Sunday, July 10, 2011

Frog pond

we walked by the frog pond this afternoon, in the boston common. it was hot, so all the kids were in the water, playing. it was such a beautiful sight!! last year at july 4th, we saw this for the first time, and i now see i placed this picture of it on my blog, exactly one year ago!
the fountain gave a pretty rainbow from one side, but from the side on this picture, i liked the pond even better.... but... as we were taking some pictures, a member of the staff, guarding the pond came up to tim saying it is "not cool" to take pictures of kids. they told him he was not allowed to take pictures, "especially of the children". he then asked to see the regulations for that, and the guy answered "do you really want that?" "well, yes" so then he was brought to another guy, who simply stated the same.  they then even said that he "could get into serious trouble". well, thats just sad.... do they also prohibit parents taking pictures? another kid might end up on their picture! and what about people without cameras, but also without kids, watching all those kids play, because it is such a lovely sight? can they get into serious trouble as well? should we perhaps all close our eyes while walking in public places? or, in order to let privacy prevail, we should close down all the parks and stay at home?
here once more the photographer's rights......
now we're at it. we went to this exhibition "kids are people too", inside the hotel commonwealth. in boston. it displayed photographs of kids from various photographers. some were staged, which i did not really like, but there were also photos from Harold Feinstein, which he took in New York during the 50s and 60s and they were simply marvellous.... click here to see some of his work. the exhibition is only until July 12th...!

31 comments:

Tim said...

i was intimidated so i did not take any more pics, and i obviously missed a great opportunity here..

Walk in New York said...

magnifique contre jour dans cette fontaine, j'adore ce genre de photo, et la tienne est vraiment tres belle

biebkriebels said...

Yes that is sad, there is such a commotion going on about child abuse that even making a simple photo with playing children is suspicious. It is a difficult matter, from both sides understandable but this photo proves that there is nothing wrong with the subject.

Tim said...

i can also report that i now posted my experience on the boston common facebook page, and they proceeded the first time to remove my comment from their page, and the second time to block my profile from their page. I guess they are not responsive to complaints.

CaT said...

merci!

and well.... i think the wellbeing of children is the most important. but what about this? when tim was taken to the other guard, i saw a little girl that looked upset. she was entirely alone. so i asked her where her parents were. we were standing in front of the toilets, and all she said was "i have togoto the potty!" i showed her which one was unlocked. but then i had the feeling she stayed in there a little too long, and still no sign of any parents. i went to the same guard that prohibited tim from taking pics, and told him that i was a little worried about this girl. finally she came out, and i told them i could not see her parents anywhere. all the guards then said was; ooh, she'll find them back...
in my opinion, if those guys were really concerned about the wellbeing of children, they would have made sure she got back, and they would also have reassured me that she would get back to her parents. there were hundreds of people there!!

Tim said...

yeah he probably only made sure nobody was taking a picture. perhaps he was the designated pervert repeller.

LauramomBoston said...

Hm. I have 6 children and wouldn't want their picture posted publicly on the Internet or otherwise. You have no idea how much it would upset me if that happened. Stick to taking pictures of inanimate objects or simply ask a parent if they mind.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely ridiculous! As soon as the sun is out, it's pretty difficult to avoid children at public places, so in short we are now not allowed to take pictures as soon as we leave our home? And how freaky would it be if I had a Anne Gedes calendar at home? This is pure paranoia getting the best of the sad park police...

Saul said...

LauramomBoston, not to sound insensitive, but that is the chance you take when you take your kids to a very public place known as Boston Common. If you don't want to take that chance, then don't take your kids to the Frog Pond. Now if you saw a photographer taking pics of your kids, you're well within your rights to politely request that he or she stop, and the photographer might decide to respect your wishes and stop. But there's no legal footing for you to *demand* that the photographer stop.

Anonymous said...

Well, certainly singling out any one child is creepy and I wouldn't do it but as people have already said there is pretty much no tourist attraction, no public park and darn few other places that you could take any picture and not have a child in it. And seriously, how do you ask a parent if they mind if there are a dozen kids? How do parents ever take pictures of their own kids without any other kids in the background?

Birdman said...

I like your summer Boston life shots.

Anonymous said...

Someone hanging around frog pong specifically to take pics of kids in bathing suits is creepy. Post those pics on the internet and who know what pervert will start staring at them, and maybe go to frog pond to see the real kid. This is just common courtesy, if you're afraid to ask permission before photographing people you don't know, take pictures of something else.

Saul said...

Anonymous said...
Someone hanging around frog pong specifically to take pics of kids in bathing suits is creepy.

-----

Then the Frog Pond must employ an entire staff of creeps. If you're so easily offended, don't check out their Facebook album --

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.215938838447318.51823.157363247638211

Dennis Ferrol said...

Cool shot!
Well done!

Tim said...

incredible that they have the audacity to threaten me (which was very effective). You can have the law on your side all you want, but i have a real and i think valid fear of police officers because i have heard many stories that they don't actually know the law they are supposed to uphold. I respect police and the dangers they run for us and will always comply with them but i fear them as well. As such i did not press the matter and felt extremely uncomfortable. They made me feel like i should be ashamed of myself. I know that that's ridiculous but i started to question myself. But looking at their facebook pictures it just baffles me. Also they are filming the entire event with about 200 cameras as someone else pointed out.

