Tales of imagination and mystery

It should come as no surprise to learn that I’m a bit crap when it comes to the technical details of photography. By which I mean, I’m quite capable of shooting in manual and basic post processing but that the patience required for high level photoshoppery and/or using every in-camera skill eludes me. The kind of photography I like – and the kind of pictures I admire – don’t require it. I’m more interested in the stories a shot can tell than in how sharp it is, or how well balanced it is once you’ve merged your RAW files together.

I love street photography for its directness. I’ve been involved with discussions about what street photography is … in the sense that it surely more than just any shot taken on a pavement … but it seems to be that what it isn’t is a technical exercise which values dull perfection over impact. The best in street photography doesn’t just show you something it encourages you to tell the story. It not only reflects life back at you, it makes you want to delve further into that life. To learn more.

I offer this photo not because it’s a wonderful shot or a fine example of street photography but because even now I’m not sure what it’s of. It’s a man, obviously, standing still. In fact standing so still that during the whole time we shared whilst I was cowering from the rain he didn’t move. Several minutes standing bolt upright but looking away from the road and the people walking by. Not a twitch. And yet so perfectly placed to watch the world if he had wanted. I’ve had time to have the film processed (Neopan 1600 by Ilford Lab, hence the lovely contrastiness) and I still want to know what was going on. And I have been back to check and he’s not still standing there.

Fill in your own tale and see this shot large here.


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