I’m heading for a week of vacation around Venice (again) and that brings me the thought of street photography, since we can find so many interesting subjects on the streets in those places.
The first thing that comes to my mind is guts. One need a lot of guts to do street photography. I’m always embarrassed to shoot someone on the street. There’s my natural “shyness” and there’s a certain feeling of invading someone’s privacy. I’m working on that. Really would like to be able to do some interesting street photography.
There are great photographers “on the street”. Jay Maisel, for example, doesn’t label himself as a street photographer, but he is. He walks around the streets of New York, with an absolutely not discreet setup. Something like a Nikon D4 and a 70-300mm lens! But no lens-hood!! Maisel looks for gesture, more than people. According to him, gesture can happen on a person, on a building, on anything.
The masters of the topic would be Henri Cartier-Bresson, with his perfection capturing the moment and Robert Frank, I believe.
Today an uprising name is Zack Arias. After getting known as the “one light man” , even being challenged by Digigital Rev to sync a off camera flash to a very simple point-and-shoot. Zack takes the unnoticed approach. Small mirrorless camera, he loves the new Fuji’s, and passing as a regular tourist. He has just recorded a couple of Kelby Training classes about street photography that are really worth watching. One of the tips given by the new master (it’s also available on a Photography T’n’T) is to point the camera above your subject, pretend to take a picture and then pretend to review the image while pointing to the real subject and keep shooting in the meanwhile. Small cameras have no noise for shutter, pass as a point-and-shoot and are mostly operated in live view.
Then comes the quality of what you find available on the web. We fall here in the same topic as previous posts, but in street photography the discrepancy is really major! Some shots are simply amazing! You look and all you can say is WOW, while your jaw hits the floor! Some are recreations of classic street shots. It’s fine! But some are just … just. You look and see, nothing … nothing worth shooting. And again, the worst is to see those shots from people claiming to be the new sensation in the topic.
I might be getting old and cranky, but please. Also don’t get me started with those 365 shots projects … unless they are 365 great shots!