Whew! What a busy week it has been. Attending a private University using the quarter system does take its toll on you. Anyway, this week I was wondering about what genre of photography I would write about. Astro-photography? It takes too much to get a decent photo. Forensic photography? No, too graphic and morbid for you and I! Hm, what of street photography? Well, there are a lot of variables involved: the environment, atmosphere, and my favorite subjects: people.
The environment is a critical aspect and sets the mood of the scene. Are you shooting inside a busy city such as N.Y.C. or at a run-down metropolis such as Detroit? Below is an example of the environment dominating the photograph:
Upon sight of the photograph, one can tell that it is a train yard that hit a day of rest since it is empty and a few drifters come and go with small adventures to share. The fog in the background adds to the ominous feeling of the empty train yard. There also is a silhouette in the mid-ground that adds to the mystery of the photograph. Whew, the hairs on my arms momentarily stood up!
As for the atmosphere, I am talking about the culture of a certain region that a photographer might decide to shoot in. Do the people mind at all if you took pictures of them from across the street? Are you surrounded by a culture that is very self-conscious and might cry out at you for taking pictures of them without their permission? Is there a turf war going on between two rival gangs that may be affecting the atmosphere negatively?
***This brings up another subject entirely: A photographer’s right to shoot the public. It should be known that the laws vary from place to place, especially from country to country. Every photographer should be aware of the Legal Handbook for Photographers by Bert P. Krages II.***
Here is a comparison between a friendly culture and a hostile one:
The two men smiling at the camera above seem to be friendly, right? Well, they weren’t exactly happy with Romanas taking a photo of them. Before smiling, they were cursing at the photographer. Unfazed from experience, Romanas kept on shooting until he was satisfied and left the scene immediately.
That’s the amazing thing about humans. You could guess all day what they are thinking or showing in a photography and your conclusion would still be wrong. That’s the uniqueness of street photography, you never know what you are going to get and you are forced to interact with people, indirectly or directly. Here are two more pictures from NYC to complete the blog:
Blink with meaning,