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123last
Photographer
cameraman K
Posts: 233
Brooklyn, New York, US


May 17 13 09:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Z_Photo
Posts: 6,940
Huntsville, Alabama, US


May 17 13 09:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marin Photography NYC
Posts: 7,109
New York, New York, US


That's a nice way to piss off your neighbors and make some cash!
May 17 13 09:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
rp_photo
Posts: 42,490
Houston, Texas, US


Calling him a photographer is like calling a poacher a hunter.
May 17 13 09:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Brad Crooks Photography
Posts: 18
Kansas City, Kansas, US


Fast forward to his last ever photograph...a window across the street...a silhouetted person.....a view down a rifle muzzle and a flash. End of Book.

Just sayin'.
May 17 13 09:39 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MCPHOTO
Posts: 731
Duvall, Washington, US


Kinda reminds me of this story the Cat photographer of Seattle.
http://www.photographercat.com/tag/cat- … eattle-wa/
May 17 13 09:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
rp_photo
Posts: 42,490
Houston, Texas, US


Brad Crooks Photography wrote:
Fast forward to his last ever photograph...a window across the street...a silhouetted person.....a view down a rifle muzzle and a flash. End of Book.

Just sayin'.

Even photographers who go to great lengths to not make others uncomfortable run the risk of angering strangers, so I would say it's a risk, and perhaps especially in NYC where there are "made" people who might not take it too kindly.

May 17 13 09:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Zack Zoll
Posts: 2,392
Glens Falls, New York, US


I think this is an absolutely fantastic project.  Those of you that called the photographer a stalker, a poacher, etc. clearly missed the part about these images being taken out of his own apartment window - not from the bushes or somesuch.  If you can see it in your own home, it's fair game.

And I don't think any of the subjects would have a privacy case against the photographer, even if their faces had been shown.  I don't know NYC law(which is much more liberal than State law), but here in Upstate NY a man was arrested and charged with indecent exposure for forgetting to close the blinds before he put on a porno flick and took care of business.  Which means that, at least according to State law, there is no 'reasonable expectation of privacy' if you leave your curtains wide open.

This work reminds me of a book by another photographer.  I can't remember her name, and I can't seem to track down my notebook where I wrote it.  At any rate, it's called Wall Street and every frame in the entire book is shot through the same window of a bar bathroom.  Stock traders would get off work, head to this bar, and hire a hooker to screw in the bathroom.  And the book is images of these guys putting on condoms, getting BJs, doing drugs, etc.  Only a few faces are seen, but that's probably because they were all shot at a downward angle, so the images are all waist-level.

It's a pretty cool book, provided you're fairly hang-up free.

The moral of the story, of course, is that if you're doing anything dirty or embarrassing, close the damn blinds.
May 17 13 10:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Photos by Lorrin
Posts: 6,969
Eugene, Oregon, US


Not a lawyer.

but I think this could be a state by state issue.

Here in Oregon -- probably go to jail. Could go to jail real quick if a minor is in the picture.
May 17 13 10:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jay Farrell
Posts: 13,046
Nashville, Tennessee, US


Zack Zoll wrote:
I think this is an absolutely fantastic project.  Those of you that called the photographer a stalker, a poacher, etc. clearly missed the part about these images being taken out of his own apartment window - not from the bushes or somesuch.  If you can see it in your own home, it's fair game.

And I don't think any of the subjects would have a privacy case against the photographer, even if their faces had been shown.  I don't know NYC law(which is much more liberal than State law), but here in Upstate NY a man was arrested and charged with indecent exposure for forgetting to close the blinds before he put on a porno flick and took care of business.  Which means that, at least according to State law, there is no 'reasonable expectation of privacy' if you leave your curtains wide open.

This work reminds me of a book by another photographer.  I can't remember her name, and I can't seem to track down my notebook where I wrote it.  At any rate, it's called Wall Street and every frame in the entire book is shot through the same window of a bar bathroom.  Stock traders would get off work, head to this bar, and hire a hooker to screw in the bathroom.  And the book is images of these guys putting on condoms, getting BJs, doing drugs, etc.  Only a few faces are seen, but that's probably because they were all shot at a downward angle, so the images are all waist-level.

It's a pretty cool book, provided you're fairly hang-up free.

The moral of the story, of course, is that if you're doing anything dirty or embarrassing, close the damn blinds.

Exactly!

May 18 13 12:05 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
fullmetalphotographer
Posts: 2,757
Fresno, California, US


Artistically the images are well done but ethically, should artistic freedom override personal right to privacy. We are not talking public or government figures nor are we talking public locations but private residents.

This is one of the few times California Paparazzi laws seem to be justified. I am far from a saint in this argument, as a working photojournalist, I had this issue creep up. I could make the simple and mentally challenged argument that the people should have closed the blinds but I can't say why they were open maybe a roommate opened them before a person in the photo was aware of it. Or maybe the landlord needed to fix them, but in the end it does not matter.

