This past Memorial Day, my husband and I traveled to upstate New York to attend my neice’s wedding. We took the opportunity to explore the areas historic estates built in hte mid-19th century along the Hudson River Valley. The Olana Estate was the home of Fredrick Church, of the Hudson River Valley school of painting. Church worked with the architect Calvert Vaux to realize his house built as a 250-acre 3-dimensional art landscape. Today many of the views of the Hudson are over-grown with second-growth trees and the commerce has shifted from river barges to highway traffic along the Rip Van Winkle bridge.
If a street photographer denies all sense of anxiety when taking pictures of strangers, they are not being totally honest with you. And for some, it is exactly this rush of excitement that draws them to the genre. Though confrontation while doing street photography is less common than non-street photographers imagine, it still exists. Sometimes a full day of personal interactions are, in-fact, exhausting. When I am feeling this way, I look for other ways to capture the soul of the culture around me.
This week I am dedicating my Instagram (Nancy_Lehrer) and Facebook (nancy.lehrer or Nancy Lehrer Photography) posts to photographs that don’t include direct human interaction. These are not undemanding images of quiet streets, windows, or doors. Each image tells a story, explores the culture, and poses additional questions.
I believe in the use of photography to tell candid stories that document the human condition in order to bring people together with understanding and acceptance.
These are the principles that guide my photography:
- Create compelling stories: Say something, ask questions.
- Life happens in COLOR: Color carries emotional content.
- Create visual poems: Composition matters.
- Composition is additive: Use a lot of adjectives.
- Connect the dots: Capture the scene as the subject.
- Create short stories: Tell a story through time.
- Travel: Spread a worldview of understanding and acceptance.
- Take chances: An image is more than the sum of its pixels.
- Follow the National Press Photographer Association’s Code of Ethics.
In this book I explain my manifesto, provide examples, and include a chapter on street photography technique.