Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Am I Wrong?

I am going to ask your opinion on something, but truth is, no matter what you say it's probably not going to change my behavior, so you should know that going in.

I have always been one to snap photos of strangers.  Not the kind where you have the courage to go up to someone and ask them if you can take their picture.  I am talking about the low-down, sneaky, stealth camera, 007 kind of stranger shots.  You know, when they are not looking, or from behind, or before they know what hit them. Or, like this one below, when they are asleep in a busy Starbucks at 8:45 in the morning.


I was minding my own business, walking by on my way to a meeting yesterday and saw this through the window of the Starbucks in Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn.  He was breathing, not dead, and before I could even think about it, I had already taken this photo with my iPhone (OK, and this other one below that has a bad reflection on the window, but gives it this cool superimposed kind of look).


Now I know it's wrong because I hate it when I catch a stranger taking my photo on the streets of New York City.  And I would hate it even more if someone snapped a photo of me looking like this gentleman above.  But I also know that I would never fall asleep in the middle of a busy coffee shop on a Tuesday morning.  I'm not a napper, and can hardly even take a nap in my own home when I am really tired.  But I digress...

I kind of feel like that's what street photography is all about for me.  It's about capturing the amazing buildings, places and street life in NYC, and the occasional off-beat moment like this one here.  Do you hate me for it?  Or can you understand it as part of my---albeit amateur---art and attempt to amuse myself in this city that is constantly presenting me with opportunities to click click click?  (although the sound on my phone or camera is always turned off when I am in stealth mode, especially on the subway)

For more iPhone images, street and otherwise, remember to check out my new iphoneography page over at Posterous by clicking on the image below or on my sidebar.

Photobucket

And you can check out other camera phoners here at Pasando.

23 comments:

Clare B said...

Fair game it they're asleep. But then, I'm one for street photography myself.

Virginia said...

Just don't do it in the Bronx. Or if you do, come with heavily armed body guards.

Personally, I think that living in NYC, you kind of give up a lot of your private life by default. There are so many people here, packed into such a small space that it's almost impossible to enjoy some of the luxuries of privacy that other folks do in other cities. People in this city are always on display in one way or another, whether we're aware of it or not.

How much of other people's private lives do you see on a daily basis here? Alot. During the summer most of my block moves their living rooms out onto the sidewalk. I see people on the subway performing personal grooming tasks every day. People sleep, fight, love, and cry all within earshot or view of hundreds of others every single minute of every single day.

And honestly, I think that is a large part of the reason why tourists annoy so much. They don't realize that they're on display just as much as the denizens of the city are, and therefore do not behave accordingly.

Andrea said...

I don't think it's wrong. Definitely a great pic. It gave me a good laugh this morning and I needed it after what Hazel did to my knitting yesterday (check out my most recent post if you have the chance. I was just about ready to rehome her).

I also think that if you can fall asleep like that in a public place, you're kind of asking for your picture to be taken.

Ashley Sisk said...

I like street photography and it doesn't bother me at all. I don't like walking up to strangers for pictures but I am careful to photograph children. He shouldn't have fallen asleep in such a public place!

Anna said...

Nah, he's in a public place! :)

If it was a child or you were going to use the image for monetary gain that would be a different ballgame.

Adults being odd in public makes for fair snapping!

mosey said...

I would totally have taken that picture. And posted it on my blog (and probably Facebook too).

R Montalban said...

I understand completely, I do it as often as I can in the hope that I find something really great (the old lady shopping is one I did just the other day), who I reminded me of Andy Warhol (and I am not being nasty), she was really interesting and the fact she walked into the photo was a plus for me.

R Montalban said...

Also, if I lived in NY I would do it all the time, it is character and situation central for these moments. My husband loves taking these types of shots too.

Tammy Lee Bradley said...

I'm with Mosey. If you sleep in the middle of Starbucks, you get to be on the blog and America's Funniest Videos. Was his head bobbing? LOL!

Mildred said...

I enjoyed your photograph very much. I don't think you were wrong to take it. I will add that my husband suffers from a debilitating neurological disorder which causes sudden lapses so we should all be careful to misjudge and/or laugh at those who do.

Ewa said...

well, he shouldn't sleep in a place like that!
and I have yet to try street photography...

Anika said...

Aaaahahahahaha...totally with you. It's moments like this that make me happy I have my cell phone to capture it... AHahahahaha... What the hell is up with this guy anyways??? How absurd. See how much joy he's given us though with his strangeness! I can't believe he fell that hard asleep in such a public space. It makes me want to know more...

Great shot and thanks for linking up with the phonorgraphy!

Cathy said...

I think most things in public are fair game. I love the photo from the window. The lines and reflections are great.

The picture of the deer on my blog came from a trail camera. You can get the best wildlife photos from those things.

justine said...

I can't ask people if I can take their photos, I have tried it and can't bear the posing so i just take when I think they are not looking, it's all about street photography and the capture of out of the ordinary stuff. These are great great shots.

brandy-son Zen master flash said...

Keep it up!

krissilugbill said...

no i love ya for it! i think it is awesome and i love that shot of this man asleep! haha i say if he falls asleep at such a public place he kinda deserves it :)

VeganCraftastic said...

Wow, how tired do you have to be to fall asleep at Starbucks, he must have had one heck of a night ;)

Tracy said...

I think most things in public are fair game too. I would draw the line at children though cuz there are so many weirdos in the world now a days. I would say if this guy is comfy enough to sleep like that at a crowded Starbucks then he'd probably be ok with his pic being posted online. lol

L. Eleana Johnson said...

I personally would rather someone take my picture when I'm not looking. Those are always my best moments. Your Iphone took some great pics, I'm impressed with that camera.

blue elephant photography said...

haha the photo is so funny and cool. i guess he had a long night!

Jersey Diva Mom said...

it would only bother me if it WAS me : )

other than, it's part of "the local color" isn't it?

sarah said...

haha! how do you even fall asleep like that in a Starbucks?! I could see if he was in a comfy chair, but that looks positively will-need-a-chiropractor uncomfortable!

I love candid shots of people & what they don't know can't hurt them, in my opinion.

Raymonde said...

I do that, I recently took a picture of this man during the lunch hour at a table in a little snack bar in Seoul, he was asleep.

Love candid shots. xxx