“I’m always mentally photographing everything as practice.” –
These types of street scenes have always held a strong attraction for me. Although images like this don’t seem to fit easily into any real genre, I would be very surprised if there were not a great many other people doing the same type of work.
I am so often entranced by a very carefully choreographed dance of people interacting with one another without seeming to that I feel a need to make pictures of the scene. In this image people are waiting for a bus, the boring and mundane minutia of every day, yet it can be as beautiful a scene as any vast landscape and as relevant. Not that I was thinking such things at the time this and other similar images were shot, no, it was the clear golden slanting light from an early morning Polish winter sun that was attracting my attention.
So there we have it, the boring and the mundane, when dissected by strong contrasty light is what attracts me in street theatre. Not the ironic, caustic or ugly nor the odd or the socially deformed. While I will always owe a debt to the likes of Robert Frank and the so-called New York School in general, it was the outsider Saul Leiter whom I admired most.
You can find some of Saul Leiters work in the Archives of the Spotlight section at the address below;
As an aside; I generally mount the camera on a monopole when wandering the streets with a camera. Although I think I’ve mentioned this before, it has become important for me in the last few years to be both very visible when shooting in urban situations, and to have a stable platform for the camera.
50mm, f/9, 1/400 sec, ISO100.