We are talking about inside someone's home. I think back to a case recently were a person outed his college roommate by a hiding a video camera. The roomate committed suicide after the video was released online. The person who did the video was charged with a hate crime, but what if had argued it was art not a cruel joke.

Like I said, I am not without sin on this one. I have shot people in private moments during my career.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8507/8501537667_6c580e597f_m.jpg
suspect by FullMetalPhotographer, on Flickr

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3216/2592535259_6e8df2cb4f_m.jpg
crash by FullMetalPhotographer, on Flickr

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2209/2519827880_0c5d66d188_m.jpg
myrtlefire by FullMetalPhotographer, on Flickr

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3144/2567233010_2ec5215f39_m.jpg
train_bw by FullMetalPhotographer, on Flickr

http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4122/4930103727_628299df1b_m.jpg
dwi09270707web by FullMetalPhotographer, on Flickr
May 18 13 03:09 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DG at studio47
Posts: 2,364
East Ridge, Tennessee, US


1. Paparazzi do it 24/7

2. "Rear Window"--Hitchcock

3.sounds kind of lazy?

4.the appeal? we are ALL voyeurs to some degree?

5.our society is constantly being watched and or recorded by "security" cameras.

6.almost sounds like the residents already gave up their privacy by choice?
May 18 13 03:18 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jerry Nemeth
Posts: 27,482
Dearborn, Michigan, US


You see a lot when you look out the window in NYC.
May 18 13 03:25 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KonstantKarma
Posts: 2,513
Hickory, North Carolina, US


"But the residents of a glass-walled luxury residential building across the street had no idea they were being photographed.."

Glass walls? Sorry, I'm not feeling any sympathy for the residents. Sounds like they're lifestyle-exhibitionists, and are probably just mad they're not making a profit from it.
May 18 13 04:51 am  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
Robb Mann
Posts: 10,279
Baltimore, Maryland, US


You cannot have an expectation of privacy when in public. Too many traffic, CCTV and security cameras anywhere. You Can have an expectation of privacy when at home, and indoors. Im pretty sure this guy will be sued, big time.
May 18 13 05:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KonstantKarma
Posts: 2,513
Hickory, North Carolina, US


Again, glass walls.

I don't think a judge will rule for expectation of privacy.
May 18 13 06:17 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Zack Zoll
Posts: 2,392
Glens Falls, New York, US


fullmetalphotographer wrote:
Artistically the images are well done but ethically, should artistic freedom override personal right to privacy. We are not talking public or government figures nor are we talking public locations but private residents.

This is one of the few times California Paparazzi laws seem to be justified. I am far from a saint in this argument, as a working photojournalist, I had this issue creep up. I could make the simple and mentally challenged argument that the people should have closed the blinds but I can't say why they were open maybe a roommate opened them before a person in the photo was aware of it. Or maybe the landlord needed to fix them, but in the end it does not matter.

We are talking about inside someone's home. I think back to a case recently were a person outed his college roommate by a hiding a video camera. The roomate committed suicide after the video was released online. The person who did the video was charged with a hate crime, but what if had argued it was art not a cruel joke.

Like I said, I am not without sin on this one. I have shot people in private moments during my career.

It's not the same -  not even a little.  In the case you reference, the video camera was used inside the home.  It may have been a shared home, but it was still inside the home.  These images were all shot from outside the home, meaning that the subjects allowed themselves to be seen.  They may not have done so intentionally, and they didn't expect cameras, but you have to be an idiot of the highest degree to live in a glass-walled home, leave your curtains open, and expect that no one will ever see you.

As my middle school art teacher used to say, people in glass houses should change their underwear in the basement.

These cases really bring out yet another problem with our legal system:  inconsistency, based on how the judge or jury feels about the end result, and not the actual crime.

In your case for instance, the defendant was punished more strictly than, say, a guy that put a sex tape of his ex on the internet with the intention of ruining her reputation.  Which is pretty dumb when you think about it, because it's really the exact same crime.  The fact that the roommate killed himself after the tape went public didn't change the crime itself, but it did change the sentencing.  Granted we have 'the eggshell argument', that sort of applies here.  In a nutshell, it states that if you punch a guy in a bar fight and he turns out to me a hemophiliac and dies, you can be charged with murder, even if you didn't know he was a hemophiliac.

But this is a little different, as the equivalent would be if you punched a guy in a bar fight, he decided he couldn't live with a bruise on his face, and he killed himself.  You've still only committed assault and/or battery, regardless of what the guy did to himself later.

This applies to these images as well.  Since the subjects chose to be fully visible, anyone can look in and see them.  Anyone can legally look into those windows, provided they are doing it from their own property, or public property.  Anyone can legally take photos from their own home, or on public property.  Every part of this project is wholly legal.  Why would adding it all together suddenly make it illegal?

Whether the subjects knew there was a camera involved or not is irrelevant.  They chose to be visible, even if they didn't understand the implications.  As they say, ignorance of the law is no excuse.

