Poll

Should photographers obscure the registration plates of cars spotted on the street in their photographs before uploading these on the internet?

Yes - for all vehicles
Yes - but only for main subject of the photograph
Yes - but only cars regularly spotted or at locations (cafes etc) where groups of exotics are regularly seen
Yes - but only if owners specifically request it
No - there's no point because everyone knows the cars anyway
No - it's a free country and I can take any photo I like
No - who cares: what's on TV tonight?
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Offline 98octane

On a well-known Melbourne cafe strip today, I was approached by several owners of exotics I've previously photographed.  They requested that for all future photographs, I digitally blank the number plates before posting the photos.  They said there are "a lot of people who are furious" about photos of their cars being uploaded on this site.

I will happily concede their request and blank all number plates of cars at that particular location and the plates of any cars I've seen there previously which I sight elsewhere.

So what do you think?



Offline 98octane

As you may be aware, I started obscuring exotic number plates in my photos for a while around August-Sept.  The blanking of number plates was criticised by many: http://ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=67047&page=650 (and following pages).  There are a few pages of my gallery with blank plates:
http://aussieexotics.com/drivers/thumbnails-69-page-33.html

For the record, I started blanking the plates in effort to remove any perceived privacy concerns.  Afterall, I really enjoy photographing beautiful cars and I like to share these photographs.  I don't want to put anyone offside with this activity.  However, this took considerable time.  I decided not to blank number plates anymore for the following reasons:

1.   We live in a democratic and free country.  People can take whatever photos they like of whatever subject if it is in public view.  No person has any right to inhibit this liberty.

2.   I only publish photos of cars located in public places.  Anyone can see the cars and take photos if they please.

3.   Blanking number plates is futile because exotic cars naturally attract much attention.

   a)   We live in a digital world.  Many people take photos of exotics around town, so it's inevitable that    many photos will end up online.  Moreover, many passers-by will tell their friends about the cars they saw including the location and number plates.  This information may also end up online via many means.

   b)   Many cars I photograph are rare or distinctive (i.e. orange Murcielago, yellow Superleggera etc).  Therefore, many people on this forum or otherwise interested in exotic cars will know the cars in question, including their owners and histories.

   c)   The point of blanking plates is to preserve anonymity, but a person driving an exotic car will unlikely ever go unnoticed:
  • They are beautiful, loud, exclusive, expensive and often vibrantly colourful.  Therefore, exotic cars inherently draw attention.
  • Parking or driving exotic cars in busy retail or entertainment districts significantly increases the number of people who will notice you and your car.
  • Personalised number plates, especially where one owner has multiple cars with similar plates, will increase the chance of a car being remembered by passers-by.  This is supported by anecdotal experience.
  • Parking numerous exotic cars together will also magnify the degree of attention (and later recollection by Joe Public) of you and your car.

4.   Before today, nobody has ever requested that I refrain from photographing their car or that I blank their number plates.  I always photograph cars in full sight (no clandestine photography), so there has always been opportunity for any concerned owners to discuss this with me.  On very few occasions owners have approached me, but once I explain I'm an avid automotive photographer, they are invariably very friendly and willing to talk about their cars.

5.   Although there is nothing compelling me to do so, in the interests of maintaining privacy, to the extent reasonably possible, I avoid including any people in my photos, especially car owners and people in cafes/restaurants.

There are many more reasons too which will no doubt be canvassed by others below.



Offline app


  • Joined: Sep 2008

  • Location: Adelaide
VERY good topic!! I think if a car has a nice plate on it, blanking it does ruin the mood a bit!! I don't understand why people object to it because you can see the on the streets as they drive around in public. I think it is only reasonable to blank out plates if the car is involved in something illegal such as a burnout but if it's just driving past I don't see the harm!! I mean Hollywood celebrities have it bad - their privacy is being invaded at a ridiculous level but when it comes to exotics you can't see people inside them since a lot of them have tinted windows and also some of them are just parked on the streets so I don't really see what privacy is being invaded.

