Psst! Over here. I’ve got some street photography.

As a fellow Washingtonian, you certainly know that the east side and west side may as well be two different states.
True enough! Here in the potential State of Columbia I recently experienced one of those hysterical pedophile concerns. I photographed some child's plastic toys parked in an alleyway outside of a board fence. As I walked away a woman ran to intercept me to aggressively ask why I had been taking photos of them in their back yard. She was not much mollified by my explanation but did shut up and go away.
I think shooting like Eugène Atget , with almost zero people in your photos makes more sense every day in today's climate...even as far as to use medium format cameras and a tripod and be deliberate...not street photography in the usual sense as we know it but a form of street photography none the less.

Thank you for the reference, I did not know Eugène Atget's work.

It seems to be the anti-thesis of Bruce Gilden's work and style.
I was posting on a online street photography group for a month and one of the members made a stink about certain kinds of street photography as invasion of privacy etc etc. I knew it was a swipe at me because I was the only one posting photos regularly that featured faces prominently. The group otherwise didn’t have much activity and most people didn’t post street type photos. My style is about faces in the crowd. So I made a comments that I did not expect this type of criticism in a street photography oriented group. Then there are comments from this same person about violation of laws in such and such countries and he even posted a consent form. So I basically stopped posting. I still shoot but no longer post anywhere. I do follow various street photo groups in FB because I do like to look and learn. I am not sure if I am over analysing the photos but don’t see much if any street style portraits. If faces are featured then they are a small part of the scenery and not the scenery. In any case I can’t go on taking the variations of the same photo over and over again so my photography needs to evolve but not because of someone telling me I can’t shoot it or show it.

Some of my thought from a piece Leica did on my work a few years back
I've been making street photographs since the mid-1980's here in the S.F. Bay Area and other urban settings around the country. I find this issue of privacy an interesting subject. I understand the legal underpinnings here in the U.S. (probably inaccurately) is that if there is an expectation that you are seen in public, then you are fair game to be photographed. Then there's the finer point of whether your photography is for artistic or commercial use. Again probably inaccurately, I believe that so long as you are not using the image for commercial purposes, fair game. This is all the legal stuff. But then there's the personal stuff to wrestle with...
When I'm photographing someone on the street (nearly always without their knowledge or consent), I'm thinking about why I want the image. If its to show what my community looks like, to show what the people of this era look like, to show the craziness (or lack of) that people on the streets are up to, then fair game. But as soon as I feel the image might fall into the catagories of 'lurid' or 'exploitation', I put the camera down.

In addition, when discussing this issue, I'll pose the question: What possible harm can this photograph be put to? If the image is of someone walking down the street, what harm could I be up to? Generally I find the answers to that question are something along the line of "I can't think of anything, but I don't trust you." That answer is not enough for me to let someone else dictate what I choose to photograph.

AND... do these people realize that they are being photographed daily by people pointing their cell phone cameras at nearly every square inch of our lives??
AND... why should we not leave behind a record of what the world looked like in the 21st century?
You can see some of what I've considered allowable in my flickr album here: