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Do we need to obscure faces in photos?

Do you do it?

     
2:44 am on Feb 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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When trying to take a photo in a busy city, it's almost impossible to get a clear shot of your target without a passerby or bystander.

In this case, is it necessary to obscure the faces of these people before posting the photo on your blog or website?

Is there any legal requirement for this or is it just common courtesy to do so?
9:44 am on Feb 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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It depends where you are. I understand that you can do this in the UK.

What you have to be careful of is the definition of a public place. I was in Glasgow one day and I saw a great image in a shopping mall. I proceeded to take a picture and I was immediately approached by one of the security staff who told me that photography was not allowed and insisted that I delete the image. She explained that this was because it was not a public place. The mall was a private owned building.

Have a look at the results of this search.
[google.co.uk...]
9:51 am on Feb 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Don't know what happened to that link above. It is being listed wrongly when I try to paste it?

I got the answers by googling taking pictures in public places but for some reason the wrong link is being posted. Try googling it yourself.
9:54 am on Feb 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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>>When trying to take a photo in a busy city, it's almost impossible to get a clear shot of your target without a passerby or bystander.

get up earlier, the light is generally considered better for photos early in the morning ... i've found around 5.30-6.30am can be a good time to get good shots without people around - depends on your location and the time of year though.

... as for obscuring people my understanding is that BeeDeeDubbleU is totally correct, different countries have different laws.
10:11 am on Feb 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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get up earlier, the light is generally considered better for photos early in the morning ... i've found around 5.30-6.30am can be a good time to get good shots without people around - depends on your location and the time of year though.

On the other hand you will stand out then and will be far more likely to be picked up as a potential terrorist (depends on the city of course)
1:47 pm on Feb 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Open the image up in Paint and draw a black box over their face. Problem solved!
2:15 pm on Feb 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, looks very professional - NOT. ;)
2:49 pm on Feb 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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open the image up in Pshop and splice your own face onto everyone in the picture. Problem solved, and notoriety established.
6:27 am on Feb 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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A technique I've seen done (regrettably I don't have a link to the paper handy) is to take multiple pictures of the place (e.g., while standing around with your camera on a tripod), then stitch those pictures together to create a people-less composite.

Great for those places where there's always people moving about.
7:00 am on Feb 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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In most locales, if FACES are recognizable. A close shot of a building (think McD), just make sure you get a$$ side images (no faces), or GET PHOTO MODEL releases. Or pick a different time when there is no pedestrian traffic.

Some of those late night photos can be really neat!
9:13 am on Feb 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I don't think we are answering the question?
9:46 am on Feb 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I can only tell you how the legal situation is in my country. (Germany) If the picture has been taken in public and the person is a bystander and not the main subject of the picture you do not have to ask for permission or obscure any faces. So if you take a picture of a church and there are people in front, there is no problem. However if you zoom in on one of the people or a group of people and make them the main subject and the church the background you would need permission for publication. As always with legals subjects - what is right in one country may be wrong in another, but perhaps this information can give you a starting point for some research.
 

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