Minimalist Mondays : Voyeurism

“The basic condition of the voyeuristic scenario is distance, an essential separation between seer and seen. Despite this distance, which is by definition unbridgeable, despite the unrequitable nature of the desire that drives it, the voyeur’s gaze is a privileged one.”

Great book I highly recommend called Train Your Gaze: A Practical and Theoretical Introduction to Portrait Photography by Roswell Angier. The quote above is from TYG. Almost by anyone’s definition it is not a book on portrait photography. It is really an analysis of contemporary art photography as well as some of the classic but nevertheless quite daring, in their time, 20th century photographers.

The chapter on voyeurism begins with a quote by Walker Evans, certainly an idol of mine and countless other photographers.

“Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.”

22 comments

    1. Ah great question! (I think) Hmmm. It’s sort of a lot like Meat-less Mondays. And then a little like Beatlemania. It just got going and then sort of swept the world. That’s all I know.

      1. omg, I guess I understand.
        When I was a schoolboy, everybody in my class sang songs from the Beatles.
        But, nobody speak English.
        I asked them what that song mean in German.
        They didn’t know, but beat me up because of the silly question.

      2. We not have to pay them much.
        They were stupid those days, they are same stupid today.
        Or am I wrong?
        Maybe YOU was beaten up by Einstein Juniors only?
        Mine was like Frankensteins monster only.

    1. Thank you, Ray! Always one of my favorite images. You take a shot and you hope it turns out this very special way that you see it in your head and when it does… well. Thanks again!

      db

  1. I think it was sometime last year when I borrowed my friend’s dslr and 70-300mm lens. And that was the only day I ever used a telephoto lens.It made me feel so much like a creep. Ugh!

    Prime lenses are so much fun and obviously a lot less creepier. But yeah there are still situations when I feel a wee bit creepy. I guess there’s no way to shake this feeling off unless you ask for permission every single time.

    That makes me even more uncomfy. Damn!

    Oh, and that quote in the end by Walker Evans. It could very well be the motto of NSA xD

    1. This was an 85 1.4. Very very quick decision to lift the camera and shoot.

      I have to say I never feel like a creep with my camera. I just don’t have creepy intentions.

      Thanks for commenting!
      db

      1. Yes, neither do I. But the zooming in on people from 50 meters away just feels weird no matter how innocuous my intentions are. Might as well shoot them in the face instead.

        Anyway, 85mm f/1.4? Sweet! My Minolta has a 50mm f/1.4.

    1. Thank you so much. That is really maybe my favorite image from the pre-Leica days. So glad anyone sees anything at all in any of my shots but your thoughts on this image are very special to me. thank you again.

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