Developing in Street Photography

Why Street?

I wrote a few words on why I enjoy travel photography back in November. As you will probably know if you have followed me to this blog, my main interest for many years has been what is now described as street photography.

I do street photography (I prefer to say people photography, but no difference) because I love people, I find them fascinating and like to think about what they feel and what they are like, maybe it’s a bit of empathy. I also love looking at the diversity of who is around us. I wouldn’t dream to compare myself with the likes of William Klein, Garry Winogrand, Elliott Erwitt, but I am fascinated also by their studies of people and inspired by their work.

What does a different approach look like?

My fascination with people and our behaviour is what I see as the driving force behind my photography.

I think this flavours the sort of pictures I take most frequently - they tend to be close up candid photographs of characters and expressions, or more accurately pictures that try to depict the thoughts and maybe states of mind of people - trying to get a brief insight into not only the wonderful diversity around us, but also what is in our thoughts.

This is however often to the exclusion of our surroundings.

To remain motivated and also challenge myself, I try different things from time to time. I do try to improve the quality of what I do and recently I have tried to apply more focus on people in a place and try to bring in some of the composition lessons learned from landscape and incorporate surroundings.

Olaf Sztaba was interviewed by Marco Larousse on PPN very recently - I am paraphrasing and interpreting, but Olaf talks of starting with a blank space and adding to it, rather than starting specifically with a person; difficult for me as it is normally the person that interests me but with this approach I am starting to look at the space around us and be selective over what ends up in the picture.

My next step in learning is perhaps another workshop. I am motivated to look at more formal portraiture, hopefully this will increase my understanding of light and setting up in advance of pressing the shutter - and I am hoping this will transfer into more considered street photography.

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