Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/08/12

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Street / candid photography
From: Donal Philby <>
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 08:45:47 +0000

Ron K. Miller wrote:
> I've been recently chastised by relatives for taking an opportunistic
> snap of a minor media celebrity (mirror reflection in dark restaurant)
> with my M6 35mm. Apparently I needed his/her permission for taking a
> snap.  While I do this discretely (as quietly as an M6 can whisper) and
> quickly shooting one frame,  I suspect this may infringes on people's
> privacy eventhough the person did not know he/she was being
> photographed.  How else can one get a candid of anyone if you have to go
> up to the person (stranger) and when you dont have the time to strike up
> a conversation and have that person get comfortable with a camera in
> his/her face?

In the US (and elsewhere, I suspect), when you are in a public place you
are open to the public.  What if the photo you took just happened to be
because you liked the light, the reflections, whatever, and you didn't
even know there was a celebrity in the frame?  Of course, you can't use
the photo for advertising where there is implied concent, but it is open
game for editorial or personal use.  Also, when a person takes up a
public life, they do give up some measure of privacy.  You can't have it
both ways.  Most of the recent whoopla is really the publicists desire
to control useage--meaning they want to determine the image of their
client to the public.  The public is not well served by such
manipulation and restriction to information.  


- -- 
Donal Philby
San Diego