Call me Kennedy. I am an American - St. Louis born, that baseball and beer-loving city on the mile-wide Mississippi River.
Early on I knew I wanted to be a writer because writers were elegantly louche.
As St. Louis bad boy William Burroughs sardonically noted, they lounged around Singapore and Bangkok smoking opium in yellow pongee silk suits. They sniffed cocaine in Mayfair and they penetrated forbidden swamps with a faithful servant boy and lived in the native quarter of Tangier smoking hashish and languidly caressing a pet gazelle.
This was the life for me.
Yet I showed little academic promise in my youth, barely graduated high school and finally emerged from college after prolonging my adolescence for the better part of a decade in the 1970s.
Like many aspiring writers, it made sense to work for newspapers. I had a lively interest in the morbid and the abnormal. I also had an appetite for the extreme and the sensational, for the slimy and the unwholesome. I felt at ease among people who were liars, sluts, crooks, morons, cretins, perverts and obsessives.
Over a 20-year period, I worked for small town American newspapers in Montana, New Mexico and Oklahoma - primarily owned by publishers who were either alcoholics or sex addicts.
This period of life was what I desperately needed, as I tried to put my misspent youth in the rearview mirror. What I had not counted on is how I fell profoundly in love with photography. And, in that bygone era, this meant constant access to Tri-X film, a definition of heaven superior to any previous ideals.
Labels are a drag - yet if I must adhere to a frame of reference for some context, I’ll go with photojournalist - which is inclusive of both documentary and street photography, and allows visuals to compliment and reinforce written discourse.
My days in photojournalism ended over 20 years ago. In fact, I put my cameras away for a decade and had no further connection with my former world.
Yet - true love is what it is, and now I have returned home like Odysseus to find Penelope still waiting for me. That’s a little overly dramatic, because my Canon F-1 from 1976 is now a bookend, and my mainstay system is the Nikon D5300. Yet a Penelope is a Penelope is a Penelope (right, Gertrude?).
The truth is I’m still susceptible to falling in love, and lately I’ve been having a grand time with the Ricoh GR II. Call me a fanboy. I’m delightfully shocked by how lightweight and stealth the camera is for street photography.
And yet the gear doesn’t change my motivation.
I have no profound explanation for why I do what I do … for why I have this addiction to use a camera to document people on the street doing what they do … “some are mathematicians, some are carpenters' wives, don't know how it all got started, I don't know what they're doin' with their lives.”
To say more would “pluck out the heart of my mystery.” Yet the entire experience is a dazzling reminder of a genuine connection to this human tapestry, full of stories both common and unique, stories full of hope and heartbreak, stories full of solace and souls too soon forgotten, from the streets of Barcelona-to-the streets of Varanasi.
Have camera, will travel.
I don't think I'm essentially a street photographer. I guess Photography is just the way for me to express how I see things. It has something to do with a philosophical approach to reality. I have always had this way of observing reality, dwelling on details, on scenes that tell me something.
Early on in my life, I felt inspired by what was around me. Eventually, I got into street photography. It was a slow process. And this happened in a city that was not my hometown, where my view got released from all the parameters and preconceptions that you naturally develop in known places. What I perceived in that new urban landscape and became the ghost I kept freezing everywhere and in everyone’s face with my shots was an intense feeling of loneliness. As a photographer, I am already used to entering the world of loneliness because I must be able to become invisible. So I found myself breathing in my own loneliness and the solitude of those around me.
It is the distance between the photographer and the rest of the people that allows the photographer to notice what is overlooked and under-loved. I found this particular statement that confirms my thoughts: "...if love belongs to the poet, and fear to the novelist, then loneliness belongs to the photographer. To be a photographer is to willingly enter the world of the lonely because it is an artistic exercise in invisibility." - Hanya Yanagihara, Loneliness Belongs to the Photographer, The New Yorker.
The photographer feels and represents the loneliness of humanity.
This society is turning us into monads... and Street photographers are those who daily tell us about the loneliness of mankind through their shots. And that’s why words are superfluous in this realm. Only by looking at photographs we can understand this.
A mixture of coal and sawdust, a splash of water. Throw in a Yorkshire pudding mix, shake it up with Maori new beginnings and an Australian no worries blend. You have a Robert C Bannister. A life in engineering but a photojournalist screaming to get out. Street photography gives me that kick!
"Born out of a love of fine coffee and watching the world go by"
I'm a 54 year old man from Sweden. I'm married to Anna-Lena and we have two grown kids, who have both flown the nest. When I was young I did athletics, mostly I ran 200-400 meters. At 19 I started coaching and at 27 I became a professional coach. This is still my job, even though I've drifted towards admin duties at the school for 16-19 year old athletes where I work.
I've been into photography for over 40 years by now. In the beginning, I shot everything, with my friends and athletes as the most common subjects. But when I look at my old negatives, I realize I shot something similar to street photography right from the start.
I've always liked to travel and always taken a lot of photos when I did. Since 2010 I've traveled extensively and combined my longing to discover the world with a growing passion for street photography.
