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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: Pervert Photography
NatSoc 2008 in Canberra was awesome fun, but while there I found someone whose attitude towards photography was actively hostile.  They maintained that, if anyone took their picture when they weren't doing parkour, it was a 'pervert shot'.  I took what I considered to be a really nice photo of this person (whose identity I won't be disclosing here) and sent it to them.  Here's the conversation so far:

Quote by them:
While it is a nice shot, it's most definitely a pervert shot.
Plus it's not really related to parkour at all (just me being a bum).

Quote by NFG:
That you are not doing parkour does not make you less photo-worthy.  In fact, strictly speaking, a very large percentage of people whose pictures I took at NatSoc were not doing parkour, are they all pervert shots?

I followed that up with:

Quote by NFG:
I should probably clarify that, while I respect your choice enough to not post the image anywhere, your attitude towards photos in general is quite unusual, to the point I think you're quite insane.  I'd very much like to know the thought process behind it, if you've got the time.

I don't, at all, understand the concept of wanting to prevent your photo being taken.  I can understand being shy, being scared, being uncomfortable as the centre of attention, but angrily demanding a quick snap of yourself be deleted when you notice it being taken?  That's over the top, IMO.
BLEARGH
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User title: Dreaming of a 40D
Member since Sep 2007 · 35 posts · Location: Canberra
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Would this be the person who came over and, by way of introduction, said "do you want me to break your camera?". If it is, then I got a very nice photo of them and I will have to do a batch update on pkaus with it at 1000px.
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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Yup, that's the one.

Perhaps to no one's surprise I haven't had a reply yet.  I don't really expect one - irrational people are rarely interested in defending their beliefs.
BLEARGH
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User title: Dreaming of a 40D
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Ah, the joys of those who believe they have the right to decide when they're photographed. That person was actually rather nice until the moment they noticed the camera, and from then on was hostile. This is amusing, because the nice photo I have of them has them holding a camera.
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Member since Sep 2007 · 176 posts · Location: Kobe, Japan
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Oddly enough this person continued to be nice to me even after we had the 'you are a pervert photographer' discussion.

I can understand that some people don't like to be photographed..but this person actually got hostile and pretty much attacked you if did take one, I can't say I have ever encountered anything like that before O_O
“Be conservative in what you do; be liberal in what you accept from others.” J. Postel
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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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I did get a reply.  Here's my reply to that:

In reference to that shot in particular, one word: cleavage.
While I can totally understand that, to some extent I have to wonder why you're comfortable showing off the goods but not having them photographed. 

My attitude to photos in general: I don't think they are too unusual. Photos of me, however...I'm paranoid! :P
Now, I don't want to belabour the issue, there'll probably come a point where it's more annoying than useful to continue the discussion, but...

Well, I guess there are a fewthings that seem to apply, from my point of view:
1. Legally, I can take pictures of anything I want in a public space, though there are limits after which it might be considered harrassment or stalking.
2. Street photography is a time-honoured and valuable art form, and snapshots of the public are neither privacy invading nor malicious, as a rule.
3. Your attitude is way over the top, IMO.  A smile and 'please delete, or at least don't include this in any galleries' will get you a lot more respect than "You want me to break your camera?"
4. The cleavage is nice, and we appreciate the beauty of it, but it's not so nice anyone's going to be making you the star of any fap sites.

I guess from my POV (and the POV of other camera-wielding people at NatSoc), your attitude was harsh and the offense entirely minor.  I won't even suggest you're wrong to worry, but a little sweetness will go a long way.  Like your delightful chinese friend.  =D

(Oh, and you were vicious about the photos on Sunday, when you were wearing a black t-shirt.  What's with that?)

Oops, ranting detected.  I'm done.  Peace.
BLEARGH
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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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The conversation continues, and I'm finding it fascinating.

My next reply follows.  All quotes are theirs.  I should note that I have omitted many points on which we agree, which may make the discussion more seem aggressive than it really is.  For example, this person agreed that candid or street photography is 'a time-honoured and valuable art form'.


