Picture analysis – Sophie Calle

Picture analysis – Sophie Calle

When I first looked at this sequence of images I realised that they did not really register anything with me until I then began to explore the concept-that of observing almost in a voyeuristic fashion, a stranger. The images in themselves are not immediately capturing, at least to my eye.

The pictures are taken in a sort of vernacular fashion and so have the look of photos shot from the hip rather than considered compositions taken into account balance and form etc. As such they appear to be photos that are being taken slightly conspicuously. As is stated in the text there is a letting go by the photographer and a focus on the subject being the leader and the camera following the lead, which is an interesting idea. The image I like most is the final one. The idea of looking into someones home with the camera seems more of a risk than following them in the street. This is because behind closed doors there is the expectation of privacy whereas in the street you are in a public space and cannot claim private moments to such an extent.

Questions:

1.Morally speaking I have to place myself in the shoes of the person being photographed in order to get the answer. In a subjective sense I would not feel comfortable being pursued and unwittingly photographed. I imagine few people would. But morally I ask myself the question, is there really anything amoral about photographing a person in the street without permission? We see people in the street and shoot photos all of the time. Is capturing a photo of a person anymore an invasion of privacy than looking at them? I suspect it comes down to the question of use of the image. If i want to portray a story of the person from a particular angle that maybe is not true, using the image to portray falseness might be an ethical issue.

2. On reflection I could imagine working as an undertakers assistant or somewhere that deals with almost taboo subjects that could be challenging and rewarding to present in an interesting ways to the public. Death is a theme which is habitually ignored or avoided. As an adventure I would imagine travelling in some way, noting how people behave in their daily lives. Maybe recording the routine of someone over the course of a week trying to capture their mental states and emotions to see the parallels and differences.

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