Is stealth possible/desirable/ethical?

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silvrmn
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Is stealth possible/desirable/ethical?
4 months ago

Most of my photography is "street". I do it as a form of meditation, walking familiar streets looking for the unfamiliar. When I find it, I stop, plant myself (6'1" 270 lbs.) squarely, put my camera to my eye, and stand stock still until I get my shot. That sounds slow and ponderous, but I can do it pretty swiftly. But I don't kid myself that there's anything stealthy about the process - or that the size of the camera makes me more or less stealthy.

I've read for years about the virtues of being the unobserved observer who captures evanescent purity in a candid instant, and maybe there's something to that; but I've never figured out how to do it. (I know there are all sorts of techniques for inconspicuously holding the camera, etc. but it's still totally-non-invisible-me attached to the camera.)

Are we just kidding ourselves?

Prada, si.  Prada, no.   Is it ethical to use this person as a prop for me to tell a story about income inequality?

Quinceanera gown on cold November day, Chicago.  She's posing for her photographer who is out of the frame on the left.

Bridal party leaving Quigley Chapel.  They saw me but didn't seem to notice.

This is closer to what I try to find.  Stealthiness or its lack didn't really enter into it.

I just walked up to him, gestured with my camera, and said, "May I?"  He nodded and went on enjoying his cigar.

Another subject who was asked and nodded "Yes".

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