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A sociological question: Are the people of Vietnam unhappy?

A sociological question: Are the people of Vietnam unhappy?

Old Jan 11th, 2015, 05:24 AM
  #21  
rje
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Since this thread has changed into a discussion of candid photography, here are some candid photographs I took.
Does anyone really think I was wrong to have taken them?

http://rickelkinsphotography.com/#/g...le-in-tanjore/

http://rickelkinsphotography.com/#/g...men-bangalore/

http://rickelkinsphotography.com/#/g...ant-bangalore/

http://rickelkinsphotography.com/#/g...r-shop-mysore/

And I do ask people to pose for me:
http://rickelkinsphotography.com/#/g...yor-bangalore/
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Old Jan 11th, 2015, 06:04 AM
  #22  
 
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@rje - those links don't take me to a specific photo, so I can't comment on them. However, I would point out that your reasoning for the dislike of Google glass:

"I think one of the strongest reasons for the widespread dislike of Google glass (which I share) was because people would never have any way of knowing if they were being filmed or photographed, which for me is wrong. Plus, they just look creepy!"

Is precisely what is happening when you shoot from a distance:

"I stay far away, using a long lens, so as not to be intrusive".

Also, I'm sorry, but when the Supreme Court ruled that political contributions from a corporation were protected free speech they lost, in my eyes, any shred of authority on the topic.

@filmwill - I haven't the faintest idea what I said to upset you, but how about I apologize and we both move on?
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Old Jan 11th, 2015, 06:17 AM
  #23  
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The links take a few seconds to show the individual photo. First you should see a series of thumbnails, but it will take you to the one I've linked to.
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Old Jan 11th, 2015, 06:24 AM
  #24  
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thursdaysd,
I'm totally with you about the recent bad decisions by the Supreme Court.

But the difference between Google glass and a camera is for me a huge one.

Everyone knows what is happening when a camera is pointed at someone or something.Which makes it possible to object, if desired.

But the insidious thing about Google glass is that one can be sitting across a table from someone who is wearing them and have no idea if they re being photographed, or (to me even worse), recorded in both audio and visual. I have bad feelings that we'd see people wearing Google glass on say - nudist beaches.

I think that is why we saw such a surge of negative opinion about them.
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Old Jan 11th, 2015, 06:47 AM
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"Everyone knows what is happening when a camera is pointed at someone or something.Which makes it possible to object, if desired."

Not if you are using a long lens at a distance. After all, isn't the whole point of a "candid" that the subject NOT know? Do you approach them afterwards and offer to delete the photo if they are unhappy about it?
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Old Jan 11th, 2015, 07:13 AM
  #26  
rje
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thursdaysd,

I just discovered that those links won't work if using a mobile device, you'd be sent to the landing page. A poor website design decision by the developers I think.

Anyway, if you have any interest, here's an album of photos from India, containing some candid shots and also some taken posed:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/922224...75914/sizes/o/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/922224...60383/sizes/o/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/922224...99482/sizes/o/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/922224...68466/sizes/o/

and one posed:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/922224...09906/sizes/o/
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Old Jan 11th, 2015, 08:07 AM
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I'm fine with the first (great shot, BTW), and probably with the second. Not so much with the third and fourth. I think the third might be a candidate for asking after the fact. Asking for permission and then hanging around for a while before shooting is another possibility. (I'm not claiming to necessarily always meet my own standards, and I certainly didn't when I started traveling, but as more and more cameras, phones etc. show up I'm getting more sensitive about it.The whole selfie thing - selfie sticks! - is driving me nuts.)
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Old Jan 11th, 2015, 08:40 AM
  #28  
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I think this is one of those issues with many different shades of opinion.

Different people will have different lines that they think shouldn't be crossed.
Some people think there is no line, and that all is fair in the name of "art".
I draw the line at intruding physically into people's lives (particularly during intensely private moments), making people look foolish, or using a hidden camera and recoding device (like Google glass).
For you it is being photographed at all without prior permission.
Some people find the gaze of tourists offensive.

I do agree that the selfies craze has gotten completely out of hand. On the last trip I actually saw people taking selfies standing inside a temple in front of praying people!
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Old Jan 11th, 2015, 05:37 PM
  #29  
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Again, speaking of cultures where a premium is placed on accommodating others, a more active way of signaling displeasure than mere nervous laughter would be to ask to take pictures of the photographer, the assumption being that doing so would show just how offensive it is. Only works if the initial photographer is, in fact, offended, though....
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Old Jan 11th, 2015, 08:54 PM
  #30  
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kja,
What's all this about "displeasure" and "nervous laughter"? What do you imagine is going on? Many people love getting photographed, and I've never found any place where they love it more than Asia.
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Old Jan 11th, 2015, 09:11 PM
  #31  
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This thread now has a very misleading title, as it is become almost completely about photography.

So since the Fodors website doesn't provide the capability for us to edit posts or titles of threads, I'll try and be a responsible web citizen and start a new thread for anyone who wants to continue this discussion here:

http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...ing-people.cfm
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Old Jan 11th, 2015, 09:23 PM
  #32  
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@ rje -- I'm sure many people do enjoy getting photographed. I'm also sure that many people do NOT want to be photographed.

My choice -- and I'm not saying it is the choice that is right for anyone else -- is to ask before taking a picture that features anyone. Some people have agreed, others have emphatically refused, and that has been my experience in Asia and elsewhere. And BTW, I am well aware that I take MANY photos that aren't intended to include specific individuals, but do. If they actually show a person clearly, I either obtain the person's permission or delete the photo. That's where I currently draw my line in this murky ethical area, but I'm sure there are MANY people who are, in fact, identifiable in the pictures I retain, even when they are NOT the center of attention. Again, I'm not saying where anyone else should draw a line.

As I said in my earlier post, I appreciate that YOU, at least, are aware of some of the ethical issues involved and have taken some steps to deal with those issues.

As I also said, NOT everyone IS sensitive to those issues. Some people seem to be willing to assume that reactions that COULD indicate acquiescence NECESSARILY indicate it. I just wanted to point out that there could be other interpretations of the behaviors in question. Laughter does not necessarily mean yes -- I've seen the relief in some people's faces when they laugh and say yes, but I put the camera down. Asking to take a picture of the photographer does not necessarily mean yes -- I've actually heard Asians explain that this is the strategy they use to "shame" the photographer into putting down his/her camera.

It seems to me that those who travel to cultures with different norms -- and especially those who travel to places where there are norms against saying NO -- might do well to at least consider the possibility that apparent agreement might not signal actual willingness.

I agree with your assessment that there are many grey areas here. It seems to me -- JMO -- that in ANY ethically grey area, it behooves us to pay particular attention to possible alternative interpretations of what we think we are seeing or experiencing.
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Old Jan 11th, 2015, 09:27 PM
  #33  
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PS: I just reposted my response on the new thread.
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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 01:31 AM
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I do think that some of us travelers are "overly sensitive to facial expressions." Plus I don't think it has something to do with politics. Maybe it's a matter of region, as people living in the big cities tend to be "cynical", should I say?
Anyway, I am on my trip to the northern mountain of Vietnam and the people over here looks quite happy despite poverty.
I will return to Hanoi soon and I believe the citizens will be very friendly IF we open up to them.
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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 01:40 AM
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I also agree with kja:
"My understanding is that in some cultures, smiling is a VERY private thing -- something shared ONLY with close relations, or those one is inviting into that intimate circle."
Not seeing people smiling does not necessarily mean that they are not happy.
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