What is Street Photography? Making Fine Art in Public Spaces

Article excerpt from creativelive.com/blog

Luxurious, expensive photo spreads of the prettiest people on the planet do well on social media, but what if you prefer something grittier, less processed and, dare I say, more real? If you’re more interested in natural beauty than Photoshopped beauties, street photography may be just your thing.

What is street photography and why is it different?

Simply put, street photography aims to capture everyday life in public places, particularly in urban landscapes. Usually it’s a form of candid photography, when the person isn’t aware they’re being photographed, which creates more realistic and powerful images. Its subject matter tends to be human and relatable, focusing on unique facial expressions of “ordinary” people. There’s also the element of surprise when the camera captures a decisive moment, common in historic photos and photojournalism.

Learn the fundamentals and art of street photography from street photographer Steve Sweatpants. Learn more.

Street photography is frequently confused with documentary photography, another form of candid photography, that often takes place in public space. Although there’s a lot of overlap, documentary photography typically involves more planning and structure, while street photography benefits from spontaneity and inspiration in the moment.

Who are the Best Street Photographers?

The easiest way to understand street photography is to look at those whose works defined the genre. Here are some of the best street photographers to explore:

Brassai — A multi-talented Hungarian artist most known for his photographs of early 1900s Paris. Robert Doisneau — Taking pictures of everyday life in 1930s Paris, Robert Doisneau is considered one of the founders of photojournalism with Henri Cartier-Bresson. Henri Cartier-Bresson — An early proponent of candid photography, he coined the photographic term “the decisive moment.” Lee Friedlander — A photographer from the United States, famous for capturing the “social landscape” of 1960s and 70s New York City. Garry Winogrand — A contemporary of Friedlander, Garry Winogrand is considered one of the most influential street photographers of the 1960s in the USA. Joel Meyerowitz — Also a landscape photographer, Joel Meyerowitz helped popularize color photographs in 1960s New York City. Helen Levitt — Once called “the most celebrated and least known photographer of her time,” Helen Levitt captured

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