Back in 2012 I wrote a blog post about my burgeoning iPhone Street Photography Series on my Instagram feed called "Strangers On Buses". In that post I talk about how this series came to be. I also talk a bit about how my photography obsession began, about how I am self-taught and how I learned the basics of photography while doing street photography. You can see that post here.
I'm still plugging away at this series and still only using my iPhone. When I started "Strangers On Buses", I intentionally used mostly monochrome images. I felt that full-color images could be too distracting, diverting focus away from the content. The use of monochrome also gives the images a sort of "timeless" feel, which I like.
But then, a few months into this year, I allowed myself to play with color in this series. I think this was because I'd seen some old street photography photos from the 1940's that were originally shot in black & white, but that had been expertly colorized...and I was stunned at the new life the color gave them. You see, I've always loved gazing at and studying old photos, especially street photography. I could spend hours upon hours looking at street photography from different decades. I get so much pleasure out of seeing what life was like back in (you name it!) decade/century. I'm absolutely fascinated by what the fashion was like, and how people related to each other in public, how children played. I guess those colorized old photos stunned me because suddenly the people in them didn't seem so different and far away. I felt a deeper connection with the people in those photos. The times they were living in and the rules of society were, for sure, very different than the present, of course. But it reminded me that people are people, and though technology, fashion and social graces may change over the years, we never really change.
Also new this year: I started giving titles to many of the new images in this series.
Whenever my parents pull out old photos of me as a teenager during the early to mid 1990's (I guess I'm outing myself with my age, here!), I'm always so surprised at what I was wearing back then and how my hair was styled (or NOT styled - I was a grunge kid Generation X-er, after all). I remember the turbulence and emotional drama of my teenage years, but it's so funny that I don't remember how I actually looked! When I'm in my sixties, will I remember how I look and feel now, in my 30's? Probably not, judging from the past. But photography - even the crude snap shot that has been lovingly printed out and kept for others to see - is so, so important.
Street photography is special. It documents actual, real moments of life. I think of future generations who, like me, are curious and want to gaze at and study and ask questions about what it was like in 2014. It's a sort of anthropology. If done well, it's considered "art". I always strive to be artful in each of my street photography images, of course. But if they fall short of being considered art I know that, at the very least, they are Life, Documented. And I take immense pleasure in that.