Me and Street Photography
Updated: Jul 9, 2020
Hi I am Subhadeep Mondal, a photographer from Kolkata, India. I love to take photos and my photos are mostly taken in public places. When I go outside my house , roam in my city or go to a new place, I am more keen to photograph people and their surroundings rather than nature and its inhabitants. As a photographer that's how I see myself. I would rather not categorize myself as a street photographer though street photography is the genre of this art form that attracts me most. So I like to share my thoughts about street photography in my first blog.
I love to photograph in public places; a busy street, a chaotic marketplace, a happening beach or a vibrant festival, all these places gives so much possibilities for street photography. My photos are mostly of people rather than places. Human interacting, human posturing and gesturing, human passing by, human working, human having fun, human relaxing, human emotions, faces, dresses...... everything about humanity and human behavior attracts me.
What Is Street Photography?
So, what is street photography and who is a street photographer? That is when I search for a definition. And this is what Wikipedia comes with ---- Street photography, also sometimes called candid photography is photography conducted for art or enquiry that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents within public places. Although there is a difference between street and candid photography, it is usually subtle with most street photography being candid in nature and some candid photography being classifiable as street photography. Street photography does not necessitate the presence of a street or even the urban environment. Though people usually feature directly, street photography might be absent of people and can be of an object or environment where the image projects a decidedly human character in facsimile or aesthetic.
The Street photographer can be seen as an extension of the flaneur, an observer of the streets (who was often a writer or artist). Framing and timing can be key aspects of the craft with the aim of some street photography being to create images at a decisive or poignant moment.
My Perspective on Street Photography
Terms and terminologies related to street photography had been defined, redefined, debated, reconstructed and destroyed......and till now there is no absolute definition of this art form. But this lack of definition in a way helps photographers to explore its never ending possibilities. It is one of the most evolving genre of photography. Experiment with light, shapes, color, subject and situation make this art form more aesthetically attractive.
The essence of street photography lies in its candidness. I think street photography should be candid. There are times when questions arise whether a photo comes in the category of street and documentary photography, well my view is as long as it is candid and aesthetics take the upper hand it comes under per-view of street photography. Sometimes street and travel photography almost intermingle with each other, but for me that's perfectly fine if the scene is interesting and freezes a moment of daily life. Rather presence of essence of the place helps more to get connected with the photo.
Why I like street photography?
1. Its pleasing to my soul. When I go out , I like to see life going on in its pace and things are not static. If I have a camera with me, I start taking photos.
2. It eases my stress. When I go to a public place I can see the world around me, can interact with others, can see things, smile a little, have a cup of tea and lastly busy shooting.
3. When life become entrapped inside walls the best form of relief is get out of the walls. That's what I do. Go for a walk in my city with my camera. And that's how I start loving street photography
4. When I start photography, after buying a camera I don't have enough money to travel somewhere to get some photographic opportunities. So I start exploring my city. Yes street photography does not need costly gears, even a smartphone can do the job.
5. In street photography possibilities are so many. Life is moving in its own way. I can frame life in an instant or just wait for seconds to construct a new frame. Its fast, its ever changing, its engaging and it makes me sweat. But still I have the sole control of the situation as I am the narrator. Yes its challenging and addictive.
6. I love humanity and human behaviors. Street photography gives me scope to capture a glimpse of it. It can freeze emotions, frame a gesture and immortalize a moment.