The voyeurism part is legal or illegal by itself.  What the voyeur chooses to do with that material after the fact has no consequence on whether or not he broke any laws in the first place.  The only way that showing these images would make anything less legal would be if they were images of minors, or if the subjects were identifiable and shown in a negative light.  That doesn't mean that the photographer has a rock-solid case and can't lose any legal battles - but it does mean that if there are any legal decisions against him, they will be based on sympathy, and not written law.  They may cite other cases that were also decided on sympathy (such as the gay roommate incident), but he would still lose based purely on sympathy.

May 18 13 07:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
rp_photo
Posts: 42,490
Houston, Texas, US


KonstantKarma wrote:
"But the residents of a glass-walled luxury residential building across the street had no idea they were being photographed.."

Glass walls? Sorry, I'm not feeling any sympathy for the residents. Sounds like they're lifestyle-exhibitionists, and are probably just mad they're not making a profit from it.

Or perhaps they were all in on it and are feigning outrage to increase curiosity.

May 18 13 07:08 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KonstantKarma
Posts: 2,513
Hickory, North Carolina, US


Yep. If I'm in my apartment and decide to take a nap, masturbate, or do something else I don't want people staring at me while doing, I close the curtains.
May 18 13 07:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,533
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


for those suggesting suing, remember that the subjects are (for the moment) unidentified and unidentifiable.  Should they sue, they would be invading their own privacy. Now I know stupid knows no financial bounds, but the rich have access to more powerful lawyers. Pretty sure anyone calling for a consult from *blinds closed from now on* comfort of their multimillion-$ condo will get told "YOU REALIZE MRS WEINERDRECK THAT THIS SUIT WILL HAVE YOUR NAME ALL OVER THE POST BY TOMORROW PLASTERED OVER A PICTURE OF YOUR BUTT AGAINST THE GLASS"????
Even without considering the merits of the case (I'm no expert on NYC law) this will be a non-starter.
May 18 13 07:37 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Perceptions Edge
Posts: 633
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US


In Wisconsin there is no doubt this would be actionable.  State Statute 999.50 Right of Privacy States:

(2) In this section, "invasion of privacy" means any of the following:
(a) Intrusion upon the privacy of another of a nature highly offensive to a reasonable person, in a place that a reasonable person would consider private or in a manner which is actionable for trespass.
(b) The use, for advertising purposes or for purposes of trade, of the name, portrait or picture of any living person, without having first obtained the written consent of the person or, if the person is a minor, of his or her parent or guardian.

2(a) could be questionable as to whether it is highly offensive, but 2(b) is quite clear....if he's selling them for up to $7,500 each he's clearly engaged in trade and admits himself he has no no written consent from the subjects.
May 18 13 08:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,533
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


Perceptions Edge  wrote:
In Wisconsin there is no doubt this would be actionable.  State Statute 999.50 Right of Privacy States:

(2) In this section, "invasion of privacy" means any of the following:
(a) Intrusion upon the privacy of another of a nature highly offensive to a reasonable person, in a place that a reasonable person would consider private or in a manner which is actionable for trespass.
(b) The use, for advertising purposes or for purposes of trade, of the name, portrait or picture of any living person, without having first obtained the written consent of the person or, if the person is a minor, of his or her parent or guardian.

2(a) could be questionable as to whether it is highly offensive, but 2(b) is quite clear....if he's selling them for up to $7,500 each he's clearly engaged in trade and admits himself he has no no written consent from the subjects.

ummmmmm what "living person" is he using? I did a google search and a tineye search on some of the images at random and nobody popped up as a person. It's usually a mistake to read a statute and expect to understand all the nuances right away.  Right now the people are not identified.  were any of them to sue, they would be deliberately identifying themselves. in your jurisdiction and mine, the doctrine of waiver or laches would apply.  It's the reverse of mitigation when you deliberately do yourself more harm than whatever the wrongdoer did.

May 18 13 08:27 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ybfoto
Posts: 660
Oakland, California, US


Well besides this being done before, and besides IMO the subject is somewhat boring, if I want to see someone taking a nap I will just go to a public park, I will be interested to see when he gets taken to court, and he will, if there will be invasion of privacy issues. Regardless of whether you close the blinds of the apt. you are not in public when you are in your own home, and have reasonable expectation of privacy when in your own home. Also there can be issues of whether or not he used a telephoto lens.
May 18 13 09:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ybfoto
Posts: 660
Oakland, California, US


oh for anyone who thinks I missed the point, I am not sure there was one to get. I looked at the photos and their really wasnt any narrative or juxtaposition about these people or their lives. Not only are they anonymous but there was nothing in the photos that wanted me to get beyond that.  I think these would have been more successful if he picked one or two apt. and followed them for months to create some type of narrative so the viewer could "know" the residents without ever seeing their face.
May 18 13 09:34 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Smedley Whiplash
Posts: 17,303
Billings, Montana, US


Its awesome!
May 18 13 10:32 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Zack Zoll
Posts: 2,392
Glens Falls, New York, US


What lens the photographer used is irrelevant.  If taking photos of someone in their home is illegal, then it is illegal with all cameras and all lenses.

