Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/09/21

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Re: clandestine photographs of other people
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 1999 09:16:39 EDT

In a message dated 9/20/99 9:53:04 PM, writes:

<<I hadn't wanted to get into this, but these two posts brought a flood of
images to mind. I have on my wall a print that my friend and Leica M
photographer Melchior DiGiacomo took in 1980 in Jersey City, NJ. There are
several little scenes going on inside this image of kids, families,
friends, lovers cooling off in the spray of a fire hydrant. None of the
people knew Mel was making the image, but each was probably too caught up
in their own little movies to care. It has been published, printed as a
postcard, hung in galleries, and I hope seen by many. I've not asked Mel
but I doubt he knew any of the people or asked them to sign releases. The
cars are dated but the people are universal. We have all seen images made
in similar ways, to similar effect. It is street photograpy. It is
documenting and interpreting the human condition. It is fine art. >>

It is also probably a misappropriation of those people's likeness if any of 
those postcards were sold for a profit. It's a real problem when images that 
start out as news/educational end up as commercial. Better to stay "pure" . . 

Bob McEowen