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 strangers’ faces5677.jpg

 

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The year of Paris triangles

She wanted triangles that year and SV wanted to see what was cropped out.

So she decided not to declare any picture finished. It can’t be predicted which variation Stranger Viewer might 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 sees now 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 annoying presumption common to professional photographers and tourists alike. 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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