“I always feel like somebody’s watching me.
And I have no privacy.
…I always feel like somebody’s watching me.
Tell me is it just a dream…”
Rockwell – Somebody’s Watching Me
I took this image in DTLA on an overcast day in January of this year. When I’m in street photographer mode, I actually enjoy the hunt for an image as much as I enjoy taking the photo. With the overcast skies, low contrast, and an unusual lack of activity in my vicinity, I had been doing more hunting than shooting that day . Then, I saw the eyes watching me from across the street.
At first, I wasn’t sure why this bespectacled portion of a face grabbed my attention. After a second or so, the answer dawned on me. It’s just a little bit sinister. Correction. It’s definitely very sinister. Here’s my reasoning – That glare is penetrating, predatory, and without emotion. The eyeglasses only add to the wolf-in-grandma’s-nightgown creepiness. And the vertical bands create a barrier between the viewer and viewee as if the guy was staring through bars or a window. Hmmmm, kinda gives ya’ the willies, right?
It’s OK…I know…you’re as creeped out as I was. However, it was the middle of the day and there were other people around, so yielding to my flight or fight response would have been pretty embarrassing. Instead, I waited for an appropriate subject to provide counterbalance, nervously raised my camera, and preserved the moment on Tri-X for all to see. This is how a real street photographer deals with fear! Lesson over. 😉