"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.