The only 'gear specific' laws I'm aware of in the US are the various city statutes that require a permit to use a tripod or a light stand.  And even those are usually enacted to keep people from making movies in public, but it's too complicated to define what gear is 'professional' and what is 'allowable.'

So it's all or nothing.
May 18 13 10:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M Pandolfo Photography
Posts: 12,116
Tampa, Florida, US


Zack Zoll wrote:
I think this is an absolutely fantastic project.  Those of you that called the photographer a stalker, a poacher, etc. clearly missed the part about these images being taken out of his own apartment window - not from the bushes or somesuch.  If you can see it in your own home, it's fair game.

And I don't think any of the subjects would have a privacy case against the photographer, even if their faces had been shown.  I don't know NYC law(which is much more liberal than State law), but here in Upstate NY a man was arrested and charged with indecent exposure for forgetting to close the blinds before he put on a porno flick and took care of business.  Which means that, at least according to State law, there is no 'reasonable expectation of privacy' if you leave your curtains wide open.

This work reminds me of a book by another photographer.  I can't remember her name, and I can't seem to track down my notebook where I wrote it.  At any rate, it's called Wall Street and every frame in the entire book is shot through the same window of a bar bathroom.  Stock traders would get off work, head to this bar, and hire a hooker to screw in the bathroom.  And the book is images of these guys putting on condoms, getting BJs, doing drugs, etc.  Only a few faces are seen, but that's probably because they were all shot at a downward angle, so the images are all waist-level.

It's a pretty cool book, provided you're fairly hang-up free.

The moral of the story, of course, is that if you're doing anything dirty or embarrassing, close the damn blinds.

+1

A similar thing happened in Florida years ago. I don't remember the woman's name but she became pseudo-famous for a few minutes. She would engage in sex with her partner with open blinds in her own home. Somebody from the street videotaped her and her partner and presented it to authorities.

She was the one arrested.

Did one of them say that they didn't have a problem with people watching, but knowing they were being photographed was an invasive?

May 18 13 10:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Digitoxin
Posts: 13,343
Houston, Texas, US


Perceptions Edge  wrote:
In Wisconsin there is no doubt this would be actionable.  State Statute 999.50 Right of Privacy States:

(2) In this section, "invasion of privacy" means any of the following:
(a) Intrusion upon the privacy of another of a nature highly offensive to a reasonable person, in a place that a reasonable person would consider private or in a manner which is actionable for trespass.
(b) The use, for advertising purposes or for purposes of trade, of the name, portrait or picture of any living person, without having first obtained the written consent of the person or, if the person is a minor, of his or her parent or guardian.

2(a) could be questionable as to whether it is highly offensive, but 2(b) is quite clear....if he's selling them for up to $7,500 each he's clearly engaged in trade and admits himself he has no no written consent from the subjects.

You have now said this in two different threads.  Help me understand:

http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?threa … st18265102

May 18 13 12:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ybfoto
Posts: 660
Oakland, California, US


Zack Zoll wrote:
What lens the photographer used is irrelevant.  If taking photos of someone in their home is illegal, then it is illegal with all cameras and all lenses.

The only 'gear specific' laws I'm aware of in the US are the various city statutes that require a permit to use a tripod or a light stand.  And even those are usually enacted to keep people from making movies in public, but it's too complicated to define what gear is 'professional' and what is 'allowable.'

So it's all or nothing.

"Numerous state court cases have decided that photographers and videographers cannot use telephoto lenses to intrude visually into private spaces, even though they are not intruding themselves. People in their own homes enjoy an expectation of privacy, so shooting photos of them through a window constitutes a violation of their personal privacy, even if the photographer or videographer is standing on public property".

source: http://www.mediacrimevictimguide.com/right.html


What you can’t photograph
· Where photography has been prohibited by law. That’s by
law, not by private “No Photography” signs. What’s prohibited by
law? Photography of certain government facilities (usually of a
military nature) — you will be well aware of this prohibition if you
encounter one. For example, it is apparently against the law to take
photographs of bridges in the New York City area. Stupid, but true.
· Things that require special equipment to see — i.e., they
wouldn’t be visible to the public. So using a long lens on a rooftop to
shoot a woman on the fifth floor of an apartment building is a no-no.
That’s invasion of privacy. (Technically, taking the photo isn’t what’s
illegal. Violating the person’s privacy is. But they’re tied together in
this case.)
Note that using a long lens to shoot pedestrians from a rooftop (or high school soccer plays on a
field) is fine; they have no expectation of privacy


source:http://www.andrewkantor.com/legalrights/Legal_Rights_of_Photographers.pdf

May 18 13 04:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
PW Productions
Posts: 3,108
Mount Kisco, New York, US


This guy has no defense. There's an expectation of privacy in your home. Period.