I love an intelligent debate.  Failing that, I love arguing with people who can elucidate their position using whole sentences.  Well met, you.

For starters, I was under the impression that Toast is privately owned, in which case, the debate becomes 'what is the definition of "public space"?'.
From what the locals said, Toast is public space which is why security has no sway over what's done in the area.  Never mind that for the moment, the law allows a certain leeway in this regard: if you're on private land in good faith, they can ask you to leave but there's no additional requirements, such as  deleting photos or having your gear confiscated because of where you were.

Secondly, from what I learnt at our workplace Equal Opportunity & Harrassment training, harrassment is defined by the victim, and not anyone else.
There's a fine line to walk here, because victims may be unreasonably paranoid.  You, for example, are leaning that way more than I might.  We should not allow any aspect of our society to be governed by the most insane, I'm sure you'll agree.  Instead we need to strike a balance that is fair to all. 

I do not see why I should suck up and be nice if I'm feeling harrassed or threatened. My defences were up, and I'm not nice when my defences are up.
Surely at your advanced age you've realized that people are more likely to do what you want when you're nice about it?  ;)

An interesting comment about harrassment.  You're not an unattractive girl, I would imagine photographers in general would be inclined to take your picture, and it seems that in this case you've lashed out against a guy who had no way of knowing you were photo-averse.  Harrassment implies a repeated action, and I think it'd behoove you to ask nicely the first time and get (righteously) angry the next.

For my part I did stop aiming the camera your way when you made it abundantly clear you didn't like it. 

Now if the guy can't get the hint after me pressing the delete button 3 times, he is a somewhat of a fucktard.
I tell you what, people get grabby at my expensive gear and they're likely to get bashed long before they succeed in deleting anything.  Not, not cool.

And the fact that you stood right next to him, and did not inform him that I did not like having my picture taken when you knew, does not earn you respect from me.
Which would be a valid point if:
1. I knew he was taking your picture
2. I was nominated as your protector

By the time I realized he had even done it you guys were wrestling over the camera.  I might have told him had I known when he did it, but I'm not entirely sure I wouldn't have instead watched to see if you had a problem with all photographers, or just me.  =)

I'm sure I made it quite clear early on that I did not like my photo taken, and yet people continued to snipe shots of me. I see this as provokation, and to expect me to be anything other than harsh is rather ...
Well, Klips (the guy from Sunday) wasn't there the first time, and I'm sure it's no surprise to you that those of us who knew didn't circulate a memo or anything listing the particulars of your paranoia.

I wonder if it's also a valid point that you were in an area full of photo-worthy activity and no shortage of photographers.  It'd be pretty irrational to think you'd NOT be in a smackload of photos, even if only as a pretty background prop.  Is that equally offensive?  I wonder what you'd do if someone captured a brilliant parkour movement and you were in the background with your cleavage on?

Respectfully.

(oh, I have been posting snippets of this conversation on a photography forum, without mentioning your name, as I believe it's a very interesting discussion and a valuable view into that rare mindset that is extremely opposed to having photos taken.  I didn't think it was particularly rude to do so, but I thought I'd mention it since your ideas are obviously different from mine! 

http://nfgworld.com/mb/thread/433 )
BLEARGH
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Dude! Why PM if you're gonna post it on your photography forum anyway? Let's make this a public debate and get spectators in! And one of them worm thingies too, why not! :D

You're right, omitting the points on which we agree makes me appear like a cold hard bitch (...which may or may not be true; it's rather subjective).
Oh, and thanks for calling me irrational because I didn't reply immediately. :P

Time for some debating!

I don't, at all, understand the concept of wanting to prevent your photo being taken.  I can understand being shy, being scared, being uncomfortable as the centre of attention, but angrily demanding a quick snap of yourself be deleted when you notice it being taken?  That's over the top, IMO.

