Sunday, November 11, 2012

Candid Portraits - "Commonality of Humanity"

Harlem Barber Shop Owner, by Reed A. George
Nikon D700, Nikkor 50mm f1.8D AF Lens
iso 640, f2, 1/500 sec
If you don't know who Steve McCurry is, you probably know his most famous image - one of an Afghani girl on the cover of National Geographic magazine.
(Click Here) to see the picture(s) and read the story.
In this 7 minute video on Petapixel, McCurry and photographers Bruce Davidson and Miru Kim discuss how people photography reflects basics of human nature.
(Click Here) for the video on Petapixel.
One image critic comments how more than one photographer has commented that they're simply "taking self-portraits," no matter who they're photographing. For Miru Kim, it's literal. She shoots images of herself. For most others, they're saying that people pictures reflect as much of the personality of the photographer as of the subject.
In the video, Steve McCurry shares some of his favorite slides (on an old-fashioned light table, surrounded by filing cabinets with paper folders, no less!). He comments on the "commonality of humanity" being reflected in the subject's face, when they're not pulling a pose or wearing a mask for the camera. Interestingly, in his outing during the video, he shoots a Nikon DSLR, with a single, small, prime lens (a Nikkor 35mm f2, I believe).
McCurry also describes walking the city, exploring, being completely "in the moment." This is a very common expression in Buddhism and other forms of meditation. It really is great to be able to focus on the moment, and not worry about the past or future. This is what photography does for me.
Here's to now, this moment.