Members of the Forum were asked to submit their photographs for this session, which followed naturally on the previous two classes. I provided the following brief. ‘Street photography can be interpreted in a number of ways. Pictures: of people and everyday life in the street and public spaces; elevating the commonplace and familiar into something mythical and even heroic; seeing the street as a theatre of endless possibilities; and holding up a mirror to the kind of societies we are making for ourselves. The realms of street photography can include streets, shopping centres, parks, bars, museums, public transport, coastal promenades and piers and so on.’
Thirteen people submitted 54 pictures. They covered a wide range of subjects, which I grouped under eight headings to give the presentation and discussion some structure: public art (4); streets/movement (4); markets (8); signs and text (7); performance (9); events (6); work (7); and waiting/reverie (9). All pictures will be available at https://www.zimbushboy.org/photo-forum.
Points and advice about street photography emerging from the discussion included: always carry a camera; be prepared, be patient and hope for good luck; look at the choreography of figures; is there a story to be told?, humour helps; take care with the background, does it contribute to or distract from the picture?; three figures/features help make strong compositions; pictures including public art need to have something added and not be merely records of the work; you don’t have to be somewhere exotic to take good street pictures; and you are legally entitled to take photographs in most public places, but don’t take it for granted that everyone will be happy with you doing so.
Photos: 1. Eat, Petty Cury, Cambridge, April 2017; 2. Hills Road, Cambridge, August 2017; 3. Brighton, April 2018