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Walking Together (but Apart)

Posted by
Mariana Maoduš (Waterloo, Canada) on 22 April 2010 in People & Portrait and Portfolio.

Anyone knows to tell me why in some cultures a married couple is walking like you see on this picture: wife is always behind her husband.

Waterloo, Ontario
April, 2010

You can guess I loved man's face so a few more pictures I took of him . Will post his portrait these days .

Canon PowerShot SX100 IS 1/500 second F/4.0 ISO 80 13 mm


"The moment always dictates in my work. What I feel, I do. This is the most important thing for me. Everybody can look, but they don't necessarily see. I never calculate or consider; I see a situation and I know that it's right, even if I have to go back to get the proper lighting."
~ Andre Kertesz

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

A superb shot of this couple. I don't know why they walk that way. I wonder if a younger couple from the same background would walk that way. I doubt it; times change.

22 Apr 2010 5:09am

Chris Pereira from San Jose, CA, United States

interesting HDR, I don't know maybe because he walks fast :P haha, or maybe she's following him.

22 Apr 2010 5:19am

PATRICK from miramas, France

just excellent capture and process
have a good day

22 Apr 2010 5:27am

zahra from shiraz, Iran

great,very cool picture.

22 Apr 2010 5:29am


Very great shot, and often it is going in this way.


22 Apr 2010 5:48am

Richard from Montferland, Netherlands

Brilliant capture Mariana. Those faces.....

22 Apr 2010 5:57am

jpla from St Barthélémy d, France

Belle capture ! Bonne journée

22 Apr 2010 6:16am

Danièle from ETampes, France

mon mari est Vietnamien... j'ai aussi constaté que dans les couples, l'homme marchait toujours devant ! une façon d'ouvrir la "voie" à son épouse ;-)

22 Apr 2010 6:17am

Dulcie from Danville, CA, United States

They are an interesting couple...the dynamic would surely change if they were side by side.
Probably never happen in their generation.... ;-)

22 Apr 2010 6:29am

k@ from Paris, France

This is a long story, maybe from the cavemen time i guess, men have an instinct of protection and still unconsciously now walk the first, ahead, to protect women from wild animals in the jungle and in the cities as well... Or else, it is because some are sooooo bored my their women, they want to reach their car as quickly as possible and stop listening to mamma's 'songs' ;)))
What thick white eyebrows this man have, interesting to see other portraits of him for sure !

22 Apr 2010 6:39am

@k@: Hey, thanks Karine . Looks like we still have so many wild animals on the streets , even nowadays :)

macgo from Spain

Otra imagen de las que me encanta: cuenta una historia interesante.

22 Apr 2010 6:41am

Nigel from Avening, United Kingdom

Another super documentary style portrait.

22 Apr 2010 6:42am

tede from Aubenas 07, France

It does not look very happy to walk this fine man! lolll .... Wonderful street scene. Beautiful day.

22 Apr 2010 6:59am

Willem from Noord-Scharwoude, Netherlands

The expression on the faces you have beautifully photographed Mariana.

22 Apr 2010 7:07am

yz from Budapest, Hungary

fantastic street shot, tells a story

22 Apr 2010 7:31am

Mhélène from Paris, France

Beautiful streetshot and ...a great question . Outside and inside the man is the one who decides and at the same time the protector ...

22 Apr 2010 7:48am

6ft5 from stockholm, Sweden

Holy macaroni and cheese. That eyebrow spells evil :o)
Fantastic shot!!!

22 Apr 2010 7:56am

@6ft5: Holy macaroni and cheese :))))))))))) ha ha haha

Bettina from United States

Excellent faces you've found! This man's expression is priceless! Always five steps ahead. Grim determination ahead, patient forgiving behind. :)

22 Apr 2010 8:01am

MadScientist from Düsseldorf, Germany

I'm observing this with traditional Turkish couples. Let's say the street is the husband's domain while the house is his wife's kingdom. :-)
Well observed, I like her fine smile.

22 Apr 2010 8:10am

Farnaaz from Iran, Iran

I always like the street shots ..
Happy Earth day .

22 Apr 2010 8:12am

@Farnaaz: thx Farnaaz :) Happy Earth day to you too ;)

mo.langel from Courtelary, Switzerland

Great street shot! Excellent portrait! Ancestral instinct of the man which protects his wife!

