The Street, including pavements, public squares and other open spaces within the borders of town and city, is where life shows itself in many moods. Where life is immediate, un-choreographed, filled with surprises or shock or awe, or delight. All is in motion – legs, arms, faces, cars, light and shadow, textures, colours. Everything seems to move, even when I stand still for a moment to just watch. In some streets people dance, in others they do business, sell chickens, phones, appliances or hairdo’s. They play ball, jump over fountains, discover their own reflections in puddles and form friendships. People watching from behind the lens is the ultimate experience of voyeurism. Nothing beats it.
What seems mundane, or not even noticed while the mind is crammed with thoughts of what to do when point A becomes point B, changes as if by magic, when suddenly a camera announces its presence. This, at least, is what happens to me. The camera, a fairly new partner – if one decade can be so described – affects this transformation. Whether I walk in my current home city, Cape Town, South Africa, or as I did prior to 2010 in Johannesburg and its suburb Hillbrow, the familiar suddenly strips itself from ordinariness. So yes, “I am in a serious relationship”, is my regular answer to long-not-seen friends’ question,”with my camera.”
13 April 2019