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.

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