Street photography is the most honest way of documenting life.
It’s about the moment when you as a photographer, absorb everything there is in that frame. It’s like a wave of elements coming to you and in an instant, you stick that wave in a plastic cup. Swoooosh! 🙂
To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy. – Henri Cartier-Bresson
The most important “skill” in my oppinion it’s to enjoy observing people and the world around. But you have to love it!
I stress this because when you love to to something, you pay more attention and you understand, you work things out. You see something, you feek something, you want something and click! … It’s yours. 🙂
To photograph: it is to put on the same line of sight the head, the eye and the heart.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson
The majority of street photographers chose to shoot either scenes in everyday life that have a meaning, a message, or they do candid photography (kind of unstaged portraits/moments), or they do both often.
Ok, so we want to get started with street photography. We want it, we go out … what is the first thing that kills our enthusiasm?! Fear!!!
So in this very moment we forget all. How can i put the camera to my eye and take a picture of the modern young greek woman in black that looks like the old greek ladies wearing all black?!
And do we do now?! We follow our guts and start shooting! With a smaile on our face and with open heart, we shoot! :). The most important thing with fear is to learn how to set us up to continue. We’re doing nothing wrong. We take pictures, we smile to the people and if it happens they see us we can show the pictures to them only if they’re interested. Be honest to yourself and to others.
What i find interesting to photograph: Contrast and similarity, emotion, fragility, power, humour, composition, interesting and powerfull.
I think it’s best to see some examples:
This picture is made on my first street photography shoot. I love the similarity between “twins”.
It’s made on film, with a former URSS (today Ukraine), a FED 5b, developed and scanned at the lab, made black and white digitally. All i had to do was wait….and wait…and wait until the first man apperared and after a few minutes, the second one came along.
This one is made in the Grexit time in Thesallonic, Greece. Across the street a big queue at the ATM, general hysteria and really hot aoutside. Only the boy in the window was standing there thinking, maybe of things to come.
This one above, somehow symmetric, the girl in the painting and the girl in the back.
This one is about humour, the man was very relaxed and he was enjoying a beautiful day at the beach. I saw him the other days but i just couldn’t shoot him that relaxed. TIP: if you follow a character, don’t do it like a psychopath :).
Another extremely important element is anticipation, and with the picture above i almost missed the shot. I heard some girls laughing , i turn around and i saw the gang ready for a girls night out. You can see they were having fun, laughing and talking. But, being too close to them, i didn’t have the time to shoot the fun they had and i caught only this girl, at an angle. 🙂
From the first time i saw the photographs of Henri Cartier-Bresson, i was hooked up, fascinated by the power of compositins, of how beautiful ordinary moments in life can be, moments you would miss frequently.
That’s what intrigues me, pure life, the way it flows.
Go out and have fun now! 🙂