Monday, December 19, 2011

Thematic Photographic 176 - Strangers among us

He walks alone
Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC
July 2011

For a whole lot of reasons, some legal, some moral and some practical, I don't normally take pictures of strangers. Lots of photographers carry release forms with them in case they see a stranger doing something interesting. They'll then ask said stranger to sign said form if a photo is ultimately taken.

I can't be bothered. Which, I'm guessing, makes me a photo-criminal of the highest order and an enemy to all who simply want to walk the streets freely without fear of having their optical bits sucked through a lens, captured by an electronic sensor and recorded for all of time on a memory card.

To compensate for my apparent disregard for the privacy of others in public spaces, I do the following, in order:
  1. Try to shoot away from strangers
  2. If this proves impossible or impractical, I try to shoot them at angles or in ways that make identification difficult.
  3. If this proves impossible or impractical, I make up some sort of excuse to assuage my guilt and add some humor to the situation. That way, if they ever happen across their picture online, they'll laugh so hard that they'll forget to sue me.
I haven't been sued. Yet. So I'm guessing it's working. So far, at least. Will my luck run out? Not sure. But for the next week, I'm hoping you'll join me on my troublemaking little quest.

Your turn: Take a picture of a stranger, any stranger. Post it to your blog. Leave a comment here letting folks know where to find it. Visit other participants to share the photographic joyousness of it all. Click here if you're new to Thematic Photographic. And for the love of all that is or once was Kodak, have fun with it. Because that's why we do this Thematic thing, right?


Cloudia said...

good policy. though sometimes I sweep along snapping the person I want discreetly. I try not to make anyone uncomfortable, and often ask permission with a complement (your tattoo is COOL - mind if I. . . ?)

Or go long and crop . . . guess I'm one of those photo-criminals, but we are all in public and being watched every day!

Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

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Anonymous said...

Sometimes, the strangest of strangers is the person in the mirror. Mine is here.

fredamans said...

I love strangers! Creatively speaking of course.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

I don't take many photos of 'strangers'.. this one was at an is my take on the theme

Dawn said...

That's so funny...I actually did a post on People Watching this past summer here:

I like your capture.

21 Wits said...

It's funny, but so many times I have to wait, or reposition myself so I can snap a photo without strangers in it.
Here's mine -

Gilly said...

my strangers are here

Tina´s PicStory said...

great shot! thanks for hosting :)

21 Wits said...

Carmi your picture brought something back to me. I just had to post this random stranger strange gift....

Bob Scotney said...

I spy strangers for different reasons.

Somewhere round about said...

Nearly a year ago now, I caught this stranger

They appeared down the steps of the basement cafe in a flurry of words and arm movements, we'd just finished our luncheon and they sat down to chat and to wait

It was the hat that caught my eye first....that and their way of moving around in their seats, prowling round, pacing-while-sitting, eyeing each other up and trying to weigh up where what ever it was that they were talking about.. would lead

i couldn't earwig any longer, so caught this image, to remind me of our impressions on other people

Anonymous said...

From Bob Scotney
Apologies to anyone accessing my blog - you will find it has been removed by Google. I am trying to find out why and to get it restored.
Stange things are happening - I lost it while trying to comment on Dawn and Karens' posts.

Max Sartin said...

"Strangers among us" - I love it. You can find my first one here.

Alexia said...

I really like your photo, Carmi - a great sense of solitude and self-awareness.

My stranger shots are here.

Bob Scotney said...

My blog is back up and running with an apology from the Google Team but no reason given for why it went AWOL.

dean said...

My stranger is here.

You don't need to worry about getting sued. The law says that people in a public place, or that can reasonably be seen from a public place, have no right to expect privacy. You can take and publish photographs of people taken in public places without getting releases. Many photographers get them anyway, just to avoid a potential hassle, but they're not required. (Where the release is required is where you are going to use the image to promote a product. )

So snap away. As long as you are standing in public space, you are legally allowed to photograph anything you want. Whether you are comfortable doing so is another matter.

Max Sartin said...

Some more "Strangers among us" of mine are here.

Glennis said...

It's tricky, isn't it? I have the same dilemma. I try to avoid taking people's photos too - it was frustrating at last weekend's punk rock show because there were so many fantastic outfits!