Photographing on Broadway 4/8/2017

Last Saturday, we as a class took a field trip to Broadway street in downtown Los Angeles. The objective for the trip was to continue practicing street photography and it's two opposing styles lyrical and static. Broadway as a location offers a stimulating environment for street photography. An old theatre district that was once left to decay and was almost a ghetto like are for a long time is just recently started to bring in new businesses and lifting up it's face again. This street is full of juicy colorful details and contrasts of  beaten-up and fancy. Interesting characters and various backgrounds that offer more than a great stage for any street photography practitioner.

 

For my style of photography the street photos are in most cases the kind that would be considered as static. When I go out on the streets I always feel more like an observer that picks up on smaller, not so noticeable details. I feel rather uncomfortable approaching unknown people and being in the middle of the action as is required in the lyrical style of street photography. It should feel like the photographer is a part of what is happening. For my photography it's more that i'm exploring and just showing what I found interesting or visually compelling. 

On Street Photography

Street photography is perhaps the oldest form of photography. Starting out as photojournalism for newspapers and evolving from there to more artistic means, street photography has been around for as long as camera has. Documenting the flow of life on the streets of big cities seems to always been attracting photographers. On the footprints of masters such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Saul Leiter, and many more, there is a continuous cycle of new photographers taking the streets under their lenses. 

Lyrical Street Photography

Lyrical street photography is a style of documenting the flow and life on the streets. It creates lyrical narratives for the people involved. It gets personal and involved in the scenes that are happening. It aims to tell the stories of the people and cultures it is used to capture. 

I enjoy the poetic qualities of lyrical street photography. Narrating stories, that might not really even be there, is fascinating to me. Decisive moment, composition, subject matter and the surroundings can really work wonders. 

Also I find lyrical street photography more suitable style when you want to really convey the culture and the way of life of a certain city, or community, or even country. Although my personal style of photography is more observing rather than intervening, I feel like I use quite a bit of lyrical style when I go out to photograph.

Static Street Photography

As the name says, static street photography is very static. Oftentimes it is used to picture architecture, or details and objects in the everyday urban scenery. Static style of street photography is more about objectively showing what is in front of our eyes rather than trying to narrate a story about someone's life. The story comes from the factual information and observations that are laid in front of our eyes. Static style of photography can also include humans and portraits, but same follows with them, the purpose is just objectively document the person.

I am a big fan of static style of street photography. Something about the delicateness of the simplicity behind the photographs draws me in. The pictures are quietly beautiful. Simple, but smart. Composition, the use of color and of course aesthetically beautiful or clever details are what make static photographs work. 

I feel like this style fits me and my style of photography. I can just wander out on my own not worrying about anything or anyone else and be buried in my own thoughts as I observe the world around me. Those tiny details that when put together compose our urban landscape. How the light reflects from different surfaces. How one wall can have innumerable shades of whites and grays. These are the kind of details that draw me in. Just to stop, look, and appreciate.