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People Pictures of England?

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Rod BurkeyPremier Member - Click for more info
Rod Burkey
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quotePosted at 13:11 on 12th May 2019

Taking a look at the images on POE, I'm quite struck by the lack of "People" shots. England has a diverse range of people and they are a very vital part of our beloved country. Any trip to a city centre or tourist destination will provide images which are pretty hard not to include human content. I realise that many pictures look good "sans humans", but others may look a bit soulless or deserted. Our land is certainly not underpopulated.    

I'm just wondering if there is any reason for such a lack of pictures reflecting those who live here. 

 


 

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Edward LeverPremier Member - Click for more info
Edward Lever
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quotePosted at 21:38 on 12th May 2019

I think the inclusion of people in shots is a difficult area. There is no law to prevent photos being taken in a  public place, but most of us are uncomfortable taking pictures of an unaware individual, where the individual is the primary subject. Pictures which include a large random group of people are less likely to problematical, for example groups of tourists would be expected to be seen at tourist locations, or groups of people would be expected to gather waiting for a bus, train etc.

An example of what I would consider to be acceptable is a photo like this, which I took many years ago.

Mersey ferry
Picture by Edward Lever


 

 

 

 

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Rod BurkeyPremier Member - Click for more info
Rod Burkey
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quotePosted at 01:54 on 13th May 2019

I agree with much of what you say Edward, but some candid shots are so relevant to where we live. 

From this viewpoint, I would like to see more pictures with people included as part or the main subject. We live in a beautiful country and the happiness and moods of the population are all a part of that. However, I do suspect that I am out of tune with the photographers on POE. 

i just thought I’d float the idea that maybe the image content here could be broadened. 

 

  

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Edward LeverPremier Member - Click for more info
Edward Lever
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quotePosted at 11:45 on 13th May 2019

I agree with you, Rod, that taking candid shots of individuals makes for interesting social observation, but there is a risk that it might be misconstrued. I think this is why so many photographers (myself included) err on the side of caution. 

In the UK, taking photographs of anything or anyone in a public place is lawful (provided the image is not indecent or terrorist related) but not all members of the public see it this way. There is a risk that the photographer might receive a few choice words or end up with a bloodied nose. We live in difficult times.

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poePremier Member - Click for more info
poe
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quotePosted at 13:19 on 14th August 2019

Whilst in Minehead recently I found that I was really enjoying composing shots with people in them much more than I was without, as in a place like that they really are a part of the landscape. For the most part I felt comfortable doing so, as being a tourist hotspot people with cameras are common place. However, very occassionally the person in focus would suddenly become aware that a camera was pointing in their direction ( I swear soem of them have a sixth sense!) and they'd look my way, and suddenly I'd feel incredibly intrusive and get very uncomfortable about what I was doing. I'd usually slowly pan my camera around and away from them, as if they are not the main focus or even part of the shot at all and then I'd lower it completely and be on my way. Another major concern is when children are in the shot, such as the pirate one I took with the little boy handing him a coin. I'm so glad I took that shot but it did make me feel quite uncomfortable doing so, and if you ask permission you miss the moment, and then once it is taken you tend not to seek permission as that could be asking for trouble too. It really can be difficult, but I do love taking and viewing photos with people in them, as like Rod pointed out, they can really give an image soul and distinction.

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Rod BurkeyPremier Member - Click for more info
Rod Burkey
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quotePosted at 16:20 on 14th August 2019

I take a lot of urban landscapes. Sometimes I actually seek images devoid of humans, but in reality, most urban shots would look rather odd, almost as if all life had been removed without people in the frame. Our urban places are there for only one reason, and that is for the people. 

If one is too timid in life, never mind in photography, results and our expectations will be diluted. Pictures become sterile. We live in a world over populated with people, so to almost ignore human activity is to me, very odd. I understand that cameras can seem intrusive but they record real fragments of time. 

Still life images rely on a lack of life or movement. Pictures of England should (in my opinion) have pictures that depict England as a real and vibrant place.............due in no little part to.......people! England is not a still life.

My picture files are well filled with images taken of people, captured without any pre-warning on my part. I have been photographed many times in public places, probably a whole lot more than I realise, and to be honest, I could not care less. I am, like every other free person, living in a real world. Recently, whilst crossing a foot bridge, a Japanese tourist took my progress towards him with a video camera. I have no idea why, but that was what he seemed to want, and I got a lovely smile as we passed each other. Maybe he was looking for extras in a horror film. 

I realise many will not agree with me, but photography would be far worse off without pictures taken freely in public places.        

 

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poePremier Member - Click for more info
poe
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quotePosted at 19:44 on 14th August 2019
Well said Rod, words of wisdom indeed, and I shall try to worry less on my next outing whenever that shall be. Enjoy it more and worry less should be the motto, as long as one is sensible there shouldn't be any real problems.
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Edward LeverPremier Member - Click for more info
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quotePosted at 13:24 on 17th August 2019
On 14th August 2019 13:19, poe wrote:

Whilst in Minehead recently >>>> Another major concern is when children are in the shot, such as the pirate one I took with the little boy handing him a coin. I'm so glad I took that shot but it did make me feel quite uncomfortable doing so, and if you ask permission you miss the moment, and then once it is taken you tend not to seek permission as that could be asking for trouble too. It really can be difficult, but I do love taking and viewing photos with people in them, as like Rod pointed out, they can really give an image soul and distinction.


Taking candid pictures which include children is a sensitive issue. Presumably one could ask the child's parents for permission, but this might seem a little creepy. The law on photography in public places does not prohibit taking pictures of children, but doing so often attracts suspicion. There have been a  number of cases where photographers have been arrested at tourist locations such as Trafalgar Square and the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, where the arresting officer assumed the photographer's interest was primarily in the child. No actual offence occurred, but the assumption was that the photographer was up to no good. For this reason, I am careful to avoid getting children in the frame of candid shots.
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