I spent a week gallery gazing in Sydney recently. The Biennale offered more indoor and outdoor exhibitions than I could possibly cover in the time I had. And as the weather was both cold and wet, indoor exhibitions got the nod.

That meant that people shots tended to be of the “across a crowded room” or the “up close and personal” variety. The  images of the girl in the lift  literally left me with no where to run if she had objected to my taking the photograph, falls into the latter category, while the one of the man in the wheelchair falls into the former. No chance of a confrontation there.

I guess these two photographs epitomise the scope of “street photography” – photographs which are of people and those that incorporate people as almost incidental elements in the composition. Or don’t have them at all.

I’m not sure what I am trying to say … but it seems to me that the term “street photography” is limiting with its conotations of literally shooting in the street. While candid documentary photography as a genre seems to have gone out of fashion, it’s much closer to what I do. Photography anywhere, any time.

Sometimes it is confrontational, but by and large it isn’t, and people either take no notice or enter into the fun of being photographed.

One thing I have to say  is that taking a camera long in the city is a lot more interesting than in a small country town. I should get out more.

As an aside I bought 5 litres of ID-11, so there’s a spot of darkroom work coming up. I  also had a close look at the Nikon VI and it’s a camera I think I could live with … it will be interesting to see a V2 version … especially if there are a couple of fast prime lenses on offer. I’m not a pixel peeper, or worry all that much about noise, nor have anything against cropping (as you will have already gathered), but I do like to get the images I see.


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