Visual Stories From The Streets

by Paul Hands in ,


Street Photography Around The World

By Paul Hands

I love to just walk around the city with my camera, watching people and studying their behaviours, trying to understand their stories or at least making one up about them in my head.

Oxford University, Oxford, England

I've travelled to some of the Worlds biggest cities and purposefully walked with my camera to learn about the culture of the city dwelling human.

River Seine, Paris, France

All of my photographs are made candidly and usually the people in my pictures (with the exception of the first one in this blog) don't know that I've made a picture of them.  That is my aim, I want pictures of their characters in the environment acting as naturally as possible.  This is of course, so I can tell a truth of that moment in time and in that place.

Troisieme Quarter, Paris, France

When I make my pictures, I know at the time of clicking the shutter whether it will be produced in black and white or in colour.  I look for contrast if it's to be black and white and the story has to be timeless.

The Clock Tower, Leicester, England

Of course I shoot street photography in colour too, look...

The Metro, Paris, France

When I shoot in colour, the colour has to be anchored.  For example, the anchor colour here is red but that's not all I look for.  There has to be something extra special and the image has to be layered in it's story or the graphics, like in this shot above with the red seats juxtaposed with the mans red bag.

Dadlington Church, Warwickshire, England

Even my own rules have to be broken because in this picture, colour isn't really that important.  The story is what matters here...  You'd never guess in a million years by looking at the picture and in fact that is sometimes quite good because when reading a photograph, part of the structure should be about your implied version of the story.  If you haven't guessed yet, this was a bunch of people waiting for King Richard The Third's reinterment in 2015.

Camden Market, London, England

This is purely about the geometrics of what appears to be a metaphorical time tunnel.  Well that's what was in my head when I stumbled up on the scene.  There's always a human element to my street photography and I don't believe without that human touch it belongs in the genre.

Montemartre, Paris, France

I always gravitate towards Paris for my street photography even though it's not legal to shoot people on the streets there without their permission.  I'm not sure if this is a good thing for me.

One thing is certain that I can't decide whether I prefer shooting street photographs in black and white or colour.  I do know that my favourite pictures are in black and white.

The Metro, Paris, France

Then there's my favourite of all time and one that has won me awards...

Artistes Square, Montemartre, Paris

I love street photography, it's probably the hardest form of photography and is something that usually only photographers understand.  It's like a blood sport but without the blood, usually!

I highly recommend it to anyone that wishes to improve their photography because it teaches you how to make those visual stories.  At the end of the day anyone can press a button and cameras these days make it so easy for anyone.  If you can't make the story though, where's the picture?

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