My name is Fabio Balestra, born in 1968 happily married. I live in a small village in Liguria - Santo Stefano al Mare IM in the western area, near the French border. Self-taught, I started shooting in 1986, then in 1992 I stopped suddenly. Until 2013, when I fell in love with a second-hand Fuji X100, I resumed taking photographs and since then I have not stopped.
For me street photography is an instinct, an attitude that takes you among people to stop time, a moment, a grimace or an important event. But always with the spirit of adventure and curiosity, nothing prepared, no project, only me and my camera and the life that surrounds me.
Because it's on the street that everything happens, and I'm there, among the people, almost invisible and I do the only thing I can do.
Shot mainly in black and white on the streets of my country, in shops and bars or in the surrounding area, a photograph at Km 0.
Shooting with old film cameras and Fuji X System
There is no way to do street, only the street exists.
My name is Lukasz Kazimierz Palka and I have been living in Tokyo, Japan since 2008. I got into photography as a way to get out of the house. After about 1 year in Japan, I found myself becoming a bit of a couch potato. Photography was an avenue for me to explore the city.
Since I live in one of the largest urban conglomerations in the world, I do not need to travel much. I simply explore Tokyo, often revisiting locations again and again. I find myself taking some photos over and over in search of a perfect iteration.
To find the rooftop locations that are often in my photos, I spend a lot of time walking around the city and climbing lots of staircases. It’s a matter of persistence and patience.
My advice is to be curious and keep at it. If you haven’t been to some part of the city: go there. If you’re city is friendly to walking: then walk. Shooting in the city is all about exploration. It’s about expanding your internal map of your city. There is no special need to travel to distant lands to get started. Any city will do. So, get a good pair of shoes and get out there!
"Which approach is better? Well, this is a wrong question in the Zen sense. Neither approach is right or wrong. Instead, the question we have to ask ourselves as photographers is this: what do I want to photograph, and what story do I want to tell?"
Jinn Jyh Leow
Born and raised on the island of Penang, Malaysia, I am a Penangite through and through.
I had no interest in photography until a university assignment had me out in the streets documenting the activities on the sidewalks. That was around the same time I found and fell in love with the photographs of everyday coincidences. I had not stopped photographing since.
Growing up in a car-dependent society where a 10-minute walk is considered excessive, walking is a discovery and a blessing; to be able to slow down, to observe, to wait, and to capture little (and perhaps unusual) moments of life. It is exciting to be out there, looking for the fleeting moments when spontaneity meets chance.
I love the fact that I don’t have to plan. I just have to have my camera, and start walking.
Pure serendipity – that’s how I discovered Street Photography and that’s what I love about it.
Born in Milan, I discovered Street Photography by chance. From then till now I never stopped to love it, I can say that it became a way of looking at the world for me.
Walking with my camera makes me feel good and comfortable. A moment, a scene, a gesture can be a trap in a frame, then the story can begin.
When I shoot people around me I try to imagine their life, I can feel a sort of knowledge with them. I always look for human life to capture because I love life.
Street Photography is essential to realize our modern times and to perceive mankind.
Born in Venice, Italy Sept 1976.
After 20 years involved to project management and travelling in Asia and Europe, I decided to stop that work to give the hand to what I love and makes me happy, so photography enters in my life like a storm in latest 2016 and move to Rome, where my photography took an amazing value of inspiration. After many mentions in groups of street photography, I believed to my talent and I start to study to myself order reach a good understanding of lights management and composition. Singer, guitarist and drummer, inspired to lyrics of songs of my 2 favorite band ( U2 and Linkin Park ) my approaching to the art of the fathers of photography and painting Masters, as Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Jan Van Eyck and following the Dalì surrealism and Magritte compositions and shadows play, gave me the hint to being inspired in my photos.
"In the doubt, I shot"
Born in Italy, 1974.
Living and making photos in Turin, Milan and other places.
I like different photography genres -landscapes, portraits, still life - but street photography is doubtlessly my favorite.
What I love most? Walking for hours exploring the city I'm in, searching for a good light and interesting urban scenes to capture with my camera.
"I'm interested in human presences inserted into light, shadows, colors and geometries, searching for something that sends the image "on the other side".
Unlike the other groups, Progressive will never make weekly or monthly rankings... What we can tell you is, we are the only playful group in this genre on Facebook. We will do some particular "numbers" on someone, such as 'Focus on' or 'Showcased' This will come with consistency. We want you to mix with the best and learn from the best. Articles will be posted from time to time. Offering advice, humour and inspiration. Exceptional images will be chosen for the gallery. Not always for being technically correct but in the true spirit of Street. When we make comments, It is for the whole group to learn, interact and appreciate. We maybe all at different levels. We may let through sub par images so as to comment, critique and develop. We may ask what your thinking is. Only for everyone to understand. Positivity is our motto, to enjoy, appreciate, laugh, and to post in the spirit of Street. Better to smile than to frown. Our admin staff are made up of fellow artists and writers. Not always of the same opinion, but always of the same passion!
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