Street Photography
or Predatory Peeping?

January 21, 2013 | Eugene Reznik

A Northern Irish court has equated one man’s particular brand of surreptitious photography with an “act of a lewd, obscene and disgusting nature… outraging public decency.”

William Moore pled guilty to eight charges of photographing “parts of women’s bodies” in public without them realizing it. Forgoing a smartphone — the peeper’s contemporary weapon of choice — Moore instead kept a camera in a box with holes cut out and often struck up conversations with his “victims.”

This is of course perfectly legal in the US, where Paul Strand nearly a century ago made some of the most seminal images in the history of street photography using the exact same method. Photos like this one at the MET. Limited to a large view camera, he’d hide it in his coat, in a box, or in certain cases, soldered a false lens to the side of it so his victims too would have no idea he was stealing their souls.

In the future, European clandestine street photogs, just apply to drive the Google Street View van.

(Image: Miroslav Tichý. Totally not related. OR IS IT?)