Tuesday, January 15, 2008

door to door photos

In his post called Abridged Version, David McMahon said does not crop his images or modify them in any way. I'm stunned!


I have taken A FEW pictures that I thought came out half-decent, but when I get to post-processing, even the good ones get a little somethin-somethin. Nothing EVER turns out perfect for me. It's a little too light, a little too dark, lopsided, too close, too far, blurry, colored funny, etc.


But I still take the camera with me everywhere, and persevere with this experiment, because I believe I have the capacity for a noticeable improvement in photography. That, plus it is virtually free to take lots and lots of pictures and try different things with a digital camera.


My point though, is that I am awful. I brought proof...



One day, I took a different route home, and I noticed a beautiful door. I wanted to take a picture of it, but it was dark, and I didn't know the people, etc. After a few days, I just got my camera ready, and when I came to that stop sign, I took the shot and drove on. (Did I just do a "drive-by shooting?") It's the picture on the left. Welp... from that first picture, I knew that I would need a tripod, a much longer exposure, and a better angle. On another night, I prepared the camera settings a block early, cracked the window open just enough to create a makeshift tripod and when I was ready to shoot, I momentarily shut the engine off. (Another drive-by shooting!)


After downloading the second picture, I saw that the overhead porch light was waaaay too strong, so I cropped most of it out and applied a graduated tint to compensate for its harshness. Voila! Now, you can actually identify the intended subject!


A question: What about photo-ethics? If nobody's home, and I don't include their faces, names or address, do I still need to ask permission to shoot their door like this? Does anybody know? (I don't even think anyone was home at the time.) What would YOU do?


Llama Momma said...

I wouldn't be bothered by someone I didn't know taking a picture of my door. As long as they didn't go crazy with it or anything. (You know, like posting it on the INTERNET or something!) ;-)

Mary said...

I'm really not certain if there are laws regarding things like that if you're not actually posting personal information. In fact, laws on photography can get tricky enough as it is...take for example pictures of vacation. When I go to WDW and snap a picture, I can't possibly ask every last person in the photo for their permission for me to post it online, you know? And how often do people go to towns and snap pictures of the homes and such there? I can remember going to New Orleans down the Garden District and snapping pics of the huge homes...which was not uncommon (especially as people were on the hunt for Anne Rice's house).

I VERY rarely alter my pictures in anyway. The only time I really crop my photos is for avatar or scrapbooking use (though it's a very painful thing for me to crop any photo). And the only time I alter colors is specifically for scrapbooking, but even that's a rare occasion...generally my pics are left untouched. So when you see any of my pics online, that's just how I took them. I'm not some great photographer or anything, I just have a very hard time doing anything to my pictures.

imac said...

Hi, Guilty to NOT using a tripod as much as I should.
If hand held, go you hold your breath when you shoot?
Zoom to get closer, then you can always zoom again on the puter.
If you not in peoples faces and you zoom and they arnt aware, think how many peeps get on by mistake, cant ask ev1.If you want 1 particular person and cant get a shot without being intrusive then ask.

L.L. Barkat said...

Oh my goodness, it's a voila epidemic. (See Marcus's blog.)

I like your pictures anyway, even if you obtain them by criminal activity.

Craver Vii said...

LM, I felt like CIA or FBI, taking that quick snap as I drove by. Of course, it would have come off more convincing if I wasn't driving a minivan, but a black suburban w/tinted windows instead.

I see your point, Mrrr. Still, I have the same feelings with the opposite reaction. I want to save a picture from obscurity. If it can be improved a little, it might be worth showing to someone. It hurts to see someone look through my photo albums in a hurry.

Craver Vii said...

But Imac, if I stop breathing, I'll die. lol! Yes, I do, but it seems that even my heartbeat causes the camera to move. Plus, I may have a tendency to flinch a little. These were all things that I became conscious of when I practiced archery. There may be hope, because I was able to overcome them to a reasonable extent.

Cello LL, et bonjour, mon ami? (tsk, tsk, tsk) An epidemic of voila? Mais, non! N'est-ce pas ici.

(That is supposed to be "Howdy." and "Nope." I hope it came out close to the intended phrases.)

Marcus Goodyear said...

Interesting question about when photo altering becomes an ethical concern. I remember the San Antonio newspaper once publishing a digitally altered photo of what the streets would look like with a new billboard law. The photos were accompanied by an editorial about the internal debate the staff had before they posted the photos.

Then again, journalists would debate things like that. Me, I just debate violas versus cellos.

Mary said...

It hurts to see someone look through my photo albums in a hurry.

I feel the same way. I realize that my pictures bring me more enjoyment than they do someone else, but still, I like to tell the story behind the pictures. I'm even more hurt when someone flips through the pages without bothering to even look down at them....

Every Square Inch said...

I don't know about the rules of engagement for photographers but it seems like intent would play a big part in all of this.

If you're a friendly photographer, just taking a photo for personal use, not violating privacy, it should be ok, should it not? If you're profiting from it, it would seem that you'd have to get permission. If you have ill intent of any kind, it would be a problem...but you wouldn't be asking for permission then.

david mcmahon said...

Technically, you are shooting from the street and therefore from public property.

BUT ... I would probably knock on the door and ask. Never hurts to say G'day.

But I have a funny story about this subject. Must put it together on a pot one day ....

Anonymous said...

this photo looks ok to me.
but if you feel bad about it
you could always ask permission.
it really is a pretty door.

Unknown said...

You made me laugh, Craver.

It's a good thing God doesn't have a copyright on His stuff. :)

Craver Vii said...

I'm here people. Thanks for the comments. I hope to pop back in again soon, but there is a ton of work I'm trying to wade through.

Work. If it wasn't for my pesky children who insist on having a place to sleep and food on the table EVERY SINGLE DAY...


jazzycat said...

Ethics in photography! I believe in don't ask, don't tell.