roots of street photography.

– pic: / paint: CARMENCITA –

Lookin`round, the battle of the city with the best style is omnipresent. Sure it`s nice to watch good-looking people, but is it all about fashion, defining places to live in ? What does this kind of photography tell us? Nothing, I guess. As far as the eye can see, there are stylish people around. They even don`t need to open their mouth for beeing mentioned,  suffice it to say they´re looking smart as hell. Contemporary Streetstyle- Photography is actually pointing a finger at stylish people, lacking any critical background.

It may be a sign of our times, but the roots of Street Photography aren`t as fresh as they purport to be. One can find first roots in the beginning of the 20th century developpping from documentary black&white photography towards a direction more coloured and accentuating the photographer`s personal view. Best example seems to be Charles H. Traub (*1945) who started with snapshots of passers-by in black&white, then changing to coloured photos, still focussing on quadratic medium format. With simultaneous consideration of social and ethnical diversity he executed a typology of New York`s population. The street-shots were made between 1976 and 1979. Close inspection reveals he had an eye on people, on characters, on atmosphere and personality, for its about people`s entity, what they´re doing and thinking making a city an interesting, lively place to be. Style makes fun but is just a minor matter.

Interested in  development of street-photography? See more in current exhibition New York/Street Photography at WIEN MUSEUM, Vienna.

Charles H. Traub

Once a friend of mine, himself teaching fashion at university, mentioned everybody willing to be REALLY individual. But actually it seems, if somebody has asked: Who´d come to an lonely island? Everybody shouting: ME!!! See a selection of people on very loneley islands in the following collection  of more or less interesting, actually streetstyle photography:









Filed under ISSUE Ø2 - LIGHT

2 responses to “roots of street photography.

  1. Nick

    This is street portraiture not street photography, portraits of people standing looking at the camera are a long way from what is traditionally called ‘street photography’. This post is kind of un-researched, misleading and unhelpful.

  2. Sorry, Nick, I couldn`t help you.
    By the way: on the pictures of Traub you see ” people standing looking at the camera“. Traub developped a more personal style of street photography between 1976 and´79: street portraits (see the classification here), standing in the tradition of street photography. What you see on the pictures on the top of my post are “people standing looking at the camera” : street portraits as a current trend belonging to the genre of street photography.
    To clarify my position: This kind of photography presumes to “(…)document the urban, cosmopolitan and multicultural spirit of the city, we live in. Fashion can describe what a city is, so we take photos of outfits that stand out and capture that spirit within them.(…)”(STIL IN BERLIN) and is far away from any critical or artistic claim.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s