Takin' Your Camera to the Streets - Street Photography

The term "Street Photography" was coined by Henri Cartier-Bresson

The renowned French photographer, as he cultivated his decisive moment concept. The theory being that every photograph has but a single decisive moment for obtaining the perfect photo. Street photography therefore is a genre of documentary photography which depicts subjects in candid circumstances in public areas such as parks, streets, beaches, malls, and other public settings.

Mother and Daughter Street Photography
Chance encounter with Mother and Daughter Street Photography

Street Photography Defined

The trek to express and discover yourself and find who you really are is Street Photography. Your photography style will progress as you go about photographing in public places, focusing on shapes, people, scenes, and composition, while acquiring those decisive points in time. Finding your own street photography style becomes a life-long passage. I'm still searching for it, so don't feel all discouraged if at first you don't acquire it over night. There's only one way to find it, and that's by constantly going out and shooting. You might even consider changing your environment, I find my photography interests have changed the more I shoot.

Sausalito / Tiberon

Street photography is constantly chasing that decisive moment. It becomes instinct, preparation, intuition, skill and plain luck, and all rolled into one. Although I believe the most significant part is your preparation. Although a big portion of succeeding is just being there. so one of the ways of acquiring the decisive moment, is to always always take your camera every place you go and constantly shoot. I know, I've accidentally forgot to bring my camera, and it's quite agonizing to miss out on a decisive moment.

Half Moon Bay Fisherman

Street photography uses straight photography techniques by showing a pure vision akin to holding a mirror up to the general society.

Street photography is typically ironic and can removed from the subject matter and most often focus upon a solitary human moment in time, caught at a poignant moment. Conversely, much street photography goes down the opposite road and offers an extremely personal and literal look of the subject, giving onlookers a more instinctive experience of some walk of life they perhaps only are familiar with in passing. Street photographers have created a detailed and commendable record of street traditions both in North America and in Europe, while to a lesser extent elsewhere throughout the 20th century.

Real Street Photography

Street photography is typically about story telling, including a form of self-expression. When you view at a street photographers pictures , you are also peering into their soul. Cartier-Bresson was initially trained to be a painter, and he articulated romantic images in his photographs.

A great many classic street photography works were produced in the time frame between 1890 and 1975 which corresponded to the establishment of portable cameras, in particular small 35mm, rangefinders. Classic street photography artists include Robert Frank, , Henri Cartier-Bresson, Alfred Eisenstaedt, William Eggleston W. Eugene Smith, Garry Winogrand, Willy Ronis, and Robert Doisneau

updated article Oct 15, 2011

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