Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Street Photography

One of my favorite genres of photography is Street Photography. I rarely shoot it, but if I could choose only one type of photo to display on my walls it would be street photography. Street photography is essentially the process of taking photos, usually in a candid way, of the human condition, typically in an urban environment, but not always.

Now after posting one of my photos of a panhandler on Instagram I took some flack from a couple people who obviously don't understand art, and street photography. I'll say this once more, my intentions are not to take advantage or exploit anyone. My intentions are to document the city where I live. Neglecting to shoot photos of homeless, panhandlers, and anyone else less fortunate would be like a news reporter showing up to a house fire and only showing and talking about the beautiful landscaping of the house next door. If my photos of a homeless person stir some sort of emotion inside of you; then good, I've done my job. Don't get angry with me though, get angry at the situation that put them there.

The internet has turned us into desensitized bullies, while simultaneously made us into overly sensitive cry babies. How can we watch the most vile, degrading, disgusting porn, or spend hours looking at websites dedicated to making fun of overweight or poorly dressed shoppers at Walmart? How can middle school girls be telling each other to kill themselves (and some do), but yet we post a photo of a homeless person or a dad posts a photo of his infant daughter without a shirt on (what parent doesn't have photos of their little kids running around naked?) and the internet goes ballistic. We have such a double standard today, and why? It's because the internet generation is a generation of hurt and pains that get buried instead of dealt with, and all of that bitterness manifests itself in trolling self-righteous hate comments. The internet has made it so easy to feel better about ourselves by calling out other people's flaws instead of facing our own.

If you morally object to me taking a photo of someone on the street without their permission, that's fine, don't look. We all have different morals and opinions, telling someone how to live their life, especially when you don't even know that person, is rude and pointless. You won't change my feelings on the matter and I won't change yours. 

"The issue of street photographers taking photos of strangers in public places without their consent (which is the definition of candid photography) for fine art purposes has been controversial...

While individuals may complain of privacy or civil inattention violations when they become the subject of candid photography, the work of photographers cannot be done in any other way and if candid photography were restricted then society and the future generations would lose works of art, educational images, newsworthy images, and images of people's history." - Wikipedia

A woman waits for passersby in hopes of spare change.

Construction workers in a dumpster yelling at each other about how to properly fill the bin.

A woman waits to cross the street.

Watching a street performer at sunset.

A man eats his lunch on a street corner.

A woman takes a smoke break in a parking garage to avoid the rain.

'600 Safe Work Days'

Staying dry with a trash bag cape.

So nice to see some of Cleveland's beautiful old buildings getting the attention they deserve.

Photos taken with a Canon Mark III, Canon 60D; with a Canon 135mm f/2.0 lens.

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