When it comes to my street photography, I am heavily influenced by the work of Alex Webb and David Alan Harvey. Both of these photographers are known for their highly layered complex images with compositions that play with the juxtapositions of near and far subjects. Though these compositions are quite complex, each image is collection of clearly identifiable scenes and interactions, each playing out in their own space within the image.
Here is a set of images from Santa Monica Beach taken during the busy July 4th weekend. The bright sun and harsh light adds to this colorful and active scene. Images were taken with the Olympus OM-D EM-1 and 17mm lens (35mm effect focal) prime lens. Although you may think that with these more complicated the scenes, a zoom lens would help manage what is in the frame, however, I find it easiest when I stick to a fixed focal length and move my feet to find the right location then wait for the moment.
Santa Monica Lifeguard Tryouts: cleanup after the ocean swim.
I recently attended a lecture by Los Angeles photographer Loren Resnick. During the lecture I took down the some notes of achieving art through the phases of documentation, evocation, and emotional transcendence. As I review my notes, I come to this reconstruction of ideas:
Documentation: capturing what something is
This is the Statue of Liberty.
Evocation: to bring to mind or recollect
This is the best picture of the Statue of Liberty I’ve seen, it reminds me of when I was there.
Emotional Transcendence: To go beyond emotion and recollection, lying beyond the ordinary range of perception.
This image of the Statue or Liberty makes me think about all the immigrants who saw her as they entered the harbor and the excitement and fear they must have been feeling as they started a new chapter in their lives.
In my next note I wrote: “I was there and felt this”.
But this is not correct. I felt this is simply evocation. We need to move beyond I felt this to They felt this. For street photographers, it is about capturing not what the photographer felt, but what the subject felt.
I was there, they felt this
Yesterday it finally sunk in that summer was upon us. A day at the beach can do that.