From the Hip

First off: yay, the fair is in town, which means fair food and people watching!

Now, I don't particularly enjoy the often self-serving, voyeuristic, pretentious, and exploitative art of street photography (not saying all street photography is like that, but a lot of it seems to be), but I do have to admit that it is kind of fun and invigorating.

I think part of that comes from the fact that I shot all of these photos "from the hip." Shooting from the hip is a method that street photographers often use to catch much more candid moments than they might if they bring the camera up to their face, because the subject is usually unaware that they are being photographed. 

The socially anxious also might shoot from the hip as well if they don't feel comfortable around people they don't know, or if they dislike confrontation.

I don't have any problems with dealing with strangers, but I was intrigued by the the first point. I often think too much when I photograph. I switch into perfectionism mode (which is a negative thing, believe me), and I become hesitant of pressing the shutter because "What if it's blurry or underexposed? That's a reflection of my inadequacy as a photographer." 

So instead of going through my typical ordeal of being excited, then hesitant, and then nervous that I failed, I just said....screw it. I'm just not going to care.

I don't mean that I wasn't going to care about the quality of the pictures. I really wanted to try and get some good stuff. I just wasn't going to get hung up on how technically correct they were. My goal was to capture a segment of time in a way that isn't so precise and, well, sterile. I didn't necessarily want there to be technical flaws in the image, but at the same time, those flaws can sometimes add a bit of intimacy or personality to photos. 

I think that's part of the reason why family snapshots are sometimes cherished more than those professionally done shots that cost $300. There's a certain level of "humanness" that those snapshots have that the professional photos lack.

I'm not saying that all street photographs are snapshots, but I do think that is part of the appeal. The  technical "flaws" allow the viewer to see the photo as a truly spontaneous moment. It's serendipitous, and it puts the viewer there with the photographer so that they might have an experience through the photograph.

So there's my spiel about street photography. I'm not an expert, so take this as post as an opinion of someone who is learning. 

*Click the image to move to the next through the gallery.*