the view they are currently impressing you with.

      There is no law against taking anyone's photo and selling/exhibiting it. I could take a photo of Tom Cruise walking down the street, frame it, title it "Just cruising" and sell it for $1,000. There is diddly squat he, his lawyers or anyone could do about it.

      If I use that image on a poster promoting my exhibit of his photo then I am breaking the law if I don't get a model release. If I used it on a poster promoting a business and had "Come Cruise with us" then I can imagine a huge whack over the head for it.

      In other words, the taking the photo is not prohibited, it's the use. Go back to your school and quit, they are teaching you the wrong thing.

    5. tuxcomputers ages ago | reply

      avatar_will2004 wrote:

      With the new privacy laws in effect,

      Do you mean the ones that only apply to businesses and government agencies not to photographers? Are you business? If not then you have a vivid imagination or a misunderstanding of the privacy laws.

    6. tuxcomputers ages ago | reply

      dizsyd63 wrote:

      Personally, if you took my photo I bust your camera. Simple.

      Oh boy where do you live? I would love to see you do that to me, the money I could get as a victim of crime would allow me to upgrade to a Canon400D and put you in jail on charges of assult for quite a while so I could enjoy my new camera.

    7. tuxcomputers ages ago | reply

      Based on the events described in this thread I have updated my PDF document on photography rights in Australia

      I really wanted to include the Victorian definition of "public place" but that would have blown my PDF to about 5 pages. If you have a look here you will see two other documents based on the same name, one is a Word document and the other is an www.openoffice.org/ document.

      I originally created the doco in OO.o and saved it as the other two formats from there. If someone from Victoria wants to change it to just have that states definition of "public place" I am willing to host it along side the other ones.

    8. lists&diagrams ages ago | reply

      Tux: Hear, hear!

    9. alandot ages ago | reply

      yeah go tux... speak the truth

    10. mr walker ages ago | reply

      the chorus line says: tux, you've got it goin' on.

    11. tuxcomputers ages ago | reply

      he he... my favourite type of photography is "Street photography", documenting people as they go about their lives, the "ask permission beforehand" brigade just take snapshots of grinning idiots.

      I have only had one challenge and it wasn't even by the person I taking a photo of.

      There was a girl that had really high black boots (I think they cal themselves emo's?) that had bright orange laces. The light was too low to get a decent shot but this woman that looked like she was homeless started ranting and wanting to call the cops.

      I asked her if she wanted to borrow my mobile phone to do it, she continued her rant about sex sites on the internet (you know the usual paranoid dipshit stuff) and didn't take up the challenge.

      I told her to leave me alone or I would call the cops in her, she kept going a little to save face and then wandered off talking loudly to no-one in particular.

      Apart from that, I have had a few ask why I was taking photos on the train etc... Oh that just triggered a memory about another incident. I was on the train and went to take a photo of a policeman, he shook his head indicating that he didn't want his photo taken so I didn't. I was taking photos of other train travelers when he asked me to stop. The rest of the conversation went something like this:

      Me: "Why? I am allowed to in public"
      Cop: "Because some people might not want their photo taken and if they complain you could be charged and have your camera taken away"
      Me: "Has anyone complained?"
      Cop: "No but they could so stop it"
      Me: ... I can't remember now but it was something like "I will worry about that when they do complain"
      Cop: Goes and sits back down.

      I continued to take photos and the cop watched me the whole time instead of going back to the book he was reading before he approached me.

      I always wondered what I could have been charged with, so I looked it up where I could take photos and produced the PDF. I also contacted Queensland Rail to ask them if QR property is considered a public place.

      After a bit of e-mailing back and forth and a few missed calls they did not tell me if it was or wasn't, all she could say that they could not give me permission to take photos. I asked if there was a by-law or whatever that prevented me from taking photos on the train. Her reply "We can't give you permission to take photos while you travel on the train"

      In other words they was nothing preventing me but they could not give me explicit permission. I guess it was just in case I did the wrong thing, it would have allowed me to use the defence, "They gave me permission."

      Now that I know my rights better I am wondering if that copper could have been disciplined because he had no cause to threaten me with taking my camera and having a charge laid against me.

      I respect all who put on a Blue uniform and most do a fantastic job but that does not mean they can impose their personal wishes upon whoever they want, they are meant to uphold the law. Maybe that copper didn't know the law, that's why I have several printed copies of my PDF in my camera bag.

