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Here’s a fascinating article on an eccentric Czech creeper and voyeur who took beautiful candid photos with deliberately-bad home-made cameras:

Charming eccentric or tolerated local boogyman? The townspeople of Kyjov in Czech Republic could never quite decide. Miroslav Tichý took nearly a hundred photographs a day with his homemade camera, wandering around the streets of his hometown, often spotted at bus stops, the main square, the park and the swimming pool, although he was frequently arrested for lingering around the local pool taking pictures of unsuspecting women.

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The arrests prompted him to start fashioning makeshift telephoto lenses:

When he was banned from the local pool, he made telephoto lenses with cardboard tubes to snap his clandestine photographs from a distance, which is why a wire fence can sometimes be seen in his pictures… He ground lenses out of plastic with toothpaste and ash, putting them together with cardboard toilet paper tubes, dressmaker’s elastic and old camera parts he found.

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I will confess, I am at something of a loss in knowing what to think about these photos. They are unquestionably gorgeous works of art. And yet the process of their production has a substantial creep factor. Should that matter? Is it possible to simultaneously condemn the artistic method and celebrate the resulting art?

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