Are Street Photographers Perverts? No – Sensationalist News, They’re Not

Posted by on Apr 18, 2011 in News & Articles | 15 Comments

Copyright: Marco Fiori 2011

I mentioned this news earlier today with our weekly roundup of street photography links.

Street photography is, for the uninitiated, the art of snapping that fleeting moment within an urban environment. The mundane, the extraordinary, the ‘there-one-second-gone-the-next’ – anything goes. You only have to look at our work or do a quick search on Google Images to see the ability out there. No-one can argue that street photography (which has been around for years) isn’t worthy of praise.

Yet photographers, especially those who aren’t snapping tourist sites, continue to be attacked for their passion. Labelled terrorists, perverts, paedophiles, you only have to photograph something that is considered the ‘wrong’ subject and you can have police and angry people querying what you’re doing.

Perversion of the News

The reality is of course the complete opposite. While some photographers push boundaries with personal space, getting up close is often a sure-fire way of getting a fantastic photograph.

Still, this isn’t what Boston, USA, news channel WBZ-TV thinks. It presented a sensationalist segment on a collection of older photographers around Boston’s Downtown Crossing. Shamelessly biased with a distinct whiff of unfounded fear and panic, it shows just how manufactured the news is, especially across the pond in America.

Titled Downtown Crossing: ‘Street Photographers’ Crossing The Line?, the video has the usual vox pop of a scared man, outrageous presenter and demonised photographers that you’d expect. Jim Armstrong, with the help of a skewered film, blabs on about how the ‘perverts’ on the street are a problem, harassing women and taking photos of their body parts.

Public photography is well within the rights of law, both in the US and UK. The comments on the page are a good indication how many people are actually ‘disturbed’ by the news.

The Truth – The News Can’t Handle The Truth

The reality is much different – take a look at the reaction piece from one of the people criticised in the film. Harmless, no?

It smacks of misconstrued hogwash – the news channel comes out the perpetrator, the spreader of misinformation and the demon in the story.

A smile can go a long way and some people will always disagree with street photography, especially if they’re an unwilling subject. That doesn’t mean the resulting photograph is something that should be criticised, especially as the news channels doesn’t even show the work.

It’s just another lost chance to spread the great work that so many people are doing out there.

Source | PDN News

What do you think of the news? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter.

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