Street photography is a genre of photography that captures the candid moments of everyday life in the streets. It is a form of documentary photography that aims to capture the human condition in all its forms. Street photographers document the world around them, capturing the people, places, and events that make up the fabric of our daily lives.
Street photography is often spontaneous, capturing moments as they happen, and it is also characterised by its sense of intimacy and immediacy. Street photography has a long history, dating back to the early days of photography. It can be done with any camera, from a smartphone to a professional DSLR.
Street photography requires a combination of technical skill, observation, and intuition and is a challenging and rewarding genre. It requires street photographers to be aware of their surroundings, anticipate moments before they happen, and react quickly when the time is right.
Street photography is one of the hardest and most fast-paced genres, leaving little to no time for the composition, which is why a street photographer is always ready to record with his camera the instant that a fleeting moment occurs, before it is lost in time forever. Whilst studio photographers can often take all the time they want to create their image very carefully, street photographers have to react on the street very quickly.
Contrary to the primary focus of most photographs, street photographs are less concerned with the artistic effect of the photo, for example, a documentary photograph that puts more emphasis on the content of the picture. And in street photography, you expect to see both sharp and blurred impressionistic image, both acceptable for this genre.
Peter prefers black and white for street photography because it creates a timeless and classic image, which allows the viewer to focus on the subject and composition.
It also allows for greater visual impact and playing with light and shadow. Black and white also adds a level of mystery and intrigue to the image, creating a more dramatic effect.
With my street photography, I have been greatly inspired by the works of Henri Cartier-Bresson,Vivian Maier, Gary Winogrand and Rene Maltete; who are considered pioneers of street photography. However, though I admire their ethos I do not slavishly follow any particular style.
Whilst appreciating the artistry and mastery of their work, I believe that every photographer has their own unique vision and style. I strive to develop my own approach to street photography, one that is true to my own experiences and perspectives.
I believe that in order to create something truly unique and meaningful, you should be true to yourself and not be afraid to break away from the established conventions. I always try to capture the essence of the moment, but I do it my way, by using my own style, my own vision, my own way of seeing the world.
The Facebook Group "Street Photography, Cartier-Bresson Inspired" and its sister group "Urban Life in Colour" celebrate black & white and vibrant colour street photography, respectively.
As the most active street photography community on Facebook with over 300,000 members and 2 million monthly views, Peter Pickering's passion for teaching is evident.
These groups provide resources for learning and honing street photography skills, as members share work, ask questions, and receive feedback.
Discover the groups linked below: