Archive for Street Photography
One Easy way to ‘safely’ snap a photo of a stranger is to explain away your presence, to justify you standing there pointing a camera. One great way to do this is to stand in front of a well photographed building/monument/Steam Clock. For the most part people will actively ignore you and your antics because you can be easily explained away. So if you are shy about picking on a stranger maybe ‘warm up’ with this technique :)
I have been doing this whole photo thing for a really long ass time and I thought I may have seen it all, but today I was introduced to somewhat of a new experience. I was walking north up Abbott Street in Gastown from being stood up for my Multiple Exposure with people project. (side note I am looking for people that would like to ‘model’ for me in a controlled multiple exposure project! If you’re interested get in touch) I had a coffee in one hand and the camera in the other. Set for Multiple exposures I was looking for textures for the first of the two shots. I crossed Cordova street and raised the camera to take a photo of a tree when a guy at the mouth of the alley yelled ‘fuckoff’ and dashed back into the alley. I payed it little mind because G-town is filled with ‘characters’ but as I got closer to the alley this guy
pops out from the alley and yells at me
“Stop pointing that fucking camera at me” to which I replied
“Uh yeah this has nothing to do with you” He repeated as though I had said absolutely nothing.
“Stop pointing that fucking camera at me” to which I again replied
“I am not pointing anything at you. Relax this (I motioned to the camera) has nothing to do with you.” It was becoming obvious that he was really just picking a fight for fight sake. A few folks that were having a smoke outside the barber shop stood up and took notice as he was getting more and more belligerent and like a bad bar joke he yelled the same thing for a third time.
“STOP POINTING THAT CAMERA AT ME”
Now I would like to point out that they camera has been in my hand and at my side throughout this entire interaction save the moments that I pointed it at the sky half a block away to maybe take a photo of a tree. It had in fact not been pointed at him in any way.
I would also like to point out that I as a general rule don’t take photos of the people involved within the issues that are in my hood. EG: Drug dealers/hobo’s/pan handlers/folks sleeping on the street. Living in the DTES I think that a lot of people here are in the situations that they are, because someone at some point took advantage of them. I don’t want to continue that trend by taking photos of them without permission. These people are people and they are not here purely as a backdrop to my photo antics.
That is not to say that I don’t take photos of hobos/pan handlers/folks sleeping on the street and other people just not in their home. Your hood is your home and where you should feel at home regardless of your situation and some jerk IE: Me sticking his camera in your face is counter intuitive to all of that.
So when he yelled at me a third time I went against all my better judgement and I raised the camera, pointed it directly at his face and shot a couple of photos (hence the Double Exposure) yelling back something to the effect of
“Fine if you want me to point it at you I will” snap snap and I continued walking away thinking that this would be the end of it.
He ran up and soccer kicked my hand/camera really hard and ran away east up the alley. The group of bearded men who I assumed were from the barber shop and I chased after him. I am not really sure what we would have done if we had caught him but three running steps in on my buggered knee I knew that I wasn’t catching anybody :)
That and also I heard something plastic and expensive sounding skittering along the pavement. I looked down at the camera (that was still in my hand because I use a wrist strap) to see that it was missing the lens. How it came off I am not really sure. His foot must of hit the lens release button and when I ran it must of twisted or something But never the less the lens was skittering across the pavement.
I feared the worst. I assumed that they mount on either the camera or the lens was clearly broken off and that it was going to be exactly like this. but after a quick inspection and during the 911 call I determined that it wasn’t all that catastrophically damaged
These photos show some of the cleaned up damage as I have scraped of all the loose plastic burr’s. The Hood took the largest brunt of it all and looks pretty well worn now :) i will still send it in to nikon to make sure that all is well with the focusing motor etc..
All in all I shouldn’t have engaged with the drug dealing alley troll (he is well known to the police and the local business) I should have known better so with little harm done I guess.
My Lesson DON’T FEED THE TROLLS. :)