When I first started coming to this website, I thought why are the number plates blank? There's nothing wrong with appreciating nice cars so what is it that the owners don't like? They aren't doing anything wrong having a nice car. Also if they are private people, why do they get number plates that are catchy in the first place?



Offline fivesix


  • Joined: Jun 2007

  • Location: TMBA / BNE / MEL
On a well-known Melbourne cafe strip today, I was approached by several owners of exotics I've previously photographed.  They requested that for all future photographs, I digitally blank the number plates before posting the photos.  They said there are "a lot of people who are furious" about photos of their cars being uploaded on this site.

I will happily concede their request and blank all number plates of cars at that particular location and the plates of any cars I've seen there previously which I sight elsewhere.

So what do you think?

Were they polite or rude about it all?

did they say not too because you will never own one? didnt own a 599 did they? :P



Offline Aircon

  • Master Baiter 300kph+ club
  • Who said it couldn't be done?

  • Joined: Mar 2007

  • Drives: Pork
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
  • Name: Peter
i want to know who it was.

he said there are lots of angry people...i say bullshit. i've never heard of ANYONE complaining about it until now.

so...who was it?

I love my car. Buy your own



Offline Kelsa

  • Token Asian Guy
  • Crazy Chinaman @ Work

  • Joined: Oct 2007

  • Location:
  • Drives:
A lot of people??

i wonder was it the "What's it to you?" D/H.

Lots of ppl my ass!



Offline Kelsa

  • Token Asian Guy
  • Crazy Chinaman @ Work

  • Joined: Oct 2007

  • Location:
  • Drives:
on another note, none of your photos are aimed to be offensive or there to make profits, its purely for the enjoyment of few car lovers.

Number plates are on cars for identification purposes only, if one day we introduce digital reading (without needing a plate) i'll happily have that on my car. Regardless if the owners like it or not, it is there for people to view FFS!! If you don't like it and so keen to be "low key", don't put a number plate there none the less have a custom or heritage plate!

Of course, if the owners specifically ask, its fine with taking photos, but i'd like if my number plates aren't showing, fair enough, 98Octane is a nice enough guy to comply to owner's request. but to simply say well, such such is pissed off. well who cares?!



Offline Aircon

  • Master Baiter 300kph+ club
  • Who said it couldn't be done?

  • Joined: Mar 2007

  • Drives: Pork
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
  • Name: Peter
on another note, none of your photos are aimed to be offensive or there to make profits, its purely for the enjoyment of few car lovers.

Number plates are on cars for identification purposes only, if one day we introduce digital reading (without needing a plate) i'll happily have that on my car. Regardless if the owners like it or not, it is there for people to view FFS!! If you don't like it and so keen to be "low key", don't put a number plate there none the less have a custom or heritage plate!

Of course, if the owners specifically ask, its fine with taking photos, but i'd like if my number plates aren't showing, fair enough, 98Octane is a nice enough guy to comply to owner's request. but to simply say well, such such is pissed off. well who cares?!

welcome back (to china)....we had coffee without you today.

I love my car. Buy your own



Offline S4Simon

  • The Rubber King of Adelaide

  • Joined: Jul 2006

  • Drives: Something a metre high
  • Location: Not the Badlands
If they don't want the plates showing then ask them to remove the plates themselves.

I've been rich & I've been poor...

Rich is better



Offline mhh

  • Chief Test Pilot

  • Joined: Feb 2006

  • Location: Adelaide
I can understand that someone using their car at the track may not want their plate shown.  Otherwise, the plate adds something.  Pics without plates (including track pics) look awful - all the car's "personality" is gone.

Edit:  Even if you blank the plates, people will still talk about what they see on the road.  I feel violated! :D

http://www.caradvice.com.au/7412/2007-lamborghini-murcielago-lp640-review/#comment-96813



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