Candid Strangers 100/100

If you have read this blog you’ll know that I have a photo project that I started off doing to get me thinking a bit quicker about light, exposure and forcing my hand a little with my camera settings. You’ll also know that I did not want to carry this project over into 2015.

I am pleased to say that I have now completed my 100 candid strangers project on Flickr.

I have chosen a woman in a Burka, Burkha, Burqa, (sorry but I’m not sure of the correct spelling and the dictionary I checked with has all three spellings). The reason for using this image is not to be controversial. I have no intention of making any political statement but….. But is the ‘However’ and the point you know someone is going to say something that is most likely to be the contradiction of what they have just said.

That really is not my intention. The reason for this image is two fold:

1) The project is about capturing portraits of strangers. The woman is a stranger and always will be. We do not move in the same circles and we are unlikely to.

Even if she was my neighbour I doubt I would recognise her again.

We are all affected by politics and the lady and I may have many of our personal political opinions in common but I will never know. Something else we have in common….. We breath, sleep, eat & excrete (that is the polite version).

2) This is just from personal experience that I have found on the few occasions were I have tried to photograph anyone of a middle eastern appearance, be that male or female, it is a nightmare.

Other people will stand in my way, the subjects tend to spot me quickly and either cover their face or look away. The rare moments when I was not noticed by the subject, other bystanders would draw their attention to me by shouting and pointing.

I’m not totally sure what to make of it.

It could be down to recent wars and the current paranoia of anti terror laws and actions. If it is then maybe I should have been taking pictures of the people that were so keen to make the subjects I was photographing aware of my presence?

If I’m not photographing them or people they are with why would they object so much to me taking photos. That modern saying about CCTV and carrying ID cards “if you’re doing nothing wrong you’ve nothing to worry about” crept into my head a few times even though I do think we have far too much CCTV. I’d rather have police on the streets preventing crime than CCTV that in many cases is not really that useful. It was a short lived but recurring thought.

What does strike me as odd is that I have not had this from other people, whatever their nationality, colour, religion……. It makes no odds to me who I photograph. I’m photographing the people around me. The people that look interesting or are in a nice light. If you look through the 100 images this will be pretty clear that there is no hidden agenda.

So reason two is that this particular image although could be better has made me look a bit deeper at street photography in general.

Walk along Edgware Road between the A40 flyover and Marble Arch and I stand out like a sore thumb. White, middle aged and sometimes picked out as ex-forces or a police officer. I didn’t blend into the environment and that may be the reason for the issues. I am curious about this because I have seen other people taking photos and not getting any hassle.

Maybe it is because it is a DSLR and it is just a bit bulky for street photography.

I’ve been pointed into the direction of Leica or Fuji for street portraits and general street photography.

If its an area of photography I intend on pursuing I will certainly need to look more into the costs of buying another camera kit.

After all that waffle here is 100/100.

IMG_4644

As always, constructive comments are welcome and thank you for visiting my blog.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James

One comment

  1. I actually like the off-centre composition, and the way her eyes stand out. I would like to see the shot not on a 15 inch old Dell monitor, perhaps on a high-definition screen, for a better representation.

    You have answered your own questions about the problem of taking photos of ladies in Burkas, and people of Muslim appearance generally. In London, and perhaps other big cities, they are overtly and covertly photographed constantly, both by the police departments concerned, and by the secret services. They use facial recognition comparison to find suspects, and also know that many male suspects use burkas as a disguise, to avoid being stopped and searched by police. They will tend to cause a fuss if photographers are seen, to distract the officers, and allow any suspect to escape.

    And you do look a bit like a copper or a squaddie, let’s face it!
    Tony K gets great results with this camera. Start saving now…
    http://www.finepix-x100.com/
    Cheers mate, Pete.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s