Did it ever occur to you that the shyness/uncomfortableness and the angry demanding could be one and the same? I did not realise this until this whole debate started. It is quite possible that I am uncomfortable with being the centre of attention at times, and I react in a hostile way instead of a timid "run-away and hide" style. Thanks for helping me with this self realisation! ^_^

That person was actually rather nice until the moment they noticed the camera, and from then on was hostile. This is amusing, because the nice photo I have of them has them holding a camera.

Are you saying that I'm a hypocrit? If so...
Given that I did not have my camera with me, chances are I was looking at someone else's photos and not actually taking photos. (I think I took one photo using Dave's camera, and that was of the funky bricks on the ground.)

From what the locals said, Toast is public space which is why security has no sway over what's done in the area.  Never mind that for the moment, the law allows a certain leeway in this regard: if you're on private land in good faith, they can ask you to leave but there's no additional requirements, such as  deleting photos or having your gear confiscated because of where you were.

Ok, must have misheard about Toast.
Yes I understand that the law has its limitations, but one would think that common courtesy would take over where the law deems it too insignificant for it to deal with. Anyway, I was only questioning the "publicness" of Toast, not the legalities of property ownership.
Point conceeded. Next point!

There's a fine line to walk here, because victims may be unreasonably paranoid.  You, for example, are leaning that way more than I might.  We should not allow any aspect of our society to be governed by the most insane, I'm sure you'll agree.  Instead we need to strike a balance that is fair to all.

How a victim feels is based on their own experiences and beliefs. E.g. A uni student who does not know self defence is more likely to be affraid of walking back to their car at night by themselves, whereas a person who does will not have a problem with it. Is it fair for the knowledgeable one to say to the less knowledgeable, "You don't need a security guard! HTFU."? Each person is entitled to their own concerns.
And yes, society should not be governed by the most insane, but we could go off on a whole different tangent with that one.

Surely at your advanced age you've realized that people are more likely to do what you want when you're nice about it? 

Surely at your advance age (wait! did you just call me old?!) you would have learnt to take a hint and pick up on people's body language.
Ok, I think I'm being a little immature now.

For my part I did stop aiming the camera your way when you made it abundantly clear you didn't like it.

Yes, I noticed that, and I thank you for it. ^^

Which would be a valid point if:
...
2. I was nominated as your protector

Does one have to be a nominated protector to stand up for another person?
(Just food for thought. No comment required)

I wonder if it's also a valid point that you were in an area full of photo-worthy activity and no shortage of photographers.  It'd be pretty irrational to think you'd NOT be in a smackload of photos, even if only as a pretty background prop.  Is that equally offensive?  I wonder what you'd do if someone captured a brilliant parkour movement and you were in the background with your cleavage on?

This kinda brings me to my conclusion: I believe it comes down to merit, mostly.
1) Me being in the background of someone doing something brilliant: Fine. Because the focus is on them.
2) Photo of me sitting around being "a girl" at a parkour gathering makes me think that you're taking a pic of me simply because I am a girl. I'm not an animal at a zoo or a model.
3) Photo of me doing awesome parkour: Bring it on! Not a lot of females do parkour, so it's understandable for people to want to see token female doing stuff. Hell, I wanna see it! Dave & Ken Ben have a few shots (and videos) of me doing awesome arm jumps, and I can't wait for those to go up.

I'm all for posing for silly/reminiscent shots, and if we were in a different situation (i.e. not a parkour gathering), my behaviour might be slightly different. I suspect the mentality described in conclusion point #2 kicked in pretty early, and it set my attitude towards pics like the one in question for the whole weekend.

P.S. Thanks for all the character analysis! We should do this more! ^_^
(P.P.S Junpei, who are you?)
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User title: Dreaming of a 40D
Member since Sep 2007 · 35 posts · Location: Canberra
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Okay, woah. I wasn't thinking of you as an animal or a model. I was taking photos of people at a parkour gathering, and you were one. Gender was not relevant, it was a conversation happening and I was taking photos of it. You might have noticed I was taking lots of photos of people not doing parkour as well as doing it. Parkour gatherings to me are not just about the parkour, it's also about the community and the friendships, and I try to document that as well as the actual running and jumping.

