It’s (finally) time for another edition of Adam’s Street. Sorry for the delay in continuing this… I know I said this would be an ad-hoc series of posts, but it’s been three months! Ok, so let’s get on with it. You may remember that…..
…last time I wrote about experimenting with different ways of seeing and capturing a scene.
You don’t have to look at a great deal of street photographers work to see that as a collective we have a colossally wide brush for capturing the world around us. Despite what internet based art critics will tell you, there isn’t really any right or wrong way 🙂 for my opinion, and in the broadest possible sense, there’s only three things to know:
- The way you like to see and shoot is the best way for YOU
- Whatever #1 is for you, (many) others will have arrived at a similar style
- Your ‘answer’ to #1 will evolve and change over time.
In fact, the word time perfectly sums up what I want to talk to you about today, my personal favourite style to work with is what I like to affectionately think of as ‘timeless street photography’
I know that sound’s pretty dull 😀
But I don’t care. Truly. As far as I’m concerned whatever made a photograph look good fifty years ago, makes a photograph look today.
And NO. NOT ALL
I’m not criticising anyone who works in a more avant-garde orientated sphere. Remember folks… just because a person says they like apples best, it doesn’t mean that they hate oranges.
I think for me (so truly YMMV) I just have a romantic view point reserved for things that are artistic. My favourite music tends to be derived from humans playing instruments, my favourite paintings generally don’t leave the viewer in any doubt about the painting is of…. and likewise I have quite a traditional based sense of aesthetics when it comes to how I like to shoot street.
Now I know there’s plenty of amazing photographers out there, not working in this way at all.
This is not a criticism of them, their work, or their style.
There’s a quote that often gets brandied about (many quotes in fact 😀 )
Shoot what you feel not what you see
This quote is by David Alan Harvey and it actually reads:
Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like
Quotes are great (no really they are) and all great quotes are generally united in their ability to mean slightly different things to different people.
For my opinion… the important split here is the difference between how IT feels verses how YOU feel about it.
Of course there’s always some of you in the way you shoot, that can’t be any other way… But I just think that for me how it feels is more important than I how feel about it.
Or put another (hopefully more intelligible…) way: If we make pictures that seek only serve our own feelings, we’re shooting just for ourselves, and no harm in that, that’s why no one loves pictures of your cat and kids more than you do. If we make pictures that start off as our feelings, but are captured in a way that others can appreciate and share in the feeling being portrayed…
…..then this (IMO) makes for a timeless photograph.
I hope that not only was I able to describe what’s important to me and my way of working within street, but hopefully, just maybe that you’ve found these words helpful in settling on what you want your own photography (street or otherwise) to convey to your viewers.
Until next time.
See more of my work on Instagram and Flickr
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