Nothing Here — Move Along

Posted: February 13, 2015 in Photography, Safety

Miami 59
Thought experiment this last week — the collision of free speech and privacy. Am contemplating a confrontational public pic to illustrate the conundrum. In my old days as photojournalist I was man-handled by police for photographing their activities, I had my cameras confiscated by an angry farmer who thought I was photographing his land (it was all about the clouds and an impending storm), and I have shoved my camera in people’s faces at the moment of their grief and trauma for a spot on the frontpage (I exaggerate a tiny bit there – the shoving, not the photographing). In  this brave new world (which I would argue is no different) there are cameras on phones, hooked to dashboards, on cop vests, on utility poles, installed in eye glasses. Is there any privacy? Is there any expectation of privacy? Is there an over-reaction to we photographers who yearn to photograph,  and are sometimes unable to articluate why we want to make that picture and that fact that that it requires us to enter the personal space that some consider private? In the USA (as of this writing) the legality is pretty clear. I can take your picture if you are in a public space and there is not a damn thing you can do (assuming I don’t put you in a extreme false light or expose your privates -Mardi Gras excepted). In addition there is no prior restraint — you have no right/recourse to prevent me from publishing your likeness, or as Paul demonstrated in Miami Beach, your backside.

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