... blog post:
I have a love of photographing places, devoid of people, using the technique of absent presence which I have said before. So why do people insist on stepping into shot?
To say it drives me nuts is an understatement. OK I get it. We live in our overcrowded little island where it is hard to go anywhere even to remote places without running into someone and in highly populated areas crowds of someones. So keeping people out of shot has to be accepted as a challenge on many occasions.
But there seems to be a type of person who either wanders about unthinkingly in their own little world or is selfish and just doesn't care about others or worse again still is aggressively spiteful and takes delight in ruining things for others or possibly worst of all is persistently overly helpful. When there are groups of them all interacting - nightmare!
So I have learned the golden rules of politeness, patience and developing a thick skin. Even if I am fuming inside I conceal it, smile and show a calm exterior. It often nearly kills me!
Ideally I try to chose times when people will rarely be present when I am making photographs. If as they often are, I will try to watch and wait in patience until they move away and thus excluding them. If they want to engage me, I will chat to them, explain what I am doing and hope that they will then be polite and exit the scene before someone else turns up.
The reason I want people free pictures of my chosen locations is I want to convey a sense that someone has either just left or is just about to return to the place allowing their role in the scene to be implied by the viewer. Hence the term of the technique, absent presence. The intention is that the image of the location itself sparks a narrative about the place in the viewers own imagination.
So when people wander into shot either unintentionally or otherwise you can see why this might drive me a little crazy, especially if happens repeatedly for the same scene whilst I am trying to make my photograph. Patience, breathe, chill, relax, watch, wait and eventually if you are lucky...