©2015 CRAIG LITTEN

What's in a Photograph?

The above photograph is a prime example of not hesitating when seeing. As street photographers we must always be looking and ready. Moments are fleeting and only happen once--in an instant--and are gone forever.

What I attempt to convey to my workshop students is to react instantly to the situation right in front of them without first composing or thinking about what they're seeing. It's like a gut instinct; a feeling inside you. There's something there that you perceive and are drawn to, but it's not yet fully realized. So instead of thinking it through, you must instantly react and shoot it, and shoot until it's over not just one frame. Capture the picture now, then decide later during the edit if the photo works. Is it a photograph or not a photograph?

In this case, I saw the dark slender figure approaching and walking through an already appealing scene. I liked the light. Or was it the white wall that appealed to me. Or maybe it was the mysterious figure, his slender form or black clothing that I was drawn to. But at the moment I pressed the shutter, I didn't fully know. To me, the intangible in this photo is the triangular splash of light on the ground--a kind of Rembrandt lighting for the street. It seems to be pointing back to the subject, highlighting him, saying, "Look here!" All of these things come together and form what is, in my opinion, a photograph.


IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN LEARNING STREET PHOTOGRAPHY AND WOULD LIKE TO SCHEDULE A ONE OR TWO DAY, ONE-TO-ONE WORKSHOP IN MIAMI, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

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