28 Aug Take Your Time Seeing

Source: Olafs Photoblog

When interacting with my students or even experienced photographers who are new to the genre of street photography, they often tell me about their frustration in finding out how to begin. There are several issues such as lack of concentration, inability to find a good subject, busy compositions, etc. We have written quite extensively about some of those obstacles on this blog and on our Simplicity-In-Seeing platform. There is another misconception that prevents many photographers from enjoying street/life photography – the notion that street photography is a fast-paced activity.

This urge to hurry your seeing may come from the fact that many people view street photography as a form of hunting for the one and only “Decisive Moment.” The term “The Decisive Moment” is associated with one of the masters of street photography, Henri Cartier-Bresson. It relates to catching a fleeting glimpse of street action, which can be captured only at the exact moment. The concept has been so popular that today many students reduce street photography to searching for this elusive “Decisive Moment.”

My advice to those who start in street photography is: DON’T. It is like advising someone who wants to learn how to host a Japanese Tea Ceremony to hurry. Learning how to observe, identify and arrange static visuals is hard enough. There is an enormous learning curve in observing available light and how it interacts with all the elements. Then you must harness this light to create your own visuals. Once all these aspects of seeing

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