I was going over my Artreview contacts and ralised that you live in Hove! I lived there for over 3 years, I miss it so much. Then I remembered, this very famous guy, Nicolas Sinclair, he used to be my neighbourgh... Have you ever seen his work (photographer)? It is worth checking.
Brighton & Hove is very artistic place, I love it!
Hi Umlaut, and sorry for the late response - I read your review, thanks for sharing. Sadly, I will not be able to see the exhibition itself (I checked out the web site, though).
I find your review very interesting, I enjoyed reading it. One particular thing intrigued me: "...On the other hand, the intrusion into the personal misery (or even just mundanity) of those whom are otherwise nameless, penniless and occasionally also oblivious to their role as subject, raises some weighty ethical concerns" (second paragraph). I spoke about this aspect with many artists, and have ambivalent attitude: on one side, photography makes these people visible - but then, many photographers feel like being intruders/weird parasites/thirsty voyeurs... in other people's lives. It is a double-edged sword indeed...
I think what you are describing as an invasion of privacy (reading over one's shoulder) sounds like harassment or at least annoyance. The key seems to be that the person invaded upon knows it and disapproves. When I take pictures in public, I do it openly (my camera is on a tripod and I am usually standing in a pretty conspicuous spot--however, I usually pretend I'm doing something else while I snap the shutter) and people are free to object. But as I said before, it sometimes makes me feel icky. I'm basically quite shy and I hope no one ever confronts me. I would guess Evans was a little shy also. Just today, I was standing in line to buy an ice cream cone from a truck in a neighborhood park. There, right in front of me, was a man who appears on one of my pictures. It was a little creepy.
Although I'd love to shoot my mouth off about street photography, I'm no expert. Here's a book (see below) that would tell you quite a bit, and no doubt there are some web sites (which I couldn't find for you in a very quick google).
Thanks for inviting my comment. I was just thinking about all this anyway. My real answer to the privacy issue is personal and selfish. I get an idea for a picture and I need to do it. That's about it for rationale for me!
Bystander: A History Of Street Photography (Hardcover)
by Joel Meyerowitz (Author), Colin Westerbeck
I read your blog on photos and consent. I guess since I'm a photographer, I'm a bit of a fundamentalist on the subject of freedom of expression. I think you give up your privacy when you go out on the street, at which point a person's freedom to take pictures in public takes precedence. Obviously, it doesn't give a photographer license to harass or stalk, as in van der Elsken's case, which should not be confused with issues of privacy and consent.
In general, I liked your post, but perhaps you give the impression that Evans's case was a special one. But many well known photographers have been taking pictures in public without consent at a furious pace since Many Are Called, from P.L. di Corsia to Martin Paar. With that said, off and on over the years, I have photographed people in public without consent myself. I always feel uncomfortable somehow. And sometimes I wonder what is the moral difference between public surveillance and art photography, without coming up with any convincing rationale. It comes back to what I said in the beginning, I guess. You give up your right to privacy when you step out on the street.