I’ve been experimenting a little with “street” shots of late. I say “street” in inverted commas as it’s not completely clear to me exactly how one defines it. I did a little looking around on the magical inter-webs and they too seem a little confused on the issue.
That said, it seems to possible to piece together ones own limited definition simply by observing the popular images categorised as such on main photography sites. The street category at 500px is particularly helpful for this.
Something that struck me as somewhat odd though is that to be considered street it seems images need to be, for lack of a better turn of phrase, “un-happy”.
The “un-happy” element came to me when I showed a friend a shot I had taken of a child on his father’s shoulders watching a parade. When I showed the friend he said “that’s not street” to which I responded “why?”. In turn his response was “it isn’t dark enough” (and he didn’t mean light quality).
I found this surprising. By my way of thinking it was street from top to bottom. It was taken in the middle of a major city, it was unposed, I didn’t know the subjects and they were, in the most literal sense, smack bang in the middle of an actual street.
For me this raises an interesting question over the definition of street, or perhaps, for the more philosophical, a broader question of how we collectively see city life. If street is also to have an element of reflection on society then what does a “it’s not dark enough” response suggest re that reflection? (outside of the fact that I may need sunnier disposition friends!)
By small world coincidence shortly thereafter I was reading Eric Kim’s list of 102 Things I Have Learnt About Street Photography which includes some great insights. What jumped out at me though was No. 19 -
“Never upload your photographs immediately—let them marinate for at least a week before sharing them”
This is my new goal! The goal to foster the discipline (and art?) of allowing my shots some marination time before sharing. I suspect this is much easier said than done!
I’ve been looking for B&W friendly locations to shoot in my local area of late and I recently came across a great one. About 50kms from my house there’s an abandoned blast furnace that’s been transformed into a park of sorts. It’s all crumbling brick, missing roofs and walls and whopping great holes or by another other name - fantastic B&W photo fodder!
My first visit didn’t really give me what I was after but I had very much the wrong lens and the light was bad but I fully intend to revisit and make a better job of it sometime very soon!
While you can’t really tell given the close up nature, the below photo is of part of the big iron lid of furnace.
I’ve been thinking about “doing” a blog for a while now. I’ve played with a few in the past and even setup a couple only to abandon them shortly thereafter. I think the main problem was that it always felt like you had to have some War and Peace epic for a post and that felt a little too much like work. Especially if you’re doing it on a regular basis. Enter tumblr.
I think I’m probably the last (or perhaps second last) person on earth to appreciate what Tumblr is and does. For me it shone on a light of realisation on the fact that there is a middle ground between 140 characters and War and Peace.More than that Tumblr encourages it. If you’ve got a short quote then “here you go” there’s a button to press for that, if you’ve just got a new photo then there’s a link to encourage sharing that too.
So here’s to looking forward to sharing the “middle ground” snippets and captures - it will be interesting to see if it’s interesting!
Also, if you’re wondering about the name of the blog - achromatic means without colour and that’s how I usually shoot my photos.