View Full Version : flickr stream

22nd July 2008, 10:02 PM
I finally set up a flickr stream to show my current interest photos about cctv. I'm hoping to add more photos each week whilst I'm working on the series.

If there are any flickr (ites/ettes?) about, you can see the photos at:


http://fourthirds-user.com/galleries/data/500/caged_cctv.jpg (http://fourthirds-user.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/6468)

22nd July 2008, 10:34 PM
Hi David,

In my view you are doing some important work by highlighting the extent of covert CCTV coverage to which we are all subjected in our daily lives. I don't believe it is necessarily wrong - in many cases it does improve security and safety - but I think we need to be concerned about who operates them (local authority/government agency or private company) and how the images are used. It would be all too easy for this valuable tool for preventing crime to be misused for much more sinister purposes in the "Big Brother" political mould and therefore requires full public awareness and the utmost level of transparency and accountability. It's ironic that this type of blanket and indiscriminate surveillance should be mushrooming at the same time that individual photographers are increasingly having their rights to take pictures in public challenged and abused.

A good title for your series, if you don't yet have one, might be "Watching You Watching Me."

Keep up the good work! :)

Nick Temple-Fry
23rd July 2008, 12:45 AM
Look forward to the series.

Love the image of the CCTV in the eye of the hoarding, great composition and capture.


23rd July 2008, 09:14 AM
Thanks for your kind comments. I (hope) to update the stream every weekend I've always shied clear of flickr in the past, but I think this series suits it somehow.

I agree that CCTV, surveillance is an important issue at the moment. It is interesting as Zuiko points out, to contrast this with the public's paranoia about photographers taking pictures in public and their seeming acceptance of being observed and filmed.

Earlier this month I gave a talk about this series at 'RedEye' the North West Photography Network. There was an interesting discussion about the subject and harrassment of journalists by police/security guards.

Although the '1984' tag is a good shorthand for what's going on I think there are a few important differences. First, the public generally welcome it as a safety measure (although the evidence suggests it's not that effective). Second most of these cameras are being operated by private companies and not the state. They are also increasingly being used not for security but to observe things like shopping habits. Not shopping or consuming in a modern city is seen as 'suspicious' behaviour.

I'm also looking to show more 'benign' uses of the technology hopefully doing some work with the Highways Agency and transport companies in the near future.

One interesting point made by the writer John Pevolaris in the discussion at RedEye was that rather than the security/pedophile paranoia about photography in public, was the fact that people, fed by non-entity/celebrity culture see their image as having commercial value and so worth protecting. This is something I want to look into more deeply.

Anyway, thanks once again for the kind comments and I hope people find the photostream worth looking at.

23rd July 2008, 09:33 AM
They are also increasingly being used not for security but to observe things like shopping habits. Not shopping or consuming in a modern city is seen as 'suspicious' behaviour.

That is an example of my concern over possible missue, individuals being targeted or monitored not because they are doing something wrong or acting suspiciously in the criminal sense, but purely because they don't conform to what someone else (Big Brother?) considers to be "normal." First step towards "Thought Control"?