Daido Moriyama land!
Here’re some subway portraits from a family trip to Tokyo a while ago.
I suppose these are not the most technically accomplished of photographs.
Yet there are times when technicality takes a backseat – you could have a technically perfect photograph that is meaningless.
Here, we’re reminded of how street photography is an art that requires a seat-of-the-pants attitude. Sometimes it’s about serendipity and stealth and being “in the zone”.
There’s not much to say about the composition in the above photograph.
Perhaps I’m forgiving myself too much, yet the imperfection says something of the constraints of the art in the particular environment.
I simply can’t really walk around and compose my shots in a train cabin as it would attract too much attention.
In any case, the cabin was crowded. Most of these people were about 1-2 metres away from me.
This person saw me without really registering what I was doing and turned away.
This person was too engrossed in his reading to notice.
It’s amazing how we switch off when we’re commuting.
Yet I find these moments, moments when we’re lost in our thoughts, the most poignant of all.
I didn’t think the above would work at first. I was thinking to myself at that moment that this was a wasted exposure.
I’m biased, of course, but now I think I’d rather like the artlessness of the composition.
Again, not perfect. It’s not sharp enough.
At times like this, I take comfort in Henri Cartier-Bresson’s statement that “people think far too much about techniques and not enough about seeing” (The Mind’s Eye, p. 38).
Thanks for coming by today.