Just who is that guy? His presence in the photo above intrigues me. If I let it do so, it might even haunt me. He seems out-of-joint in the picture; like he has been Photoshopped in.
You can see him, can’t you? If you cannot I am going to be really bothered and fear for my sanity. See, in this photo of the fountain in Trafalgar Square he is on the left side about 3/4 of the way along, leaning on the side of the fountain and looking obliquely in the direction of the camera. Actually, he is looking at something else. What? He has a moustache and is a bit lean-of-face.
It seems like he has just been dropped into the picture. All of the other people are looking towards the fountain but he is looking back in the direction (sort of) of the photographer – namely me.
What’s his story? Is he spying on his wife who is engaged in a tryst with her art-loving milkman? I say that because the National Gallery is within his sights and perhaps he’s spied them on the steps. And English milkmen are notorious for the amount of action they get from lonely housewives.
Or is he a mobster who has been commissioned to carry out a hit and is looking for his intended victim in the crowd. Maybe he is an international terrorist with plans to nail the aforementioned National Galley in a gesture that would sap the morale of the United Kingdom or because he has a special aversion to the artistry of Constable. Are there timed TNT sticks or a ‘plastique’ strapped under his jacket?
Anyway, there is something that happens when you take photos that include unknown people. You know, a bit like that excellent movie Blow Up in which the photog, taking multi-frames, actually sees a murder taking place that is not immediately visible when looking through the viewfinder. I mean, I didn’t see that fellow when I was taking the picture, but now my eye goes directly to him.
A number of years ago I went to a photo shoot at our local air force base to grab pictures of the Queen who was paying a call. I got some terrific shots of relatively up-close stuff. Then, at the end of the day, I realized, because I was so determined to get some good shots, that I hadn’t really looked at the royal lady except through my viewfinder. I almost felt cheated out of an experience.
Somehow that is sort of analogous to the unknown man in my photo. Anyway, if he shows up in any other pictures, I am going to be rather unnerved.
I think it’s up to him to step forward and identify himself.