Obviously everybody is free to take photos of what they like, with a certain respect for their subjects or at least a veiled consent and the liking or the disliking is based on strictly personal criteria.
Nevertheless I do think that our freedom should end where others’ freedom starts and I I’m deeply disturbed by all kind of “stolen photos” of people who are totally unaware of being object of such an unrequested “ attention”, mostly when they are relaxed and indulge on poses which they would not like to see displayed.
Many amateur photographers take what they call “street photography” where the main subjects are other people and passers-by and probably there is nothing wrong with that, if the people captured in pictures are simply part of a urban scenes and directly complementary to that.
I have some doubts, anyhow, about the series of photos of the back of unaware walking girls, with a certain insistence on their bottoms, which are often the main subject.
Pseudo- photographers, armed with powerful telephoto-lenses, poke their intrusive nose in the life of unknown young ladies who are so unlucky to cross casually their paths. But we are constantly controlled and spied, by security cameras, by all kind of means, we are filed, checked and it has become nearly passively accepted as normality.
What I really find horrifying is stealing photos of half-naked bodies on a beach.
I found that series of photos of the Italian amateur photographer one of the worst examples of that bad habit (I call it bad habit because I feel kind and I use a euphemism).
Since he was aware that he might have problems if he had posted a photo of an unaware person in swimming suit, he cropped most of his photos cutting off the face of the poor victims of his little voyeurism.
There result is a very melancholy and gloomy, but also emblematic collection of headless tired body, which looks like pieces of meat on a butcher’s stalls.
Maybe I can give him the benefit of the doubt, maybe he intended to do a “conceptual work” maybe his photos must be seen as a metaphor of physical decay… everything is possible …
It’s like when one converts a totally useless and messy photo to black and white in a retouching program and
then one clicks on a couple of already made filters and …hoopla! How creative, how conceptual (grin, grin).
It’s already melancholy enough spending a day on a crowded beaches and taking a bath looking for a refreshing pause, all together with so many other people close to each other, like pieces of various vegetables floating in a pot of soup; one really doesn’t need to get one’s relative privacy violated by the eye without respect of a stranger who rummages digitally in the fold of their imperfect skin, into the slipping bra of their bikini, in the flabby vestiges of a lost youth…
I surprised myself imagining how liberating would be if the unaware victims of the photographers suddenly realized that, all at once, and rushed to him and caught him and exposed him naked for a whole day in front of the beach restaurant.
The matrons and the children would receive big feathers and jars of honey and they would be free to use those tools the way they fancy, when they contemplate the guilty prisoner a little closer.