11 comments on “Getting started in street photography. Article and photos by Derek Sikes

  1. Nice post.

    I shoot most stuff in digital but love using film. I only have a Nikon EM but enjoy the whole loading, using then developing film, a lot more than taking a memory card out and putting in my computer. I think that film being less practical over digital doesn’t hold true when it comes to Street Photography.

    Its the whole experience that comes from analogue Street Photography I love.

  2. copyright/copywright? 😀

    Unfortunately Mr. Derek Sikes doesn’t really own any of the images above unless he has garnered model releases from each and every one of people in the photographs. You cannot profit from your work without signed releases. You can’t sell them as fine art, You can’t publish them in a magazine. In fact it’s debatable (and has yet to be legally decided) if putting them on a website constitutes “publication” (after all, you are calling this a ‘Blog’). This is my problem with street photography and why I don’t really do much of it. You can, of course, snap away in any public place and feel free to enjoy the snaps in comforts of your own home. Oh yeah, you can publish photos of ‘public figures’ all you want (hence paparzzi usage is generally legal).

  3. Agree with the above poster. This website/blog is fostering copyright/copywright/copywrite/?? infringement. You can not take someone’s (c)-right protected work off flickr and put it on your website — that is per se copyright infringement. Seek advisement from an attorney because you are opening yourself up to liability. Specifically, there are “statutory damages” under the Copyright Act.

    Otherwise, nice website you have here 🙂

    • I appreciate your support of the website. To date all photos have been shared in accordance with flickr’s sharing guidelines or were the property of the authors.

  4. I think there are 2 issues here:

    Rodney is saying that although Derek is putting ‘Copywright Derek Sikes’ on his photos he is not actually allowed to do this.

    John is saying that the author of this post is breaking the law by taking the photos off Flicker and putting them here on his blog.

    I am not 100% what is and what isn’t breaking the law. All I know is that I am allowed to go out into the street, take my photos and upload them to my (non profit) blog, Google+ account or 500px account.

    • That is correct James Taylor — you are allowed to take street photos and put them on your non-profit site. However, what this website is doing is taking protected content off Flickr and putting it on his site. That is copyright infringement.

      • Actually non-profit status will probably only limit the damages in civil liability lawsuit if an unreleased model takes offense to the publication of the photograph. As I alluded to before, some make the argument that *all* websites are, in effect, ‘published magazines’, but this hasn’t been tested in the courts yet. In any case, the photographer cannot assume ownership of any image in which there are recognizable faces (that are not considered ‘public figures’) without model releases and cannot license the image for any sort of publication, nor sell it outright as fine art.

        Wikipedia actually has a pretty decent summary of the concept: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_release

        Some key phrases to note:

        …Publishing an identifiable photo of a person without a model release signed by that person can result in civil liability for whoever publishes the photograph.

        …Unless a photo is actually published, the need (or use) of a model release is undefined.

        …Note that the issue of model release forms and liability waivers is a legal area related to privacy and is separate from copyright.

        …The act of taking a photo of someone in a public setting without a model release, or of viewing or non-commercially showing such a photo in private, generally does not create legal exposure, at least in the United States.

        So *doing* street photography is completely legal. But using the images in a public fashion (even for the promotional purposes of the photographer) without model releases is prone to legal issues. So this is why I tend to steer clear of street photography or publishing any recognizable face of someone I don’t personally know (or have gotten a release from).

  5. It looks to me that the images do belong to Derek Sikes and are from his flickr page.

    However, they haven’t been linked properly. I am working on getting this resolved.

    • Perhaps you are correct and Mr. Sikes has garnered model releases from each and every one of the recognizable people in the photographs, otherwise, he doesn’t truly *own* the photographs.

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