Back to the streets?

I've been in a creative rut for a while. Yes, I've been shooting, and my camera comes with me every where I go. I'm currently working on a long term project around family, we'll see where that goes. But just when I thought I'd given up on street photography, the streets called me back. 

To help jump start my creativity and provide some structure to my photography this summer I decided to go back to school. Well, taking a street photography class to be exact. I enrolled in a seven week course at the Photographic Center Northwest. The course is titled "Street Photography History, Concept and Techniques" and is described as: 

This  introduction  and  survey-level  course  is  intended  to  provide  students  a  foundation  in  which  to  develop  their  appreciation  of  street  photography  and  their  experience  as  a  street  photographer.  This  is  not  intended  to  be  an  advanced  or  project-type  course.  We  will  examine  the  history,  influences  and  theory  of  street  photography  as  it  relates  to  the  broader  photographic  world.  The  course  will  consist  of  lecture  and  field  work  intended  to  help  students  focus  on  their  own  interests  and  experience  on  the  street.    Through lectures  and  demonstrations  students  will  be  exposed  to  a  variety  of  street  photographers,  styles  and  social/political  agendas  that  are  inherent  to  this  type  of  photography.    We  will  be  looking  for  concepts  that  are  consistent  across  photographers  as  well  as  aspects  that  set  each  individual  apart.

My first day of class was earlier this week, the students seem engaged. We'll see, this could be fun. I'll be blogging about the class and sharing notes and thoughts here. 

Class Overview 

  • Field work 
  • Critique 
  • Create body of work  

Shooting on location 

  • 7/10 Waterfront / Market 
  • 7/24 Ballard (meet in front of Majestic Theatre)

Street photography is

  • social and political 
  • documentary in its approach 
  • about us as a collective culture and society 
  • longs for a desire to stay connected 
  • is the democratization of the work 
  • allows us to help better understand relationships 

 Significant versus Non-Significant 

  • Looking for a moment 
  • Street photography often compared to jazz 
  • Powers of observation 
  • Object 
  • Sense of time 
  • Often about place 
  • Moment of Gesture 

Sense of connection between actors, stage, gesture 

What Makes Street Photography Interesting 

  • Light 
  • Gesture 
  • Color tone 
  • Relationships of objects 
  • Lines, texture, space 
  • Feeling and emotion 
  • People (duh) 
  • Place (needs to be more than just a picture of a place, what’s the relationship?) 
  • Scout a location / select background: WAIT FOR SOME SHIT TO HAPPEN 

Photographers to research

  • Jay Maisel 
  • André Kertész 

Spend time with your photographs (good and bad)
Must practice and work on atunement 

Why am I interested in street photography? 

Handling confrontation 

  • Be nice 
  • How you respond is important 
  • “Photography is already predatory in nature” Susanne Sontage 
  • Learn to frame a little off center 


  • Find a single location on the street and don’t move from that spot for at least an hour and photograph. 
  • Bring 6-10 images of the new work for review from single location project 

Life rewards patience 

- Find location
- Build composition
- Make photo