New York Daily Photo Analytics

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Narcissism Gone Wild

If there appears to be a fashion or commercial shoot going on here, there is not, either by me or anyone else. This woman definitely gets the day's prize for color and style meets attitude. I've noticed when photographing human subjects that many of the most flamboyant are the least perturbed by photographers (click here). Whereas taking candid shots typically requires some finessing, with subjects like this I have discovered that most will try to act unaware yet virtually pose when they know that they are being photographed. Upon reflection, this may seem like what one might expect - that anyone dressed and posturing like this has to be somewhat exhibitionistic and would enjoy being the object of attention and the subject of photography. However, with people I have learned to make no assumptions. As I have said in a previous post, some individuals get upset or even hostile and threatening, particularly the homeless. I would prefer getting permission from a subject but this would generally ruin the composition of most street photography involving subjects - either losing the moment or encouraging a less natural posed shot. And then there is the issue that taking photographs in public is a right, with certain exceptions and caveats ...

17 comments:

Monique said...

Just got back from a trip to NYC and sought out this website. . .

It is simply fabulous and I look forward to getting my fix of your wonderful city daily.

Thanks and keep up the good work!

Brian said...

monique -
Thanks. I am trying to balance the serious in-depth historical and architectural posts with the whimsical and human. Lighten our load.
Brian

Abraham Lincoln said...

This is funny. I mean the person is not funny -- well maybe she is. I have seen a lot of models (my son has a studio in Florida and shoots all kinds of models from nudes to automobiles)and it does seem that those who try the hardest come off the least impressive. It is my theory that "natural" is best. Yet it is hard to look natural sometimes and this is a case of that. I think.

I still like the photograph and your taking of it and I also like the guy you linked--a bizarre costume with platform shoes.

I enjoyed the story, Brian.

I didn't do much today but...

I did write about how people used to wear long underwear over winter or until we began to stink. You can find the link at the bottom of the post today.

Brookville Daily Photo

Lessie said...

She is quite a site to behold! Good for her. :) Great capture, too.

AntiguaDailyPhoto.Com said...

Awesome capture and caption. I really enjoy your explanation and your candid shots.

Brian said...

I'm happy I got a sharp photo - I took this very quickly, not knowing haow long I had or how she would react. I really had virtually no time for composition and took 4 photos. Nice to have luck on your side.
Brian

lv2scpbk said...

At least she's comfortable with herself. Wonder why she picked red sunglasses with pink hair. Surprise she didn't pick pink.

Ianqui said...

She kind of looks like Madonna back in the Material Girl days. Is that coming back into style? How odd.

X!ne said...

Wow, 80s fashion seems to be coming back into style big time! Yay! At risk of dating myself, that other guy seemed like he was pulled from the Washington Square Park of my college years 20 years ago. Thanks for keeping us updated!

John Nez said...

That's an interesting point about some people wanting to be in pictures...

I'm sure that street photography is one of the most difficult forms of making art. It involves such split second decision making, luck and nerve.

I'm awful at it... I can't hardly bring myself to include anyone in my pictures... thinking I'd be infringing on their rights or something.

Brian said...

John;
Street photography is challenging, but a great way to hone your skills. There are some many unpredictable elements, changing light and conditions, obstructions, objectionable foregrounds and backgrounds, quick timing at times etc. In short, you little control over your subject(s) and must adapt. Settings must be changed quickly. It forces you to really know your camera functions well; almost muscle memory.
Brian

Jeff said...

Very nice shot here. I have found the same things. I have paid a couple of homeless just this last week for some photos in NYC. Just a dollar but they didn't seem to mind. Not posted yet.

Richard Friedman said...

Walking around as a tourist in your own town can challenge a jaundiced eye. Things seem so familiar so why bother taking a picture... I'm still too inhibited to take pictures of people face on. I feel I need permission even tho I know that I don't in a public place like the street. But you might get yelled out, or worse. There are lots of homeless sleeping in doorways, and drunks on the street in San Francisco. But I can't make myself take their picture. Their lives seem so desperate and pathetic that I can't add more disrespect by objectifying their image. Lucky for me I like taking pictures of walls.

Carlos said...

Fantastic photograph Brian. Tha title is completely appropriate.

ja.mes said...

when you spoke with this girl, was her name by any chance Jean?

Brian said...

carlos - thanks much!

ja.mes - If I think there is a strong likelihood I will use a photo for the blog, I generally give a card and get an email so I can let the person know when I do the post. I was doubtful the photos would be blog worthy at the time, so unfortunately I did not speak with her.
Brian

• Eliane • said...

So true. There's a guy in London who posts pictures of excentric people on his Flickr account on a daily basis. He just asks them. Your posts remember me of that. http://www.flickr.com/photos/eamon/