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Street photography is a really common form of photography, as it is relatively easy to get into—and it's simple to start doing it, and it comes with no guilt, as the law says you can do it.
The question is, should you?
Saying, "the law lets anyone photograph on the street" doesn't answer the question. Street photography is about artistically displaying, or glamorising the normal day to day events.
This is the role of street photography in my opinion.
Just taking random pictures on the street is not really street photography, it is photography of the street, but not street photography.
I am sure everyone has seen someone reading a paper on a metro or subway train, but the reason this image stands out to me is the framing. I am shooting through a train door, and the pillars frame the person reading the paper drawing your eye to them.
It acts in stages like this:
The door is the first part your brain rejects from the image.
The bar on the left hand side then causes you to look further into the image.
The final bar in the image has the same influence as the other bar, and draws your eye to the person (or subject) of the image. The photo draws your eye to the subject, subject isn't trying to force its way to the front of the picture.
This image, like the featured image, uses leafing lines to frame the subject who is sitting on the end step on their phone. I have used the tools available to me to isolate them, and make them alone in the frame.
You: Why does that matter?
Well, it matters, because when on her phone she is isolated from the world around her. I tried to represent that in this photograph. I used the stairs to draw your attention to her, and made her alone in the frame to make the separation of her from the world around her. In the grand scheme it is subjective and artistic in choice, and it is a choice I made. I like making art out of my street photos.
Everything is as intentional as it can be, the hand rail leads to him, and that guides you through the image, I waited for the runner to be in front of the other homeless people, so you happily ignore them, and the rest was by chance. It then makes the frame show a man alone, eating with nowhere to go. The crop Instagram forced onto the image really adds, and takes something away at the same time.
Make your street photography stand out. You don't need to use a fancy camera—you could use your phone. It is all about framing and timing, and trying to tell someone's story. Hopefully, we will change how street photography is taken, as it is so important in today's ever-changing world. It is also a big genre, which stretches far and wide. I hope we can raise the bar so street photography can be artistic and impressive, and not dull. Let's make it really creative, and glorify the everyday.
So go out with your phone or camera, and find these little images that are artistic, and make you chuckle.