Posts Tagged ‘Social Shots’

Earlier in the year I ventured out into the Irish rain and tried to document the event of the summer.

In June Bavaria City Racing brought Formula 1 to the streets of Dublin. More than 100,000 spectators were expected to gather for an adrenaline-fuelled afternoon with Superbikes, Super cars, Touring cars, Formula 2, WRC, Drifters, and demonstrations from internationally celebrated F1 cars and drivers.

The map of the taken-over streets

f1

This is what I managed in the midst of the worst weather of the season._MG_6125_MG_6128

_MG_6139F1 McLaren wide1_MG_6157_MG_6237F1 Bavaria Dublin

I shot in three different locations. It was well worth the extra effort to talk to bar-owners in the city centre to let you up to the top of their buildings to allow you to shoot from above.

Advertisements

There have been many discussions lately, both on-line and off, on the rights of photographers – when, where and what you can legitimately photograph, and what you can subsequently do with the photographs you take.

This pamphlet is intended to give an outline of your rights and responsibilities as a photographer, but is not intended as a comprehensive guide.

As always, if you’re looking for specific legal advice, contact your local friendly solicitor!

Photographing on Public or Private Property?

In general, you are entitled to take pictures of anything you wish, when in a public place. You may take pictures of private property, people, or anything else you fancy.

On private property, you are also generally allowed to take photographs, provided you have permission to be on the property.

However, the owner may impose conditions on your entry to the property, which may include a complete ban on photography, a ban on photography of certain things, or a ban on certain types of photography (eg, flash photography, video photography etc).

Even where permission is not explicitly needed to enter the property, the owner is entitled to demand that you cease taking photographs, or that you leave the property. If you are asked to leave a property, you should not be threatened or attacked. Reasonable force may be used to remove you if necessary, however. In general, you are better off leaving when asked – the fact that you should not be threatened, does not mean you won’t be. The owner has no right to confiscate or damage any of your equipment.

The occupier of a private property, where he is not the owner, has the same rights as the owner would have. Security guards may also act for the owner or occupier in exercising these rights.

Violating the conditions under which you were admitted to a property voids your permission to be there, and you may be guilty of trespass. Trespass is a crime in some unusual cases but damages are more commonly sought in a civil case.

Photographs in a Public Place

You are not allowed to harass people in the course of your photography – stalking someone, or repeatedly blocking their way to take a photograph of them could be construed as harassment; simply taking a photograph of them probably won’t. Taking photographs of people in public is generally allowed – however, an exception is made where the subject would have a reasonable expectation of privacy. You’re perfectly entitled to take a photograph of someone walking down the street – but hiding in a tree to take a photo of them in their home may get you into trouble.

You are not allowed to obstruct movement on the highway (roads, footpaths, cycle paths etc), or the work of a police officer, while taking photographs. Whether you are regarded as obstructing will depend on the situation, and you will generally be asked to move along by the police, if they view your behaviour as obstructive. If you refuse to do so, or persist in obstructing the highway, however, you may be arrested.

Legal Restrictions

What you can do with your photographs is limited by Irish law. You may be found in contempt of court if you publish a photograph of a defendant, where identity is in question, that is, where witnesses may be asked to identify the defendant. You may also be found in contempt of court if you publish a photograph that might prejudice the defendant by insinuating his guilt (for example, of him being brought to court in handcuffs), or a photograph that might reveal prior convictions (for example, of the defendant at a previous trial).

Your Subject’s Rights

Can the subject of a photo prevent you from publishing it? Most of the caselaw in Ireland has centred on the misuse of celebrity images to imply an endorsement of a commercial good or service. This is dealt with by the courts, in general under the normal rules covering passing off. So, if the subject’s image might be worth money if used in an advertisement or as part of a product endorsement, they have a right to protect the income flowing from that, as a property right.

But what about the rest of the world, who don’t make their fortunes by assuring the world that, as Hollywood millionaires, they choose only the finest home-bottle hair-dyes to colour their hair? As the actor Gordon Kaye found out, when he was photographed by an interviewer whilst recovering from a serious head injury in hospital, there’s not much anyone can do to prevent you from publishing your photos. Provided your photographs are genuine, even if they would bring the subject down in the eyes of society, they’re not libellous.

