Dear fellow streettogs,

If you ever find street photography difficult, scary, or hard– don’t fret. It is precisely the difficulty of street photography which makes it fun and rewarding.

Let me explain:


Why I stopped shooting landscape photography

When I started photography, like any good photographer– I photographed the usual suspects (landscape, flowers, etc). Yet– I got bored easily. Why? There wasn’t enough challenge!

Thus my first idea:

Boredom manifests when we aren’t being challenged (when things are too easy, and not hard enough!)

I experimented with lots of different forms of photography, and I found in 2009 that street photography was my passion. Why? Because it was hard, interesting, challenging– and fun!


Why I love street photography

The more I think about street photography, the more I love it.

Consider–

  1. Most people get depressed because they don’t leave the house, they don’t walk enough, and they don’t interact enough with other people and strangers. Street photography addresses this. When I go through depressive moods, street photography helps me.
  2. Most people live in cities now. We cannot always drive to the mountains to shoot some sunrise at 3am. But we can walk around our cities and suburbs, and just take photos in our urban environments (a small camera/phone camera suffices).
  3. Street photography is the ultimate democratic photography-art form: Anyone can do it, and you can use any camera (yes, the phone camera is legitimate). You don’t need fancy equipment (like studio-fashion photography, landscape photography, etc).
  4. Composition in street photography is endlessly fascinating, difficult, and new. We haven’t discovered all of the possible compositions in street photography. I’m constantly surprised by seeing new and novel ways of seeing– new compositions, and new ways of seeing the world!
  5. Street photography is difficult and scary: Honestly, 90% of shooting street photography is just having the guts and the huevos to do so. Thus if you have the courage and bravery to shoot street photography, I honor you. Most of us don’t face any real threats anymore (consider the modern office worker vs Spartan hoplite in ancient times).

Hard is good.

Street photography is great — it hardens us.

Street photography makes us more courageous. It makes us less risk-averse (street photography makes us risk-hungry!)


Conclusion:

Simple conclusion:

Street photography is enjoyable, fun, and interesting precisely because it is hard!

Embrace the hardness, and become harder yourself!

ERIC

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