On *those* photos: I was in no way calling you a hypocrit, I was pointing out the irony of it. Don't read things into my words that aren't there. The photo with the camera, in case you want to see it. When you came over and grabbed my camera later, there was no way in hell I was going to let *you* delete the photo. You were lucky to press it a second time, I'd usually have walked off as soon as you'd touched it the first time and then posted it everywhere out of spite. You were agressive to me it was harrassment and threatening to break my camera is verging on verbal assault, whereas what I did (take a photo of you in a public place) was perfectly legal. You would have no recourse through the law, and I would, so don't get on your high horse about it.

On toast: the law says that, until instructed otherwise, you are allowed to take photos on private property. http://www.4020.net/words/photorights.php for more information, it's a great resource.
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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Aimo, I'm glad you've got the ability and willingness to explain your actions, and engage us in this enlightening debate.  That's not as common as I wish it were.

That said...

Quote by Aimo:
Did it ever occur to you that the shyness/uncomfortableness and the angry demanding could be one and the same?
It did, but this is your problem, not ours.  You've got baggage you brought to the table, and I think it's wickedly unfair to expect us to appreciate your fears when you come across the way you do.

For the record, my first impressions of you were very favourable.  It takes guts to wear a titty shirt like you did: it wasn't exceptionally revealing but it was very attractive, and - in my experience - people who wear clothes like that are fairly self confident and comfortable with themselves, their bodies, and the attention garnered.  It was a much bigger shock that you were so viciously anti-photo taking this first impression into account.  If you were wearing a sweatshirt and baggy pants one might have expected you to be a little more camera-shy.

Quote by Aimo:
How a victim feels is based on their own experiences and beliefs. [...]  And yes, society should not be governed by the most insane, but we could go off on a whole different tangent with that one.
The problem is, the two issues are one and the same.  On one hand you're asking or suggesting that people consider the feelings of the victim, but on the other admitting we probably shouldn't go too far in doing exactly that.

Balance, therefore, is key.

Quote by Aimo:
Surely at your advance age (wait! did you just call me old?!)
;-)

Quote by Aimo:
Does one have to be a nominated protector to stand up for another person?
Nah, that was just a rude comment on my part.  You're right to expect (or hope) people will be polite and kind at all times, I was playing devil's advocate in suggesting I'm not obligated to do so.

Quote by Aimo:
I'm all for posing for silly/reminiscent shots, and if we were in a different situation (i.e. not a parkour gathering), my behaviour might be slightly different. I suspect the mentality described in conclusion point #2 kicked in pretty early, and it set my attitude towards pics like the one in question for the whole weekend.
Definitely a different POV here: As far as I'm concerned, a parkour weekend like this is exactly when you should expect MORE people taking your picture.

Quote by Aimo:
P.S. Thanks for all the character analysis! We should do this more!
I concur.  A fun exercise.
BLEARGH
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Member since Sep 2007 · 131 posts · Location: Canberra
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Hey! I'm going to contibrute to this discussion!

Aimo: Do you ever look at a photo of somebody just sitting around being normal, not doing anything exactly 'cool' (ie. a portrait?). If so, then by your logic you are a pervert.

Just a thought :P
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(Disclaimer: Brain currently tired. Eloquence of post sub par.)

It did, but this is your problem, not ours.  You've got baggage you brought to the table, and I think it's wickedly unfair to expect us to appreciate your fears when you come across the way you do.

Wait, I thought this discussion was to try and understand what you perceived as "unusual behaviour".
I'm trying to (help you and myself) understand the behaviour/events post factum (now that emotional response has departed and logic and reasoning has returned).

If I was mistaken, and this is just a "retaliate against the angry woman" thread, then this shall be my final post.