22 Apr 2010 8:15am

Phil from Sausset les Pins, France

Each one on his awn place !!! Lol !!! Nice scène , well captured , Phil.

22 Apr 2010 8:22am

trilliana from Munich, Germany

i think it is the obvious sign of showing respect and social hirachy but also protection and courage, it's both: giving and taking. but it is weird anyway for western culture, i prefer walking around hand in hand :-)

22 Apr 2010 8:23am

Céline from Paris, France

Great shot!

22 Apr 2010 8:29am

MK from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Thats what happened after a few yrs of marriage, LOL

22 Apr 2010 8:52am

Ddo from Verdun, France

Hard and closed face lines : in their traditions, the woman apparently isn't on equality. It's still often, regrettably. Good street shot

22 Apr 2010 8:59am

Fred from Manila, Philippines

I remembered a song when i saw this. "you've lost that loving feeling" by the Righteous brothers. good job mariana!

22 Apr 2010 9:03am

grouser from Ludlow, United Kingdom

She looks rather happier than him about it whatever....:)

22 Apr 2010 9:10am

Nazzareno from Rome, Italy

Very nice shot, Mariana. Superb desaturation ...
Have a good day

22 Apr 2010 9:10am

philippe from dijon, France

Ecarter le danger en marchant devant ! une bonne solution de protection de l'être aimé....... bravo Mariana.

22 Apr 2010 9:46am

El pare from Prepirineu, Spain

Interesting question using a very nice picture. Warm regards.

22 Apr 2010 10:33am

NaDu from Köln, Germany

Of course, men are faster ;). Here he looks discontented, because he has to carry most. That's my perhaps chauvinistic view. Pretty photo from above.

22 Apr 2010 10:35am

Emmeji from France

Autrefois, lors du mariage, le maire disait que la femme doit suivre son mari...Ils ont dû entendre ça !

22 Apr 2010 10:53am

metti from shiraz, Iran

Amazing color and nice shot dear Mariana ;)

22 Apr 2010 11:11am

Jean-Luc T from Juignac, France

Amazing street picture.

22 Apr 2010 11:14am

Ralph Jones from Detroit, United States

I LOVE this! The scowl contrasting the smile, the body language, everything about this says "It too 30 years but I finally got you back". Great job Mariana.

22 Apr 2010 11:43am

Ken from United States

Sometimes, it is just as simple as one person walks faster than the other. It is hard to make one person slow down or sped up for their partner.. friends walk together, but married couples or partners sometimes dont. ...interesting.

22 Apr 2010 11:50am

@Ken: cool thinking, but I would not say so :))) take a look around and you will see there is much more than just who goes faster / slower :))

rajeev from kannur, kerala, India

a great work

22 Apr 2010 12:06pm

Hiro from Kyoto, Japan

Nice capture.
My grandpa and grandma might have been like this picture.

22 Apr 2010 12:42pm

@Hiro: cool . I see old Japanese couples walking like that :)

Elena Kotrotsou from Drossia, Greece

Nice shot, tells a lot...

22 Apr 2010 1:58pm

ISO from Bogota, Colombia

he he he I don't believe its a matter of just cultures I think this is more about elderly and age...I have found some senior men feel they need to keep some control of themselves and that they are still strong enough to (yes) walking alone, fix the house alone, drive alone, things like that. I love the shot great expressions and what a candid!

22 Apr 2010 2:15pm

@ISO: I do not think what you think , sorry :)) I am so positive this is so much connected with their background and their culture ;))

Phil David Alexander Morris from Canada

He looks like the old man from the mountain here. Great shot, & looking forward to the portrait.

22 Apr 2010 2:34pm

@Phil David Alexander Morris: You as Canadian should recognize their faces - Eastern Indians , don't you think so ?

Julie from Easton, United States

Quite an interesting couple there! Very nice capture of the pair!

