Leland Bobbé: Women of 5th Avenue


Though Leland had only a moment to capture them, the photographs suspend these women in time so that we may examine our own thoughts about how they might live their lives, and about how people perceive themselves. As viewers we also have the opportunity to delve into what the photographer sees in ways we otherwise wouldn't be able to had the photographer not captured the image - examine the evidence of the 'work' done on these women, and to see the reflections of the rest of us. 

"When I'm on the street shooting this kind of work I feel what I imagine a hunter must feel like. There is a sense of stalking prey. The first thing I do is a find a street that is bathed in sunlight. I then find myself an inconspicuous spot on the street, often up against a building or a light pole, scoping out the people walking towards me from at least a half a block away. When I see a subject of interest I move out into the swirl of people on the sidewalk and start to track the person walking towards me in continuous auto-focus mode with an 80-200 zoom lens zooming in as the subject approaches and then zooming out as the person becomes very close to me. I can usually lose myself in the crowded street so that the person I'm shooting has no idea of what I'm doing until they are within 6 - 10 feet, and often not even then. Because I'm shooting so tight I'm only able to get off about 3 shots at the most before the person is by me. Not very controlled, but that's what makes it challenging and exciting." - Leland Bobbé

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