No More Twit Pics

No More Twit Pics

Or so it would seem from an article in DP Review.

A recent posting noted an change in the command structure at the Twitter organisation and a decision to stop allowing pictures of people to be posted without their permission. It raised an understandable cry of concern from a number of quarters; notably street photographers and people who like to post social pictures of big crowds.

Further reading seems to make the ruling a little less severe – there can be a lot of posting still going on, but if any complaint is received images may be pulled from the site. I suspect time will tell whether this is going to be a real problem for real people…or really not.

And no comment from me about what Twitter is or does or which famous figure might have been using it a lot and then got banned from it. That sort of speculation is above my pay grade on this column.

But let’s come here to Perth and look at where our pictures go – I’ll have to use my own experience to discuss it – you probably understand more of it than I, and if you can’t remember black and white television, you definitely will know far more.

I post pictures of people every week – some go up on Facebook, some on Instagram, some on my three other weblog columns, and some on this shop column. You may have seen the back of your head in one of the shots taken during a product presentation in Murray Street. Occasionally the staff get in a picture, and just now and then I appear. So far the fabric of western civilisation has not been rent asunder by any of these images.

I keep them kindly – the worst of the images never make it out of Lightroom. The Facebook posts have glamour girls, dancers, and costumed enthusiasts all looking their best. No-one looks bad, and even if someone takes a snork at themselves, most other people like them anyway. If someone was to be seriously unhappy I would remove the image as a matter of course – polite behaviour demands it.

None of the images are spontaneous, and none snapped unawares. You can’t do that in a studio with $ 200o worth of show costuming on and 2000 watt/seconds going bang in your face. When I take that picture, you know it. It will then be scrubbed and edited to a fare-thee-well ( quiet, Dale…) and end up a thing of art and effort, if not a beauty. The only element of surprise is when people stop the model in the street and praise them.

Are you street shooter? Good luck – sometimes you capture wonderful images. Or an event coverage photographer? Again you may possess the eye of the century, in the right place. Let us hope that the politics, legalities, and economics of the social media circus will settle down and allow you to do a job that doesn’t involve an elephant, a broom, and a shovel.

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