As a formally trained photographer I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by folk who could teach me the nuts and bolts of professional photographic practice from a early age. Looking back my photographic education was vocational and very little emphasis was given to the creative process from my photographic lecturers, thankfully I spent two days each week studying and practicing Art, despite my limited skills with brushes and paint I found this area really stimulating and valued the way that the Art lecturers were able to help me see things in a different way.
The combination of technically gifted photo teachers and free thinking Art lecturers was a intoxicating mix for a aspiring teenage photographer, I realised then that I needed the technical stuff if I was to have any sort of control over my photographic process but I also became aware that a deep understanding of exposure, depth of field and the scheimpflug principle would be of little use unless I could develop a creative thought process.
What is a creative thought process and how does this relate to Street Photography ?
The biggest mistake I see in SP is the passive attitude that we have to accept any opportunity's that appear when we are shooting, even when making candid captures a level of creative thinking and selection should be exercised if a coherent narrative is to be constructed, the alternative is a form of photographic litter picking !
The creative currency is ideas and the ability to see potential and beauty when others see nothing.
Many creative's start out with only a mental framework of ideas at the beginning of a project and are happy to create in a spontaneous way within the already established criteria of established thoughts., this approach appears to meet the flexible demands of Street Photography. The idea of stepping out on a shoot with a blank mind devoid of ideas, is not the same thing as a open mind !
The take away message from this piece is a plea to physically slow down and bring a higher level of consideration to your pictures, consider the elements of a scene individually and collectively, this is your palette and your chance to create something that has meaning .
What solutions will you discover ?
My final piece of advice may appear to contradict everything I have written above , leave a space within your creative practice for serendipitous events to occur as this is the magic we should all embrace when it comes our way. this is the elusive woofle dust that will change your well considered successful capture into a memorable unique Street Photograph..
Invest enough time looking & thinking and you will see.
Keep It Real !