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"The Man Who Threatened to Break a F***ing Camera" | by Sion Fullana
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"The Man Who Threatened to Break a F***ing Camera"

Imagine this. A group of Instagram New Yorkers meet up for a photowalk. We're walking the streets of the MeatPacking District around 5pm, with a beautiful warm sunset light hitting diagonally from the West against graffitis and posters on the walls. We're taking a few group photos, and everyone keeps walking towards the High Line, our next destination.

 

I stay behind a few minutes, hoping for someone to walk in the light for a good shot. Next to me, Tim Cadman is shooting too, both with his iPhone and a DSLR camera that hangs around his neck. Suddenly, this man in the pic walks by, while talking on his cellphone. Both Tim and I take our shots. My iPhone is silent, but the sound of Tim's camera's shutter startle the man. He turns around and asks "Did you just take my picture?" in certain anger. I lie: "No, we were shooting this graffiti there".

 

As both the man and I start walking away in our opposite directions, Tim says out loud, somehow defiantly: "So what if I did take your photo?" The answer sounds even more menacing than it reads: "Then I'd have to break your fucking camera".

 

At this point, I'm a bit further now and with my street mirror self-portriat fight incident in mind, I stay out of it hoping it doesn't get to worse. Tim asks the man politely why does he react that way, tells him he shoots a lot on the street and never finds such strong reaction and is curious. The guy just says he doesn't want his face to be on camera. And from far away, I stare at the screen of my iPhone and I think to myself with a smile "Well, too late now".

 

And I think the image of him I've captured is so nice and flattering of him that I can't help but wonder if seeing it might change his opinion. But he's gone now... And so is his initial threat. Tim and I rejoin our group... And I decide this will make a good story to incite debate of street photography.

 

Washington Street,

MeatPacking District,

New York

March 2011

 

© Sion Fullana

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Taken on March 7, 2011