Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Harassed (by Thru Lens)

"I have to be as much a diplomat as a photographer." -- Alfred Eisenstaedt

Last Sunday, while travelling back to Bangalore from Chennai, after attending a family function, I was in for a shocking experience.

On the way back we took break for the coffee at Ambur. The coffee shop was located on the border of the highway. Here I took few photographs of the stall, coffee glasses and the Tea-Master. Everything was ok and fine, the Tea-Master and few others nearby were happy to pose for me. Later, I shared their pictures with them. Their smiling faces made the day.

After that, I was drawn to one person and I was photographing him. (The final photo is show above). Just as I released the shutter release button, one person approached me and stared asking questions, on why I was photographing him, to which I humbly said that, I did not shoot him and explained that I was keener on photographing people. He was content with the reply and went back. Later a friend of his came and started harassing.

He said I have no right to photograph in the public. To which I said, I have and I also said there is no law which prohibits photography in public places (Is there a law?). The guy stated advising me that I can only photograph the flowers, butterflies and trees present in public place, and I have no business photographing people. As my tempers ran out, others pulled me out of the melee. Just to avoid further confrontation, I left the place.

Later I tried to find concrete laws/rules pertaining to photography in public places in India, but could not narrow down. Google yielded laws pertaining to UK and US.

I have decided that, the next time, I should retain my calmness and just walk away from the confrontation.


Ghost Particle said...

karthi, nice new blog. love the template and concept.

and really freaked out reading this, exactly the reason im scared to take pics of ppl, one moment they are happy, the next moment theyre monsters.

you did a good job walking away.

maybe a photowalk is good sometimes... :)

Karthi said...

Thanks Siva, This is umpteenth attempt to get a decent photo blog.
In a way that thrill is what makes street photography an interesting.