a photo study: street photography

What is street photography?

Nikon D750   f/22    1/25s    35mm    800 ISO

Nick Turpin writes that “…When a child picks up a camera and pushes the button that simple spontaneous image is a Street Photograph, it is, first of all, a raw reaction to the scene in front of it, a person, a car, a color. That primitive urge to react, to make a picture is at the heart of Street Photography beyond any other area of picture making, it comes before any other agenda.

“So we are all Street Photographers before we narrow our sights and impose conditions and rules on ourselves to become Portrait photographers, Fashion Photographers, Landscape Photographers, Art Photographers (whatever that really means) etc.”

Nikon D750    f/20    1/25s    35mm    800 ISO

Eric Kim defines street photography as the “…candid photography of life and human nature. It is a way for us to show our surroundings, and how we as photographers relate to them. We are filtering what we see, to find the moments that intrigue us, and to then share them with others. It’s like daydreaming with a camera.”

Nikon D750    f/1.8    1/10s    35mm    800 ISO

Within “The Ultimate Guide to Street Photography” James Maher writes “…the best image of your life can pop right in front of you on the way to get your morning coffee. This spontaneity is what’s celebrated. That is why grainy images, slightly off-kilter framing a-la Garry Winogrand, or import focus will not alway ruin a street photography. Sometimes they will, and we must aim for technical mastery, but other times they can add to the realness of the moment. Sometimes these deficiencies may actually improve the image.”

Nikon D750    f/2.5    1/2,500   35mm    800 ISO

Sometimes the best way to understand something is to put aside the book, silence the mind, and visually explore the creative works of others. With this in mind, I would like to introduce three of my favorite street photographers.

To journey through Salle de Shoot — Photographie’s blog is to inspired by his creative and unique examples of street photography.

The Streets of Nuremberg.com identifies street photography as “…a free creative design in which the artist’s impression…experiences are brought to life…the aim of street photography to depict reality unadulterated, whereby the specific artistic aspect is expressed in the conscious selection of the detail of reality and the design with photographic means.” To take the time to visit this blog is to view amazing street images as well as educational posts.

And finally,  Reinhold Staden Photography’s gifts us with inspiring photography as well as a super visual journey through Berlin.

How do you understand street photography? Do you have one or three street photographers that inspire you? I would love to see your street images and read your ideas about street photography.  Let’s tag with #aphotostudy.


    1. Thanks Sue…there are so many great street photographers who inspire and offer us unique perspectives of human interaction.

    1. Well actually Marcus…I am so grateful that you share both your creative works as well as your understanding/experiences with photography. Looking forward to your future photos.

  1. The third one is a stunning shot, Brenda. That probably is not as easy as pick up the camera and shoot. 🙂

    1. Thank you Amy. It was just luck to be in a toy store while the magic of Irish dancers filled the air with their music and dance with my intention to photograph at various angles.

  2. Nice post! For me street photography means studying people in the (semi-)public sphere which translates itself in a variety of pictures. That can be a portrait or a scene showing what people are doing outside their homes. Sometimes it results in a picture which in itself is a story; on other occasions I try to make the most of the interesting forms I see, like shadows, lines, geometric shapes, etc. You can find some examples on my street photography blog: The Photographer Roamed the Streets (https://streetphotographynl.wordpress.com).

    1. It is great to meet you Marga. I enjoyed my brief walk through your photo gallery. I love the tone, sharpness, and composition of your black and white images. Thank you for sharing your definition of street photography and a bit of your world.

    1. Thank you 🙏🏻 for the visit and invitation. I enjoyed seeing your creative work…the series of images of you son, beautiful. The use of photography to speak of social justice, intriguing. The use of color, fun.

  3. Great post! It really made me think about street photography in a different way. I always just saw it as trying to capture cool images in daily life, but thinking of it in terms of capturing how we as photographers relate to the things around us makes it seem much more profound. It’s not just about the quality of the image, but the feelings it transmits.

  4. For me street photography is the name people, the same streets, the same boring process of finding someone to shoot. And although about all my photos are about the city I stopped considering myself as a street photographer to feel free.

    1. Thank you for visiting and posting a comment. I wandered about your blog for a few minutes…interesting images, colors, shapes within your compositions. It seems you have an eye for detail. I am looking forward to seeing more of your work.

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