I sometimes find myself roaming the streets, with my camera and a lot of spare time, seeking subjects that inretest me - and find nothing. Everything is bland, gray, mundane. All the interesting people are gone. This is when I ask myself what am I really looking for in street photography.
And then there are times I cannot stop pressing the shutter, to the point of exhaustion. The pictures jump at me from every direction. Over there! A man sitting on a bench, thinking about something next to a mysterious reflection.. There - a women with red hair on the background of a rusty door, her eyes set on one spot on the horizon.. There! a woman in black walking briskly with her hands flying in all directions and her body leaning forward - looking at me exactly as I press the trigger.. Over there! a women lifting her dress and caressing her thigh unconcious of my gaze.. until it is too late.. Everything is interesting, the heart soars, the spirit is singing and the happiness is unbounded. These are the moments I know exactly why I photograph on the street.
How can this be? What makes the difference? Can it be that in the first case I just happen to be in boring places?.. Am I lucky, in the other case, to be with all the interesting people?
Today, after experiencing both cases, I am confident the answer is mostly inside me.
People in the street are interesting to me when I give myself the freedom to relate, really relate, to what is happening around me. This is not a forced connection.. It is something transcendent. A connection in which I feel light as a feather, almost gliding above the ground.. Not pushing the photograph. I am between worlds, I see but am not seen among all the special people aroung me, allowing myself to be exposed only that much, sufficiently for them to notice me, not enough for them to be changed. They are still inside themselves - these are the people I want to photograph at the time I want to photograph them.
The people are the same people, the camera is the same camera, surely the photographs, too, are the same?.. However, it is not so. On days in which I feel heavy, forced, forcing, the photographs are not good. I don't like them. On the light days, I like almost all of them.
My photographs are different when I am flying. I am sure the people photographed also feel differently when I are soaring, touching them ever so lightly. My photographs are then different, too.