In 2009, street photographer Blake Andrews famously wrote a blog post stating that “99.98% of street photographs are crap” in response to Nick Turpin on street photography. You can read more on the subject here.
This got me wondering, what exactly differentiates a good street photograph from a bad one? People say that art is subjective, but when it comes to st reet photography (and other forms of photography), I find it uncanny that there is a general consensus in the street photography public what constitutes a good and bad street photograph.
Recently in the news, the British Journal of Photography recently awarded this image, “Man asleep on the Golden Mile, Durban, South Africa.”, by South African photographer Michelle Sank as the best single image category of its International Photography Award.There was a ton of unrest on the internet with some people calling the piece “a joke” and others calling it “rubbish.” Honestly when I saw the image, I was a bit turned off too. I didn’t see the strong merit of the image, when there were tons of other great photographs that were submitted.
In searching for the truth of what makes a good street photograph, I will chronicle some of the aspects that I have noticed of all award-winning and inspiring street photographs.