“The Ethics of Street Photography”

The Creative Independent features artists in their own voice – ranging from thought-provoking to armchair bullshit – and is one of my regular blog reads lately.

Recently there was an interview with Daniel Arnold about street photography, that I think is worth sharing.


Small Town Mayor. Big Integrity.

portrait of forest grove oregon mayor pete truax
Forest Grove, Oregon Mayor Pete Truax. 2015 MLK Jr Day March. Forest Grove, OR.

It would be nice if more small town city councils had guts now. Mayor Pete Truax of Forest Grove, OR does. Unfortunately others on his city council do not, in regards to sanctuary cities and immigration.

Forest Grove, OR is 25% Latino. It also has a small university. On MLK Jr Day in 2015, I photographed a march in Forest Grove done in the spirit of Dr. King’s march on Washington D.C. in 1963.

Unfortunately, for a majority on Forest Grove’s city council, all of that is worth ignoring now.

One Window, Two Different Shots

It’s a good creative exercise to see how many ways you can shoot the same subject. I like to photograph the same window, just to see how different I can do it each time.

Above are two photos of my home studio window. Both while I stood in exactly the same spot. The results are completely different.

One obviously is the outdoor scene on a snow day. The window screen is visible, too.

The second picture is my reflection in the window, with my wall and portrait background visible. The rain water on the window shows us what is outside. If you look close, you’ll see trees as well.

Wherever you are, there is always something to photograph, and when you open your mind to it there are myriad ways to shoot the same thing.

Glass Houses

I find the fetish for glass covered new buildings odd. Not being an architect, maybe I’m missing the point. Perhaps the new developments that I see in my travels are more efficient, when constructed this way.

If so, I still find them lacking in style and imagination. This aesthetic is common around the world now. There is no local identity or culture in them. It’s plain and boring.

It’s strange to me that we live in a world so consumed with the notion of privacy, that new office buildings and condominiums are seemingly nothing but window towers.┬áPeople inside can watch passers-by on the street but would likely cry foul if the passers-by turned and looked at them.

This seems too insular and one-way to me, and it encourages distance and isolation in urban areas where vibrant public interaction is essential. New and old buildings are necessary. But Dublin, like many great cities, deserves better than repetitive glass houses.