“IDK. IDC. IDGAF.” Man with Evening Sun, Chinatown, Washington, DC, April 2017
Some photo titles just write themselves.
To me, this photo illustrates one of the principles of street photography (and I said principles not rules). That is, if you shoot using the same process as another photographer, your work is bound to show that shooter’s influence, even if your results are different. When I shoot in a Winogrand-like style, I’m in constant motion. I shoot without slowing. Often, I’ll snap a picture as I pass by or as the subject approaches me in full stride, and the results tend to be dynamic, sometimes featuring the odd angles I liked to add interest, or the motion will blur the shot to resemble how they actually looked to my brain.
Here, we’re on one of our favorite corners, this time on the western side, shooting into the faces lit by the setting sun. There is 10 minutes of this light, no more, and then we’ll have to race up one block to catch it at the next intersection. By then, the color will have changed from silver to amber or maybe a dinged grey. But the work is no longer Garry-like, and you can tell he was a dynamo, since the results change once you’re still. Here, I stand in full view, in my invisible people blind, huge Nikon strapped to my wrist, and shooting right in your mug. People sometimes notice, often don’t, but the results fixate on their expressions, on the gestures that Joel Meyerowitz was so fond of. There is time to see them now, because I hover at the corner, looking for the correct angles and waiting for that something that’ll make the image. Now! He looks in slight bemusement at a street sign, FUDDRUCKERS (Food F*CKERS?) and I have the shot. He’s moving, so I’ll only get one, and it better count. The resultant work no longer looks like Winogrand’s, but it does remind me of Meyerowitz’s … somewhat.
See, you don’t have to be a good as the greats, and I don’t think you should EVER knowingly imitate them, but you should know their techniques and how they influence the work.