|Abstract: ||美國當代彩色攝影先鋒Joel Sternfeld（1944－）於1968年創作至今，業已累積出版十四本不同系列攝影書，作品亦逐漸展現Sternfeld對社會的關注與敘事企圖。1985至2000年，Sternfeld讓自身與被攝者處於互為陌生人的關係，拍攝其行走美國途中首次相遇的人，創作為《陌生過客》（Stranger Passing，1985－2000）系列。此系列雖然以陌生人為題，但畫面並未侷限於被攝者，而仍含納範圍不小的空間脈絡，本文由「陌生人」與「空間」兩個層面，探究《陌生過客》系列對於陌生人主題的詮釋以及敘事策略。|
;Joel Sternfeld (1944－) is the pioneer of America contemporary color photography. Since he started his creative works in 1968, Sternfeld has published fourteen photography books of various series. Throughout the years, the works of Sternfeld gradually show his sensitivity and concern towards society and his narrative ambition. From 1985 to 2000, Sternfeld photographed strangers that he encountered when he traveled across America, and ultimately presented the works in the book Stranger Passing. Although this series depicts strangers as the theme, the photographs are not restricted to the sitters. The photographs still demonstrate the spatial context to a considerable degree. The thesis analyzes the two main aspects—strangers and spaces, focusing on Sternfeld’s interpretation of the strangers and his narrative strategy.
There has been abundant literature in sociology on the subject of the stranger. Appling the sociological theories, this thesis demonstrates how Sternfeld breaks away the type of alienated strangers through his way of photographing. The photographs show the individuality of each stranger, yet they maintain the anonymity of each individual. The experience of viewing Stranger Passing differs from the sociological study of the stranger, for the viewer is encouraged to imagine the lives of the photographed strangers.
This thesis considers Robin Kelsey’s relevant study of photography, focusing on the relation of chance and arrangement. Following Kelsey’s observation, we can see Sternfeld’s work is different from other photographers’ narrative strateges. While staged photography, which appropriated cinematic approach and emphasized visual drama, became the main technique, Sternfeld still continued to retain the tradition of the chance meeting inherent in taking photographs. Sternfeld chose to photograph in color and with a view camera; these technical choices show Sternfeld’s attention to the unique character of photography that captures details of the real world. On the other hand, Sternfeld does not identify with typical street photographers, who usually emphasize the decisive moment during the process of an event. On the contrary, he interrupts the flow of time. He would walk up to the strangers, inviting them to be his models of the photograph, asking them to look straight into the camera lens. Sternfeld would interrupt what the strangers were doing and converse with them. While photographing, he would let his sitters conduct their usual actions, and show the things they carry and the places they work or live in. The intriguing details of Sternfeld’s photographs enable the viewer to look closely and generate meanings. Through the analysis of the space in the Stranger Passing series, and a comparison with Sternfeld’s diverse landscape photographs, this thesis argues that the interaction of people and places shown in the Stranger Passing series, manifests the mobility states of Sternfeld and his subjects.