The story is here. It is the latest in a series of news articles that have centred around one man, so I will recap. There is a village in England called Bibury, and it is in Gloucestershire. There is one particularly beautiful row of houses called Arlington Row, and for better or worse it is one of the most photographed sets of dwellings in the UK, being real picture postcard stuff. One of the houses is home to an 84 year old man - Mr Peter Maddox - who has a small car for getting around, and who parks his car outside his house. It's a bright yellow Vauxhall Corsa.
For some time now, various visitors to Bibury have bemoaned this fact, feeling that Mr Maddox's car somewhat spoils an otherwise delightful view and, particularly, perfect photographic shot. Thus far, I cannot disagree; the car definitely looks anachronistic, and a photo with it in will need work before it is released for public viewing. What astounds and saddens me, however, is that visiting photographers and/or visitors (hard to tell which, so I won't assume) have made their feelings known to Mr Maddox, and this has culminated in his car being vandalised, with "MOVE" scratched into the paintwork on the car's bonnet and several car windows being smashed.
Mr Maddox is a resident. Bibury is his home. I cannot see how anyone could chastise someone for owning a car and parking it legally outside their house just because they don't like the person's choice of colour. And this even ignoring the fact that a bright yellow car is easier to see on the road, and therefore slightly safer.
Whether the perpetrators are true photographers or snappers, the fact is plain that the row is about the spoiling of photographic opportunities. I know plenty of photographers who will wait for hours for a fleeting opportunity to capture a rare bird or the brief blooming of an unusual flower. And yet photographers visiting Bibury are not prepared to show the same patience and wait until Mr Maddox pops out in order to capture the shot they want.
On the flip side, I have known photographers who will trample all sorts of endangered flowers on protected heathland just to get into the right place for the shot they want. They don't care if they do irreparable damage as long as they get their intended capture first. This is just the kind of person I link in my mind with the abuse of Mr Maddox.
So I leave you with a plea. Whatever photography is your bag, wherever you go, whatever you choose to capture, please please please don't be a selfish photographer and leave the place as you would wish to find it, including happy residents both human and otherwise.