In the book The Photography of William T. Vollmann, it says that, “When doing research and when taking documentary photographs, it is essential ‘to capture candid moments of reality.’ Therefore, a significant ethical guideline within the field is to never intentionally influence the scene or involve oneself with the subjects at hand.”
In street photography that I’ve been trying to do, should one fail to capture the collective spirit of the people, then the whole thing is akin to plain and simple voyeurism, or to that of a bland surveillance footage. What then I aspire to do, is transcend the frivolities of selfies and snapchats so that images may contribute crystallize realistic perception of human psyche encompassing ethos with its joys and fears. It’s always an exhilaratingly exhausting experience. One has to be technically precise with the device in a split second of those decisive moments. It needs total control of emotion so that subjects are completely unmindful for a truly candid shot to happen. I suspect that many ace street photographers, and even among enthusiasts like me, are adrenaline junkies. It wouldn’t be easy if one is not.
I hopped onto an almost empty jeepney and immediately seated opposite a man clutching a grey duffel bag with a dangling name tag. It had his complete name and the address of a construction company in the Middle East. He hugged the bag close to his body. but intently looking at the far end of the road rolling away behind us absolutely unmindful of me and the two other passengers beside the driver.
I curiously observed the pensive man with many questions juggling in my mind: “How many times more you have to leave your family this way? But it is for them that you endure that profound sadness in your eyes for another eternity away from them. How long will you still be away? Aren’t there better jobs here in the Philippines yet?