People and Their Places
There are beautiful worlds everywhere, like the macro world of ants and orchids, but I prefer the world I see moving through cities and towns with a small camera, as unobtrusively as possible. I photograph people going about their business: working, playing, praying. These are people in their chosen places, usually in cities. For me, street photography is best when the persons and their surroundings go together inseparably.
I am attracted to uniquely human gestures and postures, so that even in silhouette you can tell the subject is a living person. The gestures may be hands praying or comforting, or shading the face from the sun, although the whole body may make the gesture. Costa Manos describes street photographs as windows on special moments in time, and at times I have taken that literally, shooting through windows to the outside and including unposed human figures.
Jay Maisel seems to mean something general and not literal when he talks about gesture. To me, it means the human body, especially hands, posing in a very representative way. Like a lot of things in art, it may seem too simple, but there are a lot of other things for pictures to be about. Some works, including some of mine, have nothing to do with gesture, although it’s one of the things I look for in my style.
The gestures I look for especially are the ones people make when they are not conscious of me. The people are not talking to me with their hands. Even so, many gestures communicate their meanings very clearly. The best ones define the surrounding space.