I have been giving a lot of thought to who and what inspires me to do Street/Social Documentary photography. I have always been interested in what other people are doing around me going about their everyday lives. I tend to photograph everyday ordinary things and events and particularly like to photograph crafts people and artists. We look back with great interest at photographs taken 50 years ago and forget that others will do the same in another 50 years.
I like to capture people so intent on what they are doing that they are often unaware of anything else. That fleeting smile, a big sigh, agony and laughter - it's all there. The difficulty is then in getting a good quality photo where you have no control over the light the environment and the tricky situations in which I often find myself. Street photography is like that. Not all of my photography is surreptitious. Usually my subjects are fully aware that I am taking there photos and are comfortable enough with me to drop their guard and allow their personalities to shine through. My photo story at this link Impressions of Uganda demonstrates a number of facets of social documentary and street photography.
Henri Cartier Bresson has been called the father of modern street photography and remains my greatest inspiration. He liked to show how "life offers itself" to the photographer and established the principle of "the decisive moment" in modern street photography. Like Bresson I love to show the chaos and I prefer to use colour for further emphasis, only straying to monochrome occasionally.
I love John Free's work and that he is also a great teacher of the genre. Yanidel is another great source of inspiration. He is mostly known for his street photography in Paris. He uses his blog and RSS feeds to great effect, sharing his extensive knowledge through the blog rather than via workshops.
Inspiration comes from a number of sources. In previous blog entries I have referred to that great anonymous street artist, Banksey. I have also been fortunate to see and to photograph some street art in Paris, both legal and illegal. Below are some examples.
I am delighted to now be finding and enjoying our local street art right here in Brisbane. On discovering that the Brisbane Street Art Festival commenced last Saturday, I embarked on a complete change of direction for Project 2 of my uni subject, Photography and Social Media.