Up to now, the right to privacy has been largely determined by a mixture of Constitutional rights, and ECHR case law – the Minister for Justice has previously said that the private interactions of a person – even in a public place – may be covered by the right to privacy – for example, while doing the shopping, or meeting a friend for coffee. But, once the interactions become public – at an awards ceremony or waving from the podium at the Olympic Games you lose that right to privacy. It may be hoped that the forthcoming Privacy Bill will clear up these issues, but for now, it is generally safe to presume that you can publish your photographs, unless your subject was in a situation where a reasonable person would believe that they’d brought their ‘portable sphere of privacy’ out with them.

In short, your subject can object to the publication of photos of them if: The photographs are untrue – they’ve been altered in some way, to show something that isn’t the case; The photographs are interfering with the subject’s commercial endorsement business; The photographs are tortuously violating the subject’s privacy.

The last option is still not entirely clear, but use common sense and remember the hypothetical “reasonable person”, and you shouldn’t go too far wrong.

Ownership of Photographs?

If A takes a photograph of B, who owns the copyright in that photograph? As a general rule, the photographer owns the copyright. This is true even if B has commissioned and paid for the photograph – as in the case of wedding photographs. If B wishes to enjoy the copyright, he must agree with A that the copyright will be transferred to him. B should make sure that the agreement and any transfer are in writing – or they may be ineffective under Irish law to transfer the copyright.

The main exception to this principle is where photographs are taken by an employee in the course of their employment – if X Ltd. employs Z as a photographer, then the photos taken by Z in the course of his work belong to X Ltd. and cannot be used by Z without their permission. This can trip up the unwary – for example, Z may be in difficulties if he wishes to use those photos as part of a portfolio of work.

As mentioned in my “About Me” page and in my previous “Monster Under The Bed” post I hinted upon my Grandmothers collection of photos under the bed. As the first part of this series was a bit heavy on the text side, I’ve decided to be easy on you guys. This is a small collection of the shots which made me want to be a Photographer today. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Bill & Elly Smith (c. 1948)  (1)Bill & Elly Smith (c. 1948)  (2)Bill & Elly Smith (c. 1948)  (3)Bill Smith next to his brother John's grave in Egypt 1942Elly SmithGreat Granny&Grampa SmithJohn (Ernest AJ) Smith (1919-1942)lastscanLinda Smith restored

I wont go into explicit detail as to who, what and where these were taken. I’ll let you make up you’re own mind. I will tell you though, that they span from 1945 to 1967.  From shortly after WWii finished to shortly before the best decade that music ever saw.

 

First of all it would be unfair to assume that all persons originating from Transylvania are Vampires. I live with one and my neck is relatively bite-free. I do, however keep a large garland of the age-old pungent rose in our kitchen. Joking aside, the reason I am interviewing this interesting gentleman today is to show the determination he had to provide for his family through a really tough Communist regime. These were times without Facebook and camera-phones, where making a side-living from photography could have landed him in serious trouble with the Romanian Securitate resulting in substantial fines, and even Jail. I got to know Dorin Avram and his family through my partner who happens to be his niece.

When did your passion for takings photographs begin?

“I always liked the Photography.  After I got married and we had the kids, I started it professionally to make a second income.”

Is there a photographer that you particularly liked back then?

“No, there was none.” (It’s important to state here that during Communism, only classic literature and political propaganda would have been stocked in the libraries. Researching photographers would have been near impossible).

What year did you start taking photographs to make extra income and what camera did you use?

” It was in the year of 1986. The camera was a  Zenit 35mm Rangefinder. I did weddings, baptism, birthdays and all kinds of family portraits”.

I assume you couldn’t send your negatives to a camera store to develop and print them. How did you get your hands on the chemicals and paper?

“Well, the photo paper I bought now and then from photo shops, but in bigger amounts for storage, and the solutions too at first. Later on I bought the chemicals from the pharmacy and mixed the solutions myself. I had a scale, that was very accurate. You had to have the exact amount of each chemical for the solution!”

Roughly how long during the Communist regime were you in business for?

“From 1986 until 1991 when we left Romania to come to Germany. The communist regime ended 1990, so I did it for about five years.”

It’s said that one in three Romanians was an informant for the Securitate*. Where did you do your processing and was it well hidden?

“There was a secret room in our apartment, which was my laboratory/ darkroom. I think it was around 1.5 by 2 meters long or something like that. The door to it was our coat rack and you could open it, if you pulled a secret crank and rolled the door open. The door was really heavy.”

