You would think that living a hop away from one of the greatest cities in the world that I would have tons of candid street shots in my portfolio, but I don’t.  Even though I absolutely love street photography, the honest truth is that I get very anxious when it comes to taking pictures in public. The last thing I want to do is take a picture of a random stranger and have them chase me down the street or worse, have them break my camera in a fit of rage (yes…I have an active imagination)! But I do believe in stepping out of one’s comfort zone and one of my goals this year is to keep flexing those street photography muscles.  The funny thing is that when I’m visiting another country, it comes to me much more easily. I think it has a lot to do with that tourist mentality which let’s you get away with taking pictures of just about anything.  These photos were taken during our stay in Athens. The political climate was pretty intense at the time since we had arrived at the tail end of the riots. Our hotel was located right in front of the Greek Parliament building where most of the mayhem occurred, so we had front row seats to the aftermath. Though the pictures may look alarming, it was business as usual and not once did we feel unsafe roaming the streets of this fascinating city.

A stray dog chases pigeons in front of the Greek Parliament building.

I have no idea what  the signs say, but telling by the picture of Che, I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the protests.Masks hanging  in Syntagma Square. Can you spot the teargas grenade behind one of them? Tents belonging to the protesters taking up temporary residence in Syntagma Square.Police gathered around the area of the Parliament building. As you can see, I get a little bold when I’m on tourist mode, sorry officer!The remains of a newstand bombed during the riots.Bullet holes?  Not sure…but we spotted several of these around Syntagma Square.

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August 22, 2011 - 2:49 am

Life with Kaishon - Wow. I love what you captured. Maybe you should just pretend you are a tourist the next time you go to the city.

August 22, 2011 - 5:41 am

Sabine - These are wonderful pictures, Maddy – you sure have a journalist and a street photographer in you. I totally understand what you mean… I’ve got so much respect for street photographers. You’ve got to be bold and daring and very quick. I often feel like I’d intrude in someone’s private sphere if I took a picture of them, plus you’ve got the whole issue of having to ask if you can post it because of privacy laws etc. Also, I notice that running around in London I’m often too much in the midst of it and not observant enough… which fits to the ‘normal’ versus ‘tourist’ mode. But it’s good training… from time to time :)

August 22, 2011 - 7:39 am

Amy - Those photos are awesome and creepy, all at once! :) And I know what you mean about being leary taking pictures in public. People do it all the time, but I would be the one to get in trouble. Sigh.

August 22, 2011 - 7:54 am

Buckeroomama - I love that this whole set is in b/w…. actually lends a very ‘photojournalistic’ feel to the pics. These are beautiful pictures, Maddy. I agree with Becky –you should pretend that you are a tourist when you go out and shoot street scenes. :) I do that and it makes me a little ‘braver’ when shooting photos of random strangers.

August 22, 2011 - 8:21 am

Vanessa - Great pics Maddy… Maybe u should sell them to times or national geographic, lol. Awesome :)

August 22, 2011 - 8:32 am

Charlie - I was just going to say that as well! they have a very journalistic feel about them! A very intimate view of the city during turmoil, brings a whole new light. Excellently captured!

August 22, 2011 - 8:40 am

Cafe Fashionista - The last photograph is such a powerful shot, Maddy; and I love the fact that you shot these in black and white. It seems so appropriate judging from the subject matter. :)

August 22, 2011 - 9:26 am

Sarah - Dodeline Design - These are incredibly moving images. I love that you did them in black and white and they all have such emotion to them. Thanks for sharing!

August 22, 2011 - 9:30 am

The Guilty Hyena - Glorious stark photography capturing the mood and ambiance of a country being torn apart by austerity.

August 22, 2011 - 10:03 am

Mindy - I love these images in black and white…I totally felt the stress and emotion behind them. I read an article once about taking photos in other countries, I’ll see if I can find it for you, it was really interesting and talked about the social rules/norms of various countries & things to consider (ie jail time if you accidentally take a photo of something forbidden!)

August 22, 2011 - 11:16 am

Keeley - I like that these photos are in black and white… it looks sort of eerie… definitely the calm after the storm. You are bold! I’m such a punk that I’d be afraid to go to Greece at all after all the drama!

August 22, 2011 - 12:47 pm

Jo - You are such a talented photographer! And, I agree with the other comments…these photos are both eerie and incredibly beautiful! I’d be curious to know if, as a photographer, you’ve run into any opposition when capturing images while you’re out and about.

August 22, 2011 - 1:23 pm

Julia Lis - Amazing pics!
lovely blog
xoxo brazil


August 22, 2011 - 2:13 pm

Camila Faria - So good! Very pretty and intense pics Maddy.

August 22, 2011 - 2:32 pm

Stephanie Faris - Incredible!!! I say don’t be shy at all…although when you make it big, those people may come after you for not getting a release!

August 22, 2011 - 4:37 pm

Piper - Maddy, that’s so true – I tend to feel the same when I’m in my own city but once I’m traveling it feels much easier to take photos! Definitely a tourist mentality. These shots are so vivid and tell such a great story.

August 22, 2011 - 4:57 pm

Christina Lee - Whoa!!! And the masks are freaky (I second the “selling” idea)!!!!

August 22, 2011 - 5:22 pm

Gloria - These photos are so striking, especially in black & white!

August 22, 2011 - 8:04 pm

Kristin - I wish I could take you on my trip. I know I’ll never be able to capture amazing photos like this!

August 23, 2011 - 12:30 am

Lemonzest - I love the photos maddy.. the black and white add such a dramatic effect..
love them a lot

August 23, 2011 - 8:13 am

Salma @ Chasing Rainbow - Wow, look at that. These shots are like National Geographic…seriously.

August 23, 2011 - 8:33 am

Lee Oliveira - The first shot blew me away..
Absolutely in love it..
Saving that on my laptop as a screen saver (if you don’t mind).
Lee x

August 23, 2011 - 10:21 am

Jennifer - Wow. These are amazing shots Maddy. And I love that you did them in black and white. So powerful! I agree with Becky… just pretend you are a tourist! :)

August 23, 2011 - 10:37 am

Stephanie - I understand what you mean about getting anxious when taking pictures of others outside. These shots were captured beautifully, the black and white really makes them stand out even more!

Eternally yours,

August 23, 2011 - 4:37 pm

Gina - WOW- I have always been cautious about taking photos out in public places like that for the same reasons you mentioned. But given what is happening in the area where you were photographing- it takes on a whole new dimension. Amazing photos with great historical value. I can just picture these in Time magazine.

August 23, 2011 - 11:55 pm

Jade @ Tasting Grace - Wow those are fabulous photos! You’ve got a great style. You should definitely be bold and take more street photos. Just bring that tourist mentality with you. :) And then share them with us so we can see!

August 25, 2011 - 9:08 pm

Tiera - Amazing photos! I love when it’s like I can “see” a photo with all my senses. You’re definitely inspiring me to go out, take more photos, and be a better photographer.

August 27, 2011 - 3:38 pm

Nadette - I really like these pictures because they dare to stray outside of the pretty vacation pictures box. The last picture is my favorite, it’s pretty powerful, and I love the B&W processing. I also have an active imagination, so the idea of taking pictures in the streets of baltimore, even in my tame neighborhood, make me a little uneasy. But I will have to get over that, because I’ve got homework to do for my photography class, which by the way I am LOVING. I’ve got a batch of brownies with your name on them as soon as get my car/apartment situation taken care of :)

August 29, 2011 - 10:41 am

DITA - Beyond SPECTACULAR……….I really have no words…….just awe!

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