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Home > Top 5 Photographers – A Street

According to Wikipedia a street is a public thoroughfare (usually paved) in a built environment.

Top 5 Photographers – A Street

Street View in Google Maps allows you to see 360 view of many street location’s without being there. This gives you a good starting point in analysing a street but how do you make this street special or interesting?

Here are 5 very talented photographers that do just that.

1. Stephen Shore – Uncommon Places
Shore spent the 1970’s crossing America taking photographs that pioneered the two most important photographic expressions. A) the snapshot in diary form and B) the monumentalised landscape. He is one of first fine art photographers to work in colour.
Michael Fried said about Shore’s book that it’s a first – rate photo book and that can have something of a feel of a book of poems. You can go back to it and have the same intense experience. The book is structured chronologically. The project started as a visual diary where he photographed every person he met. So if he went to the cinema he photographed the person who he bought the ticket from, eating out, he photographed the waitress etc. The categories were then repeated. The people he met, the meals he ate, the beds he slept in. Art on the walls, store windows etc.
Shore discusses that he believes something special happens when there is a channel of attention between the viewer and the work- asking the viewer to step into the illusion of the picture and to give it attention rather than standing there and just letting it do its own thing to you.
“In 1972, I set out with a friend for Amarillo, Texas. I didn’t drive, so my first view of America was framed by the passenger’s window. It was a shock.’ Later that year, Shore set out again across America, this time alone, with an insatiable desire to capture and communicate precisely what he had seen within the frame of that window.”

2. Thomas Struth – Unconscious Places
Unconscious Places was published as a book on August 2012 and is a collection 230 street photographs. The photographs in Unconscious Places were taken in many different cities with varying characters
The “unconscious collective” represents a kind of energy generated from unexpected places around the city. Struth’s images are multilayered, mixing urban landscapes, street views and space appropriation by the public to show how buildings work in a living environment, change and develop through their inhabitants. While most of the streets photographed by Struth are devoid of human presence, or feature a few parked cars, the viewer notices that, for example, the streets of Shanghai are animated by the movements of passersby, seen as blurry figures in an otherwise sharp image.
Thomas Struth

3. Josef Koudelk – Landscapes
‘You know, people say, “Oh, Josef, he is the eternal outsider,” but on the contrary I try always to be an insider, both as a photographer and as a man. I am part of everything that is around me.’
In the last 10 years or so people have disappeared from his photographs altogether, and he now works obsessively on panoramic landscapes that often portray the devastation industrialisation has wreaked on the natural environment.
But one of the perks of being a world famous photographer is to have Leica make you a one-of-a-kind camera- to digital by creating a one-of-a-kind panoramic version.
He spoke of the challenge of shooting panoramas on 120 film, which can cost $200 for 20 rolls. “Digital photography helped me to go ahead with my work. It helped me not to be dependent on sponsors which for my panoramic pictures I would usually have to be, even if just to buy the film, develop it and make the contact sheets,” he said.
Josef Koudelk

4. Alex Webb
Alex Webb is a Magnum photographer who uses strong colours, light and emotion to capture beautifully complex images. In many of his photographs, they have a strong foreground, mid-ground, and background. He often fills the frame with so many subjects but they don’t overlap.
“My understanding – of course, I’m not a philosopher or a scientist – of an aspect of Goethe’s theory of colour is that he felt that colour came out of tension between light and dark. I think that is very appropriate when you think about the kind of colour that I shoot.” – Alex Webb

5. Todd Hido – Homes At Night
The image “Untitled #2312-a, 1999” from the series Houses at Night is one of the few images that doesn’t have a beam of light coming from it. From an interview with Hido he explains how all images are from your past and these series of images represents his life and what he was going through in the past. He favours the vertical format over the horizontal as he likes to get one house only as gives more of a feeling of isolation. His images are used on Raymond Carver’s books which he is very honoured.

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