Wikipedia defines “Street Photography” as “a type of documentary photography that features subjects in candid situations within public places such as streets, parks, beaches, malls, political conventions and other settings.”
I recently saw several examples of Street Photography that really caught my eye. I quickly became intrigued and decided I wanted to give it a whirl. So, this past weekend I went out and did just that.
Destination and People
When it comes to Street Photography, people obviously matter. I wanted faces with character and an atmosphere of gritty texture. Here on Cape Ann, the historic fishing town of Gloucester, Massachusetts, came to mind. That became my initial destination. It didn’t take long before I spotted a perfect Street Photography subject.
Location, Location, Location
While my “window seat” subject was spotted down a side street, I quickly learned that Street Photography shots require you to look everywhere. That definitely includes looking… up!
And sometimes looking down…
And sometimes even looking in the shadows…
Sometimes body language alone tells a story. It could be how one sits…
Or simply strolls…
As I watched this gentleman stroll down the street, I couldn’t help but wonder why his left pant leg was tucked inside his boot, while his right pant leg was draped over his boot. A fashion statement perhaps?
There’s A Story in the Details
The old man waiting on this bench (shown above) initially caught my attention because of how he was sitting. I loved his outstretched arm and the tilt of his foot. When I later crossed the street and took a look from a new perspective, I had to smile. Between the message on his cap and the sign in the window, a new story was being told right there in front of my eyes.
This young man caught my eye for two reasons — his body language, and the details that screamed “Today’s World.”
Color vs. Black & White
Most of the Street Photography I’ve seen has been in Black & White. Perhaps that is due to the documentary nature of Street Photography. However, as shown in my first image featured above in this article, color has its place and can often add another dimension to the visual story.
With that said, we all see things differently and from our own unique, internal perspective. If you saw an image first in color and then again in Black & White, would it communicate a different story to you? Let’s find out…
As you can see by the caption, that’s what came to my mind when I stumbled upon this officer working a busy street. What comes to your mind?
Now look at this image again — but this time in Black & White. Does the story remain the same, or do you now see something different or altogether new?
As you can see, the choice of color is up to you. Does it add to the story? Detract from the story? Or tell an entirely new story? That’s for you to decide.
After all, Street Photography is where you get to tell the story as you see it.
~ Liz Mackney