And I'm glad there is.
May 18 13 05:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Digitoxin
Posts: 13,343
Houston, Texas, US


John aka John wrote:
This guy has no defense. There's an expectation of privacy in your home. Period.

And I'm glad there is.

That is a very definitive statement.  Can you point me to NY case law that supports it universally (I.e. "period")

May 18 13 05:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Zack Zoll
Posts: 2,392
Glens Falls, New York, US


ybfoto wrote:
"Numerous state court cases have decided that photographers and videographers cannot use telephoto lenses to intrude visually into private spaces, even though they are not intruding themselves. People in their own homes enjoy an expectation of privacy, so shooting photos of them through a window constitutes a violation of their personal privacy, even if the photographer or videographer is standing on public property".

source: http://www.mediacrimevictimguide.com/right.html


What you can’t photograph
· Where photography has been prohibited by law. That’s by
law, not by private “No Photography” signs. What’s prohibited by
law? Photography of certain government facilities (usually of a
military nature) — you will be well aware of this prohibition if you
encounter one. For example, it is apparently against the law to take
photographs of bridges in the New York City area. Stupid, but true.
· Things that require special equipment to see — i.e., they
wouldn’t be visible to the public. So using a long lens on a rooftop to
shoot a woman on the fifth floor of an apartment building is a no-no.
That’s invasion of privacy. (Technically, taking the photo isn’t what’s
illegal. Violating the person’s privacy is. But they’re tied together in
this case.)
Note that using a long lens to shoot pedestrians from a rooftop (or high school soccer plays on a
field) is fine; they have no expectation of privacy


source:http://www.andrewkantor.com/legalrights/Legal_Rights_of_Photographers.pdf

'Special equipment' is vague.  Did the case define 'special equipment' as 'commercial telephoto lenses', or did you do that?  Did it set a magnification or price cut-off?  Because telephoto lenses are available at Wal-Mart starting at $100, if you get it with the camera.  A standard 10x set of binoculars has a little more magnification than that, and they give those away for free with outdoor magazine subscriptions.

No, I'm quite sure that 'special equipment' means things like 1200mm lenses, night-vision scopes, telescopes, etc.  Things that are not regularly owned by a large amount of the public.  That's the definition of 'special' isn't it?

Also, your argument infers that if you can take pictures of your neighbors screwing and send them to the paper, so long as you use a 50mm lens.  This is simply not true.

EDIT:  Something I forgot to mention ... most of these precedents were set during the days of film, and early digital.  During those days, there was no way that you were going to take a reasonably close-up shot of a woman on the fifth floor with any reasonable quality without an enormous lens and a tripod/cable release - maybe even 25 or 50 ISO film.  These days, you can crop way in on your images, effectively making all your lenses 'go further.'  Your 400 ISO images can be magnified immensely, to the point where you don't even need the tripod anymore - and that's part of the 'special equipment' bit.

So again ... going by this case law ... you're saying that it's illegal to use long lenses, but it's perfectly legal to use a regular lens and crop in to get the same photo.

I'm not arguing against what the words on the case law state.  I am saying that the spirit of the law is clearly not reflected in current case law, and the entire system of precedents needs a complete judicial review to accommodate for new technologies.

John aka John wrote:
This guy has no defense. There's an expectation of privacy in your home. Period.

And I'm glad there is.

No period.  Glass walls.  Even a child that is young enough to think that they can disappear behind a lamp post like a cartoon character knows that you can see through glass.

So if you're dumber than a little kid, then yes - there is an expectation of privacy.  But that expectation is based on the fact that 'a home' is surrounded by 4(opaque) walls, and a public space is not.  If you live in a field and you're outside, people can take your picture.  If you're inside, they can't.  The fact that it's all 'your home' doesn't matter - there's no magic ownership law that erects photo-proof barriers around your property lines.

Digitoxin wrote:
That is a very definitive statement.  Can you point me to NY case law that supports it universally (I.e. "period")

And since I posted an example that shows the opposite (from about a year ago), you should probably post two or three.

And no, I won't link to any articles, because I don't think his name deserves to be out there more than it already is.  It turns out that his arrest was based solely on what a little kid saw while he may or may not have been trespassing on the man's property.  So illegal or not, it's still an unlawful arrest.

