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.
People working out on Venice Beach style outdoor gyms.
Indian streets with animals especially cows and chickens.
Close up flash lit people at festivals or parades.
People carrying mirrors.
Reflections in puddles flipped upside down.
People in stripes crossing zebra crossings (really?)
Air Shows with smoke or planes in ears or around heads etc.
Skate boarders in mid air.
Anyone in mid air especially jumping into water.
Your holiday/travel photos especially monks.
Torrential downpours of rain.
Men getting a blow job while buying a coke.
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!
Street photography, known also as candid photography, is the photography done in public places and is conducted for the art of enquiry that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents. When talking about street photography we don’t necessary need the presence of the street or the urban environment. Street photography can be done just as well in rural areas or public buildings; while documentary photography usually refers to a popular form of photography used to chronicle events or environments both significant and relevant to history and historical events as well as everyday life. Documentary is typically covered in professional photojournalism, or real life reportage, but it may also be an amateur, artistic, or academic pursuit.
So street photography is not the same thing as documentary photography. Although they are linked, and some would say that they are similar to a certain point, they are certainly not the same thing. So, until which point could we say they are connected?
A new documentary about contemporary New York street photography is in the works at the moment and I have to say I am very excited about it! Directed by Tim Huynh, “Fill The Frame” promises to be an inspiring film that will examine the art of street photography through the eyes of 8 New York based street photographers with different backgrounds and of varying styles.
However, in order for this film to be produced and released to the masses, it needs a boost from all of us! To achieve this, Tim has setup a Kickstarter page on which you can find all information about the documentary and details about the various ways you can contribute in order to make this project a reality. My personal favourite is getting my name in the credits for $75! How cool is that!?
NOTE: This is a Guest Blog post written by Brian von Bjeldbak exclusively for www.streethunters.net.
I, the Sniper
Please accept my excuses up-front for any silly sounding phrases. English is not my native tongue but I can assure you that you’ll have a much better time reading the article in my way of English rather than in Danish.
My old approach to street photography
On a cold day in November some years ago, I was fed up with street photography. After having ploughed my way through the streets of a larger city where nothing of interest had happened before me for the last four hours, I started wondering how to achieve great street photography images.
In my part of the world, Scandinavia, the weather is pretty sour most of the year. People don’t hang out outside so there’s no street life to rely on. So I had to find another approach to this stuff.
I was talking to my friend about photography and he mentioned how he absolutely loves his new camera. The resolution, sharpness, dynamic range are all amazing. As I walked home I remembered that my own camera is getting up there in age. I thought about the street photograph that I missed last week, and how it was so close to being great but my camera missed the focus.
GAS & Street Photography
When I’m home I sit down in my chair and search for reviews on new cameras. First I start with all the new crop sensor cameras, then the lenses that I want for each system, then I realise that if I’m going to invest good money on sharp lenses I may as well put the money into a full frame camera that can really utilize their capabilities. Naturally I search reviews for all of the new full frame cameras out there. Then in the suggestions box I notice a review for a medium format camera and I figure that if I sell all of my current gear and stick with one camera and one lens for a little while, I could afford it. So after doing research on all of the medium format cameras a thought hits me, if I’m going to spend this much money on such an expensive camera, I may as well go all out and get a view camera. Naturally I go onto eBay to see what a view camera will cost me and after a mild heart attack I start to do some research on how to build a view camera and just buy the lens. That’s when I realise it’s one o’clock in the morning and I seriously need to get some sleep.
It has been a while since the previous Street Hunt. Due to the fact that Street Hunt videos require some time to be shot, edited and prepared for post, we are not posting as many as we used to, so we are sorry for that. However, we are trying to keep our YouTube channel active with our new series called Street Talk. If you haven’t read or heard about Street Talk yet, you can always jump to the Street Talk introductory blog post or visit the Street Talk YouTube Playlist that is part of the Street Hunters YouTube channel.
Today I am happy to present to you with our latest Street Hunt video, Street Hunt #23 that we shot in Athens, Greece.
The following views do not necessarily represent the views of the whole StreetHunters team.
As I fire off another frame because I’m out ‘shooting on the streets’ and I feel compelled to, I often wonder just what the point of it all is. The same feeling often pervades me as I browse through my Lightroom catalogue. Hundreds and thousands of street photos but just what am I striving for? When I get into this kind of mindset I often begin to think about the concept of street photography as a whole, and the more I do, the more I begin to wonder about the genre itself, whether there are some real issues that need addressing, and specifically, does street photography have an image problem?
I edited this blog post on 6/5/2017 to include a reference to an article by Michael Sweet which I had forgotten about – thank you to Karen Commings for the reminder!
NOTE: This is a Guest Blog post written by Dan Ginn exclusively for www.streethunters.net.
Anxiety can be a terrible feeling to live with. It can be so constant in your life that it follows you even more than your own shadow. Over thinking situations combined with creating fear within moments that haven’t even happened, can be all too damaging to a person’s all-round wellbeing. I constantly live my life battling my own anxiety, sometimes in healthy ways and sometimes in not so healthy ways. I find myself in a constant fight to find peace and contentment. Anxiety affects me in all walks of life; work, friendships, relationships right through to making day to day decisions. With this in mind, it is not a surprise it also creates conflict within my art, even in times when I am trying my best to use it as inspiration to do something creative.
Today I am happy to present to you the new Street Hunt #22 video that we shot in Iraklio, Crete. I know you have all been eagerly awaiting a new street hunt video since we released the street hunt video of the 2nd Annual Street Hunters Meeting in London back in September. The reason it’s taken us so long to publish this new street hunt is because we managed to record a total of 16GB in video files during our day that needed processing and editing and synchronising with the hundreds of photos we shot. We had to go through every photo we each took, time stamp them by the second, and then splice them in with the footage! The amount of work required was massive and it took me several months to complete. I guess, if this was my full time job, I could have had it ready much sooner, but I worked on the video late at night after work, so that was the best I could do under the circumstances.