Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I Am Photographed and Spammed

In the years since I've started doing street photography, whenever I've had ethical debates with myself about the propriety of taking candid photos of other people, I've always wondered how I'd feel if someone took a street photo of me.

Now I know!

A few weeks ago, as I was photographing a shopfront in Soho, I saw from the corner of my eye a man taking my photo. I turned and gave him a knowing grin, but didn't say anything and just kept doing my thing.

Yesterday I got to wondering whether his photo of me might be on Flickr. So I began searching Flickr using terms like "photographer, Soho, London, camera."

I didn't find that particular photo. But I did find this.

Yes, that's me, captured by someone else (on film, no less!) almost 2 1/2 years ago. It was on a day I was out taking photos for a photography class -- the day I described here. I was completely unaware that anyone took my picture.

It was surreal, finding that photo on Flickr! I don't mind it -- I like that someone captured me in the act -- which is a good thing because it would be pretty hypocritical for me to raise an objection, wouldn't it?

In other news, for a couple of weeks now, I've been occasionally bothered by a strange burst of music when I'd load my blog page. I'd hear a few bars of this really bad pop song, with an annoying beat and a guy singing, "This is what you want, this is what you get..."

I was mystified about why this happened. I thought I'd contracted some sort of computer virus.

But yesterday I started doing research, and it turns out that others were experiencing an identical phenomenon on their blogs. (And their readers were experiencing it, too -- horrors!) Turns out that Sitemeter, the counter software I installed on my blog years ago to tell me how many visitors I was getting, has apparently started pushing MySpace ads onto the blogs it serves. Perhaps if I hadn't had pop-ups blocked, I'd have seen a video along with that annoying music.

Needless to say, I took Sitemeter off my blog. I don't really use it anymore anyway. A thousand apologies to any readers who were MySpaced. It's certainly not any official endorsement from me -- I've never used MySpace a day in my life!

(Photo: Someone's discarded duck embroidery, in an alley near our flat.)


  1. That's WILD that you found a picture of yourself by another photographer. I have to say that it's a fine photo, though. Would you ever try to contact the photographer? I think that would be interesting.

    I've always hated when music comes on a blog when it's opened, but I've never thought it was spam. I sure hope someone tells me if this happens when they open my blog!

  2. Now that is quite interesting... the getter gets got. And you see, it really does pay to wear clean underwear; you just never know who's waiting to capture you.

  3. Whenever I inadvertently walk through a picture-taking event, I always think of how they will have a picture of me- a complete stranger- and it's strange but it doesn't bother me.

    And now I will be removing site meter from my blog.

  4. Hah! I guess I would be flattered that someone thought me interesting enough to take a photo of!

  5. It does not surprise me that you would be the subject of some one elses phto. Anyone , for that matter. We are all over the place! I wondered about that crazy music thing that came up...I thought I had broken my computer! Glad you sussed it!

  6. That's a great photo of you, actually...and how wild that you found it. Did you contact the photographer, or is that just too weird?

  7. Elizabeth & Lorianne: I didn't contact the photographer directly, but I did leave a comment on the photo, saying it was me and that I appreciated it!

    Nancy: Is my underwear showing?! :)

    Ms. Moon: I wonder about that too. It's weird to think we're in the background of probably hundreds of strangers' pictures.

    Lynne: Exactly! I have to say I don't think it's a very interesting photo, but to each his own.

    Linda Sue: Ugh -- so you got the music too? Sorry about that. (I am apologizing on Sitemeter's behalf.)

    Jiryu: Isn't it, though? Surprisingly!