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This is the first (also my first proper) in a series of posts on my own work and types in
relation to my own work and street photography in general.
Lets start with the definition (from Wikipedia)
‘Street photography, also sometimes called candid photography, is photography
conducted for art or enquiry that features unpremeditated chance encounters and random
incidents[1] within public places. Although there is a difference between street and candid
photography it is usually subtle with most street photography being candid in nature but
not all candid photography being classifiable as street photography. Street photography
does not necessitate the presence of a street or even the urban environment. Though
people usually feature directly, street photography might be absent of people and can be
of an object or environment where the image projects a decidedly human character in
facsimile or aesthetic.
Its a fairly loose definition and can be interpreted a variety of ways.
Someone could focus primarily on people (individually or in groups).
I tend to photograph groups but usually include background or environment elements
as well at times going abstract. (see ‘Bleed’ in the Berlin gallery and ‘Resistance’ in
Charleville as examples.)
I’ll go into this in more detail in another post.
Black and White
Black and White is probably my favourite genre/type of photography.
There’s a certain purity to it in my view.
A good amount of street photography is still presented in that format.
A google image search based on the term will turn up most or at least 50% of shots
presented in bw.
I could be called a shadow chaser as most of my current work is black and white,
I do keep a look out for a shadow crossing a street,diagonal across a wall of facade.
As my focus is shooting overall scenes in a place like Limerick city with the average
building height being 3-5 stories and with gaps between the buildings there is rarely
a street completely covered in light or shadow in the evenings.
Shadows can cut across streets adding an element of drama to a shot.
Most of my photo walks in are during sunset /evening/afternoon time.
It can help make an image seem more dramatic (see ‘Off Catherine Place’ in the
Limerick gallery as an example) or just reduce the distractions in the image to
increase focus on the desired subject.
“When you photograph people in colour, you photograph their clothes. But when you
photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls! Ted Grant
This often used quote by photographer Ted Grant pretty much sums up my own view
in my opinion but I wouldn’t just limit it to people, places can for want of a better
term can have souls as well. They can have a certain vibe/mood to them old cities like Berlin and Prague because of their at times tumultuous history that shows in
buildings and monuments.
Other examples of scenes from my own work would be the ‘Needle and … and
Tenerife 1-6 series again shows my own preference for scenes and being silhouette
heavy with people being contrasted against the sea.
The use silhouettes can add a element of mystery to a shot or be used to lead the eye
of the viewer to a point on the image.
To conclude my ramblings, my own preference for black and white it shows a more
pure world from the world that I see from day to day that is neither good nor bad
neither light or dark but grey, it just is.

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