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Michael Wolf On His Fascination With “Peeping”


When photographer Michael Wolf had to move to Paris in 2008 because of a job opportunity for his wife, he wasn’t too thrilled with the situation. He thought that living in one of the most photographed cities of all time, surrounded by the inevitable cliches of such a place, wasn’t conducive to creative, unique photography. So he sat down at his computer and began browsing through the then only 6-month old Google Street View, which ultimately led to a unique photographical project that fit right in with his long-time fascination with “peeping” into people’s lives through photography.

In this video, Wolf begins by discussing his Paris Street View project. He talks about what it takes to draw a moment out of a 360-degree street view photograph, how much of a role cropping plays in composing that image, and how his favorite images suggest a story. In some ways this is street photography without actually going out into the street, and as long as you have a keen eye for interesting or beautiful moments then Wolf has discovered that you can find them all over the street (views) of Paris.

He goes on later in the video to talk about another, earlier peeping project called Transparent City, a project for which he photographed both the Chicago architecture and the interior of those buildings from afar, sometimes very voyeuristically. Ultimately, peeping is there to satisfy what Wolf describes as his “very nosy” personality. It’s up to you to decide whether it falls under the umbrella of art, voyeurism, or both.

(via A Photo Editor)