Jared: When it comes to street photography, it seems there is always a bit of discussion around what is ethically okay to shoot. Should we take photographs of homeless people, of street performers? How about children? Where do we draw the line? Is their even a line to be drawn? The ethical arguments pretty much bore me to death at this point. I know (for me) what is okay to shoot. Everything. Making compelling photographs from this (or any) subject matter is the problem.
This photo by Robert McPeak, gives us a chance to reflect on the problem of shooting street performers in an interesting way. Garry Winogrand in this video talks about the problem with shooting theater on the street:
That guy in the car, sitting on the back seat, waving his hand from the car… To make a photograph more theatrical than the subjects own theatricality — is a hell of a problem.
Robert solved the problem with a reflection, a foreground passerby, an artificial sun top left – enough interesting visual information to carry the image without relying on the subjects inherent theatricality. So, next time you sneak a hip shot of a busker or homeless person, it may be nice to think about what you’re doing to overcome the overriding theatricality of the subject — instead of whether you should take the photo or not.