What’s it all about, eh?
I, like the vast majority of other people on the planet, are fascinated by other people. For proof should any be needed that people are fascinated by other people then look into any bus or a car while walking down the street and enjoy all the faces of other people looking back at you as you walk by.
I want to make it clear here that I don’t claim to be ‘good’ at street photography or photography as a whole. Like anyone that’s interested in this genre, if it even is one, I am interested in people plus shapes and geometry.
I either try to make candid people/animal portraits or of groups of people in the context of their environment or each other. There aren’t that many weird and wonderful buildings in Edinburgh to make a cool street photo framed in bright colours/textures like in London or America etc, at least not that I’ve found with my limited time at play in Edinburgh so far.
Composition is normally straight forward including: opposites, central, split framing (two related/unrelated things split by a line or two), that rule of thirds thing or my attempt at it and near and far.
Thoughts on Critique
There are a few people that speak as an authority of what is or isn’t good street photography and of course we all have some opinion on it. But I’ve seen some photographers critique, and I use both terms advisedly, other peoples photos in a wretched way either about composition or subject or whatever, but when you look at their photos you often see that they are way more consistently guilty of it. I’m talking primarily about Flickr here but I’m sure it extends beyond.
Flickr is normally a very friendly place but in street photography Flickr group circles there can be a few arseholes. I’d love to post examples but that’d make me as much of a dick as the perpetrators.
I don’t often get any critique on my photos, maybe because I’m not selling myself as a photographer I’m purely a hobbyist, and maybe because I don’t have the word ‘Photography’ after my name or advertise my services on Facebook.
I’m not a ‘photographer’ but I do welcome criticism as long as it isn’t unnecessarily vile or personal or, as Louis C.K. said once in a video I couldn’t find on YouTube that I wanted to link to and I’m sorry if you are offended by it, ‘cunty’.
I don’t want to sound like the old man I’ll soon become by starting a sentence with “the youth of today” but the youth of today on websites like YouTube write as if their minds have been poisoned by everything every previous generation ever did wrong topped off with the vapid glint of our ‘new media culture’.
They come across as unnecessarily cruel and severely disturbed probably due to the temporary transient and removed nature of the internet, much like the gunners in those horrendous IR war videos where you see people ripped apart from miles away by gunfire.
I’ve often chatted with people on twitter about the meaningless comments you can get on Flickr like ‘nice shot’ or whatever so I now insist on reasoning why I like a photo before I comment. If I don’t have time to say why I like it I won’t bother but I’ll favourite it and maybe comment later.
I haven’t ever said why I don’t like a photo that I simply outright don’t like (should we?) but I do try to mention things I thought maybe didn’t work so well in photos I do like as a whole.
People + context = street photography so people and context are both street photography, you can’t have one without the other. Animals are street photography too. Nonsense?
I’ve recently made friends with a couple of young street photographers that are doing some great work at the moment in Edinburgh, Gareth and Gavin, and I enjoy seeing what they produce so I recommend people interested in street photography to have a look at their Flickr Photostreams.
It’s primarily Edinburgh centric and although I was invited to join their Flickr group and I’ve submitted a couple of photos I have a feeling they aren’t that interested in what I’m looking at but that’s OK.
That’s about all I’ve got left in the tank just now so I’ll get my coat before I start making even less sense and leave you with a few more photos.