This weekend I'm walking by Clarion Alley and a couple of girls stop me and ask me to take their picture with their Olympus DSLR. So as I take the camera, they tell me that they want me to shoot as they jump up in the air together. I couldn't believe it. Here's a picture I took in Ireland:
Why jump in midair while being photographed in front of Clarion Alley? Why jump in front of Powerscourt Gardens, for that matter? Isn't that 'not acting natural'? What does 'acting natural' mean when the setting of the photo is, in some way, the real subject? Would it be possible to act 'natural' anyway? Is the function of this type of picture to commemorate something? (An experience?) Will the value of this type of picture always be strictly ornamental?
As I looked over a bunch of my shots from the past year or so, I realized that many of my favorites are the ones I took of people as they photographed each other. By 'favorites,' I mean two things: contentment with how the pictures came out, of course, but also my own enjoyment as I took them. I'm thinking of making this into a project for myself, let's call it Other people's photos.
The idea of the project is to record a moment that was meant for another camera. In my experience, the opportunity to 'steal' these images occurs most frequently when people take pictures at some landmark or point of interest. These pictures are normally uninteresting (you can find many of them on Facebook), but I think there is a hidden value to them that can be brought out. The project will work if I can show these posed figures so that they appear candid.
Does this picture work? Does it appear candid? Comments welcome. For my own judgment, though, I'll really have to wait and see until the rest of the collection takes shape.