The steady presence of headless riders

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Foldable b-fold bike with anonymous rider in Brussels

© Barry Sandland/TIMB – These might not be racing bikes, but, in the city, these foldable hold a decent speed. Found that out today…

I was teasing this rider about his late start in the morning, since he was heading to work. “I work for a show and we finish late, as well.”

Photographer’s notes: It does not always happen, but there are a few images where I can take a photo, but am asked to leave the rider anonymous. The headless riders. In Europoe, privacy is a stronger and more pressing concern than ever before. Many people simply do not want an image taken without their permission, or do not want their image presented at al.

I understand this. These are portraits of people, not some generic street image where a person appears by chance. It is why just about every photo has a written permission accompanying it. Anything else would mean an intrusion into their lives.

Europe has some very detailed laws about privacy, to such an extent there is a Human Rights Office for Privacy in Belgium. It is invaluable.

It does make a small issue for this blog. I cannot take snapshots and post. But then, the blog does a little more than simply take photos of people passing. There is a chat, a conversation, between the subject and my. Personally, I like the contact. And I like knowing the person has given me clear permission.

As for the anonymous images, they are proof that people want to participate, but remain private. And I am grateful for their acceptance of a headless image.


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