I’ve witnessed fear of cameras in South Africa, Eastern Europe, the United States, the Middle East…

I’ve witnessed fear of cameras in South Africa, Eastern Europe, the United States, the Middle East, Latin America and South Asia, even though I and many other photographers/writers observe ethical rules of asking permission and trying to establish personal contact. In some cases it appears that people were trying to hide something. I even had a well-known American author tell me that “primitive people think the camera will damage their souls,” which, as I reminded him, is why they’re called “primitive.” I’ve also seen how the presence of cameras can have a powerful restraining effect on overtly racist demonstrators. At a deeper level, cameras lie because photographers select, and are unable to “tell the whole truth.”

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