The ethics of Being Discreet

Everyone seems to want a smaller camera or a better smartphone, but I personally find it a little sneaky to be using one. Isn’t it unethical if I am shooting pictures from my iPhone without the other person realising what I am doing? What separates me from a voyeur? - Zarias Rustomfee

That is a very interesting question, especially because the topic is so layered, and yet so relevant in today’s times. The point you are raising seems to suggest that being discreet is not a nice thing because of the sheer voyeurism attached to the act. From one point of view, you are correct. But look at it another way. Rather than the subject being aware of the camera, it is more important that the photo should be sensitively shot. A picture that is discreetly made may be far more sensitive than one in which the photographer has intruded upon the scene in a visible manner, and also annoyed the subject while shooting. So there are no rights, no wrongs, what’s most important is that you should not have any malice while shooting the image.



Of course, it is also important to note that the whole demand for a competent small camera is not just about being able to shoot without being conspicuous. Even if the subject is aware of the camera’s presence, a small camera tends to make them more relaxed. Also, a camera that is smaller and lighter is more portable, and you may thus be inclined to carry it with you, wherever you go.