Part observer, part voyeur, recorder and socially interested tourist is how I envisage myself when I travel. And during my short time in Singapore I noticed a social trend that was new to me. The large ratio of women to men prowling the streets with SLR cameras. People of both sexes taking pictures with ubiquitous smart phones were legion, but tourists with SLRs were noticeable (to me anyway) because of the scarcity. And it was this dearth of SLR street photographers that made it easier to see who was hunting pictures opposed to those photographing anything and everything.
The 1950/60 great Lisette Model wrote “the photographer (street) should project themselves into the subject in a instant of heightened intuition” which is why I think of good street photographers as hunters. They have something they want to say, or as Model also said “it (the camera) is the instrument I’m asking questions with” and so street photographers need to seek a motif or a situation that visually explores their ideas. As a hunter myself I’m always looking for like-minded individuals, which is how I came to notice that the bulk of serious photographic people were women.
My experience could have been an anomaly; it may have also always been the case that women were previously more serious photographers but were blocked from view by men with large cameras and big zoom lenses. It could have also been that I was too blind to see.
Either way, it was refreshing to watch the way they worked.
I know, that’s the voyeur bit.
50mm, f5.6,1/160 sec, ISO125