Are you afraid of cameras?

Are you afraid of cameras?

Are you afraid of camera? They’re all around us, so why do we fear the street photographer that is preserving the way we live for future generations?


Will future generations know what the early twenty first century looked and what we did? I recently came across two articles that embraced the importance of street and documentary photography. The links for them follow.

Halifax: snapshots in time
Race Civil Rights and Photography

This made me think of a very interesting and enlightening program I watched on TVO just recently about Fred Herzog. Mr. Herzog was a street photographer in Vancouver in the 1950’s and 60’s and his images capture the development and growth of the city. This is one of the best articles I could find on Mr. Herzog.

Herzog article

In the TVO broadcast it mentioned how in the 50’s and 60’s people didn’t think twice about somebody on the street taking pictures. Today everyone is suspicious despite the fact that this is the most photographed generation of all time. It seems everyone has a cell phone with a built in camera and there are cameras in most businesses that we go in, especially banks. Yet when we see someone with a camera on the street we become suspicious.

The other sad point is that in the 50’s and 60’s people like Herzog either made prints of their images or they captured them on slide film which has a very long lifespan. Today we think it’s great having our images on our phone. Ever had your phone lost or stolen?

Yet Herzog never had an exhibit until digital photography made it economical to scan and prepare his slides (to his liking) for printing.

I hope street photography makes a comeback. It is the only way our children and grandchildren are going to be able to show their children what it was like in the early 21st century.

We should be less afraid of cameras and more afraid of losing evidence of our history.


John Mitchell captures his subjects at their emotional high point. It’s part art and part science. His technical mastery in unrivaled. The heart and passion John pours into his photography knows no bounds.  Like the great masters in any field, John continues to expand his knowledge and experience, never satisfied to rest on past achievements. He studies the mannerisms of subjects before picking up a camera, studiously paints with light, and prints his own work.

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