A Fargo photographer is speaking out after being cast through an unflattering lens.
Kirk Ludwig said he is fearful after receiving death threats for taking photos outside a Fargo community pool. He was consequently banned from all the city parks as well earlier this week.
Ludwig tells the The Fargo Forum he received death threats, which prompted him to change his physical appearance.
"This is completely destroying my life. And I'm very certain that I'm gonna lose my job," he told the newspaper.
Ludwig was spotted with a camera taking pictures outside Island Park Pool. Another man posted pictures of Ludwig on his Facebook page, saying he confronted Ludwig. The post went viral, leading to a meeting with police and the city ban.
According to Valley News Live, Ludwig went to the police and showed them his photos, having become aware of the “uproar” surrounding his actions.
Ludwig insists he didn't take any pictures of children, and Fargo police say a forensic review of the camera didn't show anything criminal, the Forum reports.
Ludwig told the Forum he practices what he called "candid street photography," in which subjects do not know they are being photographed. He said he was snapping pictures of a diver at the pool, but wanted to avoid being spotted so he could capture a natural image.
Yet the executive director of Fargo Parks District Roger Gress tells the Forum that Ludwig was seen "lurking around ... crouched down, taking pictures through a window," and Gress stands by the ban.
Gress tells the Forum News that had Ludwig informed the city he was taking pictures, the problem would have been avoided.
Valley News reports Ludwig was also cited for marijuana possession Monday.