Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Street Photography – an intoduction for non-photographers

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Street photography is an approach to photography rather than a location, although the streets are the usual place that it happens.

“When I saw the photograph of Munkacsi of the black kids running in a wave I couldn’t believe such a thing could be caught with the camera. I said damn it, I took my camera and went out into the street.” Henri Cartier-Bresson

Alternatively it is refered to as no rules photography. The plethera of equipment (tripods, lenses,filters,lights etc etc) associated with “serious” photography is left at home, or better still in the camera store. Its just too heavy and bulky to cart around, takes way too long to set up and by the time it is set up the moment is gone.
Street photography is shooting from the hip.
Likewise the rules of photograph, the f stops, the shutter speeds, the rule of thirds etc etc are left in their dust jackets on Amazon shelves. By the time all the technical considerations are taken into account, the birdy is in another country.
Thank Canon, Nikon, Fuji et al for point & shoots.

It is just the camera and the photographer with their enthusiasm, intuition and open mind.

Street photography can be and often is: Out of focus; a tilted horizon; a soft focus.

Street photographers are optimists, for them the glass is always half full. They go out on a photo shoot with no plan in mind secure in the knowledge that this wide world of ours will provide. A subject, a situation, a scene will present itself all they have to have is the presence of mind to capture it when it does.

Street photography can be and often is: Odd things in the foreground; no central focus; odd crops.

Street photographers see the usual, the every day with fresh eyes. The reflection in a rain puddle, the colours in a crowd, the balance of a negative space. Their minds are open to all the stimuli that they see and they curse the days when they leave their camera at home.

Street photography can be and often is: very busy; a tilted perspective; upside down.

Street photographers are not only on the streets, they are at weddings,school concerts, next to you on the train. They look a lot like tourists, its their favourite cover but they are one without the big flash. It was left at home, the available light will do.

Street photography can be and often is: under exposed; blurred; suffering from vertigo.

Street photography is, what all photography is, a snap shot.
What shines through is the photographer, his/her interpretation of the scene, what they see in the situation, their reaction to the stimuli, the art they see in the every day.
Technicians take technically correct and often pretty pictures.
Visual artists, whatever their medium, create images that stimulate the mind, the heart and validate the human condition in all its guises. Because, after all, pretty is in the eye of the beholder and consequently very subjective, whereas art speaks to all who are prepared to listen.


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Where there is no vision, the people perish.
Proverbs 29:18

The earth is the LORD’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.
Psalm 24:1-2

He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains. They give water to all the beasts of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. The birds of the air nest by the waters; they sing among the branches. He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the earth is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
Psalm 104:10-13

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Matthew 6:26

How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number living things both large and small.
Psalm 104:24-25

Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.
Ansel Adams

When you photograph people in colour you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in B&W, you photograph their souls!
Ted Grant

While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.
Dorothea Lange

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.
Ansel Adams

Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.
Henri Cartier-Bresson

You don’t take a photograph, you make it.
Ansel Adams

Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.
Matt Hardy

Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment.
Elliott Erwitt

Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.
Imogen Cunningham

You’ve got to push yourself harder. You’ve got to start looking for pictures nobody else could take. You’ve got to take the tools you have and probe deeper.
William Albert Allard

If I saw something in my viewfinder that looked familiar to me, I would do something to shake it up.
Garry Winogrand

I always thought good photos were like good jokes. If you have to explain it, it just isn’t that good.
Anonymous

Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.
Ansel Adams

It can be a trap of the photographer to think that his or her best pictures were the ones that were hardest to get.
Timothy Allen

 


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