Thursday, July 21, 2011

Does the decisive moment still exist? (Part 2) - Decisive moment, Street photography and Internet

A Holy Grail for many photographers, the decisive moment is part of many series and stories. The quest for this unique moment, which can transform a common picture into an amazing image seems to be very often associated to a certain category of photography: street photography.
Street photography is mostly defined as photography taken in any public space featuring people’s interactions with the streets as a décor. And it’s true that what good street photographers have in common is their ability to spot the unusual in everyday life and to capture this so-called decisive moment.
But I believe there is more to the decisive moment than just Street photography. And of course there is more to Street photography than just this concept of decisive moment. The decisive moment can apply to any type of photography, from documentary, travel, candid or humanist photography. All images in a story cannot be a series of decisive moments and of course it’s not the only criteria to define a good photograph but definitely it is one.
So what is it really about?
It’s about telling a story in a single frame, about trying to catch a series of elements working together in harmony. But isn’t it also about trying to capture this incredible penetrating look, this funny expression, this unusual shadow, this unique ray of light? 
And what is street photography really about?
It's a state of mind. It's an immersion within the atmosphere of the streets, it's the ability to become invisible and capture the natural life of the streets. It's playing with forms and light, it's reaction, anticipation, interaction with the environment and the people that define it. It's a puzzle, a dance, a joke, a fight, a choreography, a poem, a symphony!

So after my tribute to the amazing Alex Webb, let’s have a glance at its extended diversity on the web today, and especially at how it applies to Street photography.
From groups of amateur street photographers on flickr to the websites of associated international Streephers (street photographers), from traditional black and white to Martin Parr-like colors, from humorous street coincidences to the snapshot aesthetic, it seems that the Decisive Moment is far from dead – Long live the decisive Moment!
If you’d like to explore the genre, here is a few great examples (mostly found on Flickr) and a non-exhaustive selection of street photography groups and sites:

Cairo's ragpickers, Emmanuel Smague

Smokers on the beach - Aden Yemen, Maciej Dakowicz

Eddy Avenue, Central. 2002, Andrew Stark aka Nowhere Man

Rainy days, Rui Palha

F*ck you, Charlie Kirk aka twocutedogs

Audition, David Gibson
Petros Kotzabasis

Flickr groups (curated):
HCSP (Hardcore Street Photography) :
Extreme Street Photography (ESP):
SECONDS2REAL street photography :

Street photographers sites :

No comments:

Post a Comment