22 Apr 2010 2:41pm

Don from spokane, United States

A very strong street image. Wonderful "above" viewpoint lets us see down the street. Very well done.
I think the custom in older days was related to protecting the woman - a man always walked next to the curb so splash from horse-drawn vehicle would not hit his lady. Perhaps behind has some similar principle. It has certainly all changed in today's culture! :-)

22 Apr 2010 2:55pm

rian from mobile, United States

hmm.. this was a practice way back in ancient japan.. i don't know about other cultures.. but this scene was just probably by chance.. ;) nicely captured though.. that perma-scowl on the old guy's face is kinda funny.. :)

22 Apr 2010 3:01pm

Richard T from Leicester, United Kingdom

Actually she's in control ... You can see that he's rather p*ssed off because he's just been told to hurry home and to start to get the supper ready ;-)


22 Apr 2010 3:04pm

@Richard T: o, ya ... just like that :)) ha ha

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

Fine capture. He doesn't look too happy!

22 Apr 2010 3:20pm

@john4jack: he might be very happy but his face is just like that :))

Fonts from Barcelona, Spain

Excellent photography. They do not seem too happy in spite of walking together! Do not you think? I love the view, the proximity of people and the space behind it Mariana! Nice work!

22 Apr 2010 3:38pm

@Fonts: these are just their faces, their expressions . happy or not happy I do not see it here :)) Thx Adela !

Amanda from Jersey City, United States

I'm not sure about the walking in front of the woman, but my grandpa always told me that my "man" should walk on the "outside" of me. Apparently, it comes from 16th-century England where they would empty chamber pots out of upper-story windows into the gutter. Therefore, when walking down the street, gentlemen gallantly took the side nearest the curb when walking with their ladies.

22 Apr 2010 3:43pm

hugo poon from hong kong, Hong Kong

Pretty interesting "point of view"!:-))) Just enjoy how diversely your capture can be interpreted!

22 Apr 2010 3:54pm

Seraphine from San Francisco, United States

i love the white unibrow. this couple doesn't suffer from invisibility.

22 Apr 2010 4:40pm

Laur from Clermont-Ferrand, France

Beau traitement !

22 Apr 2010 4:43pm

AnneCphotography from somewhere over the rainbow, France

Oh my !!! what I love in your picture is the diversity !!!! with always a huge creativity !!!! I'm not sure I could be able to shot people so close !!! You are very good you know ;) !!!

22 Apr 2010 5:12pm

@AnneCphotography: I did not travel too much throughout Canada, but what I see in my city is perfectly enough to prove an enormous diversity of this country ;)

Marie-Jezaria from Paris, France

They seems like robots !! The serious expressions on their faces is impressive ! What a nice street capture one more time, as per you do with a particular talent !

22 Apr 2010 5:14pm

@Marie-Jezaria: why robots ? ha ha .. They are so cute to me :)) Old , eastern Indian couple :)

JJ from Jersey City, United States

Greta shot of them, in this shot he doesnt look happy at having his photo taking, as to walking behind, its a form of respect in some cultures I believe

22 Apr 2010 5:28pm

@JJ: he does not see me, so his face is just what he looks like :)

Sonia Nansid from Stockholm, Sweden

They not only walk apart but also out of step...and that is even worse, obviously they have chosen diferent paths along the years... but they still stick together. I love the details on the mans sweater.

22 Apr 2010 5:51pm

@Sonia Nansid: o, no .. you really analyzed it so deeply :)) Who knows , maybe they are just perfect couple but walking like that is something from their tradition :)

Sof from Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Certains sont content d'autres moins... très bien vu

22 Apr 2010 5:58pm

Gary from Cochise County, United States

After many years together I guess no words are needed between them. Too bad.

22 Apr 2010 5:58pm

@Gary: I would not say so . I just see that many old couples from Asian countries are walking like that . This couple is East Indian, I think so , but I see the same couple from Japan, from China, not to mention some other African country people ... Thx Gary

Mark Johnson from Rural Colorado, United States

Wonderful image. That is one of the best unibrows I've ever seen! :)
He doesn't seem pleased.

22 Apr 2010 6:21pm

@Mark Johnson: pleased with what ? he simple looks like that ... you will see his portrait soon :))

Christel from Köln, Germany

Good evening, Mariana,
the two people look very concentrated. It seems as if the two do not belong together or that the woman is too slow. The daylight, the shadows and the warm colors give the general view, a lively atmosphere. 5 stars *****
Have a nice evening and all the best. Dear greetings Christel

22 Apr 2010 6:31pm

danou-yepa from Nice, France

beautiful scène of life mariana , good processing and expressions

22 Apr 2010 6:48pm

Bruno F from Précigné, France

What a strange man ! Brrrr !

