“The Pictures are there, and you just take them” – Robert Capa
Street photography has become a genre. That is to say, street photographers have a particular way of seeing what is before them. There interests are on the randomness of civilisation.
I'm not sure where street photography begins and ends. Does it start at the doorway to the street, from within a dwelling or is it essential that the photographer has firmly planted himself among the heaving throng that is the passing parade of life on the street?
Maybe it's none of these. Maybe it is the attitude that is taken at the time, the interest shown in the ways of the pedestrian and the structures they frequent.
And what of the content? Is it the people that are of prime interest, or the walls that confine their space or the activities and inter-actions?
Whatever it is, we are fascinated by it. More so, we are fascinated by the photographs and the photographers who have made this genre their passion, livelihood or pass time.
I hold no grace with those who declare a method or a set of rules for doing this thing called 'Street Photography'. That is not to say others might abide by such rigors and obtain perfectly honest results. My preference is for a 'seat of the pants' approach in which the element of surprise is paramount, to expect nothing and anything at any time, to be ready without anticipation or expectation.
There is also an egalitarian approach employed. Everything and everyone has equal 'rights' to be the subject of the frame. There is some contention here. Some might say the respect for privacy should rule. Neglecting one's privacy might get me a punch in the mouth from some but I'm not aware of who that might be. I take my chances.
Disgression seems to be important. Sneaky, even. Voyieristic definitely, curious, a sense of humour and an equal sense of drama go nicely together.
The streets are filled with pleasures and pathos, individuals going about their day, often without any sign of the turmoil, tragedy, joy or contentment that might lay within. It's not possible to capture these inner thoughts. It is only possible to capture the laws of physics and engineering that created the place and the result of human behaviour that brought it all together.