For the record, my first impressions of you were very favourable.  It takes guts to wear a titty shirt like you did: it wasn't exceptionally revealing but it was very attractive, and - in my experience - people who wear clothes like that are fairly self confident and comfortable with themselves, their bodies, and the attention garnered.  It was a much bigger shock that you were so viciously anti-photo taking this first impression into account.  If you were wearing a sweatshirt and baggy pants one might have expected you to be a little more camera-shy.

Again comes back to the longevity of the viewing.(...was that posted here, or was it one of my responses that were omitted?)

Definitely a different POV here: As far as I'm concerned, a parkour weekend like this is exactly when you should expect MORE people taking your picture

But context!
Parkour weekend => more people taking my pic partaking in activities => no problem.

Aimo: Do you ever look at a photo of somebody just sitting around being normal, not doing anything exactly 'cool' (ie. a portrait?). If so, then by your logic you are a pervert.

Touche!

....I'm not sure I do...*racking my brain*.
The only "person sitting around being normal" shots I tend to look at are silly ones or artistic ones. (e.g. http://ssilence.deviantart.com/art/walk-with-me-26829251)
(Other ones I don't find all that interesting and generally skip past.)

But again, context.
BBQ where everyone is sitting around chatting and eating - "person sitting around being normal" shots are fine.
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Quote by Aimo:
Again comes back to the longevity of the viewing.(...was that posted here, or was it one of my responses that were omitted?)
This is one of the things that was omitted.  For other readers, Aimo said (paraphrased) that a glimpse was fine, but being immortalized online was going to far.  This is something a lot of people can agree with: being naked with a lover is fine, being naked on a website is a bit different.

Quote by Aimo:
BBQ where everyone is sitting around chatting and eating - "person sitting around being normal" shots are fine.
How about a parkour event where everyone alternates between doing stuff and sitting around?  I think the distinction is abitrary, and I'd have to say it smacks a bit of rationalization après le fait.

My personal belief is: If I'm outside, I should avoid doing anything I don't want photographed.  I don't pick my nose on the train, I don't wear speedos to the beach, and I keep my wife-beating to the bushes like all men should.  Otherwise, whatever. I'm a big grunty man, slick with sweat throughout the QLD summers, and if that's the kind of thing you want to take pictures of...  Well, you're a freak but more power to ya.

Quote by Aimo:
Wait, I thought this discussion was to try and understand what you perceived as "unusual behaviour".
I'm trying to (help you and myself) understand the behaviour/events post factum (now that emotional response has departed and logic and reasoning has returned).

If I was mistaken, and this is just a "retaliate against the angry woman" thread, then this shall be my final post.
I can see how my words might seem ...  unfriendly.  What I mean to say is that your fear and paranoia is your cross to bear.  It's entirely unreasonable to expect us to know in advance you're sensitive about it, and I think it's decidedly unreasonable for you to be so aggressive about it.

As a comparison, my wife has a terrible phobia of frogs (of all things!) and she really responds poorly to them.  This is a real issue in Queensland, as the cute green blighters are hard to avoid, especially after a rain.  It's a serious problem for her: she won't go near our back yard, and she won't even tolerate things that are frog-coloured.

But she comes across them all the time when she's out shopping or whatever, and she just copes with it as best she can.  She'll turn away, she'll avoid things, she'll shudder and ask me why anyone thinks they're appropriate images for children's dinnerware, or whatever, but (and this is my point) it's her problem.  She knows it and she doesn't expect anyone else to take down their posters or tear the embroidery off their shirts, though I think she'd cut off my hands if she saw me touch one.  She's also capable of talking about it in a reasonable manner (even if she can't look at them, heh). 

This conversation has been enjoyable and illuminating but has not really changed my original view.  I still think you've got a problem, perhaps not with your beliefs but certainly with your reactions. 

I've got no real problem with your desire to stay off the intartoobs except with your permission, but yeah, tone it down a notch?

I think I'm just repeating myself now, but yeah.  I'm not trying to bash you by any means.
BLEARGH
This post was edited on 2008-10-11, 15:41 by NFG.
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