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Lenny_da_Hog
Post subject: Do any of you get harassed for photography?  PostPosted: 03.09.2013 23:29



Joined: 09.08.2012 Posts: 20

Just curious.... Maybe it's the small town I live in. People see a 35mm and get completely defensive and paranoid. Probably a dozen times in the last year, people have stopped me and *demanded* to know what I was doing.

They think I'm a private investigator tracking them, or that I'm making a zoning complaint, or taking pictures of children as a pedophile (that one got me two death threats and I had to call the police last week -- I have probably 100,000 shots on this camera, and none of them contain humans).

Tonight on my walk, the sunset looked kind of nice so I took a few generic, unremarkable shots. A guy in a truck going down the road squealed to a halt, then went around the block and came up behind me demanding to know why I was pointing a camera at the sky when he went by.

I try to explain to the less aggressive ones that if I wanted to take secret photos, I'd use a cell phone camera. I point out that their houses already have pics on Google street maps if that's what I wanted... Sometimes they settle down, others, they remain aggressive.

It's insane. Anyone else run into this phenomenon?
 
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CauseISaidSo
Post subject: RE: Do any of you get harassed for photography?  PostPosted: 04.09.2013 00:47
Bibliostatus Rex


Joined: 13.07.2010 Posts: 1600

I've heard of others here complaining about such things (maybe not quite to that extent, though), but I've never personally experienced anything like that. Maybe it is a regional thing. Confused
 
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staplermofo
Post subject: RE: Do any of you get harassed for photography?  PostPosted: 04.09.2013 03:30
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Joined: 21.12.2005 Posts: 1288

They say meth is hitting the small towns pretty hard. Meth is definitely behind this.
 
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ravnostic
Post subject: RE: Do any of you get harassed for photography?  PostPosted: 04.09.2013 04:10



Joined: 14.02.2010 Posts: 2898

Tell them to take it up with the NSA. Bring a gun.

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fluffybunny
Post subject: RE: Do any of you get harassed for photography?  PostPosted: 04.09.2013 05:53



Joined: 07.10.2011 Posts: 653

Try to diffuse the situation by using a longer lens, say a 500mm and point it right at them. Don't forget to mutter to yourself occasionally, "Work with me baby!" and "Make love to the camera!" might be some nice calming phrases. Mr. Green

Seriously, I do draw a little attention with an SLR sometimes but never had anyone make demands or go out of their way.

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ennuipoet
Post subject:   PostPosted: 04.09.2013 07:14



Joined: 14.01.2009 Posts: 1192

I was doing some street work one evening a few years ago in my neighborhood. (Primarily immigrants from the Dominican Republic) Suddenly an older man, probably in his 60's runs up and grabs the lens and starts tugging on the straps screaming at me in Spanish. I do not speak Spanish. I grabbed both of his wrists and stopped him from pulling on the lens and stared at him, he is screaming at me people are staring. Finally after a couple of minutes, I let get of his wrists and hit both of his arms as hard as I could. He let go, I tucked the camera under my arms and walked off.

I have no idea what I did to make him mad, all I know is he wasn't going to break my camera.

I still don't shoot much in my neighborhood since then, when I do I shoot from the hip on a wide angle or shoot on a rangefinder.

I've had a couple of security guards tell me to stop taking photos of bridges and what not, but I basically ignore them. If they want to call the cops, they are welcome, I could use the settlement money from the lawsuit.
 
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Pope_Larry_II
Post subject:   PostPosted: 04.09.2013 08:51



Joined: 25.06.2010 Posts: 395

I've never encountered this. It may be that I live in a big city and no one cares. It could also be that I rarely shoot people. The only times I've been stopped is when people are curious as to what I'm shooting, I'll chat with them for a bit, but for the most part I've never been harassed.
 
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orionid
Post subject:   PostPosted: 04.09.2013 18:31
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Joined: 04.09.2008 Posts: 3175

I get lots of strange looks, and disapproving glances but haven't been outright confronted yet. I also haven't done much street photography in a while and tend to avoid controversy.

I did have two of my favorite photos relegated to "exhibition only" in the county fair because they featured children without signed releases from a parent/guardian.