      Now I am on a later start time I don't catch the same train as he does, maybe I should go early tomorrow and see if he knows better than he did before? If not then I have a print out to educate him :)

    12. mr walker ages ago | reply

      hey, tux, while this chorus member fully agrees with your refusal to back down, particularly the point about authority figures using their authority to enforce their own personal whims - i've felt the blunt end of that many times. if you ever decide to attempt to bring discipline, though, get plenty of witnesses and prepare for a struggle - they do whatever they can to back up their own, and statement fabrication is surely an elective subject at the academy. yep, personal experience.

      i just have to disagree about a point of semantics you make at the start: posed street portraits can and do make effective "documents" (the curator of the state library photo collection would agree with me). some of my favourite photos are literally of grinning idiots. depends on the rapport that is struck.

    13. mr walker ages ago | reply

      oh, and to another point: many police really don't have a clue about the law with regards to photography. i get the feeling they don't get taught a lot of law at all (after all, how long does a law degree take?). several times i've patiently explained that privacy law doesn't cover public photography, that the summary offences act guarantees me the right to observe them without hindering etc ... once i even had to explain defamation law to a constable, who seemed unaware that merely taking a photo does not constitute publication.

      so, thanks again for the PDF and all the work involved. not for me, so much, not by now, but for everyone else who can't be arsed to/doesn't know how to trawl through the legislation and precedent.

    14. tuxcomputers ages ago | reply

      mr walker wrote:

      i just have to disagree about a point of semantics you make at the start: posed street portraits can and do make effective "documents"

      Yeah I know, I should have said "most" are snapshots etc....

      mr walker wrote:

      so, thanks again for the PDF and all the work involved. not for me, so much, not by now, but for everyone else who can't be arsed to/doesn't know how to trawl through the legislation and precedent.

      I couldn't be arsed either, I just did a Google search and condensed the page that it references in the footer of the PDF, did a small amount of research and added it. The research was only done after a police friend of mine pointed out that Qld has a slightly different definition of public place.

    15. mr walker ages ago | reply

      heh, thanks for the qualification :-)

      if it wasn't umm, arsery(?) that got you there, well, whatever. thanks for cobbling together a bunch of stuff into a slightly-more-national and easy-to-print format. or something.

      and might i also take this opportunity to thank jodes_i_am for letting us continue the thread with such loquacious abandon. appreciate it.

    16. tuxcomputers ages ago | reply

      Ok I read my last post and it was not that clear, let me clarify...

      I did a very small amount of legal type research, no trawling though legislation, no finding precedences, I have not even shown my PDF to a real live lawyer, if that web page I condensed is wrong then I am in deep shit...

      The creation of the PDF/DOC/OpenDoc was for my own benefit, I also happen to believe in and use alot of GPL software so the natural response was to share the PDF to allow crossplatform compatability as well as the "source code" (so to speak) so that others were able to alter it and produce a better or different layout / wording / version.

      BTW If anyone does that I am happy to host it, just make sure you send me the DOC or OpenDoc format, PDF's are good for allowing the widest audience but make it harder to reverse engineer.

    17. Phototrash! ages ago | reply

      Dunlop Volleys Rock!! He sounds like a student..

    18. Montreal Photo Chick ages ago | reply

      A most interesting discussion. I have had some difficulties taking shots in public as well, but I have alwasy been able to avoid too many problems. Thank you for telling your story.

      Seen in The Harassed Photographer (?)

    19. concerned sheep [deleted] ages ago | reply

      What bugs me is the people that complain that if you take a candid shot of a minor, you're even more inclined to get into trouble.

      I take photos of kids / babies / children on the street all the time. They're part of humanity, and they're damn cute, and people smile when they see them.

    20. Museum of Dirt ages ago | reply

      Jodes, I got half way through and couldn't read on. Wow, there are so many comments.

      I think you were dead right in taking the shot, and dead right in posting it. Personally, I would have posted face and all, but, with some thought, I can understand completely why you covered his face.
      I think he was after the scam rather than his privacy (in a public space? - its been well covered here).
      If I were in the position of not wanting my picture taken in public on a given day, simply looking another direction and/or discreetly covering my face is usually the simple option. Or even getting up and walking away. It's not that hard. Shooting street a lot myself, I get that from time to time - generally, a signal of some kind from unwilling subjects is all it takes rather than a horrible confrontation afterwards.

      Having said that, there are always going to be people out there willing to puff out their chest for some reason, usually unknown to the rest of us.

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