PE: JUST BECAUSE YOU SHOT IT IN THE STREET IT DOESN'T MAKE IT "STREET PHOTOGRAPHY"
Browsing dA's Street Gallery I'd say that people are under the impression that street photography is photography of:
1 street signs
2 side-walk close-ups
3 love padlocks
4 shoes (All Stars preferably)/photographer's feet
5 graffiti/tags/street art/cool vandalism
6 empty roads
9 abandoned buildings/urband decay/trash
10 cool cars
11 cosplayers posing in fairs
12 family in family-trips, friends in cool poses
13 sexy models in subways/women wrestling in swimming suit (don't ask, I don't know)
14 lights bokeh
15 light paintings
So, let's try to kill the most common misunderstandings:
Street photography is not photography of (empty) streets and it is not necessarily a photo taken in a street.
Street photography most definitely is not photography of your All Stars shoes in the street, it is not photography of your cat, or of graffiti or 'street art' (that's another genre of photography), it is not photography of your friends or family on trip.
Let's see some attempts to define street photography:
"The essence of street photography is the impulse to take candid pictures in the stream of everyday life" (from 'Street photography Now').
" For the most part, however, the photographers discussed in these pages have tried to work without being noticed by their subjects. They have taken pictures of people who are going about their business unaware of the photographer's presence. They have made candid pictures of everyday life in the street. That, at its core, is what street photography is" ('Bystander, A History of Street Photography').
Street photography is about HUMANITY, the human presence is a fundamental element of it, the subject - explicit or implicit - of a street photo is always the humanity. The 'Street' is the natural habitat of the human, the natural observatory and theatre of the human behavior.
Street is whatever background or surrounding, not staged, not posed by the photgrapher.
And Street is whatever photography which captures, explores, humanity, the human behaviour, the relationships between individuals, and between individuals and their surroundings.
"The street as it is defined here might be a crowded boulevard or a country lane, a park in the city or a boardwalk at the beach, a lively cafe or a deserted hallway in a tenement, or even a subway car or the lobby of a theater. It is any public place where a photographer could take pictures of subjects who were unknown to him and, whenever possible, unconscious of his presence" ('Bystander, A History of Street Photography').
Should I choose one of the countless definition of Street Photography, I would choose this one: "un-posed, un-staged photography which captures, explores or questions contemporary society and the relationships between individuals and their surroundings" (London Street Photography Festival's definition).
- Undefining Street Photography by Nick Turpin
- Street Photography Feel the Force by Nick Turpin
- Street photography by Felix Lupa
- Roadkill by Gregory Simpson
- What makes a good photograph? by Sagi Kortler