I’m Like a Butterfly

December 19th 2006 / 2 minutes to read

I’ve tweaked the layout just a bit. The photo (which will be updated with each new entry) was taken while I was in the city, I really like the contrast of the dark birds against the washed out sky. ETA I changed the photo. Because I wanted to. This butterfly was shot at the nature museum.

Is a person with a DSLR or a more “professional” looking camera more likely to be harassed while out shooting compared to a person with one of those teeny point and shoot cameras? Why or why not? I do think that people with a DSLR are harassed more which doesn’t really make sense. A photo of a building is still a photo of a building regardless of the camera used to take the shot. Why are people so threatened by photography? Would you be uncomfortable if you were in a public place and a person took your photo? Why or why not? Would you be more comfortable if the person introduced themselves, handed over a card with their name, email, and URL, and asked to take your photo? I am really curious about this. I want a lot of responses about this because I’ve been thinking about this topic for quite a long time now.

This post is over a year old which means the content may be outdated or no longer accurate.

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Melanie

I think that society sometimes puts photography in a bad light.  Paparazzi, for example, completely invade the privacy of celebrities and create (sometimes) outlandish stories based on a couple photos that they shot.  In my opinion, point-and-shoot cameras look less daunting than DSLR.  I don’t necessarily think that people are threatened by photography; I think that most people don’t like to have their photograph taken, and they freak out when a camera is whipped out in their presence.  Personally, I wouldn’t want a stranger to take my picture under any circumstances.  With all of the sordid types of people that live in this society, I wouldn’t feel comfortable.  It seems like an invasion of privacy to have your picture taken and, in some cases, posted on the internet or used for things unknown.  That also goes (sort of) along with the issue of government-sanctioned cameras that snap   random photos and scan for criminal matches.  A lot of people considered that an invasion of their privacy and personal rights/space.  I think that if a person came up to me, introduced themself, and gave me a card, I don’t think that I would trust them.  Anyone can make a ‘business card’ and give it to someone; who knows if they are sincere or just a pervert?

This isn’t a reflection on you, by the way.  I’m merely generalizing your query.

Reply to Melanie
Andrew Spencer

Tough one this:
In response to your original question; YES.  Someone with professional-looking kit is certainly more likely to be harassed while out on a shoot.  The kit looks expensive and to the untrained-eye, it makes you look like a pro therefore someone who shoots for the press / paparazzi (spelling?) / media.
Neither of which are particularly popular within the public-eye.
Have a simple point-and-shoot camera, you’re just a tourist.

People probably feel threatened with photography because a) photos can be abused, b) although you have a right to take photos, they can be seen as an invasion of privacy, and c) worst of all, people are paranoid about pedophiles and terrorists.  Example: have a pro-looking camera in a public place where there are children around, or be seen innocently taking photos of an old, architecurally-fascinating government building, you could be in serious trouble!

It has it’s advantages though:  Be seen at a national-park / nature-reserve with a tripod and a long lens, people will be courteous, move out of your way / wait for you to finish and probably ask you for some tips on photography!
:O)

Reply to Andrew Spencer

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