I saw this scene a couple of weeks ago on the way back from picking up a delicious Vietnamese sandwich from Baoguette. I handed my sandwich to my buddy Steve and took a couple shots.
Shooting in the street is exhilarating and terrifying. But the more you do it, the less terrifying it is. Even more important to me than not getting yelled at or attacked is not making someone else feel uncomfortable. I’ve had subjects smile at me after they realize I’ve taken a photograph of them and many more who are indifferent. The majority don’t know I’ve taken the photo. When I review my shots, I often find that it’s the people in the periphery who notice that I’m taking a photograph. Because the wide angle lens isn’t pointing at them, they feel free to stare into the lens indignantly on behalf of the person who’s on axis with my lens.
I actually took the following photo first, to establish the correct aperture and focus, then I turned and framed the photo above, which is what I was really going for.
I could have just adjusted my settings and not snapped the “practice” photo, but in the interest of not freaking out the woman in the “real” shot, I went ahead and established that I’m just some guy taking photos nearby.
Honestly, I’m sure she never would have noticed. People on their phones never do. And it’s unlikely she could have heard the shutter on my Leica. So I guess I did it just for me.
I’ve also realized I have a thing for photographs of photographs looking at people. And sometimes photographs of photographs looking at people on phones. Rather narrow for a book idea, but you never know…