22 Apr 2010 7:06pm

Thea from Leeuwarden, Netherlands

I can remember my grandfather was doing the same,but he was just fast and impatient:)
Looking foreward to that portrait..they both have intriguing faces!

22 Apr 2010 7:46pm

frammy from MIRAMAS, France

Beautiful portrait, good evening

22 Apr 2010 8:20pm

Calusarus from St Sorlin en Valloire, France

A very nice duet of portraits…

22 Apr 2010 8:34pm

@Calusarus: ha ha .. i hope they are great DUET in their marriage too ;)

kiwisa from North Shore, New Zealand

Quaint tradition perhaps for her to walk behind him. :)

22 Apr 2010 8:53pm

tataray from St Laurs, France

Superbe scène de rue ..
mais il n'a pas l'air très heureux ce Mr.... )

22 Apr 2010 9:30pm

Steven from Chicagoland, United States

Great perspective which provides an abundance of depth to this composition. I love the effect the shadows present on their faces.

22 Apr 2010 10:02pm

Larry Lefever from Lititz, United States

I always get lost in your portraits wondering what the subject is feeling. Excellent work as always.

22 Apr 2010 10:35pm

POBSB from Tilburg, Netherlands

love your streetshots. I am very shy to do that

22 Apr 2010 10:39pm

hgmartins photography from Ontario, GTA, Canada

Wonderful capture, as for your question.....i bet he is just tired of hearing her

22 Apr 2010 11:46pm

Memreze from Coventry, United States

Nice Shot!

23 Apr 2010 12:53am

ordinaryimages from Kentucky Bluegrass, United States

Nasty old man !!!! best...jerry

23 Apr 2010 2:11am

@ordinaryimages: ha ha ha .. you are so, so honest :)

Brian Chen from Seattle, WA, United States

A very interesting photo. I do wonder why they don't walk side by side, although the expression on that mans face is smug =p

23 Apr 2010 2:19am

Paco Díaz from Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Great double portrait, very suggestive expressions. Well done, Mariana!

23 Apr 2010 2:55am

Susan from Sausalito, United States

I think I'd be walking behind him too--he looks like something from Planet of the Apes...

23 Apr 2010 4:19am

@Susan: ha ha ha .. you are cool ;)) wait to see him tomorrow again :)

Satvik from Columbus, United States

Great capture ! As the answer to your Q, perhaps they just had a quarrel and are mad at each other...they sure look sulky !

23 Apr 2010 4:22am

Morten Pedersen from Norway

Lovely old couple.

23 Apr 2010 1:21pm

Marie-Jezaria from Paris, France

Hi Mariana ! ;-)
Yes I wrote Robots... but may be it's not the good word to explain my feeling... Yes they are very cute, I agree with you... I say robots because their attitude, the mimetism between us make me feel this impression ! It's just in the body attitude ! lol Hope you better understand why now ! lol Sorry if sometimes I've some mistakes with my english sentences, my esplanations ! Kisses ! ;-)

23 Apr 2010 2:45pm

Mike Paulison from United States

Nice. Love the colors and the expressions.

23 Apr 2010 3:54pm

Earnest from Oklahoma, United States

I would never let my wife walk behind me for my butt would be exposed to abuse.... I like the expression you caught here...

23 Apr 2010 4:06pm

yiannis krikis from thessaloniki, Greece

very nice street image - excellent expression catching, colors and title

24 Apr 2010 6:02am

Pomme from France

Une scène bien représentative :)

24 Apr 2010 5:05pm

Marlowe from Le Havre, France

... Because the leader always walks in front! Remember that our civilizations are patriarchal ... Two couples are in a car : often, men in front and women behind !

25 Apr 2010 3:39pm

Cory from Phoenix, United States

Well done. I would have followed this couple all afternoon.

27 Apr 2010 5:20am

Bishop from Houston, United States

I come from a culture where this is a very common occurrence - the woman would walk behind to show respect to the man who takes the lead. That, in its turn, comes from the tribal times when the men would walk ahead with weapons in their hands to protect their group from predators. The women were the ones to do the heavy lifting, which in mane regions, they still do. K@'s response was right on target here - there have been many anthropological studies done on this question.
Great pic, though! :)

30 Apr 2010 9:33pm

Canon PowerShot SX100 IS
1/500 second
ISO 80
13 mm