Thoughts About Photography and A Fun Photo…

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This photo comes to me from a reader who spotted this eye-catching scene near De Graff, Ohio.

First of all, a teaching moment.  After some thought, I did white-out the faces in the picture.  The De Graff Amish settlement is very conservative, so I’m guessing that these people didn’t want their photos taken and plastered all over the internet.  Secondly, though, I’ve run into this sort of thing in other situations, Amish or not. If I want to post a photo, say, with an Italian restaurant review on my personal blog and I snap a picture of  a customer stuffing their face with spaghetti, should I post it?  No, I’d say not, unless the person’s identity is clearly indiscernible.  Even though it’s a public place, I wouldn’t want someone doing that to me, so I try to extend the same courtesy.  I think a photo of someone from behind – whether they are Amish or not – is okay, or from some other angle if they are not identifiable. For instance, I was biking yesterday along the Wolf Creek Trail outside of Dayton, Ohio which runs right through German Baptist country. I wish I had had my phone camera with me because I happened upon four German Baptists strolling the trail, their beautiful dresses and kapps framed by fields of  colorful late spring wildflowers.  Snapping their photo from behind, I think, would have been perfectly okay. From in front, no.  What do you think?

But blurred faces aside, what a fun photo. this is! Nice day for fishing and what looks like an Amish father and son are taking a advantage of a weekend day to go fishing.  As a sign of just how conservative this settlement is, take a look at the the buggy wheels: all steel.  And, as if to highlight the fact, notice how the boat trailer wheels are just steel rims clattering down the road. Must have been noisy!  Many Amish settlements allow rubberized buggy wheels, while the more conservative ones do not.  The disagreement stems from convenience and mobility limits.  If one has rubber wheels they’ll be able to more easily travel farther which can strain the church geographically. The steel wheels keep people close to home which is in harmony with Amish goals.

 

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The Discussion


  1. Although social media has gone against all levels of what’s accepted in terms of taking/publishing unauthorized photos of people, legally, you must have a signed waiver allowing you to publish another person’s photo or property. It’s like stealing their image and ideas.

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    • You are right how social media has up-ended everything…20 years or so ago you used to always need a “model release” form to publish anyone’s photo..Now with the pervasiveness of social media that is almost impossible to police…

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  2. Mona G. says:


    I agree 100% with you Kevin on this one….I would not be happy if it was a picture taken of me without my knowledge……

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  3. Eydie Ritchison says:


    I agree wholeheartedly with your philosophy on photography. I wish more people (attention: “newsmen”) felt that way. As to the ‘gone fishin’ picture, the funny part of it to me is that it appears that the horse has all four hooves off the pavement at the same time.

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    • Eydie, good observation, I hadn’t noticed that:) A levitating horse!

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  4. RG Schmidt says:


    I agree with your take, Kevin; no photos where the subject is recognizable. If it’s a news event, anyone is fair game, but I still get a model release if a person is the main subject of the photo. Gets me some strange reactions, but my camera bag always has a half-dozen or so in it.

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  5. I appreciate your consideration of not publishing peoples photos without their permission. It is a courtesy that is ignored in society today. Sensitivity
    to other peoples beliefs is something we can all learn from. Not everyone
    understands different traditions. But if a person is visiting a new area, it is wise for them to investigate the ways of those people.
    Thank you for sharing.

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