23 September 2009

Camera and the Voyeur

© Robert Frank, 1969.

In photographing, I can't help but be curious to take pictures of things unfamiliar to me. Years ago I saw a lecture by a Skidmore grad student on photographer Sophie Calle, well-known for her highly voyeuristic photographs. I really identified with Calle's fascination in shooting people she didn't know, whose permission she didn't have. The creation of something unknown and mysterious.

Is photographing strangers an unforgivable violation? Listen, and think about it.

To wrap up, I will leave you with two photos of my own, taken in Vienna. Both date back to July 2008...


ChrisConte said...

It's strange that I read this now, just earlier today I was wondering the same thing. We were walking through this small villiage about 5 kilometers from our post and these three men were squating outside doing woodcarvings. It was the first time in ten months of being here that I have seen an Afhan doing any form of art, I wanted to take a picture of it, but wondered about just pointing my camera as stealing their privacy. Exspecially because they would assume I was taking the photo for a military reason and they deffintly wouldn't like that.
Just my thoughts...maybe it applies. I like the photos on your blog a lot.

Sarah said...

My dearest Haley Wulfman,

I had no idea you had a blog! Your photos are breathtaking - I love the light in the second one, and the expression on the woman's face. Prague seems like a beautiful place, I would love to go there with you someday!

George Gruel said...

Is photographing strangers an unforgivable violation? Not at all. It presents images to others, the viewer and gives them a glimpse of something they probably never saw, but wish they had. I think they like the "hiding in the shadows" and admiring or being moved by photographs taken by others. It's fun to go out and photograph whatever you see and moves you. The quote by Jonathan Swift, a favorite quote of mine, relates to this.... " Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others".

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