What is Street Photography? define please

Started Jan 13, 2013 | Discussions thread
jeff hladun
jeff hladun Senior Member • Posts: 2,946
Re: What is Street Photography? define please

It's unoriginal, but the best definition I've found states that Street Photography deals with anything in a public arena that articulates the state of contemporary culture. This is fairly broad in scope, and both covers and eliminates much. All of the images posted so far would fall under that definition, even Tony's image of the customer in the record shop.

The word "street" shouldn't be taken literally; a photo made in a park, a civic square, a mall, the beach, could also be included, there being only a sense that it is in the public, and with the public, that the picture was taken. Landscapes, still lives, family doings, are eliminated.

That defines the genre; there should be a way to separate the general from the good, and the good from the excellent. I agree with Tony that images of people walking along the street can be dull and boring...if all they are doing is walking along the street. All of the form factors that make a good photograph should be in play. For me good images have: strong composition within the frame; a story-telling element; emotional depth and mystery. These factors when present make a good photograph.

When the image has the above factors, what elevates it from the good to the excellent is the presence in the photograph of the photographer. This is why I have taken the liberty of displaying Nicholas' images here. Both have aspects of contemporary culture, strong composition with story telling features, emotion and mystery. Yet the first image doesn't say much to me about Nicholas, whereas the second one does in spades. Making the judgement - entirely subjective - the first picture is a near-miss, the second is wonderful.

When the image simply has no faults, then it becomes a masterpiece. Let's leave that for another discussion!

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