26 Jul 2012

give my regards to broadway

I'm really pleased to see the Museum of London's survey of London street photography has now transferred to the Museum of New York City. For me it's the return leg of a journey that started back in the 80s when I began to take pictures in Manhattan in a style that I only later understood was street photography.
Since then my theatre of operations has been pretty much London, with the occasional tour to continental Europe and beyond, but the the city has reverted to what it was before I lived there a long time ago...a constant influence through music, film and literature but also not so much a physical place, dare I say it, more a New York state of mind.
link to my Museum of London street photography show selection

So my images in the show feel like a homage in two ways. One to the birthplace of a style of photography that portrays the individual in a city in a struggling to assert their identity. The other a postcard, "Wish I was there"!

11 Jul 2012

you'll never walk alone

First of all I feel humbled to have had a responsibility for the work that all contributors have put into my Street Photography Now Community instruction. I appreciate it was dangerously close to parody and not very helpful in a practical way. Nevertheless you've created a great body of work that I'm proud to have an association with. They've certainly made an impact. I've been carrying them around in my head for the last couple of weeks.

There are some real standouts, displays of intuition and reflex worthy of a ninja. There are also some slow burners, some growers, whose worth is revealed over time. This is a bit of a theme of my own work and also an opportunity to apologise for not making this post on Flickr. Its instant nature has been a barrier to me. Indeed I'd have struggled to respond to my own instruction in the timescale!

Working with film, as I do, splits the making of an image into two moments. One the act of taking it. The other, the flipside, the moment of seeing it come back to life on a contact sheet, maybe months later. This had lead me to the notion that, for me at least, the essence of street photography is about savouring that initial moment of seeing the shot, of sharing the moment. Whether I got it or not is a separate experience to be enjoyed in its own way later.
Aha you'll say, sounds like a lame excuse from someone too slow to make the grade. Well youngsters, maybe getting a little older does have something to do with it, but perhaps it's more an appreciation that our calling as street photographers is a privileged one. To stop and stare is a precious responsibility, one built on the shoulders of our predecessors.

Anyway less talk, more action. It's been tortuous but here's my selection: Christos Biniaris, James Guppy, Helene Mashkova, Kuba Paczkowski and Mark Russell.
It's a well worn observation but this process of "exposing" my way of working to you all has certainly made me stop and reflect on my own motivations.
Seeing and reading all your responses is a new experience for me and not one I had the opportunity of when I started out back in the day. Finding them now when I've been working pretty much independently is significant. Thank you. You walk with me still.