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Street photography in the USA

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by GFFPhoto, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    I do very little street photography, mainly because this guy seems way too common in the USA these days (you have to love the ending though). I've never had an interaction like this, but some folks in public seem to have had the same bluster and defensive energy when I've been out shooting, and I have been on the receiving end of some unhappy/mildly aggressive banter. Some of the comments posted are interesting also. Especially the advocate for "privacy in public". I guess he doesn't know what those words actually mean. The USA is pretty much a surveillance society these days (traffic cams, retail security, NSA, google/facebook cookies, red light cams, ATM cams etc etc), I have trouble understanding peoples defensiveness to a guy on a corner with a camera. Do people really think they have "privacy" in the 2014 version of the USA? Certainly me and this news guy aren't the only ones who get attitude. How do others deal with this when shooting.

    • Like Like x 1
  2. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Can't watch the video due to work restrictions, but the description was interesting. I've recently talked over the idea of street photography with my wife, who has a better handle on normality than I do... and it's true that a lot of the USA is not on board with being photographed in a public setting, but I would hazard a guess that the west coast is less on board with it than the east coast, due to us west-coasters having a bit more privacy to enjoy, at least in the sense of less packed city-spaces.

    You would have to search far and wide, however, to find a country more obsessed with the idea of privacy and anonymity (but less understanding of its citizens' lack of it) than the USA, making it generally not the best of places for street photography, at least of the invasive, "candid" type.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    My wife initially didn't understand the concept of street photography, because she was thinking about it in terms of "privacy" and when you look at it that way it is a sort of creepy thing! I showed her some standout street photos from a book on my shelf, and she eventually agreed with me about it being a fascinating genre, with the caveat that people only take photos of other people, not herself ;) 

    And to be honest, I feel pretty similar. I hate being on the business end of a lens, almost as much as I like being behind a camera...
    • Like Like x 2
  4. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    The problem is that there are a lot of people that do not understand their rights or the laws.

    Education/knowledge is power. Unfortunately, a lot in US society are more than happy to be dumb, fat and ignorant and allow the government to take over the basics of their lives.
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