The second part of People and Place concerns street photography. A short title with many implications. In this case the goal of part two of the module is to gain the skills and the confidence to tackle street photography in its various guises. To be unobtrusive, capturing people undertaking everyday (or not-so-everyday) activities naturally. Street photography has been around as long as the ability to control the shutter speed of the camera dating back to the original flaneur, Eugène Atget (1857-1927).
Personally I enjoy this style of photography and relish the thought of being in a new situation with new people and places to capture. Even so, it can take some time for me to acclimatise to the environment and for the environment to acclimatise to me. What I mean by this is that, in certain situations, the arena that I am shooting in just isn’t used to having someone walking around with a camera and if that’s the case I almost certainly haven’t been to that place before which means I won’t start getting the shots I want until we are mutually acclimatised to each others environments. I don’t just find I can dive straight in and start making photographs of people from cold, as soon as I arrive. Sometimes I just need to get my camera out and start shooting whatever is around me (not necessarily people) to get me in to the zone. By the end of the module I will need to start developing a narrative for my series of photographs so that they hang together without the need for too much explanation. This doesn’t mean I won’t give one, merely that that is my intent!
For me street photography is almost the antithesis of the previous project regarding the formal portrait. What I find in front of my lens now are subjects who not only may not have given permission to be photographed but, moreover are probably not even aware that they are being photographed. I say this is almost the antithesis of formal portraiture. This is because during the course of these types of shoots I may well find myself capturing someone with their tacit, although usually un-spoken, permission. For me, this starts to blur the line between portraiture and street photography.