Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Do you have a philosophical approach to street photography?

Why are you doing it and what are the feelings behind the thing you do? There are a thousand questions on my mind when I look at my photos and try to reflect on the whole thing. Many people see photography as a technical things where you need skills and knowledge about gear to take a photo. Sure you need that skills to have your settings etc. right, but the questions above are still unanswered. The missing link is the philosophy behind the things we do. It helps us look at the whole thing and helps us finding out why are we doing certain things (or not).


Street photography is a very philosophical style of photography for me. It is about taking a different position as a viewer or director and there is no second chance to take the same photo again like in a studio setting. For me it is a combination of wanderlust, curiosity and meditation at the same time:

Wanderlust

Walking around and let things happen around you. Exploring new streets and places without any urgency or being in a hurry. Walking around keeps you healthy and is the perfect refreshment for your soul.



Curiosity

"Stay foolish, keep hungry" like Steve said back in the days. Finding strange situations in a mundane place or situation. Turning things upside down. There are so many ways to discover new things every day. This is where you becoming the director. Don't forget that every photo is lie because you are the director who decides how the result will look like. If you change one setting or your angle of view the whole thing becomes different.



Meditation

Get lost as a viewer. Just observe and don't interfere. Let things happen and enjoy the scene in every detail. This can become a kind of meditation and helps you seeing the world with different eyes. There is only one moment called "now" and you are part of it! Ignore smartphone and time and look at the surrounding world through the frame lines of your camera and get lost...



But why are you doing it?

This question could not be answered to your fully satisfaction, because the is no final answer. For me this kind of photography is about curation, sharing and pleasure. I capture images to show later generations how we lived and how everything looked like in the streets at a certain time and I also enjoy capturing life in all it's strange, meaningful and hilarious details. And I do it for my own pleasure. This is a very important point, because you should be the first impressed viewer of your visual content. I don't want to take photos that are meant to satisfy the taste of the masses to get a million views. It is not important how much people like your work if you are satisfied with what your are doing. If other people like your work too you are a lucky person!

So take some time and think about your style of photography and what it means to you. I also suggest to read some philosophical books to get some inspirations and views.

Cheers,

Nils

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