This is the first challenge by Bruce Gilden:
if you can smell the street by looking at the photo, it's a street photograph
It was Helen Levitt who said: "You have to go where something's going on". It sounds really obvious doesn't it, but I'm struggling to find anywhere with enough people or enough 'stuff' going on. It's Wednesday, I live in a village with less than thirty houses, there are a number of small-medium sized towns such as Cockermouth, Whitehaven and Workington fairly nearby but it's just so quiet today.
After a day in London it dawned on me how much more satisfying candid photography is when there are more folks around. West Cumbria is predominantly rural and it's harder to find 'something going on' from a street photography perspective!! Can 'country lane' fall under the 'street' category?!?? It jusn't doesn't fit the genre does it!!
I'm going to pop out again this afternoon. Where else are there people? Helllooooooo.....
I'm back. I have a few mediocre images from today but nothing even nearing the lofty heights of average! And the ones that I marginally prefer are without people. Now I've had a look at Bruce Gilden's work - how cool are they!! They really are 'up close and personal', 'in your face' and invasive almost. Now I am intimidated. I could get that close if I asked maybe, but how does he do it?
I feel embarrassed posting my efforts up from today now, but it's important I guess to benchmark my own progress and critically review my efforts!! How depressing...look...
Here's a couple of examples with people .... it ticks one box, but is it edgy and is it the 'decisive moment' ... nah
Here is a person doing something, a little bit of narrative, but there is no facial expression or overt interest in the image.
Here is a bit of person, a tad arty but no mystery or interest again
Then there are the ones with no people in that I kind of like.
This is a den that some teenagers I would guess have proudly created for themselves. I like it as it is a little unusual, however it would be strengthened if there was some sign of life.
As part of a documentary project of Cockermouth's recovery, this would have legs. The foreground provides evidence still of the flood waters and debris. The housing is empty sheltered housing next door to demoliton work. But as a thumbnail with 300 other shots - ain't gonna work!!
And then there are these. I like these because they are vaguely humourous but not for this project, this one needs to be viewed large really.
I need to choose one before tomorrow's deadline.
I did try hard today and I must try to focus on the positives. And I am always my own harshest critic. It's week one for goodness sake!! I tried a few different things, approached some strangers, talked to others, did portraits of a few - so that's progress - I'm quite shy. But hell, this is Cumbria, not Brooklyn - photography skills apart, the opportunities are far from frequent. So I either need to spend many more hours on the street or I change tack!!
Here are other people's submissions for challenge one. Not sure which one to submit yet!!