Sanford & Son

by Mark Forman on October 30, 2012

taiwan,market,black and white,street photography, I often get asked about do I ask permission...,etc. about my street shots. So from time to time I run down my street ninja ethic for those that have not heard it from me before. So here goes... What I hope to capture is a frozen moment of reality in a bubble-in this case through a lens and digital light sensor. Why don't I ask people if it's ok to take their shot...well once you do it's not candid and therefore not what I really am after. Even if people agree maybe they're still going to be a little nervous and that will show. Even good actors have a hard time acting "natural" let alone Mr. and Mrs. Everyman. Even worse than that that is someone giving you some big fake smile and in Asia the "victory sign" (looks the same as our "peace sign"). Am I saying that you can't have a good looking posed portrait or fake smile shot? Well yes and no. It depends what you think looks "good." This is a very subjective matter. Since photography is a very subjective art the photographer gets to be the determinator of the subject-in my case I like candid and natural. That being said, many people are cognizant of me shooting them as I go "click" or maybe a fraction of a second before. For those that realize I shot them before I evaporate into thin air often I'll smile or wave at them-many smile and wave back. Yes, many of the people I shoot are happy about me taking the time to shoot them and finding them worthy as a subject. Sure there are some that don't want to be shot. If it is clear to me that someone doesn't want to be shot I don't shoot them. They wouldn't make a good candid shot anyway-aware and hostile!!! I have erased shots of some that have been shot and told me they would like to be removed-sure why not. I'm out doing this because I want to present these people in a special way, not to generate ill will. Many of my shots are misconstrued by viewers thinking-ha you've been caught or are getting the stink eye... I'm not saying that doesn't happen but in fact Asian people tend not to emote that freely when in a neutral environment. Sure they know how to smile and cry and even scream-it's just that their culture has taught them it's not good to be too emotive and reveal too much of yourself. That being said it delights me when I get a good shot of them being more emotive in their behavior. So I thought I'd just share these tidbits of my gray matter to those of you new to my site or images-thanks 😀 A Tribe Called Quest-Award Tour

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