Street photography was something I was doing when I first got my first camera. I would go along East Street, Bedminster, Bristol, UK, looking for interesting people and things to photograph, its fare to say back then I would just be clicking away at anyone or anything, without thought of why I was photographing.
Street Photography comes in different formats for me. Obejects and places can look so different in the light or shadows that occur on the day, reflections can be stunning, but you have to look deeper into the surroundings to find something unique. Theses days, I can travel along a street without my camera out of its bag, and I just stop and and observe. To me this is a huge part of street photography in observing, you see a reflection and look deeper, you start to see other things that you only notice if you observe for a time in detail. Same can be said of an object, if you look pass it to see the shadows and where they fall, or the light reflecting, looking from below or above, can make the object seem more relevant.
When we talk about the observer in photography, normally we are talking about the person looking at the image we’ve taken, but in street photography, the photographer becomes the observer in the first instance. Its whole new way of viewing, letting time stand still and focusing on whats around you in more detail.
Street photography and people, works in the same way by observing. We are all different and have unique things about us. We all for the most part dress differently, some in more outrageous ways than the norm. We don't just dress different, we style our face, hair, skin, we wear jewellery, which penetrates our skin, like war paint we have ink engraved with the paws of our skin, all of this to be different and not fit the mould of ordinary.
When we are alone within the confines of the street, we are constantly thinking about things, holding objects in a certain way, etc. that makes our mannerisms independent of each other. From a photographers point of few, theses are all things that makes them watch people and see how they fit within the surrounds, that make for a good street image.
Street photographers have to be able to see things before they happen, with the hope that the person they are following is going to so something extraordinary that will make a good street image. It takes time and patients and some days you can get nothing, while others you can get many good images. Different seasons of the year, also make images more interesting from one season to another.
When it comes to editing, a photographer has the choice like any other to make it colour or black and white. Some will say that in black and white, you can cut out all thats not of importance and captivate the viewer to the central character or object, I think this can be true as I look at images and see them in black and white in my mind, I find that a lot of my work is seen in versions in my mind before I take the image. It comes back to vision, vision of the subconscious part of my mind.
I love street photography, but find I have to be in the right frame of mind to go out and do it. Building oneself up, saves a wasted of a day and hours observing and coming away with nothing because I don't have the feel for the job, a bit like writers block but from a photographers point of view.
The Dollhouse Reflection.
This image is one of my favourite of Bedminster. I was in the right place, on the right day and time. Looking into the shop window, I saw the dollhouse, but then I looked pass and began to see the street behind me become part of the dollhouse. I move myself from one angle to another to see how the dollhouse fitted within the shopwindow reflection.
It was a one off moment as the dollhouse has been removed from the shopwindow the next time I visited the street. I don't believe it would work in black and white as it needs the colour of the street and dollhouse to connect with each other. It was a moment, that can never be replicated and makes it for a one off, which gives it meaning now.