May 2016 VPW Photo Challenge: STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

The theme of VPW’s May 2016 Photo Challenge was: STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

Thank you to VPW member Jessica Ferguson for this month’s timeless Challenge Cover!

The topic’s notoriously open, accessible, exciting, and I hoped that everyone would have fun with it this past month. As with most things, the definition of “street photography” isn’t set in stone so, in an attempt to explain it for this month’s challenge topic, I came across a blog post by photographer Eric Kim. Kim gives lots of examples, throws around many ideas and, effectively, comes up with the following list (added to and re-phrased a little bit by yours truly):

1. Street Photography is NOT Landscape Photography: if I see a photo of a tree, water, and a sunset I don’t consider it street photography, as nature is the primary subject. I feel there needs to be an “urban” element that ties into street photography.

2. Street Photography is NOT Studio Photography: the nature of studio photography is to have everything staged and pre-conceived, and a bit on the artificial side. I feel that street photography needs an element of spontaneity and uncertainty rather than the predictable/manipulative nature of studio photography.

3. Street Photography CAN BE candid (but can also be staged; as we know from many famous examples)

4. Street Photography CAN BE shot anywhere as long as it is open to the public to enter and leave as they please (i.e. not your studio or your home, but appropriate examples of public spaces include the ubahn, the beach, the street, the park, a cafe, etc.)

5. Street Photography CAN have people (for example, “street portraits”) but may also NOT have people in it (for example, “urban landscape”, “still life street photography” etc)
… and this is just a summary of Kim’s article. To read the whole blog post, do check this out; it’s got lots of food for thought.

It seems that, just as I had hoped, folks were inspired, and we had a lot of contributions… curiously, most in black and white.

Here is a small selection; thank you for everyone who took part!