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Letter: Caught on camera

This morning, I was surprised when my neighbor told me I was on the front page of today’s Recorder (Aug. 14). The image was a street shot of yesterday’s torrential-rain day with me as main accessory to the weather. I was pre-occupied with avoiding puddles, and did not know a newspaper photographer was shooting. Given warning I might have dressed for the occasion and the front page rather than the weather.

For the remainder of the day, friends, neighbors and strangers let me know they saw me on the front page. This brings up the question of whether I actually wanted this attention. Not being a model, actor or performer and having nothing to promote: no. I also am not trying to sell newspapers and, unlike a leading man, model or performer, I am less than good-looking and even less so in photographs (although might be able to look better given a warning — even the DMV allows you to do a quick do-over if you don’t like your license photograph).

Common courtesy would suggest a heads up. While doing errands the next day, I did not enjoy being interviewed by every person in Food City, the post office and the bank.

This is also more an issue of pedestrian culture versus car culture. I mostly walk and take the bus. The majority of the population are in cars and not available to be taken advantage of by a for-profit business (i.e. The Recorder) unless, for example you stake out the parking lot of Stop & Shop and get them between exiting or entering their cars and the store.

Finally, as an example of what I, as a layman would consider “respectful” photography, in Greenfield currently at the used LP store John Doe Junior are about a dozen photographs by an uncredited photographer; mostly of people, but those subjects (interesting, off-beat and even misfits) have an obvious positive interaction with the photographer. I would almost recommend anyone for everyone who can, to see this “exhibition” — almost opposite our modern day’s reality television, surveillance cameras and general exploitation and snarky-ness. The uncredited and unobtrusive installation at our local used record store is just the antidote we all could use, uplifting and wonderful.

PETER ALAN MONROE

Turners Falls

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