May 18 13 06:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Digitoxin
Posts: 13,343
Houston, Texas, US


Zack Zoll wrote:

ybfoto wrote:
"Numerous state court cases have decided that photographers and videographers cannot use telephoto lenses to intrude visually into private spaces, even though they are not intruding themselves. People in their own homes enjoy an expectation of privacy, so shooting photos of them through a window constitutes a violation of their personal privacy, even if the photographer or videographer is standing on public property".

source: http://www.mediacrimevictimguide.com/right.html


What you can’t photograph
· Where photography has been prohibited by law. That’s by
law, not by private “No Photography” signs. What’s prohibited by
law? Photography of certain government facilities (usually of a
military nature) — you will be well aware of this prohibition if you
encounter one. For example, it is apparently against the law to take
photographs of bridges in the New York City area. Stupid, but true.
· Things that require special equipment to see — i.e., they
wouldn’t be visible to the public. So using a long lens on a rooftop to
shoot a woman on the fifth floor of an apartment building is a no-no.
That’s invasion of privacy. (Technically, taking the photo isn’t what’s
illegal. Violating the person’s privacy is. But they’re tied together in
this case.)
Note that using a long lens to shoot pedestrians from a rooftop (or high school soccer plays on a
field) is fine; they have no expectation of privacy


source:http://www.andrewkantor.com/legalrights/Legal_Rights_of_Photographers.pdf

'Special equipment' is vague.  Did the case define 'special equipment' as 'commercial telephoto lenses', or did you do that?  Did it set a magnification or price cut-off?  Because telephoto lenses are available at Wal-Mart starting at $100, if you get it with the camera.  A standard 10x set of binoculars has a little more magnification than that, and they give those away for free with outdoor magazine subscriptions.

No, I'm quite sure that 'special equipment' means things like 1200mm lenses, night-vision scopes, telescopes, etc.  Things that are not regularly owned by a large amount of the public.  That's the definition of 'special' isn't it?

Also, your argument infers that if you can take pictures of your neighbors screwing and send them to the paper, so long as you use a 50mm lens.  This is simply not true.

John aka John wrote:
This guy has no defense. There's an expectation of privacy in your home. Period.

And I'm glad there is.

No period.  Glass walls.  Even a child that is young enough to think that they can disappear behind a lamp post like a cartoon character knows that you can see through glass.

So if you're dumber than a little kid, then yes - there is an expectation of privacy.  But that expectation is based on the fact that 'a home' is surrounded by 4(opaque) walls, and a public space is not.  If you live in a field and you're outside, people can take your picture.  If you're inside, they can't.  The fact that it's all 'your home' doesn't matter - there's no magic ownership law that erects photo-proof barriers around your property lines.


And since I posted an example that shows the opposite (from about a year ago), you should probably post two or three.

And no, I won't link to any articles, because I don't think his name deserves to be out there more than it already is.  It turns out that his arrest was based solely on what a little kid saw while he may or may not have been trespassing on the man's property.  So illegal or not, it's still an unlawful arrest.

Zack, for the record, I agree with you.  My post above was specific to those who are suggesting a "bright line" test .....  I don't agree that there is one but it will entirely hinge on state law and interpretatation of same.

May 18 13 06:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ybfoto
Posts: 660
Oakland, California, US


Zack Zoll wrote:

ybfoto wrote:
"Numerous state court cases have decided that photographers and videographers cannot use telephoto lenses to intrude visually into private spaces, even though they are not intruding themselves. People in their own homes enjoy an expectation of privacy, so shooting photos of them through a window constitutes a violation of their personal privacy, even if the photographer or videographer is standing on public property".

source: http://www.mediacrimevictimguide.com/right.html


What you can’t photograph
· Where photography has been prohibited by law. That’s by
law, not by private “No Photography” signs. What’s prohibited by
law? Photography of certain government facilities (usually of a
military nature) — you will be well aware of this prohibition if you
encounter one. For example, it is apparently against the law to take
photographs of bridges in the New York City area. Stupid, but true.
· Things that require special equipment to see — i.e., they
wouldn’t be visible to the public. So using a long lens on a rooftop to
shoot a woman on the fifth floor of an apartment building is a no-no.
That’s invasion of privacy. (Technically, taking the photo isn’t what’s
illegal. Violating the person’s privacy is. But they’re tied together in
this case.)
Note that using a long lens to shoot pedestrians from a rooftop (or high school soccer plays on a
field) is fine; they have no expectation of privacy


source:http://www.andrewkantor.com/legalrights/Legal_Rights_of_Photographers.pdf

'Special equipment' is vague.  Did the case define 'special equipment' as 'commercial telephoto lenses', or did you do that?  Did it set a magnification or price cut-off?  Because telephoto lenses are available at Wal-Mart starting at $100, if you get it with the camera.  A standard 10x set of binoculars has a little more magnification than that, and they give those away for free with outdoor magazine subscriptions.

No, I'm quite sure that 'special equipment' means things like 1200mm lenses, night-vision scopes, telescopes, etc.  Things that are not regularly owned by a large amount of the public.  That's the definition of 'special' isn't it?

Also, your argument infers that if you can take pictures of your neighbors screwing and send them to the paper, so long as you use a 50mm lens.  This is simply not true.

