It is said that the eye is like a camera and the pupil like a lens. From when we open our eyes in the morning to when we close them at night, we capture millions of moments like a camera captures a photo. Sometimes, the moment is insignificant to us and gets “deleted” from our memory. Other times, it stays with us so that years later we can still remember that single snapshot in time. Either way, these moments fascinate me. Street photography is a particular form that really emphasizes particular moments caught in time. It occasionally captures what daily life truly is like and allows us to see past the facade that is sometimes blocking our view.
I fell in love with street photography after trying it out for the first time in NYC for a project. For me, it was like looking into a brief second of someone’s life and trying to figure out who they were and what their story was. In a way, it becomes a sort of mystery that needs to be solved.
There are a couple different ways artists tackle street photography. Some artists, like Bruce Gilden, approach people directly to take their photo. What results are images that have such a raw quality that it brings forward a sort of realness that sometimes the eyes can’t even capture. Other artists, like Ethan Levitas, take a step back and look for the relationship between the person and the space they are in. In doing so, it allows for a different context to be shown.
Personally, I try to take an approach that captures people from a distance without them knowing. I find quite often people become rigid in front of a camera. They no longer demonstrate their natural personality. But from a distance, I can observe people and see them as they are without necessarily getting close.
Nonetheless, whichever way you approach street photography, I like to believe there is no wrong way.
Ethan Levitas: http://www.polkagalerie.com/en/ethan-levitas-travaux.htm
Bruce Gilden: http://www.brucegilden.com