100 Strangers… Facing the challenge of talking to strangers and doing it anyway

Meeting Strangers can be a way of opening up one’s world.  For those of us who are less outgoing, it can be challenging, but when faced with the need to photograph a stranger, it can be terrifying, even for people who find it easy to mix and mingle.

The challenge to seek permission from a stranger to take a photograph can be daunting and the easy road is to stand back and take the long shot with a telephoto while hiding in the shadows.  There are so many opinions of what is the right thing to do when it comes to pointing a camera at a total stranger that the novice has difficulty in finding the correct path. Sometimes it is necessary to take the quick candid shot, especially when the moment cannot be recreated, while on other ocassions, it may be better to strike a conversation and seek permission to make a photograph and so be able to take a series and have a deeper story to tell. Remember, everyone has a back story and most of them are fascinating.

There is no right answer to this delema, but I suggest that even when taking the candid shot, permission to use it should be sought after the fact. This has two benefits.. It provides an opportunity to get a model release signed so that if you make a masterpiece you will be able to sell it on and you have the opportunity to make a new friend.

All this being so I still have not mastered the courage to comfortably point a camera at someone I don’t know and so as a way to develop my skills at street photography, I have taken up the challenge to make photos and stories of a new 100 strangers on this page…

These are their stories

Sketching an iPad

On Anzac Day I found myself filling in time near Brisbane while waiting for a response from a person I had arranged to meet up with. As the day dragged on I found myself at the Brisbane Botanical Gardens near Mount Cootha.

There are themed displays under domes and in shade houses that would take days to see properly. The gardens are lovely with nicely laid out pathways and beautifully manicured plants.

It was here that I met Stranger No 3…. Hector was sitting quietly on the stone wall at the side of the path totally absorbed in something on his tablet. My first impression was that one could check out Facebook anytime, anywhere and it seemed that social media had claimed one more addict.

When I came up alongside him, I noticed that he was sketching the scene before him on the tablet. The treescape on the tablet was impressive and I stopped to ask him about it. He old me that there are quite a few apps that can be used for sketching and with the help of a stylus he was able to create a pretty impressive picture.

The app he used allowed him to choose the medium for each drawing…. this one was an oil painting and of course the beauty of this is that there is no cleaning up of brushes etc when the job is done.

Hector is from Chilli and has been here for two months to study. Clearly art is his passion and while his palette may be a tablet, art is art no matter what the form. One wonders what Picasso might have done if he had an iPad.

I Am Sam – A Stranger In The Night

A chance encounter outside a nightclub in Nobbies Beach brought me my next stranger…

I had hitched a ride on the 777 bus heading south from Broadbeach on the Gold Coast.  I had no particular destination in mind, other than to find a place to grab a bite to eat.  I jumped of at Nobby’s Beach to cheek out the possibilities and that is where I found Sam. Sam was doing door duty at a nightclub.  That was his night job….by day Same works at the Apple Store in Robina but his soul is in being creative.

What struck me about Sam was his look of old worldliness.  He could have come from almost any time in the past especially in the setting where I found him. Great guy with a great personality

 

A beautiful Encounter

2018 has brought a change of pace for me. I am on a secondment to our branch on the Gold Coast where I am assisting getting our drivers ready for the Commonwealth Games.

So far it has been full on but I am hoping that the weekends will allow me some explore time down here. My first introduction to coast life was to be woken by a fire alarm at the resort where I am staying. Apparently, some person with cognitive challenges decided to set fire to a car he had stolen and dumped in the basement car park. Fortunately, aside from the acrid smell, there was little damage.