October 4, 2014
Gareth Bragdon - In our houses we are safe from the unknown faces & shadows that walk the streets.
We celebrate our individuality but drowned in a pool of our own misery. Free from the outside world of peering eyes and judgement man prepares themselves. They leave their homes hiding alway all insecurity hoping only to survive the coming day.
The streets are made of strangers and when I’m on the street I am a stranger. I walk cross roads climbing stairs and wait in lines. I’m surrounded by people all with their own names and stories. I will never know their names I will never know hear their story. I continue walking with my eyes to the ground. I hit something, I look up and its this woman wearing the most vibrant red lipstick I’ve ever seen. We make eye contact, she smiles and I smile back. I then say sorry…she says nothing so I again continue down the Street of Strangers. For that one brief second I was not a shadow; I was person. I could see in her eyes she had a loving and caring soul. I finally reach my door…I am home away from the peering eyes and judgment of others. I am now alone.
When I became a street photographer I became a viewer. A viewer of the stranger seeking to capture their image their individuality. I walk the street looking and listening waiting for the next opportunity. I grip my camera and position myself like a heat seeking missile. With only inches separating me and the stranger I quickly lift the camera to my eye and fire. The flash ignites and an exposure is made. I’ve made contact…I have taken their soul. For that brief moment me and my camera became intimate with a stranger.