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Spicing Things Up A Little With Street Photography

As I get older, the need to make sure I get at least some exercise is becoming increasingly important, so like many others my age, I walk (or, weather permitting, ride my bike). I don't get out nearly as often as I probably need to, but I do make the effort.

Thing is I've become bored with walking in the city parks (I refuse to settle for doing laps around the local shopping mall). The parks are pretty enough, and there is a bit of wildlife in most of them, primarily birds, which are fleeting to say the least, and in a couple of parks, deer, who are awfully shy (not to mention their evident disdain for bright sun). On the seemingly rare occasions when an osprey or an eagle or a hawk flies by, a decent photo might be had, provided I'm in the right place at the right time. It never seems to fail, however, that I'll be out, meet another photographer along the trail, who tells me he just saw a bald eagle over at such-and-such a place. So I scurry over there, and the eagle has flown. Of course, as much as I love shooting landscapes, the local walking trails leave me totally uninspired. <sigh>

So in an attempt to spice things up, along with encouraging the walking and sharpening the old eye, I've decided to take a bit of a stab at Street Photography.

I find the idea of Street Photography intriguing, to say the least. I've done a little Street Photography in the past, but not a lot, and certainly not enough to become truly proficient at it, but it can be quite interesting and a challenge. And fun.

This is not photo journalism, or editorial or commercial photography. It's not traditional portraiture (assuming people in the image). Instead, Street Photography forces the photographer to look at the world with a different eye. One must see the fascinating in the mundane, the different in the everyday. Different perspectives, not only in angle of view, but in subject matter as well.

Light becomes very, very important, even more so than in most other forms of photography, I would think. A shadow can become an entire subject itself. Sometimes, you don't even need to see what made the shadow, as long as the composition is good and the shadow interesting. Sunny, cloudy, night, rain, reflections, or whatever combinations one can come up with. Natural light, found artificial light (strobes or speedlights wouldn't do in Street Photography).

Most of my Street Photography will be in Black and White. I think B&W lends itself more to the style and tone of Street Photography. Color images will only be included if the color makes a statement of some kind itself. On the other hand, it might be an opportunity to try my hand at color grading, something that I've never seen a need for in my usual photography.

I seldom take candid photos of people. Once in a while, and then, I always try to ask permission -- assuming I can get the photo I want AFTER I ask. If not, I don't shoot it. For some reason, people in this part of the world are terribly camera shy, and some might just call the cops on you for simply pointing a camera in their general direction. In the photo below, I asked the gentleman. He agreed.

Inspiration comes from people like NYC's Hugh Brownstone (Instagram, YouTube), Great Britain 's Mark McGee (Instagram, YouTube), just to name two, and many, many others. They all have their own styles and techniques, resulting in an endless myriad of great images.

Of course, I doubt I'll be posting any photos of truly iconic things like the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Radio City, the London Eye, Tower Bridge, Parliament or Big Ben. OKC just doesn't have such instantly, internationally recognizable things, which may not be such a bad thing. Of course, I'm not sure that it wouldn't be rather difficult to shoot a new image of such iconic places. Wouldn't mind the challenge, though, especially shooting London . . .

At the heart of it all, however, is still the need to tell a story of some kind. Any good photo tells a story of some kind. Street Photography is no different in that regard.

I've devoted an entire page on my website to Street Photography, and have posted a couple of images on my Instagram feed. Would love to know what anyone thinks.

More later . . .

All images created by me, and are ©2022 Don Risi

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