The Candid Complexity of Street Photography
The secret to street photography is patience. In a busy, bustling street – whether in the golden glow of day or shadowy blur of night – there is so much movement, so much choice, that it can often feel as if that magic moment will never come. As such, street photography is less about finding an image and more about letting the image find you. But if you wait long enough it will – but you have to be ready. Indeed, being ready to react to the unexpected is absolutely critical to street photography. The right person with the right expression. The right motion of a vehicle. The right light bouncing off a window, bridge or rain puddle. Suddenly there’s tension, power, emotion – a fleeting moment of action that reveals the true heart of the scene. But only with patience and preparation are you able to capture it.
People, Places, and Street at Night Photography
For me, there are two approaches to street photography. The first is about candidly capturing people, often strangers, in public places – their feelings, emotions and spontaneous behaviours. In a sense, this genre of street photography has much in common with wildlife photography, only it’s human life – human nature – that’s being documented in all its beautifully flawed complexity. The second is what I call street landscape photography. This isn’t so much about capturing images of human lives, rather the urban environments in which those human lives are lived. I find night time street photography the most interesting for this category. When the sun goes down, a cityscape buzzes with electric light. Reds, blues, oranges, pinks, whizzing and whirring around graffitied walls, shop windows and historic architecture. A city takes on a completely new atmosphere at night, and be it romantic, classic, hopeful or ominous, my great joy with all forms of street photography is giving shape and colour to the invisible mood that hangs over a place and all who live there.