A Voice Crying in the Desert

A Voice Crying in the Desert

Flowers are among my favorite subjects. They possess as many emotional expressions as people do on their faces. They also reveal the transitions in human life, perhaps more dramatically.

People, I learned from my mentor Rambling Steve Gardner, make wonderful subjects. He taught me about lighting, framing, and background. He took a photo of me sitting on a bench in Yamashita Park in Yokohama.

Man contemplating life on a bench

I liked the way he blocked out the photo. Me on the bench in the foreground. Balanced behind me a couple sitting in the background facing the sea water. Yet the focus is on me staring blankly toward children playing in the distance. Inspired, I took a photo of him.

Flower bush observing man reading book

I took this photo while he was engrossed in his book. I suppose if I were a true photographer I would have told him to look up or to smile or to face the camera. But impulsively, I pressed the shutter release button. The result surprised me. And I touched it up with a few photo editing techniques.

I pushed on with my attempts at taking photos of people. But I wanted to take them in a natural pose. Any coaxing from me to pose the way I wanted would destroy the photo.

I happened to walk around a building and discovered a homeless man struggling to put on a pair of trousers. I waited and waited until finally NOW is the time. Snap!

Other photos I took with the same surreptitious manner. Cowardly, I know. But I did get some good photos.

Girls sipping orange juice during the obon
Horses faces. Much less stressful than human faces
Man focused on flowers. Phew! Oblivious to my camera aimed at him.
Loved this photo. The man is looking the other way.

None of the people in the above photos realized I was taking their picture. Yes. Yes. A cowardly approach.

But the following photos reveal a more proactive approach to my photography. The subjects knew I was taking their photos.

Two old friends sharing coffee on a hard bench.
Humm. Looks like one friend is wondering whether he should enjoy himself.

I’m becoming more competent in taking photos of human beings. But I wish I had the courage of a Robert Carpa. https://www.icp.org/browse/archive/constituents/robert-capa?all/all/all/all/0

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