The lives we live ! ( Documenting life , Street Photography )

Why am I so fascinated with street Photography! I must admit I wasn’t  for a long time! It was not until about seven years ago when I started teaching on how to approach people to take a shot! Then little by little my photography master series kicked in the right place and It was then when I started photographing urban landscapes and its residents !

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I call it the real jungle,the city I mean ! It wasn’t very hard to go around and to photograph people at least in my case !  I started doing it in Photo 101 ! And then I began doing assignments overseas in places where most have never even heard of ! Although  for many , it is a very difficult task to approach people and ask for a shot ! Shyness was never a layer on my personality I guess, travelling at an early age and simply being people from different  backgrounds and nationalities simplified my approached even more it over time ! I even made a specific call to my mother to see if I were ever shy, the response was , no! And at this age , shy , why?

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Street photography is a genre of photography that features subjects in candid situations within public places and does not necessitate the presence of a street or even the urban environment. ‘Street’ simply refers to a place where human activity can be seen, a place to observe and capture social interaction. The subject can even be absent of any people and can be that of object or environment where an object projects a human character or an environment is decidedly human.

Framing and timing are key aspects of the craft, with the aim of creating images at a decisive or poignant moment. Alternatively, the street photographer may seek a more prosaic depiction of the scene, as a form of social documentary.

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I’m interested  to capture a ” specific time ” and a  ” street culture ” .  I want to show my audience the architecture; stairs, gardens,  windows , the workers  , the street walkers , the fashion ….and to master it , one needs to make sure , it needs to have substance and it is not just another tourist shot with people in it! The substance of the image should tell a story!

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Here are some of the important names to mention :

Paris is widely accepted as the birthplace of street photography. The cosmopolitan city helped to define street photography as a genre and the photography helped to form the city as well.

Eugen Atget, is regarded as the father of the genre, not because he was the first of his kind, but from his popularity as a Parisian photographer. As the city did, Atget helped to promote the city streets as a worthy subject for photography. He worked in the city of Paris from the 1890s to the 1920s;

Henri Cartier Bresson  who has a reputation comparable to Atget, was a 20th century photographer who’s style focused on the actions of people. He was responsible for the idea of taking a picture at the ideal moment. He was influenced by his interest in traditional art, as he desired to be a painter. This influence comes through in his skill of combining timing and technique.

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he beginnings of street photography in the United States can be linked to that of jazz in the music domain, both emerging as outspoken depictions of everyday life. This connection is visible in the work of the New York School of Photography. The New York School was not a formal institution, but rather comprised groups of photographers in the mid-20th century based in New York City. One of its most notable photographers, Robert Frank, was a part of the beat movement interested in Black-American and counter cultures. The mainstream photography community in America fiercely rejected Frank’s work, but it would later become a stepping stone for fresh photographers looking to break away from the restrictions of the old style.

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Who has inspired most? His name , Gary Winogrand . In 1948 a fellow student and photographer for Columbia University’s student paper showed Garry Winogrand the darkroom, which was open twenty-four hours in the basement of the architecture building. Two weeks later, Winogrand abandoned painting for photography and “never looked back.” Described as “an undisciplined mixture of energy, ego, curiosity, ignorance, and street-smart naiveté,” the Bronx native photographed incessantly, mostly on the streets, working as a freelance photographer for a picture agency and eventually publishing journalistic images in numerous magazines throughout the fifties.

Around 1960, after being shown a copy of Walker evens book American Photographs, Winogrand began to take a more artistic approach in his work. The first half of the decade, however, was a difficult time, including political disillusionment and the breakup of his first marriage. He persevered in his career and eventually published four books of photographs, including The Animals in 1969, images made in zoos, and Women Are Beautiful in 1975, candid shots of anonymous women on the street. Winogrand used a small-format, 35mm camera that enabled him to photograph quickly and freely, which he did to the extreme: at the time of his death in 1984, he left more than 2,500 undeveloped rolls of film.

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I’m hooked ..People inspire me ..places inspire me ..Architecture inspires …Life inspires me..that ‘ s why I photograph it!

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