Distraction

DC Law BW_MPHIX

It isn’t that I have an affinity with Washington DC per se, but that it is the only city within spitting distance of where me and my husband Bill currently live. We live about an hour north of the Nation’s Capitol in a very suburban place full of mostly wealthy, and cagey suburbanites, and where one needs to drive everywhere in order to experience any kind of social gathering, usually at stores or local malls (pff!). In short we are a little taxed around these parts for interesting locations in which to shoot street. So, The District, as it is known locally has become our default street shooting venue. As it is, it has provided me personally with a wealth of photographic stock, this year in particular since I immigrated and became an official resident of the USA.

It’s an interesting challenge to find new things to take pictures of in a place that has become very familiar, and as it is, I have erred on the side of taking less and less shots of people in DC, focussing instead on the details that make it the city that it is. Many times when Bill and I travel to the city to shoot we seem to get caught up in some kind of altercation, usually with a homeless person, or persons, which sort of spoils the mood somewhat, and has put me off from taking people shots there. It isn’t even the homeless that are an issue when a camera is pointed in their general direction, but people there in general. I suppose because many folk there work for government offices they get a little twitchy about personal security, so a camera might often be seen as a threat, and often enough we will hear people requesting that we not shoot them. Though photography not being illegal in public spaces, The District included, it’s down to a matter of courtesy. As Bill will often say, “Then don’t walk into my shot if you don’t want your picture taken”. Which I think is an equally valid request, and a view I share. Personally I get tired of being harassed by those in public places who don’t know the law when it comes to photography, besides people seldom complain when a phone camera is pointed their way, and there are more of them than there are those of us with proper cameras!

I’m guessing they think we work for the associated press.

I’m thinking I should get an informative t-shirt printed for the sake of the uneducated types who think that verbally or sometimes physically accosting someone with a proper camera is at all acceptable. It is the unfortunate bi-product of being a street shooter, and the fact that Bill and I both seem to attract crazy individuals, independently and together. Magnetism, what can I say…

Anyway, as per the title of this post, I find it so very easy to get distracted. What I really wanted to say here was that if anyone is interested in following this blog, or indeed any of my other blogs where I feature a number of other creative pursuits other than photography, I have added a ‘follow’ button to the main menu here, and links to my other blogs can be accessed through my gravatar profile. It occurred to me that in the haste of my last post on Today on Earth, Art, that I hadn’t made it very easy for those interested to jump ship with me. 🙂

Off to DC again with Bill this evening to partake of the good light at sunset.

I wish you all a happy Sunday!

M.

 

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4 thoughts

  1. Let me share my experience although I’m not a street photographer. This week I shot a street vendor -without his permission as he was conversing on phone. generally people in India specially street vendor don’t object -rather would love to be photographed. he asked me why I clicked him? I showed him his picture. He smiled and his objection disappeared.

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    • Yes, precisely. It is purely a point of vanity as to why some people object. They believe that they have a right to object, except in many countries, within public spaces they don’t. France is an exception for example, where portrait photography in public spaces is against the law.
      Other people object because they are often engaged in illegal activity and don’t wish to be caught, such is the case with many rogue street vendors and homeless people, especially here in the USA, the UK and Europe.

      I think if the people we shoot really knew how much affection we photographers have for our images, then they might just feel a little honoured to have been given such attention and momentary fame. 🙂

      Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate it.

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      • Maria..As I said the street vendors are generally poor but good at heart, so normally no one would object if you just smile beforehand as if seeking an approval and click. Then end it up by showing them their picture, they are more than happy. Sine it’s a touristy place, they are used to seeing camera and tourists. But that wouldn’t be case if I were to click in a mall. The people differ in demographic profile they are educated and more “aware”. I will refrain from doing so. You rightly said that most photographer..at least amateur ones are harmless and their interest lies more in photography than causing any loss or disrepute! But who’ll understand? Happy to have this conversation Maria! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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