Thoughts about Street Photography
No, I am not a devoted street photographer but I do enjoy this fascinating and challenging genre of photography. Not only does it help me improve my seeing but it also teaches me patience and the art of observation; it motivates me to break human barriers. I do believe that every photographer should indulge her/himself in this arena from time to time.
Yes, Kasia and I have a great appreciation of high quality street work. There are many photographers that excel in street photography and you can see the hard work and dedication in their photographs. Unfortunately, along with the rising popularity of so-called street photography we have noticed a very troubling trend – taking random photos on the street and calling it street photography. We have a problem with that.
Over the last few weeks I have noticed a torrent of street photos posted on the Internet. Some photographers post a large number of images daily of people walking on the street, sitting in restaurants or just looking into the camera. Many of these images have no interesting scenes, no fascinating characters, no thoughtful compositions, no decisive moments – there is nothing unique there. There were just taken on the street.
Before I sat down to write this piece I talked to some people specializing in street photography and they validated my concerns. They also confirmed that it is incredibly difficult and rare to capture an interesting street photo. It requires days or even weeks of hard work and many, many kilometres of walking. There are just so many things that have to be right.
While shooting around the city in the last few weeks, on many days I came back with a full card of mediocre images and take full responsibility for it. There is no point in sharing them and polluting the Internet and your mind. While photographing the streets of Vancouver I gained great respect for those who specialize in this genre of photography and are able to produce unique and captivating imagery. Now I know how hard they work, how many times they tried, how many kilometres they walked and how many NOs they had to deal with. Yes, street photography is incredibly difficult! Please respect that.
Here are a few chosen images from my recent city escapades that I think are worth sharing. All images taken with the Fuji X-Pro2 and the XF 35mm F1.4, Classic Chrome (CC) and Acros (A) film simulations.
2016 © Kasia & Olaf Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.