Saturday, October 6, 2007

street life

There are lots of advantages to taking photos of inanimate objects. They don't move or get bored when you take picture after picture. You can get as close as you want and if you don't like the background or the light, you can circle round for a another angle or pick them up and put them somewhere else. People tend to be less cooperative.

Today, though, turned out to be a very good day for taking pictures of people. The streets were blocked to traffic and filled with people. There were people in costumes, people walking on stilts, people playing instruments, people wearing masks, people dancing, people standing and watching, and, everywhere, people taking pictures. I sat on the curb or worked my way around the edges of the crowds, seeing how many pictures I could take before the camera's battery ran out. I think I made it up to 207, though lots were just blurs or accidental shots of the sidewalk. There were some pictures that I really wish I'd managed to get: a musician in a white shirt surrounded by dancers waving purple feathers, a drummer who'd stuck an extra drumstick down the back of his pants, a woman in a sequined party hat, another woman carrying a flowering branch and a violin case. But the one I was sorriest to miss was a view of the whole street fair reflected in the brass horn of a tuba. What I saw there was a more cheerful version of Hieronymus Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights, one where no shadow of a judgment to come troubled the dream-figures' joys.












18 comments:

slouching mom said...

These are lovely, as usual. You have so many gifts.

Suz said...

These are really wonderful and what I love about them is that they're of the details we don't often spot..an elbow, blue shoes, expressive hands.

Anns said...

I like that you can actually feel the spirit of the parade through these.

Very cool honey.

painted maypole said...

looks and sounds joyous

Julia said...

That looks and sounds like a nice day. A very nice day.
Love the picture of the kids. The one with the tongue out is having a ball. Shirtless. In October.

Monica said...

Nice pics. You really did capture the vibrancy of the street. The pictures are humming with energy.

thirtysomething said...

I can almost hear the marching, the beat of the drums, the horns, and the buzz of lots of happy excited people..great job taking these!
(instead of working on an 'even smaller' phone, wouldn't it be nice if "they" would figure out how to make a battery for a digital camera that can last for hours and take hundreds of pics?)

niobe said...

Thirtysomething: That *would* be nice. And a lot more useful than an itty-bitty phone.

I keep thinking that that last photo (the muscular arm, the drumstick, the out-of-focus woman in the background) could have been taken from a none-too-subtle ad, for, say, V!agra. But perhaps that's just me.

Aurelia said...

I know what you mean about the last photo! Very funny.

But I'm also glad to see the pictures of children here. It means that at least you can look at them and take a picture. A very very good thing.

thailandchani said...

You're right! These are very good pictures of people. :)


Peace,

~Chani
http://thailandgal.blogspot.com

Furrow said...

This type of documentary photography takes real skill. To catch people unaware and yet to get real details. My attempts at documentary are always too chaotic. Too large scale.

You're really good at this.

niobe said...

Aurelia: I love taking pictures of kids and actually took lots more of them. Some of them came out pretty well, but I was very reluctant to post them, because I'm not sure that parents would appreciate having their kids' pictures plastered all over the internets.

I made an exception for the one I did post because these particular kids were dancing with their parents, in front of an audience of at least 150 people, including several people taking videos and at least 8 or 10 people besides me taking photos. Under these circumstances, I figured that the parents wouldn't object. But this is something I do worry about.

Christine said...

i love those blue shoes the best. . .

cinnamon gurl said...

These are great!! I always mourn the shots I didn't get too. But these are seriously good. Keep going!

ALM said...

You're an amazing photographer.

Artblog said...

You're pics are always a pleasure to look at, you have a real eye for what photographs well :) X

becky said...

I love looking at your pictures. I bought myself a nice camera several years ago in the lofty hope that I might actually be able to take pictures well.

So far, no good. But I get a kick out of them, so I suppose that's what matters.

Searching said...

I love your eye for photography.