Sunday, January 2, 2011

Now You See Them...

For most of my photographic career I've avoided photographing people or grudgingly included them in an image now and then. But recently more and more people have been creeping into my photographs.

I believe this is happening due to the influence of a number of street photographers and photojournalists with whom I've been hanging out over the past few years. By some form of creative osmosis that seems to take place while we walk along the streets of the City, I'm finding people becoming more and more interesting as critical elements in, if not the primary subjects of many of my photographs.

I find myself less often waiting for a person to move out of the frame and instead including them in at least one variation of the image. Sometimes they are no more than a barely distinguishable blur or a silhouette off to the side or a face in the shadows and sometimes that makes the image stronger.

My basic approach of photography as a form of archaeology hasn't changed. I'm still primarily interested in interpreting our social environment by examining and documenting those things people have created and placed in the natural environment. But as happens in field archaeology we do chance upon fragments of the individuals themselves: those who built and shaped the artifacts we now find so important to the telling and understanding of our social and cultural history.

Photo: ©2010 David W. Sumner

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