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Urban photography, a dilemma

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555 California Street, in San Francisco. I had my first real contact with street photography during a trip there in 2011

When I first started taking pictures out it the streets I had quite a problem with the fact of going out there and pointing my camera at people. I’ve had problems with some who thought I had to ask them before taking a shot, when in fact the French law, as well as the US law, allows to take as many pictures as you want when you’re in public places.

The most interesting is paying attention to what most people don’t even notice anymore; people are just absorbed by their smart phones, chatting with people at the other end of the city, doing the exact same thing. They don’t look up anymore, and barely apologize when they bump into you.

But I like that. I’m looking for that as a photographer, although it pissed me off as a person. When I take pictures I have the feeling I’m apart from the scene, kind of above all of that, that’s probably why I get this high and continue doing it.

There’s a major difference between taking pictures of people and taking a selfie of yourself and your friends that you’re going to post on Facebook. Namely, it is your relationship to the camera that matters the most. Today I was in the Jardin des tuileries, reading about cinematography, and from time to time I glanced up to take a look around, watching crows and people. All the people I saw who had cameras were taking pictures of themselves, with those iconic selfie rods. It’s funny to watch.

On this blog you see pictures of Paris but you won’t see me, nor will you ever hear about who I am, because it doesn’t matter. What matters is what is recorded on the sensor, because if I managed to convey a felling, let it be of hope or despair, then I would have accomplished my goal.

 

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