Thursday, June 14, 2012

rude but not illegal

Street photography isn’t as easy as it was back when I was shooting film, and I found two real objectors yesterday.

Bear in mind that no institution less than our freakin’ Department of Justice has defended The Photographer’s Right to record in public, even the police:
So I figured a couple of New York City electrical painters weren’t gonna care. I was wrong.
They looked cool to me and so I took a photo.
No no NO! they waved their hands at me. When I smiled and waved back and kept taking pictures she hid behind the lightpole.
I walked over and said hello, 
to apologize if I had made them uncomfortable.

Neither spoke very good English. “MY LAW RIGHT” the older man in the basket lectured, as if to say he had a right to control his image in public. Which he doesn’t, actually. No one does. So I explained that in simple terms and told him it might be a matter of bad manners perhaps, but the law was clearly with me on this one.

“ETIQUITTO!” he cried with his finger in the air, understanding that the moral aspects are where he might have “rights”.
“Yes! I shouted back over the traffic, 
I’m being RUDE but not illegal!”
“But my fameelee my fameelee” the painter lady said, younger and from the DR, “if they see me on the YouTube they will think I am doing better than I am!”

That’s what she said. And she was serious, I think. 
So there you have it.

If I want daily content I have to take a lot of pictures in public. That doesn’t work for some people.
I apologize for my bad manners but the First and Fourteenth Amendments need no apology. What do you think?

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