So legally, in the UK anyway, it is proclaimed that privacy can’t be expected in a public place. In theory this gives street photographers free reign? Critics would argue against this and express there’s a moral issue to be addressed. To counter this I could state that the UK leads the way in the wide spread and growing practice of public surveillance. A cursory look online would verify this and yield a figure approximating how many times a day we are captured on CCTV, this naturally leads to the question ‘why does it matter then if I record our encounter?’
We are, in the most part, apparently surveyed for reasons of security. It is only when a criminal offence occurs that they are disseminated publicly. We would like to think that these images are controlled and regulated, a contentious issue, but ‘official’ documentation of our day-to-day activities seems to have been accepted as a necessary evil. This scenario is far removed from the independent photographer with the ability to efficiently gather and showcase the work to an international audience.
I don’t hide behind this CCTV defence, I’m surveyed so therefore I can survey, primarily as it’s not a valid justification as to why I take the photographs that I do. As this blog develops I hope to comprehend further why I vehemently stand by their production.
My images that are not meant to offend, judge or criticise any individual. I do not adopt a cavalier attitude with the implication that just because I can photograph you then I will. As this publication expands I hope to explain post by post my individual take on this subject. I hope that continual research, evaluation and questioning will lead to a better understanding of why I value this area of photography and where it stands within the medium’s history and place within society.
Any assistance in creating this debate and sharing thoughts greatly appreciated…