Street Photography is about documenting 'reality' as it happens around us: On the street, in a pub, at the beach, malls...
Funny that this particular style of photography was popularized - or dare I say, 'conceived' by people who themselves
had a rather 'surrealist' outlook towards life - which kind of explains the irrational juxtapositions between the subject
and the environment often evidenced in modern Street Photography.
A Vidya Dāna Of Influence:
Or, 'How Surrealism and Street Photography Bounce Off Each Other.' A Sharing of knowledge:
Eugène Atget (February 12, 1857 – August 4, 1927). His photographs inspired many artists - surrealists especially.
Henri Cartier-Bresson (August 22, 1908 – August 3, 2004) , fondly referred to as HCB and widely considered as
the founding father of modern photojournalism, worshipped by thousands of emerging and established photographers.
HCB, an accomplished painter himself, often dabbled between traditional and surreal art which in turn greatly conditioned
his own photographic style.
You can argue with me all you want about the statement above - you'll gain nothing from it. You see, I merely eyeballed
at some of his paintings on Google a while ago before reaching this, rather hasty conclusion.
A year and a half ago, I had no idea that HCB even existed!
Food for thought:
So could it be that Street Photography is in fact 'Reality Coated In Surrealism' and not entirely photojournalistic in nature?
Aiming to showcase some of the best Street Photographers on DA today, I present to you the pilot episode of my new series:
I Street Therefore I Am
As immensely talented and versatile as today's featured artists are in different genres of photography, they have been
most gracious in sharing their thoughts regarding their personal style of Street Photography, and what it means
to them as artists/photographers.
So without further ado, here's what they had to say:
I think it's very difficult to give a comprehensive definition of street photography, so I will try to say what is street photography for me.
It is primarily a genre of photography that regards human beings, but unlike portrait or documentary photography must be absolutely spontaneous, the photographer should be almost invisible to not disturb what is happening and should interact with the scene as little as possible and not be part of it.
For me, street photography has a great documentary value and could not be otherwise since I started out as a photojournalist.
In my pictures I always try to tell a story, my main intent when I hit the street is to tell something about what I know best, that is the Italians and their way of being. I also try do not judge people I photograph and if I happen to capture a little embarrassing moments I do so without cynicism, but to smile on everyday life.
Also a surprising or inconsistent action which can make render a surreal images are very important to me.
Surreality is a theme I like in my photos, especially because I think that is revealing of something that goes beyond the ordinary, as it would break a chain that opens our eyes to the unexpected a revealing moment to new experiences and visual sensations.
Be a street photographer for me is essentially to be a witness of my time, my dream is that the moments I capture with my pictures can serve the memory of future generations to remember as common people were during these years in the brief moments of everyday life
Defining street photography is fairly straightforward in my opinion: Any photo, taken in a public place, and not staged qualifies as street photography. After than the second and last rule is "does this photo work?" or not. And that's where all the other ingredients - that a lot of photographers will define as rules - come into play:
• Presence of people is almost a must - yet I have seen excellent street photos without people.
• Interaction of these people with the environment can definitely bring value to the image - which introduces another category in street photo "ruler": the street portraiture. Which brings us to another (technical) aspect: long lenses will tend to isolate the subject from the background, so to capture the environment, it is sometimes better to be close and have a wide lens.
• Except for very lucky street photographers, who see all the time long lasting exceptional moments, things happen quickly, thus better be ready and press the shutter at the right moment.
• Good photographers are lucky. Their camera will capture things that they haven't always when they released the shutter. Getting lucky takes a lot of work.
How does this apply to my own photos: Most of the time, I'll choose the environment first, fix all camera settings, make marks on the ground to know where I have to be, and wait for the people there. Wait for a lot of different people - trying to work on my luck. Wait a long time, because once I have the spot, I don't want to ruin the opportunity.
Street photography is documenting life, ordinary and ordinary with a little extra within. With this type of photography I show the world around me.. bits of it anyway. Bits and situations that interest me. My point of view... More than any other genre of photography this type of documentarism I find the most creative. I constantly work with naturally available light, people, background and situations... without any or very little planning. Curiosity keeps me going, I guess.
Journal name suggested by: NunoCanha
. Thanks, man!