An Agoraphobic Traveller Shoots Images Using the Web

Agoraphobia is the extreme or irrational fear of crowded spaces or enclosed public places. I didn't know there was such a fear, or what it was until this video shed some light on it. Jacqui Kenny speaks about how she can't really function in busy places, almost like her imagination will get the better of her. I never thought having super creative imagination could be a burden, now I know it can be. Because of this impediment she explores the world from her living room. She uses Google Street view and screenshots to capture certain scenes during her travels online. I know there might be some photographers who would say you had to be there to capture the shot, and I will argue that no, in my opinion, you have to capture images that move people, and you need to do it in any way you can. The best camera you have is the one you have with you, while walking the streets of India or while sitting in your safe zone at home. She finds places with space around cities where it's not too cramped and it gives her a chance to breathe. 

Jacqui has built a following on Instagram, she's speaking her truth, and composing her shots using her skills, eye and talent. You can check out her photos and follow her here. Just so you know, Google has redone their Google Earth website too, so when surfing it through the web, you'll notice some improvements. 

I think it's great that someone can use photography in any form to overcome their fears and problems, and by doing so, making other people who suffer the same thing, overcome theirs too. 

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Mike Stern's picture


Wouter du Toit's picture

She's making the best out of her situation. Those of us who can get out are fortunate to be able to step outside and "experience" the shots we take.

John Spraglanetti's picture

Finds image on internet, pans ("composes her shot"), crops ("captures image"), and posts to Instagram without respecting content owner terms of use or providing proper attribution.

Seems like every week Fstoppers has an article by an aggrieved independent photographer complaining about this exact behavior.

Wouter du Toit's picture

I would call this fair use. I never gave Google permission to film the front of my house but you can find it on streetview. We make Google what it is. I don't think she stole from anyone here.

aaronbratkovics's picture

If they use public road ways to film your house isn't that okay? This is... "Finds image on internet..etc" =/

Simon Patterson's picture

If someone takes a photo of your house from the street, then the copyright is solely theirs. Even if that someone is Google.

John Spraglanetti's picture

Wouter, even if that were true in your home of South Africa, it is certainly not true in Google's home in the U.S., or Jacqui's home in the U.K.

If the image was taken lawfully (from the street) then copyright lies with the creator (Google) regardless of the subject (your house).

Further, "we make Google what it is" sounds like an entitled rationalization for appropriating anything Google delivers.

Tell me, do I also enjoy this benefit? If Google returns your images in a keyword search, then am I free to crop and post them as I wish?

Wouter du Toit's picture

You are correct in that anything from the street can legally be photographed. I think the same laws apply in SA too. She's built a following on Instagram from using Google maps to take screen shots from, post produce and then share it. The way I look at it is that she browses to amazing places in the world and composes well. I follow her and enjoy her images. If she is stopped, it will end. For now it helps her get control of herself, which I think is the best thing to come out of it.

Brian Dowling's picture

So with your logic, every photo of the Manhattan skyline is fair use unless the photographer gets permission from all building owners?

Wouter du Toit's picture

You're right, looking at it now my logic doesn't work. I shared the video to show how photography, even if you can't physically go to the location to shoot it, can have a positive impact on the person sharing these images as well as on others suffering from the same fears. I didn't consider the legalities involved, and I suppose nor did Adobe when they shared it to their Youtube channel, which is where I watched it. It was supposed to be inspiring with the aim to evoke a touch of compassion for people who aren't able to grab the camera bag and head out for the day.

aaronbratkovics's picture

I kinda get what you're saying John. He makes a good point. Jacqui probably has Netflix.