I’m sure everyone would love to see how you organised yourself. Could you draw a quick picture of the set up?

If you were caught by the authorities what was the penalty?

“It was a high monetary penalty. How much it was, I don’t remember. Prison was less the case.”

Do you think people are as passionate about photography now, as you were back then?

“I think yes! I see Artemis for example; she takes pictures of everything… I think she is more passionate about it now than I was then. I tried a lot back then and I did everything myself (developing etc.), but today I think it would be too expensive for me…

Were there any moments when young children would sneak in and open the secret door, or turn on the light by accident, destroying your pictures?  For example young Artemis or Alexandru?

“Yes… but only the pictures on the paper were damaged, but it almost never happened. It wasn’t as tragic, because the film itself wasn’t damaged and I could just do it again and I had always enough photo paper.

Last year, at your son Alexandru’s wedding in Germany, I saw you with a Canon DSLR. Do you prefer digital cameras now, or do you still have a love for the old film?

“I prefer the digital photography, it’s so much easier!”

Would you ever get back into taking pictures for a living, or have you ‘hung up your boxing gloves’?

“If I could make good money again then probably I would.”

10-year college reunion partyBaptism group photobaptismfamily portrait

*Control over society became stricter and stricter, with an East German-style phone bugging system installed, and with Securitate recruiting more agents, extending censorship and keeping tabs and records on a large segment of the population. By 1989, according to CNSAS (the Council for Studies of the Archives of the Former Securitate), one in three Romanians was an informant for the Securitate. Due to this state of affairs, income from tourism dropped substantially by 75%, with the three main tour operators that organized trips in Romania leaving the country by 1987.

It turns out that because I’m studying a course in the journalism faculty I qualify for a Press Pass (NUJ Card). I’m not really sure how it works but now as I have one, I’ll take you through my research into what it actually does, and see if it will get me free into the next ACDC concert.

The NUJ‘s Code of Conduct has set out the main principles of British and Irish journalism since 1936. The code is part of the rules and all journalists joining the union must sign that they will strive to adhere to it.

Members of the National Union of Journalists are expected to abide by the following professional principles:

NUJ Code of Conduct

A journalist:

1 At all times upholds and defends the principle of media freedom, the right of freedom of expression and the right of the public to be informed
2 Strives to ensure that information disseminated is honestly conveyed, accurate and fair
3 Does her/his utmost to correct harmful inaccuracies
4 Differentiates between fact and opinion
5 Obtains material by honest, straightforward and open means, with the exception of investigations that are both overwhelmingly in the public interest and which involve evidence that cannot be obtained by straightforward means
6 Does nothing to intrude into anybody’s private life, grief or distress unless justified by overriding consideration of the public interest
7 Protects the identity of sources who supply information in confidence and material gathered in the course of her/his work
8 Resists threats or any other inducements to influence, distort or suppress information and takes no unfair personal advantage of information gained in the course of her/his duties before the information is public knowledge
9 Produces no material likely to lead to hatred or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s age, gender, race, colour, creed, legal status, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation
10 Does not by way of statement, voice or appearance endorse by advertisement any commercial product or service save for the promotion of her/his own work or of the medium by which she/he is employed
11 A journalist shall normally seek the consent of an appropriate adult when interviewing or photographing a child for a story about her/his welfare
12 Avoids plagiarism
  The NUJ believes a journalist has the right to refuse an assignment or be identified as the author of editorial that would break the letter or spirit of the code. The NUJ will fully support any journalist disciplined for asserting her/his right to act according to the code

 

Instructions on how to go about applying for entry to event

Request access in advance either by phone or by mail. Put written requests on company letterhead. Explain why you wish to cover the event and any special requirements you have, such as equipment or crew members that you will be bringing.

Show up to the event promptly. Make sure the press pass is visible. Be ready for a security check.

Introduce yourself to marketing and press coordinators. Ask to be included on future e-mail lists to receive notification of upcoming events.

If you need to try to gain access to an event at the last minute, try showing up to the venue and asking to speak with the press coordinator. It’s possible that showing your credentials and explaining your need for access could get you in. But it may not work for more secure events.
  Know the rules and follow them. Once you are given access don’t go into restricted areas.

  Be prepared to undergo a background check.

  Simply designing a press pass using your home computer and printer will not be enough to gain you entrance into events.

  Do not misrepresent yourself.

Now all we need is for ACDC to come to Ireland.