EDIT:  Something I forgot to mention ... most of these precedents were set during the days of film, and early digital.  During those days, there was no way that you were going to take a reasonably close-up shot of a woman on the fifth floor with any reasonable quality without an enormous lens and a tripod/cable release - maybe even 25 or 50 ISO film.  These days, you can crop way in on your images, effectively making all your lenses 'go further.'  Your 400 ISO images can be magnified immensely, to the point where you don't even need the tripod anymore - and that's part of the 'special equipment' bit.

So again ... going by this case law ... you're saying that it's illegal to use long lenses, but it's perfectly legal to use a regular lens and crop in to get the same photo.

I'm not arguing against what the words on the case law state.  I am saying that the spirit of the law is clearly not reflected in current case law, and the entire system of precedents needs a complete judicial review to accommodate for new technologies.

John aka John wrote:
This guy has no defense. There's an expectation of privacy in your home. Period.

And I'm glad there is.

No period.  Glass walls.  Even a child that is young enough to think that they can disappear behind a lamp post like a cartoon character knows that you can see through glass.

So if you're dumber than a little kid, then yes - there is an expectation of privacy.  But that expectation is based on the fact that 'a home' is surrounded by 4(opaque) walls, and a public space is not.  If you live in a field and you're outside, people can take your picture.  If you're inside, they can't.  The fact that it's all 'your home' doesn't matter - there's no magic ownership law that erects photo-proof barriers around your property lines.


And since I posted an example that shows the opposite (from about a year ago), you should probably post two or three.

And no, I won't link to any articles, because I don't think his name deserves to be out there more than it already is.  It turns out that his arrest was based solely on what a little kid saw while he may or may not have been trespassing on the man's property.  So illegal or not, it's still an unlawful arrest.

well we have agree to disagree unless you can provide a point a reference or source thats says otherwise, because there are numerous sources that say that using a telephoto to shoot "inside" a person's home is considered invasion of privacy. If you have a article or precedent that says otherwise please share with the group. Not saying your wrong just sayin you havent provided any proof contrary to what can be found by a simple google search

May 18 13 06:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Zack Zoll
Posts: 2,392
Glens Falls, New York, US


ybfoto wrote:
well we have agree to disagree unless you can provide a point a reference or source thats says otherwise, because there are numerous sources that say that using a telephoto to shoot "inside" a person's home is considered invasion of privacy. If you have a article or precedent that says otherwise please share with the group. Not saying your wrong just sayin you havent provided any proof contrary to what can be found by a simple google search

Here's why I don't need to cite anything:  because the law is written based on a mislabeling of the products it describes, and is applied based purely on how the judge or jury feel about that case, and how well the lawyers argue.

Let me explain that.

According to the law, 'telephoto lenses' are illegal.  Well, first we need to define 'telephoto.'  Typically, that means 'longer than the eye can normally see.'  If we use this definition, then an 85mm lens is exactly as intrusive as a 800mm lens, since they are both telephoto lenses.  We know this is not the case.  Strike one.

If you are using a format other than 35mm film (for which most case law was written), then the numbers all change.  If you use a 300mm lens on an 8x10 camera, it is a 'normal' lens.  If you use a 50mm lens on an APS-C camera, it can be considered a telephoto lens.  Since the law is not written to accommodate this, current wording would make it illegal to photograph any residential area using any formats larger than 35mm, as this would necessitate a lens longer than 50mm.  This is not the case, so clearly the law is not followed as written.  Strike two.

Of course, 'telephoto' refers to a specific a design of lens, where the physical length of the lens is shorter than the focal length.  Like Kleenex, it is mistakenly applied to ALL long lenses, even in Federal Law.  But that is the textbook definition, and according to your sources those are the only illegal lenses.  Which are the most common these days, but it's not all there is.  So according to the law as written, you can use a mirror lens or other non-telephoto long lens to take your pictures.  Strike three.

Lastly, there is NO written explanation of what constitutes a 'telephoto lens', or what constitutes 'special equipment' - it is left entirely up to the discretion of the courts.  So if the judge hearing the case is a hunting enthusiast, he is within his rights to determine that using a spotting scope for photography is not 'special equipment', because it hasn't been defined otherwise.  If the judge doesn't know anything about photography at all, he would be equally within his rights to decide that any lens other than the one that came in the box is 'special equipment', because again - there's nothing saying that he can't do that.

We're out of strikes, but that's a REALLY big one.  That's basically an entire no-hitter right there.

So yeah, feel free to post all the case law you want.  It doesn't matter.  The law is written in an intentionally vague manner, in order to leave it up to specific jurisdictions as to what is and is not allowed.  In this particular situation, all case law does is show how individual judges and juries defined 'special equipment.'

May 18 13 08:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ybfoto
Posts: 660
Oakland, California, US


Zack Zoll wrote:
Here's why I don't need to cite anything:  because the law is written based on a mislabeling of the products it describes, and is applied based purely on how the judge or jury feel about that case, and how well the lawyers argue.

Let me explain that.

