In 1995, after a long break, I started a new era in my street photography. The fundamental change was the introduction of colour. This brought along experiments and choices of materials. Also my tools went through a period of changes. Working with websites has introduced me to the computer as a tool for choosing images. It made it easier to browse through them and make comparisons. My photography has remained film based.
A couple of hours of a walking and shooting
Nowadays I make it my business to go out for a walk in order to shoot pictures, during which I try to be as alert as possible. I can maintain that drive for a few hours at a time, with a result of 20-100 exposed frames. I begin shooting with an easily found object, like mobile phone users.
Should I happen to run into a specific event with a crowd, I’ll take pictures there. The bigger themes I keep in my head are added to almost without thinking, as I come across scenes that relate to them. Arranged events and subjects I can name, create a framework, where it is easier for me to spot new combinations even in familiar surroundings.
These days I’m also constantly aware of the ethical requirements concerning my photography. Even though it is allowed to take pictures in public places, the images cannot offend the people in them. I’m often asked how people react when I photograph them. I haven’t had any problems with the Finnish people. Obviously I tell them what I’m doing if someone asks. That happens rarely.
All my street images are unarranged situations. If there is something out of the ordinary, staged, in my images, it hasn’t been created for me. Even moving to a different position in order to get a better back round, is influencing, but mainly I never ask anyone to repeat something I saw for a picture.
I might do a sort of telepathic directing. When there are the elements of a good image visible, but the actual “thing” is missing, I’ll start hoping for it to emerge. The realisation of my wish or surprise seems to depend on how individualized my wish - travelling through the time-space-continuum of possibilities – was.
Text and photos © Jouko Leskelä
invited by ulf fågelhammar
Have a look a the first part of this invitation