Shanghai GP3 100 developed in Rodinal (1:50)
Clubhouse (by patrickjoust)
keeping it real, eh? quick question: what do you these people think of a white guy with a camera in their nabe? a friend of mine (black) caught alot of heat shooting with his camera in west philly
@ KingoftheHill - That’s a good question. ‘Mystified’ is a word that comes to mind most. I think a lot of people don’t understand what I find interesting about their neighborhood or them. I’m fascinated with capturing multiple aspects of this city and its people. I’m still not as good a people photographer as I would like, but I think I’m getting better.
I have gotten some hostile reactions at times. On this day, everyone was very friendly. It all depends on the situation and maybe the neighborhood. A lot of the time though people just don’t know what to make of a guy or two, walking around with clunky antique cameras. TLRs do seem to be disarming for a lot of people. I guess they look less aggressive.
When I was an Americorps volunteer, I used to tutor some kids who lived fairly close to here, so I know the neighborhood a little from that and I also go all over the city exploring different parts of it. But all that being said, I definitely feel very much like a tourist and I wrestle sometimes with the implications of the pictures I take. The African American experience in this city is one that I am really fascinated by. You can easily see how segregation and oppression has shaped this city and continues to shape it by spending even just a couple of hours here.
I’m not sure why I feel so compelled to take pictures in these neighborhoods, where I don’t live and among people who’s lives are very different from my own, but I hope I’m bringing some degree of nuance to it. Sometimes I worry that I’m taking pictures that conform to some hidden preconceived idea I have in my head. I think a lot of my automobile shots reflect that actually… they often reflect an admiration for old movies from the 60’s or 70’s, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not really saying a lot either. I don’t have a problem with making images for their aesthetic value alone.
This is kind of a convoluted response to your question. I’m always thinking about this stuff though. Even though I’ve certainly taken a lot of pictures in Baltimore, I’m still not entirely sure of what I’m trying to do, other than to try and create as many different impressions as possible. Sometimes though, based on some of the comments I get, I worry that I’m just capturing impressions that may only conger up images from The Wire or something like it. I’m not always sure if I’m in the best position to really do a good job of capturing a fresh view of this city or if I have a sophisticated enough understanding of all the dynamics at play here, but I’m trying.