According to the law, 'telephoto lenses' are illegal.  Well, first we need to define 'telephoto.'  Typically, that means 'longer than the eye can normally see.'  If we use this definition, then an 85mm lens is exactly as intrusive as a 800mm lens, since they are both telephoto lenses.  We know this is not the case.  Strike one.

If you are using a format other than 35mm film (for which most case law was written), then the numbers all change.  If you use a 300mm lens on an 8x10 camera, it is a 'normal' lens.  If you use a 50mm lens on an APS-C camera, it can be considered a telephoto lens.  Since the law is not written to accommodate this, current wording would make it illegal to photograph any residential area using any formats larger than 35mm, as this would necessitate a lens longer than 50mm.  This is not the case, so clearly the law is not followed as written.  Strike two.

Of course, 'telephoto' refers to a specific a design of lens, where the physical length of the lens is shorter than the focal length.  Like Kleenex, it is mistakenly applied to ALL long lenses, even in Federal Law.  But that is the textbook definition, and according to your sources those are the only illegal lenses.  Which are the most common these days, but it's not all there is.  So according to the law as written, you can use a mirror lens or other non-telephoto long lens to take your pictures.  Strike three.

Lastly, there is NO written explanation of what constitutes a 'telephoto lens', or what constitutes 'special equipment' - it is left entirely up to the discretion of the courts.  So if the judge hearing the case is a hunting enthusiast, he is within his rights to determine that using a spotting scope for photography is not 'special equipment', because it hasn't been defined otherwise.  If the judge doesn't know anything about photography at all, he would be equally within his rights to decide that any lens other than the one that came in the box is 'special equipment', because again - there's nothing saying that he can't do that.

We're out of strikes, but that's a REALLY big one.  That's basically an entire no-hitter right there.

So yeah, feel free to post all the case law you want.  It doesn't matter.  The law is written in an intentionally vague manner, in order to leave it up to specific jurisdictions as to what is and is not allowed.  In this particular situation, all case law does is show how individual judges and juries defined 'special equipment.'

wow thats a lot writing that really doesn't disprove my original comment in any way, anyhoo let me know if you find something contrary to what I have posted, until then I am done

May 18 13 08:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Zack Zoll
Posts: 2,392
Glens Falls, New York, US


I ... I don't think you get the point.  And I don't think I can explain it to you.

Let me try one last time.  'Deviant pornography' is illegal in many states, yes?  And with the exception of sodomy, bestiality, and interracial sex (guess which states had those laws), deviant pornography isn't defined.  And even though many states have anti-sodomy laws, all sorts of porno featuring butt stuff is available nationwide, because it's too much effort to stop everybody

Despite many, MANY lawsuits, 'deviant pornography' still has no clear definition, so you can't go look up what you can and can't do in your movies.  So in the case of deviant pornography, case law is only relevant if you happen to be in the district where the case was ruled.

This is a similar situation.  Except in this case, the term 'telephoto lens' is incorrectly used, meaning that the law has all sorts of loopholes.  Since it's left up to individual jurisdictions, it literally does not matter if I present you with a case where a photographer was allowed to continue using a certain piece of equipment, because that equipment may or may not be legal in your jurisdiction.
May 18 13 08:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ybfoto
Posts: 660
Oakland, California, US


Zack Zoll wrote:
I ... I don't think you get the point.  And I don't think I can explain it to you.

Let me try one last time.  'Deviant pornography' is illegal in many states, yes?  And with the exception of sodomy, bestiality, and interracial sex (guess which states had those laws), deviant pornography isn't defined.  And even though many states have anti-sodomy laws, all sorts of porno featuring butt stuff is available nationwide, because it's too much effort to stop everybody

Despite many, MANY lawsuits, 'deviant pornography' still has no clear definition, so you can't go look up what you can and can't do in your movies.  So in the case of deviant pornography, case law is only relevant if you happen to be in the district where the case was ruled.

This is a similar situation.  Except in this case, the term 'telephoto lens' is incorrectly used, meaning that the law has all sorts of loopholes.  Since it's left up to individual jurisdictions, it literally does not matter if I present you with a case where a photographer was allowed to continue using a certain piece of equipment, because that equipment may or may not be legal in your jurisdiction.

no I get your point entirely but IMO your making strawman argument.

May 18 13 08:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marin Photography NYC
Posts: 7,109
New York, New York, US


John aka John wrote:
This guy has no defense. There's an expectation of privacy in your home. Period.

And I'm glad there is.

You can believe that but I think he will get away with it....

May 18 13 09:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
PW Productions
Posts: 3,108
Mount Kisco, New York, US


To those who seem to think this guy is in the right: no, I can't state a law that gives one a right to privacy in his own home. Doesn't mean there isn't one. Means I'm not going to look it up.

If you really believe this guy had a right to shoot people in their own homes, you're also fine with the cops keeping an eye on you without a warrant.

This goes beyond photography.
May 18 13 09:43 pm  Link  Quote 
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