Some questions for those of you with much more experience in photography.
In general, what is the etiquette for taking pictures of other people in a public setting?
What are the legalities of posting pictures of other people in a forum like this?
I've posted a couple of pictures here that have people in them (other than family), but they've generally been taken in a very public setting and the people were not going to be easily identifiable (e.g. they had their back to the camera, etc). I don't think I'd be very comfortable at the moment, though, in situations where the person was the focus (so to speak) of the picture.
Two specific situations to help illustrate my questions:
1) I can think of many pictures that would fit in the current challenge theme of "lethargy", but most of them would be built around a person taking life very easy. A classic example would be a kid taking a nap beside a slow-moving stream, his fishing line dangling in the water. I don't want to take posed shots, though, and I'm not really comfortable taking advantage of "sleeping" strangers.
2) I'm thinking of going to one of our local road races this weekend to practice with my new camera. I don't think anyone would complain about me taking in-race action photos, but what about pre/post race. I expect the best shots then to be "seize the moment" shots that have to be taken when they happen, and it would be difficult to ask everyone for permission in advance "just in case you do something photogenic".
My father, who is a photographer, used to take candid shots of people on the street every once in a while. All he did prior to taking their picture was ask them if they were ok with it. That does take the spontaneity out of the shot though.
Ethically, I think that is an issue that runs differently for every person...it's what you're comfortable as a photographer. You may not be comfortable at all using a stranger in a shot...me, I might say no big deal (although, no, I'm not comfortable either).
Anyway...I had heard one tip in dealing with taking pictures of total strangers quickly....judge the distance between you and them, point your camera in a different direction and focus on something the same (or similar) distance away, then quickly turn back, and take your shot.
I never had to use this...because, mostly, my pictures don't have people in them.
Thanks to everyone for their replies.
While looking around the web for tips on taking successful photographs I stumbled on the following link. It's a down-loadable PDF of a one-page summary of your rights as a photographer.