Artistically Speaking on My Street Photography

This post is the second part to my previous post (today) on street photography in and around Fort Langley, where I live, if you have not figured that out already. Today had a great start as far as shooting goes. I was up super early, and had some time to run home and grab my camera then walk around a town that was still in bed while the Sun was rising, casting its golden light onto the streets.

I do want to write about a couple of aspects that I have with street photography. I have trouble shooting people, as I am sure some photographers do. Also shooting buildings that have ads plastered all over them, as I feel in some instances that I am promoting ads that I would normally would not want to, and some where there could be copyright issues with those images I post. Either way, I still have some fears lurking in my mind as I shoot in public.

Shooting into store windows through the glass from the sidewalk is a hot button topic that I had with some other photographers just a few days ago. It seems that there are more Grey areas in this ethical argument than there are in the Federal Government’s debate on Long Gun Registry in Canada. We talked about pictures, such as works of Art and images of real people on display, and the public view concepts as seen from the sidewalks. Advertisements and promotions, that surly would have copyright values attached to it were never fully explained to me–but I feel these are off limit. Clearly it boiled down to self control and doing what you feel is acceptable or not. Obviously defaming a store or its product would be bad, and using your images of copy art and artwork would be equally as bad. As long as these images are mine, as in I own the rights to them, then the first layer of legal doubt is laid to rest when I post them.

Shooting on public property versus private property is another dilemma that I have mulled over and over in my head. I did meet with a legal expert on taking photos in public, and on public property in British Columbia, and it seems that the sky is the limit with a couple of “don’ts” that should be real obvious. However, you can shoot at private property as long as it is from public view on public property. In some cases permission should be given, even if the photos are for none public uses. Publishing them seems to open a new can of worms, but in general the rules are on the side of the photographer.

Shooting people is the other sticky issue I have with street photography. As of this time I do not shoot people with my camera, and if someone is in the shot, it was not intentional, or I asked for their permission. However, after talking to the same legal expert on public street photography, I am within my right to take images of people if they are in public view. There is of course a spectrum of “acceptable” to “not acceptable” reasons. But, in general, if you are in public view, then you can be photographed, such as people in parades and public events. Publishing these photographs are another sticky issue that I will not get into here, but I am curious as to how that works in the legal mud pits of our justice system.

However, my favorite kind of photography is shooting scenes of nature. If you have not figured it out, flowers rank at the top of my list, then landscapes and then macro photography, then everything else after that. I like to take a scene, as it is, and shoot it. I do not like to manipulable the object that I am shooting becuase I feel it cheats the character and contract of what it is I want to capture. Like the dew drops in the above photo, those are real, not me with a spray bottle trying to mimic a morning dew scene – as this was taken around 7:30am today.

One Thought on “Artistically Speaking on My Street Photography

  1. Hi Tom

    I really like your photo of the bike rack hoops. When I lived there, I walked by those all the time, but of course, never saw them from that exact angle, so that is cool. 😎

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