Street Photography

Street Photography captures people, places and locations within a public domain. It is defined as unposed, upstaged, photography that captures and explores all different avenues of society in their surroundings. One aspect of street photography is that it does not need to necessarily include people. Street photography is capturing an unplanned scene, with an absence of prior arrangement. Most photographers have to be very engaging in their surroundings. The thought capturing the most rarest moments with the quick click of the shutter. In a sense, you truly have to be quick and noticeable about everything. One of my favorite quotes that sums it up for me “Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long,” Walker Evans.

Street photography developed with different processing techniques. Street photography uses the techniques of straight photography in that it shows a pure vision of  a scene. Its therefore up to the photographers to place emphasis on what certain selections it wants to include in their composition which can happen in a split second. Street Photography has been around just as long since cameras became portable and practical enough to leave the studio. ( around the 1870s) Photographers began to document the world around them and then they moved about into more urban areas were life moved quickly. Different techniques used are by using different rangefinder, like digital SLR’s or 35 mm. ( Nowadays, there is point and shoot cameras) Composition can range from shooting at a focal distance, or shooting from a close distance. You can shoot high and low, from the hip, from up top and even getting down to the ground.

Photographers began to quickly record and document the change and progress around them. Street photographers often react to situations and usually have no specific subject matter in mind as they set out to make photographs. Street photography is very much about daily life and usually don’t involve the concept of visualizing photographs in advance of taking them. Early photographers made street photographs for their personal interest.

Street photography can show us a world like no other. Moments captured give the audience a more visual experience of the world that they might not ever get to see. It provides the audience with all walks of life that give us a recording of whats going on during that time, like a time in history. It provides the audience with a detailed route of different cultures in the world, but not necessarily documenting it. Now with technology, we can see Italy or American, by one click of a button. Street photographers provide a different perspective of world with such a simple portable camera.

This style of photography has been made famous by photographers like Henri Cartier Bresson, Walker Evans, Diane Arbus and one of my favorites, Robert Frank.

Robert Frank, who was from Switzerland, was an important street photographer in America. He is most known for his book called The Americans. He truly captured the essence of Americans during that time in a griddy way. His images capture more of the moment, by his way of composing. He not only captures the actions with the quick click of the shutter, but the architectural surroundings. He uses elements of leading lines and available light to emphasize certain aspects in the photographs. I have always been inspired by his technique and striking images.