Over the years, I have found the most difficult pictures to take in Bahrain are those of people.
It was always not easy but after the unfortunate events of February 2011, it’s become well high impossible.
Everyone seems to be somewhat suspicious of anyone with a camera, perhaps not knowing where the pictures would be used and how. Some happenings that took place in the last few years have made the ordinary people even more suspicious – or careful!
Nevertheless, I have managed to take ‘people’ pictures on several occasions, most of the times after an ‘aye’ from the subject but sometimes, using a zoom lens, on the sly!
It’s these people pictures that are the most satisfying, not only because these display human emotions bot also because of the challenge in portraying those emotions.
What is quite irritating is that when a subject agrees to his/her picture being taken, it’s no longer a picture in that sense – since it’s a ‘posed’ photograph – the subject is conscious and would not be his normal self.
That is why, the best pictures are the ones take without the subject knowing – as with all these accompanying pictures as also the one on the top of this page of three young men preparing their boat to go fishing.
Of course, it’s just a coincidence that three of these pictures show men smoking – but that’s also the reality – since smoking is very prevalent in this part of the world!
And, yes, one more thing! The ‘people’ subjects are far friendlier in some parts of Bahrain than in others. I have had men – and rarely, women, actually ‘freshen up’ to get their pictures taken when asked and in some cases, even re-enact a particular ‘scene’ that I would have wanted to photograph.
Sometimes, looking at all those books of works by great photographers makes me wonder whether I am in the right place to pursue my passion but I realise this is a far greater challenge than most places would present – since the photograph has to be ‘created’ rather than taken!