I went for a walk today, taking advantage of a bit of sun coming out between rain for days past and rain for days coming. While I walked, because I had my new camera with me, I was thinking about Vivian Maier. She had no recognition in her lifetime, in fact was completely unknown and only known now because the negatives were fortuitously acquired and promoted by John Maloof.
She was a gifted photgrapher, an urban photographer, her pictures mostly portraits. What amazes me is the way she was able to get these fantastic photos on the fly. People aren’t posing or sitting for her. Somehow she had her camera at the ready and was able to get narrative photos of people in the city. It astounds me and it’s inspiring, especially because, here in the city, I don’t have a pastoral landscape to photograph.
I’ve been hesitant to take pictures of people because it seems to me a usurping of people’s identities, their image, which ought to belong to them. But as I walked today, and looked at people, I thought that this is much of what I love about living here, the variety of people, their unending stories, which is their beauty.
Well, I’m not in Maier’s league, not even many leagues away, but here’s a sample of what I took today. (Click on pics to enlarge)
This is my favourite because you see so much of this in the neighbourhoods I walk: people on stoops or standing on the sidewalk chatting. It’s what is best about the city, this different pace, a walking pace.
I saw this mural while on my way to a mall to shop with my kids and wished I had the camera. I went back there to take the picture.
The workmen posed, but I was shy and far away, so I couldn’t see whether they were really smiling when they said, “cheese.”
I liked this because of the colours. Someone took the trouble to paint that blue and green, the colours echoed the grass pushing through, and there were echoes, too, in the shapes.