January 30th, 2007

D20 3551 PaparazziWhere do paparazzi fit in to the discussion of photographer’s rights and access? Are they news photographers? I’m not so sure I have the answer to that question. But I can tell you that I have absolutely no interest in their subject matter or the photos they produce. I’m frankly appalled by all the attention our society pays to the private lives of a few celebrities, some of whom are famous only for being famous. Just a diversion from the issues that deserve our attention. Bread and circuses. So we get the celebrity circus, courtesy of a group of photographers.

There is no doubt that the celebrities need the paparazzi as much as the paparazzi need the celebrities. It’s a fairly transparent little dance for attention that we see going on all the time. A lot of theater, but sometimes some real damage, even death. And for what? Some more publicity to boost a movie or TV show. A big payday for that embarrassing photo when a celebrity looks pretty much like the rest of us? All, once again, a diversion from anything that matters.

Are any of you watching “Dirt”? I’m a fan of Courtney Cox, so I started watching it from the beginning. (And, when I say fan what that means to me is that I think she is a fairly talented actress in addition to being a beautiful woman…I have no interest in her private life, just her professional career and work as an actress.) I’m enjoying the show. Check it out, if for no other reason than to watch the schizophrenic photographer who is a central character.

You have to wonder if this serious nut job paparazzi character was created as a form of revenge on the paparazzi who have imposed on Courtney Cox and her family and friends over the years. But then, photographers are usually portrayed as pretty weird individuals on TV. Anyone remember Animal on Lou Grant?

But photographers tend to be a little bit different, don’t we? I’ve often noticed at photo conferences that there tend to be significantly more beards in attendance than would be the case with a random sample of the general population. It’s also very common to find a motorcycle parked in a photographer’s garage. I suppose it has something to do with “right brain thinking” and not a little with the nature of the work we do. We have to be there when it happens. You can write at a computer terminal back at the office. But you can’t get photos that way. Being out there in the world seeing what is happening…and doing it on your own…that’s what originally drew me to become a photographer. That and the naked women.

Here’s a softer vision of the beautiful naked Nola, courtesy of my old single-element soft-focus lens.

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About this Blog

Photos and comments by Dave Levingston. This is the place to see my most recent work which may include nudes, dance, landscape, nature and whatever other kinds of photos I feel like taking.

Since it does contain nude photos, this blog is not intended for viewing by anyone under the age of 18.

All photographs and written comments on this blog are protected by the copyright laws of the United States.

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