Street Photography is one of the more free form versions of the medium out there. The reason why is fairly clear as well. Street Photography is something that’s captured in the moment. It’s something that’s more about being there for the moment than manufacturing anything yourself.
That being said, lots of photographers put self-imposed rules on the form. So much so that Olivier Duong at Petapixel felt necessary to write about the three most common misconceptions about street photography.
What I love about these misconceptions that he’s listed is that they’re all ideas that limit the form. By breaking these ideas, Duong opens up possibilities and therefore the entire art form. For a form that gets most of its most valuable contributions from unorthodox shooters and perspectives, this can only be a good thing.
Are there any misconceptions that you would add to this list? In my opinion, there are a handful more that could be discussed.
3 Common Misconceptions About Street Photography
I’ve been a street photographer for a while now, and I would like to share what I believe are 3 popular misconceptions about street photography — things I’ve seen pop up over and over.
#1: Street photography has to be shot on the streets
I was browsing the Web the other day when I saw a pretty nice image of fishermen on boats preparing to go fishing. Great, if not stunning. I couldn’t help but read the comments, and to my surprise, almost all of the comments were about this image not being street photography.
The thing about street photography is that you are boxed in right off the bat: it contains the word “street”. Therefore street photography should be about images made in the streets, right?
Well, actually, no, for that would make it a reductio ad absurdum. It’s a fancy smancy high fallutin’ way to say that an argument doesn’t stand when taken to its logical conclusion.
Here’s what I mean: if street photography is about shooting streets, so what would the above image be? A beach photography image? Images made in the house… would that be house photography? You get the point!
It’s more a problem that I’d like to admit. I receive quite a few emails from photographers around the world, and there’s quite a few that lament the fact that they do not live near a big city to do street photography.
Street photography has been boxed in by its own definition. Let me humbly suggest to you that street photography is probably a bad term, and a better term would be life photography. But it doesn’t have that sexy ring to it, does it?
I talked to a photographer a while back, apparently when he was in school, there was no such thing as “street photography” — the term didn’t exist back then, and it was under the name “Life Photography”. It’s true isn’t it? Look at vintage “street photography” images, and it will dawn on you that street photography is more about life on the streets than the streets themselves.
Read full article at PetaPixel “3 Common Misconceptions About Street Photography”
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(cover photo credit: snap from PetaPixel)