You got to hope Bruce Gilden will be there tonight in Time Square. If he's not, he's there in spirit.
Mike (Thanks to Tom Kaszuba)
P.S. I could never do this. Not even once.
Featured Comment by Bruce Appelbaum: "It takes a particular type of New York 'stones' to be able to do what Gilden does and not get beaten up on a regular basis. Or an immediate intuition about who to shoot and who not to. You have to be a New Yawka (as I am, accent and all) to appreciate this. There could be serious consequences of firing a flash in the wrong person's face.
"The other day I was shooting in NYC in the Chinatown/Little Italy area. I don't generally shoot people. But there was a group of Chinese men with their caged birds in Sara Roosevelt Park, and one let me take his picture. Hey, says I to myself, maybe I can make a go of this.
"I turned around and there were three older Chinese gentlemen sitting on a park bench. I gestured with my camera to the men, and one says (really!), 'Not here.' It wasn't the words, it was the ominous tone that went with it. Unlike Gilden, I didn't talk back, just smiled and walked away. Having had my balloon burst, I didn't take any more people pictures."
Featured Comment by Gordon Lewis: "To Gilden's critics, before passing judgement on Bruce Gilden and his style of photography based on a 4-minute video clip, I suggest you visit his web site. I'm not saying it will change your mind, but at least you'll have more substantial evidence on which to base your opinion."
Mike comments: Some great stuff in that slideshow. I have to say, God knows I love Magnum photographers and their work, but I'm really growing to hate Magnum's website. The minuscule JPEGs are bad enough, but then to have those copyright notices sprinkled all over every damn picture...it's very distracting. Who's going to be able to use a teeny JPEG even if they do steal it? Well, besides me, I mean? Magnum should relax and get with web culture.
Featured Comment by Stan B.: "A couple of thoughts. If you grow up in NYC, want to photograph, don't have tons of money for a studio or to get outta the city—you photograph the streets. You may love Ansel Adams, but you ain't gonna commune with the grandeur of nature in the five boroughs. Don't judge Gilden by a short video and a half dozen shots, look at his books. Is the art he produces worth the split second of his sidewalk interruption? It's not every person's cup of tea, but I think the work phenomenal. He captures the very vitality and showtime atmosphere that is New York, each and every day where every corner is both stage and refuge. And he does it with a surreal balancing act of light, form, and yes, sometimes even a passing insight into what makes up his anonymous fellow denizens. What's more ethical, sneaking a shot with a telephoto, or acknowledging up close and personal that you're taking the person's photo? I abhor exploitative tourist photography of 'third world' countries—look at Gilden's work in Haiti for a a brutally honest, respectful and at times even beautiful presentation of it's people. If it's one thing I've learned, take a good look at the results, before you criticize."
Featured Comment by Ben Russell: "Bruce Gilden is amazing. Everyone should check out his latest Magnum In Motion segment on foreclosures. One of the best essays I've seen detailing the mess this country is in at this moment in time."
Featured Comment by pcb: "He’s got some good stuff…seems to me much of what he is trying to do is get in there before his subjects (characters) react. Breaking the 'personal space' barrier was always my biggest struggle…photography is invasive, whether we like it or not. Sure, some of us try to make it as polite an invasion as possible, but who are we kidding? Shoot first, apologize later."