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Sunday, May 13, 2007

People Watching

During my vacation in Brussels, I took to taking sneaky portraits of people. One of the wonders of auto focus is being able to inconspicuously point your camera at someone without bringing it to your eye and giving yourself away. I don't know if there's anything unethical about photographing people without their permission, but I'm getting tired of photographing rusty pieces of metal and flowers. Capturing something about the Human Being seems like a good artistic challenge, and honestly, I think surreptitious shots offer better insight into human character than posed portraits.

A Long Way Up

The Imperious Waiter

Lady Maria of the Crepes



At 5/14/2007 01:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So very nice, sneaky photographer. Ethical? You walk out your door, you are a target for observation. I think public presentation connotes possible preservation.

More pictures, please.


At 5/14/2007 10:48:00 AM, Blogger Walaka said...

I remember a book of photos taken in NYC, mostly Harlem, by a guy who would hold his instamatic at his hip and shoot blind. He was a photojournalist and said that it was the only way he could capture the real people - that as soon as he brought a camera up to his face, their masks would come on. He got a lot of great shots of daily life during turbulent times with a low-tech camera and this method.

Go for it!

More pictures, please.

At 5/16/2007 08:02:00 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Check out Henri Cartier-Bresson - he used a technique similar to the one that Walaka describes.

PS Love the shot of the nuns.

At 5/16/2007 08:09:00 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Here'a link to a Wikipedia article on (the legality of) street photography:


At 5/17/2007 12:20:00 PM, Blogger John said...

Jon, fantastic wiki article... thanks for the link. Interesting legal details, and also interesting art movement history.

BTW, the "nuns" were actually Moroccans in typical street wear.


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