I can hardly believe it’s already Labour Day weekend. To me – and a lot of other people – it is the unofficial end to summer.
And what a summer we’ve had. I can’t remember the last time we had consistently HOT weather for the entire summer. But I’ll take that over our Canadian winters any time.
A couple of weeks ago, I did get to participate in a street photography workshop led by Fujifilm brand ambassador Ian MacDonald. I first came across his work on his blog and realized I had just missed his workshop held around the same time last year. I like Ian’s style of photography and that he’s been an educator as well, so I decided to invest in learning… considering I’ve never even taken a photography class.
It was a two-day workshop, but unfortunately, I could only attend the first day, as it turned out. Still, I learned a lot of valuable tips and met some great people. I didn’t get many good shots that weekend, but I did apply some of the things I learned in the days after.
Over the course of the last year, I’ve learned a few things about how people react to the photos I take and post online.
There seems to be a move towards “abstract” photos like the ones above… where shapes and colours and textures are the focus, instead of what I consider to be “pure” street photography – capturing people’s emotions, gestures and situations. For example, this one by Aaron Berger is still one of my favourites. For me, this sparked an emotional reaction – it’s funny and strange and it makes you wonder what the story is here.
It could be coincidence on my part that I’m seeing less of this type of work and more of the abstract. It could also be a way of our photographers of getting around the ethical quandary of respecting someone’s privacy if you don’t have to show their faces, but still be able to make a great photo.
I’ve been doing a balance between the two. I certainly like how light and shadows can come together in a street scene, but I also like capturing someone in a particular moment that reveals a little bit about how they are.
An end-of-summer tradition for me is to visit the annual Canadian National Exhibition fair. When I visited last year, I hadn’t yet devoted my energies to street photography, so I was eager to view the fair this year through a different lens, as it were, and practise getting both kinds of shots.
I suppose as “art” – like the kind you’d want to hang in your living room – the abstract is more attractive. You can make up your own narrative to that kind of scene. Fewer people would probably choose to hang a photo of strangers at a fair in their living room.
Which style do you prefer – the more abstract look, or the more “traditional” street photography style? Let me know in your comments!