The human endeavour from street level

Photography is a manipulation. A picture never shows a genuine capture of reality. Reality has 3 dimensions of space plus a time axes. A photograph is a two dimensional capture of a single moment in time. A photographer always have to choose. What gets in, and what stays out? How much exposure? What level of sensitivity? Color or black-and-white? each of these choices affect the final result just as much as the reality that is the subject of the picture. Photojournalists have to make all these decisions plus some moral decisions. And yet, they usually enjoy the luxury of having relatively long time to plan and of a thousands of dollars worth equipment. I wish I could be a photojournalist. Actually in my next life, I want to be a National Geographic photographer.

In this life though, I work in IT and photography is just a hobby. So I picked up the lightweight version of photojournalism. The one in which I can use a $100 pocket camera and my smartphone camera. At least one of those is always with me. Armed and ready to shoot. But using lightweight gear comes with a cost. A cost of even more decisions that have to be made and less time to make them. The essence of street photography is to capture scenes that only last for 2-3 seconds and then evaporate into the past. Scenes that are like delicate objects that the photographer can easily roin.

All my street photographs have people in them, weather you can see them or not. Sometimes it's the architects and the builders of a building. Sometimes it's this bureaucrat in the city offices who could'nt care less that a piece of his city's history is falling apart. I can't make you see what is not in the picture but I can make you wonder about it.

And I can also make you wonder about the photographer, about myself. Why did I make this choice? And did I make it? Is the photograph blurry on purpose or did my camera just fail to focus and then I decided that the result is actually kind of artistic? So let me give you a hint - for the most part I don't really know. A street photo is the result of a long process. A process of observation and introspection. In street photography the photographer is very much like his camera, zooming in and out, changing perspectives, choosing between light and shadow, focusing ( or not ). Movements, Body language, operation of the camera and finally the pressing of the shutter button must all be means to a purpose. And the purpose is to capture a piece of life that the photographer is inside it, but not part of it.

So what do I see in my pictures? Well unlike Bruce Willis, I see living people. I see the human endeavour as I believe it should be seen. An amazing journey towards a great unknown. A journey we are all part of weather we like it or not. I want to make other people see that too. I hope I do it in part through my pictures, but to be honest, that is far from being enough. So what I really want is to make you pick up a camera and go out there too. And I don't mean go out there and just take pictures, which is something that everyone is doing nowadays. I want to make you adapt the perspective of a street photographer, because once you do, I am pretty sure you will realize how wonderful we all are and that we must be crazy to treat one another the way we do now. It's an oxymoron, I know, but this is exactly what I want people to see, and then, when enough people understand that, maybe things will start to change.

In other words, I am sending you on a journey. A journey into your own life, except that you are going to use a camera. You don't need an expensive DSLR. A simple pocket camera or even just your smartphone will do. It's all about the way you decide what to capture. If you want to learn more about street photography, Google it up. There are many good articles online that explain the secrets of the trade. And then I am sure you will know what to do with your pictures. Show them on Instagram, show them on Vingle. Make people see and better understand your own street experience, your own life experience. This is what we humans do when we act normally. This is the way we should live and prosper, and everyone should know that.

God gave me a pen and asked me what do I want to write. I am still writing the answer.
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