Street photography and did i mention ethics?

Street photography and did i mention ethics?


As I sat in a car park waiting and jamming out to music, I quickly looked up and noticed this girl standing there patiently on her phone, escaping reality. As I started to piece together her life I suddenly knew this would be a perfect opportunity for me to write this week blog task. Focusing on the issue of pubic spaces as an ethical dilemma, particularly the issue of taking a photograph of someone using or watching media in a public space. As I continued to watch her I began to question myself was it ethically right to take this photo, should I be doing this? Was it legal? . It all just felt uneasy, like I was invading someone personal space, entering into their world for just that brief moment. Though according to the Arts Law Center of Australia (2016,p1) I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I wasn’t capturing a photo of a child under 16, I wasn’t on private property, I needed no permission for her to take this photograph, what a scary thought that is. I was allowed to capture this moment as along as it was in a public space. It was illustrated through the Arts Law center (2016,p.1) that there is no personality / publicity rights here in Australia and there is no right to privacy that protects a persons image (Arts Law Centre, 2016,p.1). Meaning you and I don’t have the right to own the picture of our face in a public area if a picture is taken and used for other purposes.


(Source:Telegraph UK & Photographer : Stuart Beesley)

Australia has no specific law aimed at preventing the unauthorized use of your image, however there are circumstances in how your image is used. For instance if this image damages or injures your reputation or others you can claim for defamation. From here the photograph will be tested on whether the publication of the photograph is defamatory (Arts Law Center, 2016,pp.1-2). Another option is the Australian Consumer Law where Sate fair-trading prohibits the act of misleading and deceiving a person through commercial conduct. In order to claim, a person will need to show that the use of the image would mislead or deceive the public (Arts Law Center, 2016,p.2). Thirdly, there is no general right of privacy in Australia meaning if I wanted to take a photo, I don’t need to receive any personal consent first before capturing your image, nor does the individual have the right to stop her image being recorded (Arts Law Center, 2016,p.3). For example when capturing the image of the girl above, I followed the law. I didn’t risk her reputation, nor did I go and deceive her through commercial conduct. Everything was perfectly legal.

Though the questions remains just because it legal for me to capture an individual in a public space, shouldn’t we consider ethical values? As researchers and blog writers, Shouldn’t we follow a set of ethical guidelines and do what is morally right? For example the case study of drones, which are used to record and locate people. However, with street photography what are the ethical guidelines? Frist off it is best to treat the person you are photographing as a human as silly as that may sound, but to treat the individual as an equal. Question yourself and think would I like this if our roles where reversed? . Kim (2011) suggests talking to the person you are capturing, engage with them. Enter their lives for just that brief moment; make them feel comfortable by asking for consent before taking an image, particularly if the image is going to be displayed on a public website. A feeling Joerg Colberg (2013) feels strongly about quoting, “Photographers need to be aware of the ethics of their endeavor”(2013).

In my instances I approached this girl in the above picture in the end. Her name is Molly and she was waiting for her sister to pick her up after work. I kindly showed her the picture I took of her while she was using her phone. I explained that this was purely for educational purposes, in which would later be posted on my WordPress site. As anyone could image her reaction was priceless but sweetly she agreed to it. I quickly gave her my URL to my blog for her to read and follow up on, so molly if you’re reading this, I hope I’m doing you justice and THANKYOU for helping me. As Colberg highlights “having photographs in public spaces taken without permission poses a challenge for photography” (2013). It’s up to us as researchers to decided what is ethically right; create boundaries and a code of ethics for us to follow.

Though public photography makes for easier and effective research regarding public space ethnography , have a read of this research paper to understand . It gives us, the researcher, the chance to study and record how people live in their culture or their traditions. It gives us the opportunity to understand and share their beliefs along as we follow our codes of ethics, in order to prevent harm to that culture. In a way I think this safeguards are work, where we are able to know what is ethically right and follow it, making sure our work is sound and trust worthy.

 I would love to hear your thoughts , please feel free to leave a comment below .

All the best , Chelsea


Colberg, J 2013, A photo of a man I took downtown that he asked me to delete. I did. , Conscientious extended, weblog post, 3rd April, viewed 1st September 2016, <;.

Kim, E 2011, Are there any Ethics in street Photography? , Erickimphotography, weblog post, 26th February, viewed 1st September 2016, <;.

Arts Law Centre of Australia  2016, Street Photographer’s rights information sheet, Australian National Community legal centre of the arts, viewed 1st  September  2016, <;.



The Golden Ticket

The Golden Ticket

The way we watch television is changing due to the impact of Internet technologies. Its changing the way families and consumers watch their television whether that is because of the ability to stream or connect to each other through the internet. One thing for sure, the way in which we have connected has impacted and made new rituals within the family home. When interviewing my father it became apparent that broadband was the key to the notorious Chocolate Factory, the Internet had the power to open many new doors that were full of wonder. Just like the Augustus Gloop in the chocolate Factory my father, John Brunton jump right into this new mysterious world. Though the question remains are our now household technologies changing the way we interact within our family, is the instant gratification of high-speed Internet vs. the household television really are golden ticket? . To answer this I had to refer back to a true chocolate (internet) expert, my father.


