MUG (Manhattan Users Guide) has offered a great post about street photography
THE MORNING LINE ‣
We asked photographer James Maher
if he would share some of his street photography techniques and he's delivered a terrific in-depth account below. James also gives private street photography workshops
that will, we promise, up your game. All the images in today's MUG are his work. The one above is called Polka Dots and Pink Shoes, 2012.
By James Maher
There's a good chance that you've heard about street photography over the last few years. Maybe it's been through Joe Holmes' work shown daily on MUG, maybe you've heard about Street Shots, the new exhibit at the South Street Seaport, or maybe you've even come across some sneaky fellow trying to take your photo in public.
Well, today you're in luck, because we're going to talk about what street photography is and some tips on how to do it. And maybe you'll feel better about that sneaky fellow the next time he tries to take your photo. Or maybe not.
1. What is street photography and what is the point of it?
Street photography is a clunky term that is often thought to mean the practice of photographing strangers candidly on the street. However, I prefer to think of it as a visual way of a describing what life is like in the areas that we live and in our time. For instance, the aim of street photography is not necessarily to show what New York City looks like, although that is part of it, but to portray what living in New York feels like, what its residents and visitors are like, and what its culture and atmosphere is like. It is a pictorial study of the human condition.
To get a better understanding of the long term significance of street photography, it is important to take a look at work from the past and see what it means to us today. Some of my favorite street photographers that have done a significant portion of their life's work in New York are Garry Winogrand, Bruce Davidson, Matt Weber, Lee Friedlander, and Joel Meyerowitz, among others. Take a look at the work of these photographers for inspiration and also pay attention to how their photographs have aged. It can help to think of photography as if it is a fine wine that matures as it ages and as the elements and culture in the images become dated. New Yorkers live in one of the most rapidly changing cities in the world and it is important to pay attention to that. The only constant here is that things will change, so try to figure out what those things are.