I’ve often thought that street photography is simultaneously the easiest and most difficult photographic genre in the world. Anybody who’s got access to a street can partake in it, but the skill, patience and dedication to capture something special or even better, unique, is only possessed by a special few.
A casual flick through the pages of Coincidences might lead you to believe that it’s just another street photography book shot in New York. There’s perhaps no better place on Earth to practise your craft – New Yorkers don’t really give a damn what anybody’s doing, while you’ll find interesting visual characters in abundance.
But stop to linger a while on each page of this book and you’ll begin to see something extraordinary. For each photo contains a visual pun, a joke and a coincidence that most would probably never have noticed, let alone thought to photograph. These little nuances transform what might have been an otherwise ordinary snapshot into something rather special, and make the collection as a whole quite remarkable. How many of us, for example, would be bothered to find a spot that you know will make a great street shot and return to it for several weeks just wishing and hoping for all the necessary stars to align?
Once you’ve gorged yourself on the feast of street delights in this lengthy tome, you can read an essay by the photographer himself. Putting it at the end of the book is an interesting choice – but I’m glad he did. It gives you an excuse to return to some of the photos he references, giving you a new appreciation of them.
Street photography happens to be one of my favourite genres – precisely because I’ve never had the skill to execute it to this kind of level. If you’ve got a penchant for it too, this is a book which comes very highly recommended. Superb.
Coincidences: New York by Chance
Published by Anthology Editions, LLC.