Charles Traub’s street portrait work seemed to attempt to capture human nature in a photograph. By finding people in their own “natural habitat”–in public, not any sort of private studio–he was able to create a true portrait of the individual. Because the human society acts as our own human ecosystem, we can conclude a great deal regarding human nature by photographing people in public. With a large compilation of such portraits, we get a better idea of what human nature is, should we interpret the images. Traub noted that a large collection of photographs can tell us a lot, and, furthermore, that today’s younger generation needs to learn how to interpret images (not just take them). This made me think about how many pictures a person can take in this era, yet fail to consider what that picture really means. Perhaps if we took the time to analyze the myriad of photographs in our phones or on our cameras, we could learn something important. It seems that in though we have access to this kind of technology
Traub also discussed how humans are all actors. According to him, we all wear masks. This made me think more about how society may be considered a person’s natural habitat, as to me it seems that one’s natural habitat would be a place where you do not wear a mask. It made me wonder, then, whether one can truly conclude anything about human nature from street portraits if all those people are really just actors wearing masks. Ultimately, though, this shows that perhaps it is human nature to wear a mask, and the mask that an individual chooses to wear can, in turn, speak to the idea of human nature. It then makes sense that a sound interpretation of such an image is not so simple, but, in fact, very involved and intricate.