risky business 1

Sydney August-December 2014 (3 photos)

“One of the risks of appearing in public is the likelihood of being photographed.”

…Diane Arbus (1923-1971) Photographer

It’s a risky business, being out in public and more so if I’m the one with the camera walking towards you.
Would you see me first and run away? Or would I shoot you first before you even had time to react or even know?

risky business 3

“Photography is like stealing. You rob someone of a moment that exposes something essential about their character, their soul if you like. There are people who are very conscious of that, who find that terrifying. The thought that everyone, friend or foe, can get so close to you, look you straight in the eye and judge you without having any control over it or being able to respond. A part of them has become the property of the photographer.”

…Esther Verhoef (1968-) Author, from her book: Close-up

You know the deal. Manual focus, prime 50mm lens, taken close up and mostly unnoticed.
Risky business, but someone has to do it.

risky business 2

“To consult the rules of composition before making a picture is a little like consulting the law of gravitation before going for a walk.”

…Edward Weston (1886-1958) Photographer

Over at the wordpress Weekly Photo Challenge, the topic is The Rule of Thirds. Whilst it is a compositional rule that weighs heavily with most of us, I don’t adhere to it strictly. Risky business, I know, but to me there are many ways to a good photograph.

Marty McFly: Whoa. This is heavy.
Doc Brown: There’s that word again. “Heavy.” Why are things so heavy in the future? Is there a problem with the Earth’s gravitational pull?

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

Risky Business


82 thoughts on “Risky Business

  1. KG says:

    Aha!!! Back to the Future!!! I love that series 😀
    No doubt you would click even before the person before you even knows about it. But has there been any incidents where they have figured it out and have run away from you ? Just curious.

  2. i have looked recently at pictures that were taken of me pre wrinkles. I have aged and the photos of my youth have faded and the edges are frayed. But there is a gleam in the eyes and that is still there. Life is worth living.

  3. All the quotes are from time before the internet. I think the question is of higher importance nowadays.

    How often do you think of it?

    I love watching such photos, some of those moments are just perfect, yet I am struggling both with taking them without permission and even more using them without such.

    While you cannot ask for permission before for it will spoil the photo, it is also hard to ask after because some people will beat you up. It’s a hard game I like.

    • I know a lawyer who is a street photographer here in Sydney, and he is fully aware of his rights and the law, and I’m happy to say that my photography is within the law and ethical. I will not photograph or publish certain photos, and will delete if requested. So I’m content to not worry about my style of photography, and just enjoy it.

  4. Belated New Year Greetings, Lignum.
    I bet you’d shoot first before anybody even had time to react or even know. Sneaky! isn’t it? I love them black and whites. They are so inspiring!

    • Funny thing is there are security cameras in many of the areas I shoot in, but no guard has ever come up to question me. Actually, I’ve got several shots OF the security guards. 🙂

  5. I was attempting to adhere to the composition rules yesterday evening in my walk about the woods. But usually that gets thrown to the wayside when the moment takes over. What never fails to amaze me about your photographs is their clarity and sharpness, and the way you consistently draw the viewer into the shot.

    • Thank you. A lot of my street photos are spur of the moment. I have the camera set up and ready, so I’m mostly ready for the shot. It’s the spontaneity of the moment which is interesting.

  6. Mm…maybe photography is like stealing a piece of the person in the picture, I hadn’t really thought of it like that. If it’s a good picture though, it can be very pleasurable stealing for all involved! 🙂

    That reminded me of the fears people had many years ago when photography was still relatively new – that their souls might be captured in the camera. But if it turns out there is any truth in that anxiety, it would mean you have a large number of souls hiding in your picture files. I hope you are looking after them well!! 😀

    Just thought, that might make a good short story – souls captured in computer image files! 😉

  7. You know, I’m so focused on the interesting content in your photos that I never gave thirds a thought. 🙂 And isn’t that how it’s meant to be? The first is my preferred shot, by the way.

  8. I admire you being fearless with your camera 🙂 Cool captures of their expressions. Okay, if I ever let my belly stick out and grow … like the guy there, and you come with your camera walking towards me. I tell ya, it’s gonna be pretty risky for Dragon… 😀

  9. Great captures and interesting thoughts and comments. I always feel very apprehensive pointing my camera at anyone, but every time I see your results, I feel like I’d like to give the challenge a try. 🙂

  10. I feel like we had this conversation before…but i’d be the one to run away for sure! When i encounter photographers on my afternoon walk i always stare at them with my angry eyes to make sure they do not dare to snap a photo of me…If i sense they point their camera at me…You wouldn’t want to know what happens…hehehe… But in all seriousness i really admire your work and your style of photography! 😀

      • Now i’m really impressed! The Dragon is not only super talented but has great memory as well! 😀 I’m honored! Hehe, i will try not to look angry if i ever stumble upon you but i usually get really uncomfortable with the idea of somebody taking my photo… The funny thing is that people always tell me that i’m very photogenic but they don’t realize that most if the photos of me i post online are self-portraits… They are welcome to try and take a nice portrait of me…if they think they can…

  11. risky business, but someone has to do it 😀 and you are doing it magnificently…

    the lady in the first shot looks straight in your camera… have you ever been caught, Lignum?

  12. Look at it! I did not even bother to read this T-shirt :D. Shame on me for coming from “that” tribe :D. Thanks for the laughs mate. It is a great photo.

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