Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Street Photography Now Project #3

This week's instruction was from Nils Jurgensen.  There is a profile of him here. In his blog, he describes his photography as 'showing the sad, funny and peculiar in everyday life'.  And true to form, his instruction for the project is:
 Take a bus. Do weekly shopping. Pop into a public loo
Jurgensen's work was not familiar to me before this challenge, but I like it.  Infact, I really like it - it appeals to my sense of humour.  His approach seems to have a slightly more delicate feel than the 'in your face' approach of some of the New York based street photographers. The humour is dry and he seems to take a more 'observing' rather than 'interrogative' role.  It is less about 'who' he is photographing and more about the 'irony' of the situation in which his subjects find themselves. This appeals to me and I can, actually see myself 'enjoying' approaching street photography in this way.  

I have been 'hanging' around bus terminals, shopping precincts and supermarkets as well a little loitering around the odd 'loo'. And in the process I have learnt that within the moment you press the shutter button, the photographer's eye is sometimes unable to digest the whole picture and that after the event there may be more to it.

I have uploaded a couple of shots below that I felt fit the brief:

Asda has just opened and people have been flocking there as if a new Harvey Nics or Selfridges has opened - it was heaving. I was drawn to taking the above picture initially because I saw the two rather than one over-filled trollies, mum and daughter looking so alike whilst man in car had to wait patiently.  Then when I get home, I look closely and I see she has the keys in her mouth - fab - that made the shot for me.  This is the one I submitted.

This shot above was my second choice. As a thumbnail it lacks impact I think.  However, I like the 'juxtaposition' of this shot. The older folk are relaxed, chatting and interacting as adults, friends or merely as fellow bus travellers do. The younger lady stands alone, communicating on her mobile in her own cyber world.  I also like the surveillance camera sign above that is pointing at the queue of people.  Somehow, this picture sums up my fear of technology today - and I'm equally guilty of living in the cyber rather than real world!!


  1. I told you Workington Bus Station could be inspirational, even the pigeon is staring at you :-) Love the other photo too, there's even a (mini)bus in the background! I thought I'd be good at this and find my feet right away but I'm finding this "street" project tougher than I thought and I'm obviously not as brave as I was once. Years ago I'd have had no problem shoving a camera in somebodys face but that's when I was confrontational and wanted to be like Robert Frank or Bob Magill or George Rodger. Now I'm a much more private and relaxed person and feel far more comfortable taking my pictures from a distance. Funny how photography can become a gauge of your own state of mind! I obviously need to teach myself all over again.

  2. Love the first picture - it works really well. The expression on the driver's face adds to the feeling of gentle humour. It has immediate impact - good structure, strong colour, her expression - and then lots of little details that come out as you look further. I also like the second image though as you say it doesn't quite have the impact of the first. I wonder if it would work better with a little more space on either side of the groups of figures? Not sure about that, just a thought...

  3. Hiya

    Thanks Adey. It's quite tough isn't it! I'm sure you'll get back in to your
    stride soon enough. I think the type of photography you make definitely reflects who you are and how you're feeling at the time and I guess that will change throughout your life. Instruction #4 is slightly different - without people.

    Thanks Eileen. I was pleased with the first one and Nils himself left a comment to say 'like it'. Definitely an improvement. With regards the second image it does need more space at the edges, you're
    right. The offline version does and it has somehow cropped the edges a little when I upload.