Last night I was told, "take no photos on the bus." Yet, every time I ride the bus I take photos. I love the way the light comes in at an almost perfect 45 degree angle as we drive down 30th street on my morning commute. I love the greenish florescent light that aluminates the late night faces of the riders. And I love the mask we all put on when riding the bus. This mask of suppress all feelings, look at your phone and hold your breath till its over. I love taking those photos on the bus, and I love how much the bus surprises me with the opportunity to take so many other types of photos.
But this time I was told to take no photos on the bus by the driver. Was she right, should I not take photos? Legally, she is not right. In the public domain permission does not have to be granted to take a photo. Weather it be a building, person or event they are all fair game for my camera. But legality and morality often do no intersect in the easiest way. I try and understand the concern people have for their image, something acutely perceived at college. Taking photographs has become synonymous with smiling and capturing our beautiful moments. We want our images to reflect only the positive. This goes beyond the selfie, when was the last time you saw a christmas card with out a smiling bunch of people standing at attention like they are a bunch of Marines? It is human nature to remember the good and forget the bad. And like many objects we have projected our nature into our cameras and created a device that goes beyond enabling our selective memory but creates a real life one.
With my camera I seek to go beyond this. To see things that go beyond the happy memories, to look at the mundane as art of our lives. The bus is a small microcosm for this debate but that night I did take no photos.
This theme of what a photo means, when to take them and what I am doing with my camera are questions not easily ansewred and I am sure will come up in more posts.
Here are some photos from times that I did: