Face of the faceless


I remember this walk. It was about 16 kms long. I didn’t really get any shots I was happy with until the last third of the walk. Then it all started to click. With this one I raised the camera and told the one guy I was taking a shot of his buddy’s shirt. Buddy tries to turn around and the first dude grabs him by the neck and holds him down, saying, “Don’t move he wants to take a shot of your shirt.” It almost made me laugh out loud. Only after I looked at the display on the camera did I see what I’d caught. After this shot things really began to come together.

What I really like about this one is the guy facing me isn’t looking at the camera and it would be easy to think this was a candid (or hip) shot. I happen to be an Admin for the Toronto Street Photography page on FB so I see dozens of photos a day from our contributors. The one thing I see far too often is shots of people from behind. Sometimes they work but all too often they aren’t very provocative or engaging. I’m guilty of it, too, I readily admit. I think it’s important for street shooters to always keep in mind that the best street photos involve people facing the camera. The world of street photography today is filled with waaaay too many shots of people’s backs. And again, I admit that I too waste too many shots on people’s backs. Just look at the one I posted yesterday of the two guys with turbans, as an example. Well, maybe that’s a bad example because that photo is suppose to make you wonder if those two guys are looking at the girl approaching them or not. By shooting them from behind like I did, it adds a layer of ambiguity that would be missing if you saw their faces. But you get my drift.

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