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Who the heck are you, and where did you come from? | by Ed Yourdon
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Who the heck are you, and where did you come from?

Note: this photo was published in Charlotte Brady's Sep 14, 2009 blog "Reflecting on Thoughts and Perception." It was also published in a Mar 9, 2011 blog titled "Where Are You From?"

 

Moving into 2013, the photo was published in an undated (early Feb 2013) GroupWorks blog titled "Girl Reflection." And it was published in a Sep 12, 2013 blog titled "What Athens needs from Jerusalem: the theology of facts vs the theology of rhetoric writ large (part I of III)."

 

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This is the continuation of a photo-project that I began in the summer of 2008: a random collection of "interesting" people in a broad stretch of the Upper West Side of Manhattan -- between 72nd Street and 104th Street, especially along Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.

 

As I indicated when I started this project in 2008, I don't like to intrude on people's privacy, so I normally use a telephoto lens in order to photograph them while they're still 50-100 feet away from me; but that means I have to continue focusing my attention on the people and activities half a block away, rather than on what's right in front of me.

 

I've also learned that, in many cases, the opportunities for an interesting picture are very fleeting -- literally a matter of a couple of seconds, before the person(s) in question move on, turn away, or stop doing whatever was interesting. So I've learned to keep the camera switched on (which contradicts my traditional urge to conserve battery power), and not worry so much about zooming in for a perfectly-framed picture ... after all, once the digital image is uploaded to my computer, it's pretty trivial to crop out the parts unrelated to the main subject.

 

Thus far, I've generally avoided photographing bums, drunks, crazies, and homeless people. There are a few of them around, and they would certainly create some dramatic pictures; but they generally don't want to be photographed, and I don't want to feel like I'm taking advantage of them. I'm still looking for opportunities to take some "sympathetic" pictures of such people, which might inspire others to reach out and help them. We'll see how it goes ...

 

The only other thing I've noticed, thus far, is that while there are lots of interesting people to photograph, there are far, far, far more people who are not so interesting. They're probably fine people, and they might even be more interesting than the ones I've photographed ... but there was just nothing memorable about them.

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Taken on August 21, 2009