Nov 032012
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I love capturing the expressions of people when they are unaware that I am there with a camera. These children, who live on the edge of the Rio Napo inland from Misahualli, in the Ecuadorian Amazon Jungle, are intently watching the removal of a thorn from the finger of a tourist. The small group of tourists have tramped for some hours to visit a local family and learn about how they live and survive in the jungle, but are temporarily distracted by the drama. Now the locals are watching the tourists. The children sit on the steps of their house, about 20 metres from the waters edge. One can always see an older brother or sister looking after the younger children.

My portraits are very photojournalistic in style (there might be some laughter from some people at this point), because I want to capture something of that person, and their life/emotion/being etc, not the relationship between the person and me/my camera. 95% of my portraits the subjects are not looking at the camera. If they are looking towards the camera, I have interrupted what they are doing/thinking, and it all changes.


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  3 Responses to “Who is watching who? – Juliette Capaldi”

  1. You caught me! Having a giggle about the portrait/photojournalism conundrum.

    I like your thoughts on “interrupting what they are doing.” I suspect it mirrors the story the photographer sees as an observer or a participant. I think your design here supports the out of frame point of interest for the kids; comfortably echoing but offset from the strong diagonal. I believe I would find it difficult to consistently shoot this way, having to balance the weight of that phantom spot out of the frame with the visible elements.

  2. Hi Juliette.
    I enjoyed that this image is mostly about things you cant see and that you, as the image maker, have not influenced things at all.
    I also smiled when I read that the “phantom spot” was simply a thorn being removed.
    I find it difficult to make this sort of observational shot without feeling sneaky in some sort of way.

  3. It’s interesting that being in a place like this with a camera will always influence the people there. The act of observation influences the subject

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