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Photographs by Michael Poster
June 2nd 2005 - August 3rd 2005
Opening Reception Saturday June 4, 2005, 1PM - 4PM

Michael Poster has been photographing the people of Scranton since 2001 as part of his Scranton Photographic Project. In February and March, 2004 he showed the first 3 years of that work at the Marquis Gallery.

Recently, he's been making collaborative portraits while walking the streets of the city to be shown at Camerawork Gallery in an exhibit titled: Bulls Head to Nay Aug. The pictures describe the people you pass every day, those you might look at for a moment or two but might not really see. Here's what he says about these portraits:

Take a walk on city streets or through a park. Most people you meet will either avoid your gaze or offer a summary greeting and move on. You might notice them and at the end of your walk remember a few that stood out for some reason, but for the most part you probably haven't had the luxury of really looking at them. Worse yet, in spite of your best efforts you may have dismissed them altogether or categorized them as one type of person or another.

And they have likely done the same. If they remember you at all it might be as a short, middle-aged white guy with a camera, or a punk with a Mohawk, or a woman with too many rowdy kids. But chances are they haven't really seen you either.

These portraits happen when I slow that walk down and spend enough time to actually look at the people I encounter, if only for a few moments, without complacency or judgment. For those few moments I try to suspend predisposition and prejudice. I ask if I can make a portrait and they present themselves to the camera in a way that pleases them.

This collaborative effort is a mix of casual, almost offhand shooting and more contemplative picture-making, but it happens within a minute or two at most. If the process takes too long my efforts overwhelm their activities and compromise the exchange. It's important that I find an appropriate setting and make the picture quickly before I impose myself on them and on the picture as well.

More of Michael Poster's pictures can be seen at the Scranton Photographic Project web site.