When did you revive the Internet?

It was 1995 when the Internet entered our household; we didn’t have wireless like you kid’s have nowadays. The way the Internet operated was through modems that were able to connected us to the Internet at 48 hundreds kilobits per second, it was disgusting! We were so lucky that over the next couple years after its released the Internet managed to go quicker at 9600 kilobits per second

We only used the in Internet in our family for business; we didn’t really use it for anything else.


Where you more excited over the Internet then the television?

I think I was more excited over the invention of the television then the Internet back in 1995. Television for us was a bigger thing back then it allowed you do more things then you could do on the Internet.


Do you think that the Internet has taken over television?


Yes, this dynamic has changed now compared to when I grew up; the Internet has taken over TV, “because the internet is television”. We can stream and download TV shows and sports in a moment notice but with television this is harder to do. Um, well its obviously changed television, the rights of television are no longer. I mean its now all open, you can stream whatever you like. I Think the next generation will not survive without broadband, the problem with the Internet is that now they do all this tracking behind the scenes. They are now stirring every person and individuals into stuff he knows about, it’s narrowing his world knowledge

Would you say we are on the Internet while watching TV?

Yes, I do it every night and I’m pretty sure you do too !


Do you think this is a bad thing?


I think the bad thing is that I’m always connected to my work. They can always contact me and hassle me, there’s no down time. I can get emails at 10pm at night and they would be demanding for an answer at 9am the next morning. The way people communicate with each other have changed, our manners have changed.


Do you think this changes how are family dynamic worked? In other words did we separate more?


I don’t think we used it for social reason in the beginning, I used it more for business point of view, but as you kids grew older the Internet took over and all of a sudden it certainly did change how we acted and communicated as a family. Everybody goes on their own way, does their own thing, doing what ever they have to do on the Internet.


Would you say we where more social towards each other through the Internet then face to face?


No, were more social through the Internet, which in someway is a good thing and a bad thing. I’m able to connect to you guys, my kids when I can’t see you often or when you’re out and about. But this has it faults; we now sit in separate rooms and use the Internet to communicate. Which has in a way changed the way we used to communicate to each other. I sit in my chair and if I see something on TV I’m not to sure about, ill go and Google it “. What did you do before any of this? “I would come home I would have dinner and sit and watch TV and if I saw something I didn’t know about I would sit and discuss it with the family ”


Do you miss this family link?


I think the link is still there, it’s just a different dynamic now, and the year of just sitting together forcing conversation is long gone.


Would you say by having the Internet creates more conversation?

I think it makes for a more interesting conversation as it brings up more subjects that you have never really thought about, therefore it broadens your knowledge and gives you the opportunity to go have a look and search for yourself.


What are the benefits of having faster broadband?

The Internet has allowed me to work from home; it has given me the ability to communicate to workers that are stationed all over Australia, something that we couldn’t do before. We would travel frequently to contact each other.


Do you like that you can work from home?

I prefer working from home, but you have to be disciplined to work at home. It’s a lot easier to become distracted then it was before. The downside is you lose relationship between co-workers when you work from home, in a way I guess this is making us less social.


When the Internet goes down what is your back up plan?

I would travel back to the office or I would use my data on my phone and if that failed I guess we would have a day off. We can use the cellar networks, but the amount of data that takes wouldn’t be worth it, we couldn’t afford it


Do you think it’s a good thing that you are so reliant on the Internet?

“Um, probably not in the greater scheme of things”. Why? “Because it becoming like electricity you expect it to be there and it’s always going to be there, but someday it may not. And I use our broadband a lot, in life and work; I think we would all feel lost without it”.


Do you have a choice of preference of what broadband you go with?

“ Um, I do, but where we live we are tied down with Telstra”. Do you like Telstra? “Um, probably not to bad really, their okay, we don’t have a choice we cant change, so it doesn’t make a difference if we like them”. Do you think this is fair? “I don’t think this is fair I think most people should get the option to go with a company they feel comfortable with or what they know will work better for them”.


Would you say there was an area in your home that is un-networked?

“ No “, so you wouldn’t go into a space in your house and say this is where I don’t use media, “not in this house, everything is networked, I don’t think that needs to exist”


If you were denied access to the Internet how would you feel?

I would be pissed off; I would be annoyed, I think that no matter where you are in Australia you should be able to have Internet connection


Its clear from this interview just how much the Internet has taken over families and individuals. I guess it’s true that the Internet has opened many wonderful and scary doors in its chocolate factory empire, one that will be hard for any generations to go back to. In a way broadband is our golden ticket to our now technological lives, but the questions remains do we really want it to?


I would like to thank my Father, John Brunton for allowing me to interview him about his life experience of the Internet and television, for creating a wonderful and interesting discussion.I would love to hear your feedback, or tag me in your stories. Would love to read them!

All the best Chelsea x