“What is the difference between a road and a street? It is not a question of size (some urban streets are wider than country roads). A road heads out of town while a street stays there, so you find roads in the country but not streets. If a street leads to a road your heading out of town. Keep on it long enough and a road will  eventually turn into a street, but not necessarily, vice versa (a street can be an end itself). Streets must have houses on either side of them to be streets. The best streets urge you to stay; the road is an endless incentive to leave.” [1]

Street Photography is often a portrayal of the human condition within a public place. Despite this, the subject of an image may not necessarily be people or even be even set in an urban environment, but reflects an aspect of human character in aesthetic, or what may be signified within the image.

“I suspect it is for one’s self-interest that one looks at one’s surroundings and one’s self. This search is personally born and is indeed my reason and motive for making photographs.” [2]

Here are a few examples taken from Walker Even’s Subway Photography between 1938 and 1941 using a 35mm Contax camera set at a wide aperture and a 50th of a second shutter speed.

Evans_Walker evans-subway-passengers-new-york-1938 evans-untitled-subway-portraits-3-1938-41

As you can see in this case the photography is also candid, with the subject having no idea they were being photographed due to Even’s hiding the camera with his coat. As a series of images they portray the vast diversity between individuals in New York at the time, as well as how they represent them selves publicly, with a slight insight into personality.

These images have been taken by Martin Parr a British Street Photographer who  successfully portrays British culture though his work especially throughout the 80’s.

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“If there is poetry in illiteracy (‘starwbery’, ‘choclate’) there is also beauty in vulgarity.” [3]

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“Street photographs are telling objects, portraying how individuals perform their identities in public” [4]

These images are work by famous New York street photographer Joel Meyerowitz capturing the essence of busy city life in the big apple.

01 joel_meyerowitz joel-meyerowitz-nyc-west-46th-street-1976

At almost every workshop I’ve taught, someone will come up and ask me what they should shoot and/or where they should go to shoot. I try to explain that photography is a process… a process of discovery. Not only do you discover things to shoot, you discover things about yourself as a photographer. And, you discover what your interests really are and how best to capture those subjects. One suggestion I always make is to avoid preconceptions. Planning can be highly overrated. Don’t go out there with a definitive idea of what you want to shoot. Leave yourself open to chance… whether it’s the light, a moment, etc. This way you will avoid being disappointed by what you don’t find and instead be amazed by what you do!” [5]

We were given the task of producing 6 street photographs based on one of the following themes:

Fast Food

Family Life

After Hours

Fur and Leather

I chose to do my shoot under the subject of After Hours and did my shoot in Leeds city centre after 10:00pm on a Wednesday night.

Here are the 6 photographs I produced.

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Reflection

Overall I was happy with this shoot as I feel they well depict an after hours, urban environment. I edited the photographs slightly to enhance the neon street light feel of the environment. Overall my favorite image is the one of Mc Donald’s, with a loan man sitting in the window, as I feel it is not only technically, the most well shot image, but I also feel the subject best fits the brief of After Hours, whilst also having connotations to loneliness.

Here is another image that I did not include in the original six, due to its grainy and slightly out of focus quality. The image was taken from the hip as we walked past each other, hence the poor quality. Despite this there is something about it I like that I cant quite put my figure on.

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References

[1] Geoff Dyer – The On Going Moment – 2005 – Great Britain – Little Brown – 1st edition – Page 202

[2] Lee Friedlander – Unknown

Erick Kim – 10 Famous Street Photography Quotes You Must Know – erickimphotography – 2011 – 01/05/2014

http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2011/09/12/10-famous-street-photography-quotes-you-must-know/

[3] Geoff Dyer – The On Going Moment – 2005 – Great Britain – Little Brown – 1st edition – Page 189

[4] Marianne Hirsch and Leo Spizer quoted by Jennifer Tucker Eye on the Street: Photography in Urban Public Spaces Radical History Review September 2012

[5] Arthur Meyerson – Unknown

http://www.photoquotes.com/showquotes.aspx?id=1067&name=Meyerson,Arthur

 

 

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