I’ve always wanted to be a wizard. Not one of those evil guys all in black, just everyday practical happy magic. I’m still on the lookout for one of the fairies to propose me, which, - at the same time -, gives me ample opportunities to practice the art of street photography.
When you’ll notice the diversity and sheer number of hits when looking up the definition of street photography, you might be tempted to quit your daytime job, or whatever it is you fill your days with, to dedicate the rest of your life to a profound study of this phenomenon. Let me assure you straight on : it will be a complete waste of time, and it definitely won’t make you rich. Even worse, that is in case you decide to pick up a camera as well and go out there : you will not become the next Henri Cartier-Bresson (more on that in another post).
The reason is simple : suffice to look at dedicated websites, social media groups, etc. and 99% of what you will see are simple snapshots, no more and no less. I was subscribed to the mailing list of a street photography organization, and today’s ‘image of the day’ was of a guy in his underpants wearing a cowboy hat walking on a street in New York. It may be a curious event (except for New Yorkers) but that image didn’t even contain the smallest bit of personality a street photograph should have. I unsubscribed. And meanwhile, the professional bloggers relentlessly keep you serving yesterday’s warmed up fast-food.
The most restrictive definition can be found in an article by Blake Andrews (you can read it here). Personally, I don’t really care one way or another. Do you? Does it matter what f-stop I used, which lens and camera, or whether I cropped the image or not? If the image captures you, makes you think, imagine, dream, feel, … then there’s probably some magic in it, captured in a frozen moment of time.
A bit of a wizard after all ;-)