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Underground NY Library

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May 22, 2012, 10:33am   #1
KatsBags's Avatar
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KatsBags
Member
I found this website on the Amazon discussion forums.
http://undergroundnewyorkpubliclibrary.com/

The photographer takes pictures of people reading on the NY subway. There's even a "help" section to identify titles.
May 22, 2012, 12:42pm   #2
Cindi's Avatar
Cindi
My baby, Bellis
That is very cool. I am so happy to see so many people reading. And they are reading actual books!! Love it!
May 22, 2012, 8:54pm   #3
thenorthwood's Avatar
thenorthwood
Member
Love it!
May 23, 2012, 11:43am   #4
terps08's Avatar
terps08
Member
Originally Posted by KatsBags
I found this website on the Amazon discussion forums.
http://undergroundnewyorkpubliclibrary.com/

The photographer takes pictures of people reading on the NY subway. There's even a "help" section to identify titles.
I love love love this, thank you for sharing!!
May 26, 2012, 4:59pm   #5
a
aurawn
Member
I love this. I'd be absolutely tickled if I ended up on there one day.
May 26, 2012, 6:49pm   #6
greentealover's Avatar
greentealover
tea & books & polish
Haha this is awesome!
May 28, 2012, 10:56am   #7
j
jenniferelaine
Member
What a neat idea!
May 28, 2012, 12:16pm   #8
KatsBags's Avatar
Thread Starter
KatsBags
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Originally Posted by aurawn
I love this. I'd be absolutely tickled if I ended up on there one day.
I would, too... but I don't live in NYC
May 29, 2012, 9:29am   #9
Ladybug09's Avatar
Ladybug09
So Sweet!
Love the idea of the site, but If I were one of the readers, I would NOT like my face/picture posted there. If he got their permissions, then ok. It just seems kind of invasive.

Saw this:

Quote:
Do you ever run into anyone who gets upset or angry that you took his/her photo?
Answer - Permalink

RAWCURIOSITY

Yea. It happened last weekend.

He was reading on the platform up against the wall. I went and stood in front of him and took his picture. I expected him to notice me and he did. His face reddened with anger and he asked me in a yell if I had just taken a picture of him. I told him that I did and was about to explain why but he didn’t give me a chance. He repeatedly exclaimed, “delete my picture! delete my picture right now!” So I did. I showed him that I was deleting his picture. When I was done deleting it, he still continued to shout, “delete it! you better delete it! now!” I told him that I had no further way of demonstrating to him that I deleted his picture, because I had already deleted it. He became silent so I took the opportunity to quickly tell him why I took his picture, and I explained that I did it without asking him because I wanted to capture his true reading experience. After that I was about to just move on, when he began to yell again. This time though, with a different angle. “They’ll hurt you!” he said. “They’ll smash your camera!” He was even waving his fists. “Where are you from?!” he asked me. I told him that I was from nowhere. That I was from right here in NYC, and that I’ve been taking pictures this way for years. “Don’t ever do it again!” he warned.

I just kind of said ok and walked away, when I noticed a handholding newspaper carrying couple were laughing and smiling at me. I smiled back understanding that they had shared in the moment. The woman pointed at her man and said, “he’s a photographer so he figured it out right away. We saw you taking pictures and you’re photographing the people who are reading. Want us to hold our newspapers up for you and pretend to read?” I told them that I was interested only in books. I was grateful anyway for their invitation because it countered my experience from the moment before and reset my nerves.

This story is one answer to your question. It describes only the moment as it happened. It doesn’t describe the way I perceive anyone who would feel upset that their picture was taken without their assent.
Jul 21, 2012, 7:28pm   #10
babypie's Avatar
babypie
Member
Originally Posted by Ladybug09
Love the idea of the site, but If I were one of the readers, I would NOT like my face/picture posted there. If he got their permissions, then ok. It just seems kind of invasive.

Saw this:
This is what I'm thinking too. Cool idea and pics and he has good intentions, but I don't think it's right to take pics of people and post them online without their knowledge and permission. It's very presumptious of the photographer. If I saw someone taking my pic on the train I'd freak out!
Jul 21, 2012, 8:06pm   #11
babypie's Avatar
babypie
Member
^ Ok it's weird. Having said that, I have spent about 30m scrolling through the site (I can't stop!). I rarely see people reading in public where I live.
Aug 9, 2012, 10:35pm   #12
polishprincess's Avatar
polishprincess
Member
it's interesting
Aug 10, 2012, 11:33am   #13
dorcast's Avatar
dorcast
Member
I live in NYC. One of the things I dislike about kindles, is that I miss seeing what people are reading on the subway. I am not someone who generally starts conversations with strangers, but books are always a safe topic. There is something really nice about seeing someone reading something you love, and sharing a moment with them.
Aug 10, 2012, 12:29pm   #14
denton's Avatar
denton
a guy
Originally Posted by babypie
This is what I'm thinking too. Cool idea and pics and he has good intentions, but I don't think it's right to take pics of people and post them online without their knowledge and permission. It's very presumptious of the photographer. If I saw someone taking my pic on the train I'd freak out!
As a New Yorker who often practices what is called 'street photography', which this essentially is, the law on this is very clear. An artist has a right to take a photograph of anyone in a public place at any time and for any reason, without permission. That includes children, women, the homeless, police, firemen, and so on and so forth. The artist also has the right to exhibit this work on the internet and/or in an art gallery without a model release.

The artist does not have the right to use the work for commercial purposes. For example, they cannot use a photo of a woman reading 'Fifty Shades' on the back of the book or in an ad suggesting you buy the book without a model release but they can use the image as art in a gallery like the one this guy is doing.

An artist can take photos of private property including your house, landmarks, bridges, infrastructure, and so on, provided he is standing on public property while doing so.

(All this assumes there is not a local statute overriding this which there is not in NYC).

A photographer does not have the right to take any photos whatsoever on private property without the permission of the property owner. Nor does a photographer have a right to take a picture where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as in a dressing room, bathroom, or other private areas.

Anyone who complains about being photographed in NYC these days is pretty funny. When you are walking down any street in the business districts, you are being filmed by high resolution video cameras owned by private property owners, the NYPD, and the Department of Homeland Security. Often the bored security guards that operate these cameras, especially the private ones, will entertain themselves by people-watching.

There's a lot of attitude in NYC by people who claim they know this or that about photography and privacy, but it's just attitude and not knowledge.

If taking photos on the streets of New York was illegal, Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander, Henri Cartier-Bresson, William Klein, and so many other great photogs whose work sells for tens of thousands of dollars, would have been in jail.
Aug 10, 2012, 12:32pm   #15
denton's Avatar
denton
a guy
Originally Posted by dorcast
I live in NYC. One of the things I dislike about kindles, is that I miss seeing what people are reading on the subway. I am not someone who generally starts conversations with strangers, but books are always a safe topic. There is something really nice about seeing someone reading something you love, and sharing a moment with them.
I keep hearing this. I read a lot, and while I have now switched to a kindle generally, no one ever asked me about what I was reading when I was reading books. Usually two hours a day on the subway when I lived in Brooklyn, and I don't read junk, I read good stuff.
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