One of the best exercises for street photography I ever adopted was to focus my internal monologue into a process of constantly describing what I am seeing. I have always been introspective about the way I work, when it comes to what influences my overarching approach, what draws my eye moment to moment, and what I look for while curating.
I think the question of whether something is or is not art is a bit disingenuous, and can be used more as a tool for gatekeeping than true analysis or critique. There is no objective standard for what makes something enjoyable as a piece of art, whether that is a photograph, music, sculpture, or a blade of grass in a field. However when it comes to the deliberate creation of an artefact I think that the intention of the creator is very powerful, and can offer some strong insight into the way that work can be interpreted.
Last month, street photographer Math Roberts attended Notting Hill Carnival in order to take photos at one of the world’s largest street festivals. While he was shooting on the final day of the carnival, Math found himself in an unpleasant situation which quickly escalated. The man he was photographing assaulted him and smashed both the photographer and his camera.
If you want to capture genuine, candid moments in street photography, you need to be discreet. Oftentimes, getting noticed by your subject will completely ruin the moment you wanted to photograph. So, you need some techniques to stay unnoticed, yet don’t seem like a creep. In this video, Samuel Lintaro Hopf will show you ten tricks that will keep you low-key just the right way.
Last week, street photographer Joshua Rosenthal visited the Ventura County Fair in Ventura, California. Since he is, well, a street photographer, he used the opportunity to take some candid portraits of people at the fair. When he woke up the following day, he saw something extremely unsettling: photos of him were shared across Facebook, along with vicious and disturbing accusations from local vigilantes.
I believe we all hate it when we get stuck in a creative rut. But hey, it happens, and there are ways to overcome it. One of the ways to get out of it is to try a different genre, and that’s exactly what Manny Ortiz did. The portrait photographer hit the streets and tried something new – street photography. It didn’t go quite as he expected, but he learned a lesson that will be valuable to all of you who are currently experiencing the creative block.
Street Photography is hard to do well. Really hard. Even if you are great, most of your shots will not be.
The internet is filled with boring street photography. The biggest problem is people thinking any photo taken on the street is now Street Photography. There is so much more to Street Photography than that so how do you capture more in your Street Photography?
One way to strive for great Street Photography is by avoiding some of the habits of boring Street Photography.
Here are 7 of the Most Common Habits of Boring Street Photography:
As a street photographer, I accept that I have a bias towards the kind of work and criticisms I prefer to seek out as an audience to the work of others – although there are examples of landscape or portraiture that I do enjoy it is street photography and photojournalism that take up the majority of my interest.
I know that photographers and the photography community, in general, is a passionate one and that there is no shortage of critiques available for any work or opinion that creators choose to share. However despite knowing that there is criticism in every area of the art I still feel that some of the criticisms leveled against street photography as a genre as well as specific examples of street photographs are harsher than any I’ve seen in, for example, landscape, or portraiture.
Photographs are as much about what is not included as the subjects in frame. Being aware of the things I avoid is as helpful to me as the things I gravitate towards when it comes to composing an image. Adding or removing elements through composition is one of the most significant parts of adding/removing/changing the context of an image. Including or choosing not to include certain things can alter a story in very serious ways, so it is always important to have ownership over those choices.