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Tourists. Ten O'clock!

By Karuma1970

Las Palenqueras de Cartagena.

These ladies traditionally come into Cartagena every day to sell their fruit. I suspect that there is still some fruit selling going on but that their main income comes from having tourists take their photograph.

This presents an ethical problem because if you do this you get a picture of you standing next to them almost arm in arm. I thought the answer here was to pay for that, which I didnít want, but then sneak pictures like this one.

It doesnít solve the wider problem though which I first remember from almost fifty years ago when the track into the Masai Mara was rarely travelled and I saw a wonderful scene of a Masai woman with her small daughter gathering water from a stream. I felt I should ask if I could take a photo and they readily agreed but I ended up with them standing to attention. I wonder what your thoughts are on this.

Tags: Photo journalism Tourism Colombia Cartagena Las Palenqueras de Cartagena

Voters: Badgerfred, mike9005, VincentChristopher and 17 more

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2 May 2021 12:16PM
Theyíre very colourful Mike. It looks a lovely square in the background. I love the buildings.

IamDora 1 6 Canada
2 May 2021 12:47PM
I have sneaked a few shots as well for the same reasons. The candids are always better unless you are into selfies. ("And here's me in front of ....)

In Peru women often dressed in native custom and went off for the day with their decorated llama and made their living one photo at a time. I have a photo - on those DVD's at home, of course - of a teenage girl obviously hating every minute of it and her stern mother in the background. A sneak shot although I did give the girl some money afterwards to pat her llama.
dales Plus
6 13 Australia
2 May 2021 2:10PM
Quite a dilemma Mike , you have captured an image of interestby the way
johnke Plus
9 232 17 England
2 May 2021 3:56PM
A wonderful canid Image Mike, as for the problem sneak the shot then pay after

it will always be a problem and one that can only be solved by the Photographer

depending on current circumstances....John

TheURL Plus
1 20 1 United Kingdom
2 May 2021 4:52PM
Great shot - your story reminds of when I was in a small village in rural Turkey in 1985 - 5 elderly women were sitting in the gutter, and I asked if I could take a photo. They then proceeded to argue amongst themselves as whether or not I could (in Turkish obviously). Sensing an imminent fight I started to walk off, but one them came after me, insisting I take the photo. The solution they came up with was that three of them would be facing me, but the two dissenters would have their backs to me! I took the photo, thanked them very much, and walked off - then they chased me down the street for the money (which I gave them). But what I ended up with was a very odd photo!
2 May 2021 5:29PM
Candid shots are best. Glad you got away with this image. I do not agree in paying for a photograph. A friend of mine goes to the horror conventions and pays £40 to be photographed with a film star. They have queues of peopel wanting to be photographed. This goes on for 3 days and its a real money spinner! Debs
TheURL Plus
1 20 1 United Kingdom
2 May 2021 5:54PM
Technically you're right - candid shot are likely to be best. But I think its very much a judgement call on a case-by-case basis. I've been chased down the street by people before, in one case where I hadn't even taken a photo. But she had seen me contemplating the shot before dismissing it, and was convinced I'd taken it. Now if I do it I hold the camera at waist level and use the fold out screen to compose the shot. As IamDora says, Cusco is full of people who dress up and pose with Llamas for the tourists, and I guess where life is tough you'll do anything you can do make a living. I was in Nicaragua in 1982 and a friend was photographing one of those buses where there are more people clinging on to the outside than there there are people inside it. Just as the bus pulled away, a soldier from the Army base across the road rushed over and confiscated his camera. They told him to come back tomorrow to collect the camera after they'd had a chance to study the images. He went back and got his camera - they'd simply removed the film and thrown it away!
2 May 2021 10:15PM
In some countries of course you have to be very careful as to whether you are taking pictures in sensitive locations like bridges. One of my favourite views anywhere is the Karuma Falls in Uganda where the road north crosses the Nile. Do not stop to take a photo or a soldier will appear and tell you to move on. Many years ago Amin's troops used to torture and kill people there, dropping their bodies into the Nile. I had the pleasure of pulling the body of one of their victims to the bank downstream once when I was fishing but that was nearly half a century ago. What the problem is now I don't know.
3 May 2021 2:31AM
Mike, this is a problem I constantly struggle with when I travel...and it also brings of that other issue that many of us suffer...the issue of whether we are "participants" when we travel....or voyeurs...I try to take candid photos....and sometimes I do ask people if they either would like to be photographed...or a comfortable with it. I have sometimes particularly found it to be an issue in Muslim countries...and particularly for Muslim women. I do remember being in Istanbul in August of 2001 with 15 other family members (preceding a Bar Mitzvah in Jerusalem later, an back when Turkey and Israel had good relations before Israel messed it up) and walking on a main street downhill from the Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosque, there was a man with a VERY long mustache..probably a foot from end to end...and I think he made a living posing for photos. I neither payed him nor photographed him. Traveling in Spain two years ago, at the Parc Guelle there were a few guy in costume and makeup posing as get "contributions".

When I was in Peru, I never ran into people charging for photos....and took a lot of candid photos..

One of the things I sometimes do is walk around with my camera on and at waist level, and setting the lens to a modest wide angle and shooting on the street without viewing. Sometimes interesting photos would happen.

Yes, I've tried that but almost never get anything any good!
gconant Plus
11 32 1 United States
3 May 2021 7:45PM
Great costumes and great architecture Mike.
Cartagena also is known to be a relatively safe Columbian city, which is very nice.

8 May 2021 6:56PM
I like the shot ....we had though of going to Cartagena ...and then the pandemic hit.. too bad about the pillar on the right like this though
In Alberta our Indigenous people and the Hutterites do not like to have their photos taken ...both for different reasons. Candid is best ...and when caught fess up for your actions..In countries with repressive governments ( like Idi Amin's ) I would keep the camera in the safe at the hotel !
cheers walt

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