Ellis Island Ladies
There are aspects of being a photographer who works in public which make the situation dicey (versus in a studio where the environment is controlled).
Weather and lighting can work against you but most importantly, you want to be incognito.
If your subjects become aware of your camera, they will change their demeanor and often look into the camera, just when you don't want them to. I didn't want these ladies, deep in conversation, to stop.
So, you have to be discreet and keep your camera out of view. Then, when you see "it", you go for it. Yes, it sometimes feels like I am spying. But these are public situations. I am careful to avoid being intrusive.
Some people say that you have to get permission before you make someone's photo, and get written legal permission to use it. That is if their image will be used in a commercial situation, like advertising, which I understand. That is not my purpose, so I proceed. You are fair game if you come in contact with me.
But I digress. The real purpose of this blog post is the write about the trade offs between being perfect in a photo -- i.e., in focus, perfect composition vs. the content.
I wish the image of Ellis Island Ladies was perfectly in focus but it is not.
In the Observer I am going for content, so I am having to let go. Ego and control. Two of art making's worst enemies.