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Artist Finds the Exact Moments Photos Were Shot Using Public Webcams


Publicly accessible live webcams can be found all over the world these days, especially at famous tourist locations. Photographer and artist Carlos Pacheco realized that this means anyone can find the exact moment any photo was shot there given a time stamp. That’s the premise behind his new project, titled Found.

“Found is a project that evolved from a question; is it possible to find the exact moment a photograph shared on social media was made via live web cams positioned at highly trafficked, culturally significant places,” Pacheco writes.

The zebra crosswalk made famous by the Beatles’ album Abbey Road is one tourist spot that has a webcam pointed at it 24-hours a day. Pacheco found photos shot at the crosswalk and then used the EXIF data in the photos to find the time it was shot. He then went through the webcam’s archives to find those exact moments.

Here’s a video Pacheco made showing found photos and footage of their creation — the subjects were unaware that their picture-making was documented:

Here’s a set of side-by-side images showing the same thing. The found photos are on the left, and the webcam still frames at the moment of capture are on the right:

“A virtual link is created between myself and the participants, all of whom are complete strangers, in a questioning of privacy and access to information,” Pacheco writes.

Found is an ongoing project, and Pacheco is working on exploring this same concept further using live streaming web cams around the world.