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Photographer Hacks Security Cameras to Capture Beautiful Landscapes

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Marcus DeSieno’s Surveillance Landscapes are unlike any other landscape photography series you’ve probably ever seen. While most landscape shooters trek into the wilds, camera and tripod at the ready, DeSieno captured all of these images from the comfort of his own home… by hacking into security cameras.

Surveillance Landscapes was inspired, DeSieno says, by “the pervasive nature of our surveillance culture.” In an interview with DIY Photography, he says imagery like this is part of “an essential conversation in our post-Snowden world.”

“I am interested in widening the discussion past the notion of privacy,” he said. “How has this technology shaped us? In what ways has it shaped how we perceive the spaces around us? How has it confined us or conformed us? How has it altered our understanding of human geography?”

But while he could have hacked into the tens of thousands of unsecured nanny cams out there, intruding on people’s most personal and private moments, he decided to take a different approach. He hacked into cameras pointed at landscapes devoid of humanity instead.

“The melancholic images that I’m assembling speak to how this technology shapes our understanding of place,” he told DIYP. “[It] evokes conversations around power, ownership, and perhaps an intended dominance over the environment.”

Even if you ignore the message, however, the images seem almost otherworldly—like artsy pinhole photographs or hastily processed wet plate snapshots with all of their idiosyncrasies and character. They are, in other words, beautiful despite their strange origin… or perhaps because of it:

To see all of the photos in DeSieno’s Surveillance Landscapes series, click here. And if you’re interested in more of his fine art photography, be sure to pay his website a visit.


Image credits: All photos by Marcus DeSieno and used with permission.

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