Hit the streets with your camera and capture life in all its excitement.
Whether you shoot with a digital SLR, a Holga or the camera on your phone, today’s cameras let you seize the moment and shoot whenever and wherever you like. This makes them perfect for street photography, the genre of choice of some of the greatest photographers of all time, with names like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Weegee and Robert Frank turning gritty reality into iconic images.
In this book, Tanya Nagar will open your eyes to the photographic potential of our urban world, offering the tricks and techniques that put you in the right place, at the right time, and let you create amazing photos.
Street photography is a photography genre I’ve been wanting to try but haven’t actually dared to. My main concern has been the law — who can I photograph where with or without their permission and which of these resultant photos am I allowed to publish? I didn’t expect The New Street Photographer’s Manifesto to answer these questions specifically. Nonetheless, there is a section that dispels general legal myths of street photography in the US and the UK. Tanya Nagar cautioned that it’s best to check the law according to your location. I’ll definitely be doing that.
Legal matters aside, I found The New Street Photographer’s Manifesto to be a good introduction that covers breadth with some details on where and how to start. Things like which kinds of camera, whether digital or analogue, serious or toy were given a good overview. Tanya weighed the pros and cons of each type and explained why particular cameras tend to be preferred over others. I think that for someone who’s inexperienced in street photography that’s an important starting point.
Beyond cameras, street photography is about attitude. This is something that is especially well-captured in The New Street Photographer’s Manifesto. Instead of being intimidated by potential subjects, it helps to smile in order to diffuse any tension. Tanya included further tips on navigating the streets with a camera, which again, for someone with little experience will find invaluable.
Another topic that this book covers is style. While black & white photography is at the root of street photography, colour photography has it’s purpose as well. Both strengths were explored amidst elements that add impact to photos; such as things that are out of the ordinary (she featured a dog with sunglasses sitting on the back of a motorcycle in Mumbai!), portraying culture and looking out for frames that don’t always garner much attention.
The term manifesto might suggest that The New Street Photographer’s Manifesto is a comprehensive compendium. For a beginner, I believe it is. It contains very useful advice without overwhelming someone who wants to get started on street photography. Someone who’s already been on the streets with their lens for some time might not necessarily learn anything new. Although, they could gain inspiration from street photographers around the world who are featured in the final chapter.