Violation of Privacy

And but so, I’ve been working on a series of night photographs around my home in Ithaca, NY.

I’ve been going out most every night the past week-ish, and photographing trees.

So the other night, I was out shooting.  It was cold, and I walked down a very dark street.  I had a pair of headphones on, listening to a wonderful recording by John Luther Adams.

I’d been photographing for close to an hour.  I finished a picture, and picked up the camera and tripod.  Despite the music and my headphones, I heard someone yelling.

What are you doing?! She yelled at me.  I looked around, and the porch of a house – side on a hill just above the street where I’d be photographing – a man and woman stood smoking, bundled in winter coats and hats.

I’m taking pictures. I responded.

Well I think this is pretty fucking weird, she yelled back.  What for?!

Not really for anything, I said, just for me.

Well, I think that is weird.

I’m on a public street, I responded.  What’s the problem?

I think it’s weird that you are out here photographing people’s houses at night!

I’m not photographing houses, just trees.

Well, I think that’s weird.

This banter went on for several minutes.  The couple stood on their porch smoking the whole time, the man always silent, and each thing the woman yelled at me began with the same editorial, Well I think that’s weird.

Eventually, I chose to ignore them, and walked up the street to continue working.  I wonder what the problem was? an invasion of privacy?  I decided to look their house up on google earth (it’s the one to the left of the driveway with two orange cars, set off from the street).  I can’t wait to go back and photograph there again.

*The night photographs here aren’t mine (I haven’t yet done any scanning), but are pictures made by two friends/mentors, Robert Adams and John Gossage.


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