(Or, “In Which TChen Offers Excerpts/Thoughts From a Previous Paper In Lieu of the Rubbish Spawned by Late-night Attempts to Write.”)
Street photography is, I believe, integral as both a form of art and as a mode of documentary. It is not set up, premeditated, or manipulated in any fashion; what one sees at any particular moment is what is recorded. Simple, yes?
Unlike many types of photography, street photography is surprisingly personal in a way that other styles are not. Street photography is intended to be documentary, and is precisely what its name suggests: The subjects are captured in public, going about their everyday lives or whatever they happened to be doing at the moment someone hit the shutter button. It is candid in a way that makes an increasingly great number of people uncomfortable. When one takes into consideration more of the restraints on photography in public spaces is social rather than legal, it becomes evident that laws protecting security are not the sole or perhaps even greatest threat to street photography.
Unfortunately, it has become increasingly fraught with concerns from the general public, over reasons from personal privacy to matters of security. These are valid concerns, of course, public spaces, it seems, have grown to be less accepting environments for photography.
When everything is factored in, the greatest restrictions on public photography do not come from [laws and national security concerns], but from oppression through public perception. There is no use in an activity being legal, if societal pressures suggest otherwise. Were street photography to be viewed in a favorable light, public misconceptions must go.
It was an opinionated piece. I feel it comes off a tad strong now, as the atmosphere and the context in which I was addressing the issue have quietened down somewhat. But who am I to judge?
Hopefully, I shall have returned to full brain functionality and writing capacity by next week. Until then, this (relevant link) is fantastic.