What do you want to shoot in street photography? What is it that you go looking for? Do you know what you are doing when you walk out of the door? Or do you wander aimlessly?
For me, I find strong colours to be a very appealing thing to photograph in the street. That doesn't mean that the scene needs to be dominated by them. In this instance, a little slither of that deep blue is all that is needed to stand out against the ochre reds, earthy tones and shadows. This makes the impact a lot stronger. There was a time when I would have skipped right past this image, because you can't see a face, it's very central etc etc. But now I'm much more in tune with what I want from photography and this kind of thing really appeals to me.
I have been studying a lot of Jacob Aue Sobol's work and have been learning much from it. "When I photograph, I try to use my instincts as much as possible. It is when pictures are unconsidered and irrational that they come to life; that they evolve from showing to being." - Jacob Are Sobol.
This is a very interesting perspective and one that is very refreshing. It is thinking like this that allows you to have much more freedom when pursuing street photography. I know that I have changed a lot in terms of taste and visual sophistication. My interests in street photography have become a lot more personal and about expressing something in myself rather than an effort to represent and document the world around me as it is. This has come from looking at the work of photographers I admire.
In practical terms this means that I look for certain things i.e strong colours or shards of light or strong shapes or places where people stream through. I am not looking for street performers or people walking past advertising signs or any of the other street photography cliches and mundanities that pervade the genre. It also means that more and more I shoot instinctively. I use my knowledge of what I want to get. I put myself in a good position to get the shot. Then I let my instincts take over.
What do you want to photograph?
Having a purpose when being out and about is very helpful. I find that it encourages me to create better work. If you go and look at the work of the best photographers in the field (like Jacob Aue Sobol) you can learn how you want to structure your images. I don't mean go and photograph the same things that they photograph, but try to understand how they approach their work. Use that knowledge to inform your street photography.
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