I take a very practical approach to photographic ethics.
Especially when taking pictures of sensitive things in Korean culture.
How did this come up, you ask? Well, in a Facebook group called "Korea Blogs" someone started a debate about this blog post that I jumped in on and made this point when it seemed about to get all grandiose about photographic ethics. I first referenced my own previous post on the matter before going on to say the following:
Ethics, schmethics. I don't publish my red light pics bcs I think they are too clear. I've got some amazing ones of Yongsan from around 2007 with clear faces, etc. MUCH better than these let-me-sneak-a-shot-from-100-meters-away crap, but I don't publish them because the faces are CRYSTAL clear and I don't want to hurt the girls. Faces, having photographic gonads, people... "ethics" is just a matter of deciding to hurt people. And yhose pics aren't even clear enough to do that. So, while kvetching over theoretical concerns about "ethics" is fine and fun, this blog post isn't really a problem. People need to calm down.
Then I proceeded to upload two pics I had never puboished before because of how good they were, as both clear red light district shots and as records of the old Yongsan that was razed over to make Raemian apartments to go up soon. The key action in the pics is in the faces, which I have to take out. Hence, I won't publish them, because without the faces, they have no meaning -- but I don't want to hurt these girls. To me, it's the ultimate respect. Because, as a great man once said, "Hoes gotta eat, too."
Now, some people might kvetch and carry on about showing faces in pics at all -- but as in most things Korean, it's a judgement call, not the law, that's the real thing defining the issue here. Lately, I've stopped cropping out facesabove the mouth, which was my old way of doing things, because people aren't doing anything embarassing out in public, usually. And if they do, I do think about faces.
No Faces, practically.
Sometimes you just gotta wait a bit for the right moment.
Hat tip to Hollywood Shuffle.