“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.  😉

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One thought on “ One Shot: The Watcher, A Lesson in Managing Fear ”

  1. The eyes have it! It looks like God is casting this man down from heaven. It also seems to reference the detail from the F. Scott Fitzgerald book The Great Gatsby.

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