 

When asked to go down and take shots of your mates band make sure you do it justice. Every job you encounter will take you on to the next, so make sure it’s correctly executed. You can be sure that if you’re last shoot was a little lazy then you will only get half the cash for the next one if anything at all! You should be aiming to increase your income. Not eventually be that guy who works for free but it’s ok because he’s not that great. Even if it is your best pal’s first live performance do the best you can. I have to make it clear though, some free work is never a bad idea if you know it may lead on to another project.

  • In order to set up your camera correctly to allow for all available light in the venue, you’ll have to get down there the day before and check for yourself.
  • I usually bump up the ISO to 800 or 1600.
  • Change mode to monotone (Most will tell you not too but I get faster, clearer, sharper images when the camera doesn’t have to process colour).
  • Use a fast prime lens like the super reliable 50mm. Best investment I ever made and not a great expense either. For Canon. For Nikon. The 50mm prime lets in a whole heap of light with its shallow depth of field. This allows you pinpoint the exact location of your viewer’s attention.
  • Try to leave your flash at home. Good flashes are not cheap and this will ruin your hot-shoe connection if someone knocks it, trust me. Fixing your camera’s hotshoe and a broken flash will destroy your insurance policy.
  • Get to know the whole band, not just the lead guy, to the point that when you’re snapping away, they will not be distracted by your presence during a song. And when you want them to turn and face you, all you have to do is gesture slightly. Do not take the attention away from the stage!
  • Do hand out business cards. It’ll quickly get fans to leave you with some space to work if they think they are helping you promote their favourite band. Speaking of which use the Security guys if things get out of hand. Equipment damaged by beer and elbows quickly adds up. Think about insurance.

I think I’ve covered all the technical aspects, now it’s up to you to get out there and capture what makes this particular band special using nothing but imagery. As always I’ll leave you with a wee example. This is Worth and Bondi. I’ll stick a video at the bottom of the page for you. See if you can tell me what the drums are..

Here are the shots.

I’ll leave the comments open to you guys on this one.

 

“So how’s it going folks?!”

It appears I’ve stumbled into the ever-present world of blogging. As guided by my college lecturer I am here trying to think of something innovative or interesting to talk or ‘blog’ about. My view on blogging in its purist, non-Facebook, form was as Elliott Gould   (M*A*S*H) summed it up, “Blogging is Graffiti with punctuation”. Now perhaps this gentleman’s archaic view on this new medium of self expression, promotion and publication is as dated as an Elvis fan’s view on emerging Punk in the early 80’s. However, as new and strange as it is to me that someone actually gave a notion as to what my daily thoughts and observations for the day were, this is something I’ll have to embrace and tackle head-on as well as a Ayrshire Lad can. I come from an area where you would wake up to the sound of kids breaking into cars and the smell of dairy cow-shit  from the adjacent fields.

I live in Ireland, and have done on and off, for around ten years. I first stayed in a small tourist town in the West of Ireland and because of tourism seasonality ie, everyone left after summer and I was bored to tears, I’m now living in Dublin in the East. By weaving in and out of various Catering/ Hospitality roles, travelling the seven seas on the QE2 and even working in a vineyard in South Africa I’ve realised that there was only one common factor to my nostalgia when I look back. The very medium which has triggered the ‘going back to college education’ and therefore the very reason why I’m writing this blog now. Photography.

Curiosity has always driven me to explore new areas whether its Geographical or Coffee Shop Sociological. I travelled extensively throughout South East Asia on motorbikes, Hiked through Scotland and Ireland on boot and drank my way through most of the Western Cape’s vineyards on bicycle. Nothing entertains me more than sitting in a coffee shop sending tourists the wrong way up temple bar and watching as the rest of the world walks by. I love trying to hazard a guess as to what everyone is up to, perhaps conceiving world domination plans or how they spoke Espressonese before Starbucks made it cool ( or mandatory, as one College Professor found out the hard way).

By watching the world and its people I’ve developed a need to record or capture everything around me and my camera is the best tool I have to do this. I’m terrified that one day I’ll forget all these characters as I get older, incidently the reason my Grandmother keeps a box of photos beside the bed, and as such I’ve the compulsion to record everything for fear of memory loss.

Anyway I’ll knuckle down and hopefully nail this blogging medium, first to keep up to speed with the rest of the blogging world and secondly, to pass the blogging class.