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Street Photography

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by Geren, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    One last hurrah .... just can't get the grasp of this picture taking thang ...

    Sept26-20-AP-Sat-DSCN6199 copy 2.jpg


  2. BeyondIthaka

    BeyondIthaka Member

    This is a great discussion. There are so many fantastic shots posted too.

    I returned to photographing after years of eshewing it, as adolscent weirdness transformed into parental saturation with the requirement to chronicle every breath of the kids & outing. A crazy moment of joy with my mobile camera, waving at people from a tour bus in Granada and capturing their mostly smiling responses, made me realise just how much I liked seeing the faces of strangers, people from all parts. In the background of some of those shots were also hints at contexts and environments, the social scientist in me was also stirred. I spent that summer snapping everyone and thing!

    Granada 1.jpg

    Granada 2.jpg

    Granada 3.jpg

    Years later, and now using a range of film cameras and a digital, I'm still working out my own take on the genre. As with any art form & genre, there is clearly no fixed parameters. Each photographer worth their salt in any genre of the medium must make it their own. As Benchista said, “Good street is great, but as rare as good photography in any genre.”

    I really appreciated some words by EightBitTony:

    “The presence of humanity in an environment that is not purely natural. So the classic landscape shot of someone standing in a beautiful landscape is not a street shot, but someone standing on a beach with groyns and stone walls can be. I don't think you need people, but you need the feeling of their presence or their specific absence.”

    However, what he next said I found less agreement with:

    “Shots can be multiple genres, a portrait can be a street photo, a street photo can be an urban landscape, a landscape can be a portrait…”

    For me, ‘street photography’ is without suffixes, i.e. SP portraits, it has to be spontaneous. That doesn’t mean prefixes aren’t useful in describing the style of SP, i.e. documentary SP, narrative SP, even abstract SP or portrait SP. But I would still hope to see something that emerged spontaneously from wandering about in environments shaped by people.



    At present, I think what interests me the most is capturing the expressions on people’s faces, especially when they are interacting with others or with the environments they find themselves in. I also have a documentary tendency, sometimes this can lead to less engaging photos but I think in years to come a few might provide a useful and appealing record on specific place/time/culture.

    Oxford 2.jpg
    Done_rundleCams likes this.
  3. BeyondIthaka

    BeyondIthaka Member

    I do have a questions for anyone doing street photography: what is your preferred lens.

    I've been struggling with this one. I like getting in among the people and then snapping. 35mm is good - (but I need a better one!) But I've also used a handy 50mm that allows me a decent shot from the other side of the road. And I've also used a 85mm (on an apsc) and that is great for picking out people from a distant but the AF is often very hit and miss.

    I have a roll to develop where I used a 24mm on an old Olypums OM40. This might be interesting!
  4. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    A great read with great photos, BI, and I agree with you 100% that capturing expressions of the people, subjects or onlookers, really does
    enhance (the) photos :)

    As for a lens for shooting 'street', I realise that the "preferred (?)" lens is a full frame equivalent of a 35mm, but, personally speaking, I have used
    lenses ranging from 17mm to 2000mm :eek:. Currently, I use my Coolpix P900 (w/ 24-2000), my Pentax mount Tamron 70-200/2.8, DA 50-135/2.8.
    FA50/1.7, SMC 135/2.5, SMC 35/2.8 and a Sigma 24/2.8 on my Pentax PZ1P and Pentax K-3 :)

    PS: here's an example of some street shot at 1800mm ...


    and, not so much street, but, water, at 2000mm ;)


  5. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    My faves are 24mm and 35mm. 28 gives me context and 35 gives me a more selective view where people are more important.If I use a zoom, it is the 12-60 (24-120) on Olympus.
  6. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    In the dim and distant 1960s, our headmaster insisted that everyone in the sixth form did a course in psychology. (This only made some kind of sense when we discovered that his PhD thesis had been on the teaching of psychology as a method of improving the learning of older children!)

    One bit that has stuck with me, is something that was referred to as the hierarchy of human communication. Put simply, it claimed that humans get the least information from sound alone and the most information from another human's face, stance and context. I long since decided that most of that course was two hours per week of wasted effort but that nugget has tended to influence my views on photography ever since.

    Woman and young girl in Heavitree Road P1011130.JPG
  7. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Then you're excluding a big bunch of what are traditionally considered street photography classics.


    Street photography or portrait? Or Street Photography Portrait?

  8. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    That may be so. On the other hand, very few of Diane Arbus's pictures appeal to me and that image is a good example of what makes me think of her as a great self publicist rather than a producer of interesting pictures.

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