Art is all around you, everywhere you go it is there, sometimes we are too busy living our lives to notice. There’s a fantastic book out at the moment called ‘Street Photography Now’. It is full of wonderful pictures of life ‘on the streets’, each one photographed in a unique and beautiful way.
Included are photos by Bruce Gilden, Martin Parr and Alex Webb, along with a large number of talented ‘up and coming’ photographers taken in locations as visually diverse as New York, Tokyo, Delhi and Dakar.
Each of the photos invite us to think about the world we pass by everyday from a different perspective. And by doing so help us also to remember our place in its story.
One of my favourite pictures in the book is by Polly Braden (above). I asked her how it came about.
Polly: I was out on my fold up bile in Xiamen, China in 2007, with a new 35mm lens f1.2. It was great for taking night pictures. I turned a corner and saw the old lady wandering along that street, I didn’t really notice the wedding dress shop for a while, I was too intrigued by her. I looked at her, she looked back at me, then she carried on her way and I took the picture before cycling off.
What is your favourite camera or film?
I shoot on the Canon 5d Mark II. In the morning I choose a lens for the day, 35mm, 50mm or the 85mm and go out for the day. I have a bad back like most photographers I know and so try not to carry too much. I also like only having one lens with me as it is good to have obstacles in photography, it makes you move.
Do you stage your street photographs or manipulate the environment to make a better picture?
I have done, but generally no. I would like to do a series of semi staged street photographs and see how far you could push it before they looked staged. I often seek out scenes that look staged I think.
Do you have a favourite city or place to photograph? if so why.
I would like to shoot in Marseilles. Because I haven’t yet and the two times I passed through I felt intrigued.
Do you have any advice to aspiring photographers?
Take pictures first, think about it later.
What is the secret of a good photograph?
Pics: Polly Braden – Night walk, Xiamen, China, 2007 (above)
Below: (click to view) Siegfried Hansen – Hamburg, 2008, Nils Jorgensen – Notting Hill, London, 2007, Carolyn Drake – Chisinau, Moldova, 2006, Andrew Z Glickman – Standing Man, Seated Woman, Washington, DC, 1999.
Flush the Fashion has a copy of ‘Street Photography Now’ (by Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren) to give away. Click here to enter >