Can you not take my picture?

The public space in which we contain ourselves in can be either classified as private or public but that depends upon the individual’s perspectives of that along with the environment they are in. Photography itself can be viewed as one’s own way to show art while on the other side a way to show personal and personalised value of oneself. For this blog we were asked to go out and take in the meaning of photography and ethnography. This was also by going out and taking pictures of strangers, sounds and further observations of an individual’s ethical comfortability. However do we have the key ethics points in having permission, discretion, and value to care for others feelings over the matter?

Colberg (2013) says that while photographers may legally take photos of people in public spaces without permission or consent, they need to become aware of the ethics involved in this practice.

This is the street photography ethic that should contribute to both photographers and individual on their own as people can be reordered without being acknowledged that they were in the first place. Individuals need to acknowledge the value of the way they act in the public and abide by the rules given to them or even go beyond that aspect to learn what they are. This is what Colberg believes should be done.


Along the lines of the homework we were given I judged the way people acted within a formal environment such as my work at a Club. Individuals that participate in any regular club activities must abide various rules when they come in and exit. Yes this is a very much different way to approach the activity as individuals wanted to seek out strangers while I wanted to study their actions to how people would react and be valued in regards to either an alcoholic or a Gambler. These are two main killer habits that are seen throughout the club as individuals are drawn to flashing lights, sounds and the large supply of liquor.

An individual that involves in these habits cannot be pushed or talked out of their habits unless it’s of their own will. Now I contributed it towards that of people taking photos of them around their behaviours. It turned out when a phone or a camera out all would be brought out within this environment the individual would immediately walk away or move from the area so they were not within the picture. This was very interesting to see because these actions can be either that they did not wanted to be in a photo or they did not want others to see or be influenced from their habits. I valued this behaviour both within groups and on their own.

Drunk people

However I began to question, is this against the law that individuals who want to establish their own personal photo to be done and has others in the background, could that be them undermining them?

Colberg stated, “It might be perfectly legal to photograph someone in a public space, but something being legal doesn’t mean it’s ethical as well” (2013). This is a clear fact that individuals do not understand what they are doing within the public area when it comes to their own activities. But is this defamation, amusement or exploitation or a simple mistake?

Back to Street photography meaning, it is raw pieces capturing either an art form, human spirit or urban landscape that can further be published or designed upon in discussion or other art styles. Street Photographers have now changed from real qualified people to individuals with their mobile phones taking selfies in any area possible. This has created discomfort and paranoia through individuals who do not get permission or further value in the photos taken.

It concludes to my research and value that individuals need to understand the meaning of their spaces that they come into between others around them along with how they act upon them. Everyone may not like pictures that others post up but if you are an individual who without being acknowledged or asked to have their photo taken in the background to find that they have been published online can be a bit dramatic. We all must follow Colbergs statement as we need to acknowledge our actions within the area.


One thought on “Can you not take my picture?

  1. Pingback: Reflection for BCM240 | The Blogger Life

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