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Personal views

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Photo by Elliott Erwitt
Photo by Elliott Erwitt

13 ways to destroy street photography

I never expected to actually witness someone destroy “freedom of expression” in street photography or to categorize it in such a manner that it would affect approximately 90% of the street photographers out there! But alas, someone has attempted to harm street photography. I just happened to stumble upon this so called “list of things I have seen too much of”  accidentally when a while ago I came across a post on a social media site that I consider provocative and offensive. What was more surprising was the author of this post. I will not mention the name of the photographer that believes in these things out of respect for his privacy, but I clearly disagree with him and this is the reason why I took the time to write this post. I felt the need to express my ideas and to describe in a few words how his words made me feel. Check it out: 

”I have judged a couple of Street Photography Awards this month, here are the things that I have seen far too much of.

  1. People working out on Venice Beach style outdoor gyms.
  2. Indian streets with animals especially cows and chickens.
  3. Close up flash lit people at festivals or parades.
  4. People carrying mirrors.
  5. Reflections in puddles flipped upside down.
  6. People in stripes crossing zebra crossings (really?)
  7. Air Shows with smoke or planes in ears or around heads etc.
  8. Skate boarders in mid air.
  9. Anyone in mid air especially jumping into water.
  10. Your holiday/travel photos especially monks.
  11. Torrential downpours of rain.
  12. Men getting a blow job while buying a coke.
  13. People on top of trains, climbing in train windows, passing things through train windows, hanging out of train windows, usually in Asia.

Be responsible, think before you push the shutter”

It looks to me as a list of rules to follow if you don’t want to end up being a bad street photographer according to the author, of course. Personally I have always been under the impression that street photography was supposed to be a way for photographers to freely express themselves. Since reading through this list though, I am not that sure anymore. To better explain what I have on my mind, I will go through each one of the aforementioned

13 “rules” and will try to debunk them one by one, because I love street photography and I will not let anybody attempt to destroy it for me!