Street Photography – Japan

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Like any other cultural practice, street photography is a product of its time and place. Familiarity with the history of the genre and its varied traditions makes photographing in different places all the more interesting. It’s fascinating to consider how places have changed visually and if – as an outsider – we can capture defining aspects of the contemporary culture as earlier local photographers did in their times. Continue reading

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Every shot a throw of the dice

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(The tongue in cheek title for this post comes from some banter – about the role of chance in photography –  with my friend David Barrett on Twitter @streetfotouk. Thanks Dave.) 

I recently attended an engaging talk by renowned travel photographer and writer Michael Freeman. He voiced the perennial concern of travel photographers:

When global tourism grants camera toting tourists access to all conceivable locations, how do you come up with novel images?

Continue reading

How do photographs work?

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Everyone with a serious interest in photography grapples, at some point, with the question ‘What makes a good photograph?’

In doing so, you inevitably come to understand the wisdom of Ansel Adams’ famous remark “There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs”. Continue reading

The Challenge of Photographing India

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“Scotland is more like Spain than Bengal is like the Punjab” Sir John Strachey, 1888

In his New York Times Magazine article ‘A Too-Perfect Picture’ (30/3/16), Teju Cole famously criticised the portrayal of India by the photographer Steve McCurry.

Based on a narrow reading of a minority of images contained in the photographer’s retrospective book India, Cole claims McCurry perpetuates an obsolete visual narrative and has a hackneyed style.  Continue reading

Back to the Future for Creativity

Knowledge is not only power but also a source of creativity. What I mean is that a knowledge of photographic history can be an inspiration in spotting photographic possibilities. Continue reading