|I paid Crazy Glue Mechanic for this photo.|
As sailors who take our vessels to distant lands, we want to preserve our memories. But the rules about what is acceptable behaviour, especially behind a camera lens, are different in many places around the world. I have the belief that if in doubt, ask permission or don't take the picture.
In one place I visited, people believed that if you took their photo, they lost their spirit. Clearly taking their photo with or without permission was a no-no.
I took a picture of a sign in front of a house on an island once and a man came scurrying out asking for money for the photo I took. I gave him what he asked and went on my way. Another time I took a photo of a band playing on a street and the band leader got angry with me for not paying him or buying a CD. I don't have a CD player so it wouldn't have done me any good. I also felt that if they were taking up public street space, they are fair game for photos. If they're playing in a private venue, they have a right to ask not to be photographed.
I remember wanting to take a photo of a particularly striking woman walking down a dirt road in the Caribbean. She had the darkest shade of skin, a brilliant pink dress, a colourful head scarf, a basket on her head and a machete in her hand. I felt it would have been impertinent to take a photo of her but I didn't want to insult her by asking when she stopped to chat. I ended up taking a picture of her from behind when she walked away. And I felt bad about doing so. I have since only taken pictures if I was given permission to do so.
Shutterstock has a very good discussion with leading photographers about camera etiquette around the world.