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bender16v
Post subject:   PostPosted: 04.09.2013 21:04



Joined: 25.04.2011 Posts: 233

Lenny, do you walk around playgrounds with a giant lens? Where do you live that people are so aggressive? Around Michigan here there are plenty of nature photographers and I don't have a 500mm so I don't draw any attention but most of my time is spent in parks. People seem either to be used to seeing photographers or are they just don't want to talk to anybody because they are unfriendly. I think that that latter is mostly the case.

Mr. Pope sir, you live in Canada where everybody is polite and friendly. Except the border border guards.
 
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Lenny_da_Hog
Post subject:   PostPosted: 04.09.2013 22:51



Joined: 09.08.2012 Posts: 20

I *do* in fact walk around playgrounds with a giant lens (well, not *giant* but 300mm by default), but that's after asking the school -- I got into photography about two years ago while researching migratory bird habitats, and the local elementary school has a nest, as do the police and fire departments, and I share the photos with officials for educational/conservation use. Officials in town know me as "the bird guy" and always wave when they see me.

The death threat came when I was sitting on my porch cleaning my camera. I took a couple of long, small-aperture shots at the sky just to find any dust spots on the sensor, then would blow off that area and do it again. A guy down the street started screaming for the next two hours that I'd taken pictures of his grand-daughter, and eventually yelled at his neighbor that he was going to beat me to death. Then he came over to my yard (but not in it) and said he was going to shoot me. That's when I called the cops, and told them I could show them the serial-numbered shots on my camera that show I haven't taken any pictures of anyone. The cops, as I mentioned, love me, and opened a case file on the meat-head when he refused to settle down.

I live in a little mountain town of about 8,000 to the east of Portland. It's pretty rednecky, but I was just curious if other hobbyists have to deal with this.
 
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ravnostic
Post subject:   PostPosted: 04.09.2013 23:04



Joined: 14.02.2010 Posts: 2898

If you have the reputation, and the image files (complete with date/time stamps), then I'd press harassment/violence charges! Make him pay for his paranoia. His grandaughter is probably ugly anyway...

//okay, that was mean...but she probably is. And maybe he was doing something with his granddaughter that he'd rather not have been seen doing...and well, you know, why did he put up such a fuss to begin with...

I'd put the pressure back upon him. And carry that gun I mentioned earlier.

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Yugoboy
Post subject:   PostPosted: 05.09.2013 06:44
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Joined: 24.04.2011 Posts: 1011

I had a cop stop me once when I was taking pictures of the approach to a historical marker. Fortunately, I'd already gotten what I needed, so I could comply without losing anything, and I didn't have to go through the whole explanation thing.

I was in the mall once trying to take pictures of the exterior of Victoria Secret's "Pink" store (for the Pink contest) and the manager told me to stop. That was private property and my wife was working at a kiosk nearby, so I complied.

I haven't had any other negative interruptions. Plenty of positive ones, though.

When doing our southern trip this year I remember seeing one of those "If you see something, say something" posters and the 3rd picture was of a guy pointing his camera in the general direction of a power substation. I muttered something obscene and continued walking (had the poster not been behind glass I might have done more). We have become a nation of paranoid sissies, and I hate it.

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Barracuda
Post subject:   PostPosted: 05.09.2013 15:07



Joined: 13.01.2012 Posts: 682

Only issues I've had were with a crazy duck lady at the park around the corner. She's shouted at me a couple times not to take photos of her. Keep biting my tongue instead of responding with something nasty about wanting to find better subjects to photograph than her ugly mug.

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bender16v
Post subject:   PostPosted: 05.09.2013 21:15



Joined: 25.04.2011 Posts: 233

      Barracuda wrote:
Only issues I've had were with a crazy duck lady at the park around the corner. She's shouted at me a couple times not to take photos of her. Keep biting my tongue instead of responding with something nasty about wanting to find better subjects to photograph than her ugly mug.

Does she also go around picking rhubarb? (NSFW language if you don't know her already)
 
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fluffybunny
Post subject:   PostPosted: 06.09.2013 12:01



Joined: 07.10.2011 Posts: 653

      Yugoboy wrote:
We have become a nation of paranoid sissies, and I hate it.


Jeff Daniels rant from News Room (NSFW language):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rpn0vh2Rj0Y

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