Judging a Book By Its Cover – Street Photography, more than just a surprised face

Judging A Book By Its Cover
Judging A Book By Its Cover by I Nancy, on Flickr

I have recently made a bunch of new street photographer acquaintances and, therefore, have been looking at a new set of images and styles and reading about their different approaches and ideas on various forums and blogs. As I look through their  work, I am impressed by their vision and images. I notice those images that take me to a new place versus those that just pull me along on the street with them. I am reminded of something that I feel strongly about for my own street photography. That the best street photography, across all of its various styles and approaches, is more than just a surprised (bored, angry, funny, ugly, old, beautiful) face. In my street photography I want a full story, a deep story. I look for a story complete with body language and environment to create depth. I want my images to be more than just an odd person or visual pun.

In this image, my traveler is doing a most obvious thing –  sitting in a waiting room opening a book. The obvious can be described with nouns and verbs – book, open, man, waiting room. But look harder and you see a more colorful story that need adjectives and adverbs to descrbe. You see that his belongings are in neither a backpack, suitcase nor duffelbag, but in a brown paper shopping bag. The bag is worn and used, not crisp and new. He is not yet reading his book, but preparing to read his book; evaluating the cover, his hand guiding him across the words. He is older and has come in from outside with jacket and hat; a hat that has seen some wear and makes a clear statement of utility over style, function over form. And although he is alone, he is not completely alone. A man behind him, barely seen, talks on a cell phone, visualized in this image from the point of view of my traveler – just audible, but not much.

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2 thoughts on “Judging a Book By Its Cover – Street Photography, more than just a surprised face

  1. neilwaybright April 8, 2012 / 1:34 pm

    The light in this image is delightful. Good eye in catching it!

  2. Bill Chance April 8, 2012 / 6:31 pm

    Great control of color in this photo.

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