Capturing the paparazzi feeling

While visiting Ethiopia some fellow travelers joined me on a walk in the streets of Harar. Soon they found out that for me photography is serious and not just in for tourist snapshots. They asked about the camera I am using and what type of photo’s I produce. They looked how I make photo’s and became inspired. Soon they started to take also photos with their cameras and smartphones. When I saw something and made a photo they took same spot and tried to imitate my actions.

Making portraits became impossible for me, I asked for a photo and then they also took the same photo. I started to feel like in the zoo or being a guide that says “take a photo here, it is an amazing spot”. So I had to give up on portraits for that afternoon. I thought the only thing left was Street Photography.

When I waited for the right moment at a promising spot, the travelers where doing the same. With their behavior they more or less forced me to leave and continue to look for another subject.

In Street Photography I not very often make photos from people walking in front of me, it is just not interesting enough. This woman and the color combination was unique but the travelers still where with me. With some frustration I pressed the button.

The resulting photo visualizes the paparazzi feeling that accompanied me that afternoon. Maybe it was not the most productive afternoon but considering the constraints I made an interesting photo that captures that special feeling.

I know, there are organized photo-walks. I’m not sure if I am going to feel well during such an event but maybe someday I’l give it a try and challenge myself to come home with something unique.

How about you? Do you have any experience with photo-walks?

5 thoughts on “Capturing the paparazzi feeling

  1. Love the photo. It really does portray that paparazzi feeling, but the line of shadows also ‘points’ towards the woman in red. The shadows and woman in the red head shawl DO make a really well-balanced composition. I think this ‘balance’ really makes the composition work well.

    I was reading a tutorial on Digital Photography School not so long ago talking about having something red in your images. Apparently, many ‘great’ images have red somewhere in the image, usually the focal point that draws your eyes into the frame (of that image). I’ll have to do a search through my own archives to find if I have red as a focal point and IF that red makes the image more worthwhile.

    When I used to do a lot of nature walks in the Royal Botanic Gardens many years ago, I was always getting people, usually tourists, coming up to me and asking what camera I had (especially if it was on a tripod) and what was I photographing…… if the type of camera makes a great image, OR that I was able to see a great composition that they might like to emulate.

    So many non-photographers, OR those new to Photography, can’t seem to override this idea that the Camera make the shot. It’s the Photographer who makes the shot. A good sharp lens and appropriate camera settings helps, but it’s definitely the Photographer who has the Photographic Vision.

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