Street Photography

by Jeff Youngstrom

Street photography generally refers to photographs taken from the public places like streets, parks, beaches, malls, political conventions and other same places. In one sense it can be thought of as a branch of  documentary photography but unlike traditional documentary its chief aim to document a particular subject, but rather to create photographs which strongly demonstrate the photographer’s vision of the world. Good street photography often ends up being good documentary photography without really trying, especially after the passage of a few years, but unlike documentary it seldom has an explicit social agenda.

Street photography, like most other branches of photography, has involved both aesthetic and technological innovations, and often the introduction of new technology has had a profound impact on the prevailing aesthetic. The introduction of small, fast, high-quality digital cameras in recent years has already begun to affect the aesthetic paradigm and seems to have been responsible for an explosion of image-making arena.

Street photography has never been a particularly commercial branch of photography and yet it holds an abiding fascination for photographers and audiences alike, not least because the visual drama of ‘the street’, however defined, provides a subject which is capable of being continually revisited and reinterpreted. Street photography has not been used in commercial way means noone indulged himself into any trade of such photographs, these are leisure time hobby sort of photography.

Street photography is, what all photography is, a snap shot. What shines through is the vision of the  photographer about the scene, what they see in the situation, their reaction to the situation in the society, the art they see in the every day. Street photography is one of the most difficult types of photography to practice. Not only does it require a certain special technical settings to capture the great visuals, but to be successful it also requires behaviors and strategies for any amount of success.

The best thing about street photography is that it is possible for the final viewer of a print to see more than the original photographer. One of the great things about a city is that more things are happening, even within a small surroundings, at any moment than any human can comprehend. Photography allows us to freeze one of those moments and study all of the small dramas that were taking place.

The purpose of street photography will again vary from one street photographer to another. Some photographers are interested in simply and honestly documenting life as they see it. Some want to make artistic photographs of available street scenes and others basically enjoy taking pictures and do it purely for the pleasure of it.

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