Saturday, October 4, 2008

Observation through the lens of a camera

Perhaps if you visit my blog often (and my other blog as well), you might notice I like to take a lot of photos.

I like to observe the world around me. At first, I was a little timid about taking photos of strangers. But after I attended a talk by Alice Wheeler (close friend of Kurt Cobain and EXCELLENT phtotographer), I tossed aside my misgivings and went for it. Now, I think that some of my best photos are those that I take of people in public places - just out there, doing their thing. I like the candid nature of it. When people don't know I'm taking a photo of them, they don't pose and I'm able to catch them in a perfect moment.

Some people would say it isn't fair to take photos of people when they don't give permission - I disagree. We are constantly photographed as we go about our daily lives. Don't get me wrong - I am not in favor of general surveillance for the purpose of keeping tabs on what the population does.

You're being watched everywhere you go - does it bother you?

How can I justify what I do then? I like to think of it as social commentary - just an observation of what I see on any given day. Sometimes I take pictures of people, sometimes just of things I see. This world we live in can be such a crazy place, and it has to be documented!

How can you argue with this?!!!!!

Smoking girl 2

I've got numchuck skills, computer hacking skills...

Too much fun

This is what happens when I just point my camera randomly behind and take a photo...

The last one especially is one of my favorites. I wasn't even looking when I took the photo - I just pointed my camera behind me and clicked. I'm amazed when things like that turn out well.

Anyhow, just a bit of my photography philosophy. I'll stage a photo now and then, but really, the best photos are those taken on the fly. I can't tell you how many photos I delete (lots!), but the ones that turn out are so worth the effort.

Interestingly, the other side of taking photos of people is that I've gained a greater appreciation for the diversity of humanity. I grew up in a very white bread community, with not a lot of variation in population. Now I look at people a little bit differently - I'm still judgmental as all get out, but at the same time I think I've really grown more compassionate towards humanity as a whole.

I know, I'm contradicting myself with every other breath here. I don't care. I just hope you like my photos. I take them for myself, but don't want them to live in a vacuum, either...

Little girl on the prairie

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