Course – Eric Kim’s Street Photography – Week One

This course can be found on Eric Kim’s photography site. Link

Week 1: “An Introduction to Street Photography”

“Street photography is a unique type of photography that has been around for nearly a century. What exactly is street photography and how does it differ from reportage or documentary photography? What makes it so special and unique, and how does it help us learn what it means to be human?” – Eric Kim

Required Readings:

  • Photography and Sociology: Introduction by Howard Becker
  • Eric Kim: What is Street Photography?
  • Nick Turpin: Photochart (street photography vs documentary)
  • Nick Turpin: Undefining street photography

Assignment: No assignment this week

My thoughts on Eric’s Questions above:

Street photography interest me. I think the reason it does so is because people interest me. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. People love to people watch. To look out over a crowd and see all the various lives existing around us. We tend to feel as if we’re alone sometimes. Like we’re trapped inside our own bodies and unable to connect with the world around us.

I know that I do. I live my life inside my own body. I am the only person that lives one hundred percent of my own life. And you are the only person that lives one hundred percent of your own life. You need to take advantage of that. You have one life. You need to understand that ….

Never mind. You don’t have to understand anything. It’s your life you can live it as you wish. If you want to do nothing, do nothing. If you want to make a difference in other people’s lives through actions of your life. then do that. Each person’s life unique and somewhat valid in its own way. You are living your life. It’s not the place of any one else to try to direct or change you.

I believe this is what intrigues us or me so much. All these people around me have a unique voice inside. Some let their voice out, others repress it and hide. Some moments in time they release that voice. If you’re able to capture those moments you are creating street photography. That’s what it’s all about. It’s all about capturing or making those moments. Those moments that capture people’s true self. What they’re feeling inside. What they are saying inside. How the environment around them is impacting or altering their internal existence.

I want to bring out this internal existence people have. This person inside them that is trying to get out. I want to capture that person in film and memorialize them. I want to capture their environment. I want to understand our environment and our surroundings. How it can alter our perception and create emotions and feelings inside us. These emotions and feelings translate in actions.

All these things might sound ethereal or abstract. But photography has the potential to capture such things in life. Times when we feel joy, when we feel pain and when we feel like giving up. Or times when we have that feeling like we can conquer it all. I want to capture those moments of people’s lives. Better understand who we are as a people, as a community and as a culture.

Update – Jan 1, 2017

So I was waiting at the mall and this opportunity arose to take this photo. Unfortunately I had not followed the lesson and talked to this man first. I will still complete this lesson and hope to have a conversation with someone soon! This week.

“Saving a seat for Spiderman” by Marc Sawyer

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