“I followed this man for a while as he crossed the road, and when he sat down on a bench I approached him and we had a conversation about why he’s walking around the city wrapped in a duvet in this way”, says street photographer Tanya Nagar.
I was apprehensive at first as I thought he would act in a hostile manner – a stereotypical assumption about a homeless man. However, I was surprised to learn that he chooses this way of life, and he let me take some portraits of him. His name is Stuart.
See the world in a new and exciting light
The subjects of street photography are all around us and not limited to the street, but rather the public domain in general with people going about their daily lives. Immerse yourself in the urban world with your camera as your companion, and you’ll start seeing the world in a new and exciting light.
Street is a unique genre of photography. It doesn’t depend on hours of planning, expensive or elaborate gear, or fashionable, and trendy locations. It simply requires a camera, an eye for moments and perfect timing in everyday and often mundane surroundings, accessible to everyone, anywhere.
It is in those seemingly banal surroundings that moments of expression, beauty, and social interaction can be found in abundance. Look long enough and you’ll see it all around you – a taxi driver waiting for his next customer, a woman on the train, a homeless man crossing the road.
These ordinary moments that encompass everyday life can produce fascinating, humorous, and profound reflections of the human world in which we live. Despite the apparent simplicity of street photography, it would be imprudent to underestimate the skill involved in capturing these fleeting scenes. The world is in constant motion all around us. Blink, and the moment is lost forever. In order to photograph these once-in-a-lifetime moments, you have to be ready to pounce and seize the opportunity, while simultaneously attempting to compose the shot and look inconspicuous. Similar to documentary photography or photojournalism, street photography is about capturing the reality of our surroundings – candid moments that could be lost in a flash. Unlike many other forms of photography, you cannot plan a moment, or retake the same scene numerous times in search of perfection. There is simply no time.
You can anticipate and predict, but in essence street is about observation, timing, and precision. Master these traits, and you will be positively surprised and impressed at the results. The aim of the The New Street Photographer’s Manifesto is to bring you closer to the world; to capture fragments of life that once gone, may never return, whatever camera you have, wherever you are.