The Arbus Agreement

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Hang back. Don’t intrude. If you aren’t going to have sex with them, if you aren’t Diane Arbus, don’t stick a camera in a stranger’s face.5677.jpg

 

 

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The year of Paris triangles

She wanted triangles that year. SV wanted to see what was cropped out of the three. So she decided not to declare any picture finished. It can’t be predicted which variation Stranger Viewer might possibly like.  Unlike painting, sculpting, and all other visual arts, making and displaying variations of an initial capture is fast and easy.

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It didn’t occur to her until she noticed the reaction–from bemusement and helplessness to anger, that she can now see all the time everywhere–that there is no invitation to take pictures of strangers. The entitlement of people and their cameras.

More scowls

It’s an intriguing presumption common to professional photographers and to the tourists they feel contempt towards. Pro or tourist, most imagine it’s okay to aim a camera up close in people’s faces and call it “street photography”.

Taking pictures without offering sex? Diane Arbus deferred to others’ desire, photos after, in Mrs. Carveth’s opinion the proper way, for those who are driven to do “street” photography, to justify pushing a machine into a stranger’s face to get a souvenir.

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