Anonymous said...

Tim, definitely follow up with a written complaint to the Frog Pond management. Do you have the name of the staffer, or at least a good description?

Anonymous said...

I'm the anon at 11:09 am:

Tim - did you ask the kids or their parents if they were okay with you taking photographs? They may have gone to the security folks because they felt THREATENED by you. Regardless of your "rights," it's RUDE to photograph people without their permission.

Have you researched the frog pond facebook pics? That photographer may have gotten permission to take the pics, may have been wearing credentials establishing an affiliation with frog pond, etc. If they didn't, and just took pics of people who didn't want to be photographed, they are also in the wrong.

I understand that I have the right to show up at military funerals and make a scene. Just because I'm legally allowed to do so, doesn't make it the right thing to do. You should have felt uncomfortable, not because of the frog pond staffers, but because you were called out on photographing OTHER PEOPLE'S KIDS in their swimsuits without permission.

Anonymous said...

Photographers who are concerned about interactions with officials when taking pictures in public should carry this card (PDF).

Nice picture.

Tim said...

i want to stress here that even if there is somebody that objects that does not have anything to do with anything, i will immediately refrain from taking a picture because i would never want to make anyone uncomfortable.

but please. Rude? what's rude? telling somebody that he can get in trouble for doing something perfectly legal, that's whats rude here. And also not lawful. Why don't you focus on that?

about asking:
1. you can not take the photo you want if you ask permission - the moment will be gone.

2. i think it's much more intrusive to ask somebody if you can photograph their children to be honest, as a parent i wouldn't even want to know. Also, there were over 100 children in there, and i could not see which parents belonged to which child nor did i care. Further, i did not single out one child in particular, and i feel that approaching a child in order to take a photograph is about the contrary of what i want to achieve as a photographer.

your point about permission or credentials is null because i do not publish my photographs on any website either private nor public (as of yet) and i certainly do not sell them.

i have that card in my bag. but it's useless, because the people that enforce this kind of thing either listen to the card (and then they don't bother you) or ignore the card (and then it's of no use).

Anonymous said...

Anon at 11:09 again:

What about the right of people minding their own business on a nice summer day to simply be left alone, rather than (perhaps unknowingly) being a part of what you "want to achieve as a photographer?" If it's too much effort to ask permission, then don't photograph strangers.

I don't go to frog pond very often, but I'm uncomfortable at the idea that you and others will be photographing people and will start spewing about your "rights" if asked to stop.

Tim said...

anon:
people take pictures all the time. you are probably in thousands of pictures around the world. Nobody cares. you better stay indoors if you are really uncomfortable.

i never spewed about any rights when i was there; if you had actually read (objectively) what happened, you could have seen that i stopped immediately, and it wasn't even at a kid or parent's request, it was a 18 year old staff boy who told me it "wasnt cool". i wasn't taking a picture of anyone in particular, so i am the one that deserved to be left alone.

and also: how are people "left alone" (like that's something great), when you ask them permission? i left them alone by NOT asking. and who exactly do you suggest i should have asked? there were hundreds of people there!

Madge said...

Wonderful slice of summer in the city...

Sequim Daily Photo said...

I can see it from both perspectives. It's fun to get an action shot or an in the moment shot and if you had to stop and ask, the moment would be gone. But I'm also someone who really dislikes having my picture taken without permission so I try to not to do it to other people.
Fun shot.

Sylvia Neumann said...

I like the pic:) what about publishing photographs then????

CaT said...

good question... i dont know!

Anonymous said...

There is no expectation of privacy in a public space. If you want to avoid having the scary box steal your soul, stay home and build a higher fence.

JdL said...

Sorry to hear that you were caught off guard. Hope in the future you'll photograph freely and tell out-of-line people who demand you stop, very politely, to F*** off.

JasonSMoore said...

As a street photographer, I find this thread pretty interesting.

I don't really focus on children in my work, but I certainly don't exclude them as potential subjects in my pictures (for example, http://jasonsmoore.wordpress.com/2011/07/08/go-play-in-a-fountain/).

I've never had anyone express concern that I'm observing children. I guess I don't give off a creepy-guy vibe. If there is a scene with kids that I think has the potential for creating something interesting, I'll make a point of engaging with the parents - not asking their permission, but just making some small talk so they know that at least I am very comfortable and confident in what I'm doing there.

Steffe said...

It's a sad world we live in when you can't even take a photo of someone without this sort of thing happening. Sure there are more serious problems to deal with.

Anonymous said...

Given the bacterial content of the Frog Pond, it is the parents who allow their kids to play in that sewage treatment plant who need to be referred to the authorities.

Anonymous said...

As for all those "concerned" parents out there - let's consider all the "creepy looking" people WITHOUT cameras. Are we going to make standing around a wading pool lawful ONLY if one of your kids is in the pool?
.
I never get right in someones face to take a picture, HOWEVER I'm NOT going to let anyone intimidate me if I want to shoot a picture in a public place, whether the subject be kids or adults.
.
Photography is still legal!
.