Anyone can make a good shot. Telling a story, however, is something entirely different and street photography is all about that - telling a story about life and the human condition in a public place in a single shot. This requires great skill. A true street photographer needs to have the eye of a spy and to be emotionally connected with the street itself to convey energy of everyday life on the street. Finally, a good street photographer needs to intuitively know when to click the camera in order to capture a once-in-a-lifetime moment.
Anyone who has ever been interested to learn about the street photography, should have come accross the “decisive moment” term at least once. The term was coined and explained by the father of street photography Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908 – 2004) who believed that good photography largely depends on good timing. “Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative," he said.
However, the genre has greatly evolved since the time Cartier-Bresson started “stealing images” on the streets of Paris. This concept is not considered essential in creating a candid street photography any more. Today’s passionate photographers of the street believe that the ability to express the pulse and energy of the street is much more relevant and to succeed in this one has to be associated with the street experientially and emotionally.
Different street photographers offer a different way of seeing and capturing life on the street. Some try not to be noticed by their subjects while discreetly studying human behavior almost anticipating their actions as Joel Meyerowitz’s approach is. Others, on the contrary, like Bruce Gilden for instance, approach people in the street and snap them intrusively instigating actions. The fact that street photography features the human condition in a public place does not necessarily mean presence of people.
The “Solitude” series of Varun Gupta, one of the artists represented by the Eyemage Gallery, is a chronicle of another side of life in the metropolis which does not capture the rush and crowd but rather traces of urban life.
There are no boundaries for street photography. It is constantly evolving, following and reflecting the continuous changes in our society. There will always be something new and fascinating around the corner for curious eyes to make the perfect shot. One just needs to love the street and enjoy the thrill of the chase.