A Photographer’s rights around the world

Do you recklessly walk around urban areas with your camera like I do? Are you worried?

A few days ago I received an email from John Hennessy asking me about street photography and especially what rights and responsibilities do I as a photographer have when out with my camera on the street.

Many moons ago I linked to this article on photographers rights in Ireland but it’s worth revisiting again because of the comments added since. Comment 11 by Bill is especially useful going into further detail about different scenarios but also making it obvious that the law really hasn’t been tested or is complete.

Irish law has been quite grey in a few areas when in comes to photography and publication of certain types of photos. For example the taking of a photo of a garda while on duty is not illegal however the publication of said photo is, if the member of the force is identifiable.

The photography of minors is a very dangerous area for any photographer and one area I avoid like the plague.

Blasphemy is still illegal in this country, therefore pictures that are considered so will get you into all sorts of hot stuff. This extends to artistic photos too.

A post on Digital Photography School asks Do Photographers have Rights? There are links to photographer’s rights articles from around the world so if you’re going to do a little traveling it might be a good place to start before you get into trouble!

Jpg Magazine’s issue 9 was dedicated to street photography and Chris Weeks reviewed it. You can download a PDF sample of the issue which I have done, but I haven’t got around to reading it yet. Chris likes it but he doesn’t pull any punches in his review. His review is harsh but I’m tempted to subscribe now..

Sleeping it off in Cork City

As a rule I don’t photograph the homeless very often but I don’t think the sleeping gentleman in this photo was homeless. Rather a heavy night on the town I suspect.

This was snapped while walking past Marks & Spencers on Patrick’s Street last year. I spotted the security people and had the camera ready without breaking stride.

I wonder what happened next?

Chris 64

The crowds watch a festival in Union Square, San Francisco. I’m not sure who Chris is but I’m guessing he’s a rugby player?

Hmm, Flickr are still mangling the image URL. I hope they fix it soon.

Innovative Streets

It’s good to look down sometimes. I think this was used to hold a decorative safety pole but I don’t remember ever seeing it used. There are poles on the other side of this narrow street however.

The street of course is Paul Street behind Waterstones.

I was going to blog that yesterday was World Book Day but time ran out for me and the power cut didn’t help my motivation much. Nevertheless, Cearta.ie blogged it. Check out some of my photos from last year’s World Book Day celebration!

The Lady Smiles

On her lunch break she smiles instead of smoking, at least for a moment.

This is the second and final image of the Lady on her break series. If you look very carefully at the window you’ll see my face, my hand, and the back of Jacinta’s head as we walked past. Thanks for the comments yesterday!

The Lady smokes

On her break, she lights up a cigarette to relax. Who did she see?

The Magnum Blog has been running for a few weeks. I blogged the original opening of the site ages ago, but it wasn’t ready for prime time and it made it’s debut a short while ago. A few days ago, A faked portrait of my generation explored some of the issues surrounding street photography. A legal case in Quebec in effect made street photography illegal in Canada.
Here in Ireland, photographers do have the right to photograph people, but if the subjects have an expectation of privacy then you’re not allowed photograph them. That could include a couple talking on the street. That’s only the opinion of our Minister For Justice but unfortunately many of my street photos could be on shaky ground if that really was what the law said.

Oh, another photo of this girl tomorrow!