Faces of Street Photography

I am looking at a lot of Street Photography in an effort to learn and improve my pictures.  Looking at the Masters, the Pioneers, as an example; Elliott Erwitt, HCB, Salgado, Mary Ellen Mark, plus countless others and looking at todays photographers, the common element of success, of grabbing the viewer, are the faces and eyes of the people.  This is the important feature of the shot.

Street Photography is not about the streets, it is the people in the streets.  Their lives, their stories, caught in the blink of an eye, the snick of a shutter,captured in The Decisive Moment.  It is said the eyes are the window to the soul.  The eyes are the marker of the photograph.  The eyes give the picture spirit and life.

To achieve this in a photograph, to make the soul of a photograph, to make it on the move, with no chance of a re-shoot, without apparent effort is very difficult.  To photograph strangers in a public space is hard, to get close, to see the eyes, very hard.  It takes guts and slyness, it takes friendliness and aloofness.  The photographer must be patient and quick, the photographer must be open and stealthy, the photographer must blend in and yet move freely.  The photographer must be mindful.

To attempt this time after time with even the feint hope of success requires total  photography, work every day, do the work, live the
work, make the pictures.  The camera becomes an extension of your arm, the viewfinder your eye.  The success of this must come from the photographers heart.  There are countless photographers doing really great work that will only be published by themselves on their own web site or on Flickr.  They will never see the cover of Time Magazine or the back page of the local weekly.

In the vastness of the Web, these photographers work can be seen only by those seekers and random blog searchers.  There is great photography being done because the artist must take the pictures, because the photographer is in the street everyday making their photographers.  Thank you, to all of you.

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