Note: This is a guest post from Nathaniel I. Córdova, a rhetoric and media studies professor from Willamette University. I hope you enjoy this great article that he generously offered to share with you guys!
This is a handout originally developed for my students at Willamette University. As such it was designed to be generic and introductory, more an opportunity to clarify and simplify than to provide depth about a subject. Some caveats: I’m a firm believer that rigidly held category schemes can get in the way of creativity and the photographic imagination. The following is written in order to encourage you to think more about these issues. Updated: December 2010.
A quick glance through various photography forums often reveals a category of “candid” images of people walking, pretty women, people in festivals, etc. The overall impetus for such “candid” photography seems to be the casual snap of something the photographer found intriguing at the moment, or the adventure of shooting in public. There is nothing necessarily wrong with that (although some images tend toward the voyeuristic), and many of those images can be quite compelling. Unfortunately, some posters in those forums tend to conflate such “candid” photography with Street photography, eliding any difference between the two practices.