Street Photography - Is It For You?

A classic street scene of an ornate shop front in the La Boca district of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

I made this photo in Buenos Aires back in December 2010 on a photo walk I led with a group of folks I took to Antarctica on a photo tour. During my career I've done very little street photography, though I have done quite a lot of portrait photography of strangers while traveling.

I do enjoy looking at street photography and am familiar with the work of the Masters of that genre.

Deconstructing A Photograph

I very much like the surreal and serendipitous moments within the above image. Take a closer look and you'll see what I mean.

Can You See The Faces?

There’s the young woman in the foreground; the elderly men, partly obscured behind the doors; the bust in the window in the bottom right of the image; and the face of the woman behind the curved glass on the left side of the frame. There are plenty of other faces in this image, but these are the most prominent ones.

The photo seems to me to be very much structured around relationships, both real and imagined. There’s the actual relationships between some of the figures in the image and the structural relationships that have come together, through composition, within the picture frame. These faces are focal points that, as much as anything else, lead our eye around the frame

I feel this image is a great example of how a photograph has the capacity to freeze a moment in time. The world appears solid, on the street, yet a more fluid existance is suggested for those who might pass, through the doors, to what lies beyond.

This photo looked fine in color, but it’s subtle various in tone in addition to the variety of textures and shapes throughout the scene suggested it was a great candidate for black and white. I also like the sense of quiet and nostalgia that’s been brought to the image by rendering it into black and white. There’s very much a sense of quiet light within this image.

The Reality Of The Photograph

That’s the reality of the photograph, but the actual reality was somewhat different. It was hot, bright, noisy and crowded on the street.

I love the ability that photography has to allow us to create our own reality and to enter worlds beyond our normal, everyday experience and perception.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru