Click to preview Street View People View photo book

I'm been struck by the parallel debates about privacy on the internet and on the street. Central to both arenas is the image of the individual, the rights of its ownership and distribution.

The rise in popularity of street photography has brought fresh attention to the practice of taking pictures of people without explicit permission. On the web the ongoing debate over privacy is regularly fuelled by the latest Facebook feature or expansion of Google Street View.

There is already technological convergence between the street and the screen. Face recognition to optimise the identification of criminals by cctv is also marketed more benignly to find friends in party photos posted online.

This debate is not new. The tension between individual and state as played out on the street has been reflected in literature, often in a dystopic future. From George Orwell's 1984 to Will Self's Book of Dave a vision of Londoners is portrayed living with the consequences of the gradual relinquishing of our privacy.

My most recent collection of photographs, Between the City and the City, explores an idea of parallel experience, how we each live together alone in the city, our faces more like façades. It now forms the backdrop for a new book, "Street View People View", that develops the relationship of our faces and the ownership of their image.


About the Author

Sean McDonnell
street_sean London
For over twenty years I've practised in London and, occasionally, Paris, Tokyo & New York. I enjoy discussing, showing and writing about my work. My photographs are in the collections of the Royal Photographic Society and the Bibliothèque Nationale and in, 2011, my work was selected for the Museum of London's survey of London street photography. I'm currently busy with the Ambiguous Book Project, a collaboration between photographers from around the world, now published on Blurb! Contact me at

Publish Date  October 26, 2011

Dimensions  Large Format Landscape  22 pgs Standard Paper

Category  Fine Art Photography

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