Mysterious Women

by J D July. 17, 2021 196 views

For the majority of time ever since early 2020 when Corona lockdowns and mask mandates were initially enforced, I have made taking street candid portraits of maskless strangers my primary focus. One could even call it somewhat an obsession of mine. However, every now and then I must remind myself that the unknown can be just as intriguing. Here are a few mysterious women that I've come across these past few years.   

She entered at the perfect moment.

She entered at the perfect moment.

Darth Vader cameo?

Darth Vader cameo?

Experimenting with some ICM.

Experimenting with some ICM.

She was slightly out of kilter as I observed her sitting here. I waited a little while just to make sure she wasn't needing any assistance. She walked away fine a short time afterwards.

She was slightly out of kilter as I observed her sitting here. I waited a little while just to make sure she wasn't needing any assistance. She walked away fine a short time afterwards.

I was leaving the store as she was entering.

I was leaving the store as she was entering.

We were both walking this same path.

We were both walking this same path.

I got drenched in this storm but I felt it was worth the shot.

I got drenched in this storm but I felt it was worth the shot.

Something about the way she carried herself caught my eye & attention.

Something about the way she carried herself caught my eye & attention.

On our limousine bus ride back to home from Kansai International Airport, I took this shot of a woman gazing out the window as we passed by the Neyagawa Trend Hotel.

On our limousine bus ride back to home from Kansai International Airport, I took this shot of a woman gazing out the window as we passed by the Neyagawa Trend Hotel.

 I liked this woman's hair and coat as we were walking to catch another connecting subway train.

I liked this woman's hair and coat as we were walking to catch another connecting subway train.

Quite a collection there. Too bad I don't drink. Maybe not?

Quite a collection there. Too bad I don't drink. Maybe not?

She shied away last second by shielding her beautiful face underneath that umbrella. LOL I was too slow to autofocus which I think worked in my favor as this look just added that much more to her intriguing appearance.

She shied away last second by shielding her beautiful face underneath that umbrella. LOL I was too slow to autofocus which I think worked in my favor as this look just added that much more to her intriguing appearance.

Our waitress kneeling down to take our food orders at a local Osaka restaurant.

Our waitress kneeling down to take our food orders at a local Osaka restaurant.

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Antonio Gil 2 months ago

great street pictures throughout JD. I'm always learning just looking at your pictures

2 months ago Edited
J D Replied to Antonio Gil 2 months ago

Thanks so much Antonio that is very kind of you to say. smile

2 months ago Edited
Aneim Chang 2 months ago

Great shot as usual.
LOL

2 months ago Edited
J D Replied to Aneim Chang 2 months ago

smile

2 months ago Edited
Tsao T-F 2 months ago

People are always interested in those people / things that have some covered parts. Love this mysterious series.smile

2 months ago Edited
J D Replied to Tsao T-F 2 months ago

Thanks very much my friend! smile

2 months ago Edited
Linda Patki 2 months ago

Wonderful!  I'm learning a lot from you about people pictures.  #12 is just terrific. Who cares about the face?  The umbrella, skirt, shoes and handbag are everything!!

2 months ago Edited
J D Replied to Linda Patki 2 months ago

Thanks again for those very kind compliments Linda I really do appreciate them. Yes I agree #12 is a fav of mine also.

2 months ago Edited
Nancy Andrea D 2 months ago

Lovely photos, J D. Just wondering, is it that easy to do street photography in Japan? I was under the impression that it was a no-no to do street photography unless we ask their permission but then it won't be a street photography ... just being curious.

2 months ago Edited
J D Replied to Nancy Andrea D 2 months ago

Great question Nancy so glad you asked. Please forgive me but this answer is going to be long winded. I have to send in 2 separate parts as I exceeded their 3000 character limitations LOL! 

1st part:
Street photography is interpreted differently by many people. To me it's anything out there in the public space...including adults and children. That's where the hot debates usually begin regarding legal vs. illegal and do we have to first ask their permission or not. I researched this subject at length 2 yrs ago before I even attempted. I watched many street photography videos on Youtube. One of these guys I really like is out in the UK. His name is David Wallace and his channel is David Wallace Shoots. He hasn't been uploading any videos recently, most likely due to UK Covid lockdowns. But his videos from 2020 are very interesting as you watch him go about his street work. He loves to have conversations with people about what he is doing, and educating them on the legal rights to take anyone's public photo if he wants. Well you can imagine how that went over with some of the more indignant ones.

Then I researched the ACLU and other websites. What I found is there is nothing legally stopping Americans from taking public photos of people (which includes children) and you do not have to ask permission from them or the parents. Posting and publishing their photos onto photography websites like photoblog and others is also legal. But obviously illegal for pornographic or commercial selling purposes. It comes down to just exercising our First Amendment Constitutional Freedom of Speech Rights. "If you can see it you can shoot it." You can take any photo of anybody in public, with or without their permission. But always keeping in mind NOT where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Just common sense of respect and decency, and understanding situational awareness.  

However, our First Amendment is being seriously challenged and compromised since all the BigTech companies have been censoring, deleting, shadow banning, deplatforming, and demonetizing individuals and their Youtube channels with all their artificial intelligence algorithms if it counters their mainstream media & official government narratives / agenda...but I digress that's a hot topic for another day. For more detailed explanation, you can read this from ACLU:
https://www.acludc.org/en/know-your-rights/know-your-rights-if-stopped-photographing-public

2 months ago Edited
J D Replied to Nancy Andrea D 2 months ago

2nd Part:
Regarding here in Japan. As far as I've researched, there is nothing stated in their Japan Constitutional Law that prohibits taking street candid photos of people without asking their permission. With that said, the Japanese generally speaking are often very camera shy and do not like their photos taken. Many times when they spot my camera, they will automatically turn their heads down & away, or veer off right or left completely out of frame. Or like this woman in photo #12, they will shield their faces with umbrellas or hands. Unless of course we're talking about touristy locations with nightclubs, entertainment, & shopping areas such as Shinjuku and Shibuya in Tokyo...in which case their happy relaxed bodies filled with liquor makes them all too willing to pose or have their candid snaps taken.

I've only encountered 3 or 4x these last few years where someone became extremely peed off with me in Japan. Each time I deescalated the situation by just deleting their photo which calmed them down. Also, smiling a lot, deeply bowing, and giving universal thumbs up sign mitigated many potential unpleasant encounters. If we...especially males...don't project as creepy or voyeuristic, then we have a much better chance to get the candid photos we want. That's why I always think that women street photographers have a slight edge compared to us males in that regard.

Other than that, just pick your spots wisely and don't be afraid. And again, thanks for the question and taking the time to read through all of this!

2 months ago Edited
Nancy Andrea D Replied to J D 2 months ago

Thank you J D for answering my curiosity. I have read it all. I agree with your sentence quote: That's why I always think that women street photographers have a slight edge compared to us males in that regard unqote.
Thanks very much for taking your time. I appreciate it!

2 months ago Edited
J D Replied to Nancy Andrea D 2 months ago

smile

2 months ago Edited
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