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Tech by VICE

I Used Unsecured Webcams to Take Photos of the Insides of People's Homes and Offices

We like to look at candid pictures of celebrities or people doing weird stuff, but when it's a normal guy eating breakfast, or a woman walking her dogs, there's a nagging thought that says, Maybe I shouldn't be witnessing this.

by Zachary Pointon
Mar 14 2014, 11:00am

I started out taking photographs of people on the street to see if I could capture interesting moments, and that somehow grew into my testing how far I could pry into others' lives. I found that not letting my subjects see me gave a more powerful effect to the final image and raised more—or at least different—questions. The more removed I am as a photographer, the weirder, more voyeuristic, more sinister the images become.

I began looking at unsecured security cam streams that are used by skiing centers, car parks, or highway officials. Every now and then, somebody's home would pop up. Then a hospital bed. And with uncomfortably regular frequency, children's cribs. I felt strange but weirdly empowered playing Rear Window, and that was a feeling I wanted to transfer to others.

We all like to look at pictures of other people doing various things, whether it be the antics of drunk people or naked celebrities. When it's a normal guy eating breakfast, or a woman taking her dogs out for a walk, however, there's a nagging thought that says, Maybe I shouldn't be witnessing this. I think that's what makes these images interesting. In a strange way, I see this as street photography's morally questionable Little Brother.

See more of Zachary Pointon's work here.