The law courts killed street photography; they shot it down in the streets. In Canada you can take pictures in a public place, however you could be open to a lawsuit if these photos are publicly displayed. It is not so much what you take pictures of; it’s what you do with them, and who you can identify. Classic candid street photography can get the photographer in legal trouble. One way to get around way this is to stage the photographs; there is really nothing new in doing this. Some of our most loved “candid” photos from the past were staged, for example Weegee’s 1943 photo “The Critic” was staged, this does not detract from its social commentary. Contemporary photographer such as Jeff Wall carry on this tradition of staging photographs, for example his 1982 photo “Mimic” is a scene he had observed then recreated using actors. In some ways these photos represent hyperrealism, more real than what one could have gotten shooting from the hip on the street. The inspiration, the impetus comes from observation, the photo is then executed in a deliberate fashion, the aesthetic and the narrative coming together.
written by akula on 2014-06-17