This is ‘my head’ thing that I started writing as a comment on one of the Street Photography sites that I participate on. I realised that I was going off again (what else is new?) so I’ve turned it into a post here……
Sometimes I get very frustrated here by the definitions of Street Photography in this group. I have been practising my street photography for 40+ years and have never had a problem with definitions. Anything photographed “in public”, whether it be a portrait, architecture which gives an atmosphere of an area(with or without people) or any street scene that realistically records and documents daily public life is, in my view Street Photography. My personal interest is people. They fascinate me and the photography is just my way to remember and possibly to show my grandchildren what I have grown up with.
Since the evolution of the internet, SP has become hugely popular and we can see literally thousands of new photographs every day. Many bad ones, quite a lot of good ones and so many of the same thing. The thing is that is seems that this flood of pictures has started to become boring and with modern technology it is very easy to start changing what was actually seen and create Digital Art. It is very easy to get carried away by the new technologies, gadgets and gimmicks. It is also very easy to try to make a mediocre or simply bad picture into a good one, using the technologies.
But, I have always followed the principal of the great SP practitioners, the principal of giving a true reflection of the life and times going on around me. Atget, Doisnneau, Cartier-Bresson, Friedman, Meyerowitz, McCurry, Bourke-White, Freed, Seymour, Weegee, Lange, Leibowitz, Parr and so on and so on. The list is very long. And yes, I know that a lot of their work was staged, organised, provoked and/or posed. The point is that they were all trying to represent life of that time.
My problem, technically, these days is trying to keep my photographs real. I don’t want smooth, plastic like, flat, denoised and sharpened pictures. I like gritty, sometimes not perfectly focused, three dimensional, textured photographs. If I want to make a Graphic or Digital Art piece of one of my Street shots, I’ll do it but it won’t appear in my Street portfolio, but in my Art portfolio. Because it has become a not true or honest representation of life. It has become my personal creative art.