"Why don't people, instead of the idiocies they do spend their time on, just walk around looking at things?"
Coming Up for Air, by George Orwell
From the Hip – Montreal has nothing to do with hipsters. It is an experiment in clandestine street photography in Montreal, Quebec.
These photographs can be thought of as film stills from the reportage of my mind and glimpses from the corner of my eye. They are impressionistic by nature, and are all about the confluence of event, subject, and perspective.
For this work I hold the camera inconspicuously at waist level (thus, "from the hip") and guess at the compositions. As you might expect, this project is also an exercise in editing, as there are many unsuccessful shots.
Copyright for all of the photographs on <em>From the Hip – Montreal</em> is owned by me, Ed Hawco. If you want to use one for any purpose, just ask (edhawco [@] edhawco [dot] com). If it's for commercial use I will charge a reasonable fee. If it's for personal or artistic usage, or some kind of mashup, I'll probably let you use it for free (with attribution).
Aubry vs. Éditions Vice-Versa
Something you won't see much of in From the Hip – Montreal is recognizable faces. Why? Because in Quebec it is illegal to publish a photograph of someone without their permission, even if the photograph is taken in a public place. This is the result of a lawsuit (Aubry vs. Editions Vice Versa) in which the plaintiff (Pascale Claude Aubry) successfully sued a magazine that had published a street photograph of her without her permission. She claimed it violated her right to privacy and caused her embarrassment.
The ruling sent a shock wave through the photographic community in Quebec. Street photography is a well respected and widely practiced genre, and suddenly it was off limits within these borders. In reality, plenty of people still practice street photography, but they do so at the risk of lawsuit if any of their subjects decide to take action. Thankfully, the people of Quebec are, by and large, artistically minded and more inclined to encourage photographic expression than to prosecute it.
That is one of the reasons why I generally (but not exclusively) don't photograph people in a recognizable way. That's why this is clandestine street photography. (Or perhaps, if you're less dramatic, stealthy street photography.)
My other photo blog, the Monday Morning Photo Blog, has been running since 2004. It has no particular theme or orientation; it's just one photo published every Monday morning.
Go to the Blork Portal for links to my Flickr photostream and my other blogs.
I keep it simple. "From the Hip -- Montreal" is shot entirely with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 (although a few were taken with my DMC-LX2). For other work I also use a Lumix GF1 and a modified Holga.