This is how I am going to present my final prints. I decided on this layout as I believe it appears aesthetically pleasing on the eye. I feel this presentation relates well to my idea as you could almost read the ten images of individuals as a society as they are grouped together. I chose the sequence to appear in two lines in landscaped order instead of a long line downwards. This makes it easier for the viewers to observe my images as the audience are used to reading from left to right instead of top to bottom. Influenced by Helen Levitt and her photographs in the book ‘A Way of Seeing’ I have printed my pictures with a border around each of them. This not only allows them to stand out separately but they also work well as a group of ten images in my theme. Overall, I am pleased with my final outcome for my project.
Final Ten Images ©Rosie Roberts
As my final images I have chosen these ten photographs. Throughout my project I believe that I have developed my ideas to produce all of these images. Each one individually works well in highlighting individuals which become lost in a city. My main aim was to show how society has become one group of people that have become lost in this misconception of a city. I believe showing all these people in the way I have has not only made the audience aware of this but also created a story for each of them built on assumptions. I wanted the audience to create their own story about each person by questioning where, why and who they are. These questions would subconsciously be answered by the audience’s assumptions that they have made on the individual if they were walking past them in the street. But by documenting them in the way that I have allows them to be observed for a longer period of time without the audience being classed as rude for ‘staring’. Overall I believe the use of space and other techniques I have discussed previously to create all of these photographs make them work well together and has allowed me to produce a strong set of images.
Growing up in New York, Helen Levitt saw the streets of the city change throughout her life on a daily basis. In the year of 1940, Levitt became interested in the streets of New York and this is when she began to photograph them. Some of these photographs can be observed in her published book ‘A way of seeing’. These images are mainly all of children playing in the streets of New York, but it also consists of some drawings found on the streets. Levitt street photographs document a way in which children where able to play and mess around in the streets which would not be classed as safe nowadays.
What interested me about Levitt’s images and the book was the way her images where presented. The photographs are singly printed in the middle of each page with a number underneath, this meant that there was a different kind of border on each image. After the number under each of the photographs gave the images an order and made me feel like this was the order that Levitt wanted them to be observed in.
Levitt is another photograph who produced her street images in black and white, after doing several artist researches into street photographers and their work. It seems to me that the emotions and messages which are wanted to portrayed are much stronger expressed when the colouring is black and white. One of the reason why I believe this is because it is unfamiliarity. The audience views the streets everyday in colour and this is what they constantly see through their eyes, this is why changing the tonal range to grey scale attracts the attention of the audience.
After looking through Levitt’s book it has made me think about how I am going to present my images, as well as how to get them printed. I have decided to get them mounted but after being influenced by Levitt I am now going to have a slight border around my images so that they stand out from on another as separates image when being arranged on the wall in my final critique. Even though all my images work well together I don’t want them all to blend into one another and I think this is the best way to make them stand out individually.
Reference : © Photographs, Helen Levitt, (1965) & © Text, James Agee Trust, (1965, 1981), A Way of Seeing, New York, Horizon Press.
© Rosie Roberts
In the top image of the elderly lady I have focused on her to bring her forward into the foreground and the public in the background are blurred. By doing this when capturing my street photographs it enables me to create layers and depth within my images. Even though the lady is travelling through a busy town she still seems to have space around her, this allowed me to make her stand out from the crowd instead of blending into society.I have noticed that now when it comes to photographing in the street I have become a lot more confident then what I was when I first started this project. The street comes alive through the camera lens and you can see energy through the lens which the public seem to miss in their everyday busy lives. This essence is what drew me to capture all the individuals I have throughout my project including this lady. The aspect which intrigued me about this lady was her coat; it was floor length and all the buttons were completely done up. This expressed some kind of privacy she seemed to have about herself, wanting to keep her identity hidden. Many people would read a person by their appearance and how their dressed. In this photograph the audience is not able to stereotype her by class, but still does because she is elderly.
The bottom photograph is similar to a few of my other images I have edited. I was pleasantly surprised with how I captured this picture. When seeing this scene in the street you would expect the birds to be flying around the guy as he would be throwing the food to them. This was indeed what was occurring, but I waited their for a moment until it was still and captured it. This surprised me as previously Cartier-Bresson and other artists I have spoke about all waited for that ‘decisive moment’ and this image proved that it works well. The public will make the same assumptions about the man being homeless but what I am trying to show in this picture and other photographs is to observe closer at individuals and make the audience realise these assumptions my not always be true. I am also highlighting the different individuals which make up a city and I believe in both of these images I have achieved that, from an old lady to a younger man differing in appearance and expressing totally different messages.
American photographer Garry Winogrand started capturing photographs whilst being in the Air Force. Influenced by Walker Evans and Robert Frank, he loved to document city life. Hitting the streets with his 35mm camera, he would capture the energy of the street in a snapshot manner. Armed with his camera he would walk the streets and photograph anything which would appeal to him. Winogrand loved the energy of the streets this is what interested him the most and attracted him to photographing them. He liked to photograph people off guard getting their natural reactions to conversations they were having or events occurring in the street. Winogrand’s photographs defined American urban history, capturing the fashion of the time in his images to the hairstyles of the women. He believed that photographs were mute and that just described what was happening but didn’t have a narrative ability. This is where I believe assumptions of the audience create the narrative for the photographs which street photographs like Winogrand captured. These assumptions people make lead the audience to create their own story to what is happening from during, after or before the photograph was taken.
The image above is one of Garry Winogrand images which most appealed to me when looking through his street photographs. Winogrand is another photographer who has used spaced in his image to make an individual stand out and give them their own identity. Like in some of my pictures I have used space to enable them to give the impression that they stand alone in a city. This technique which not only makes the audience aware of the individual, but can also give the feeling that they can easily become lost in a big city environment. The cars in the background indicates to me that it was during a busy time period in the city when the photograph was taken, but Winogrand has managed to capture the image of this lady on her own, with no-one around her.
©Garry Winogrand, Untitled, from the Women are Beautiful portfolio
Another photograph which intrigues me was this untitled work above. Winogrand seems to be in the path of this lady when cycling, but she does not seem fazed or bothered by him taking the picture. This was most properly due to the fact that Winogrand was quick at capturing the shots in which he wanted. He was always prepared with his camera and would quickly jump into the paths of many people that intrigued him in the city. This is what I found in my photo shoots I have had to do, having my camera prepared in my hand walking the street enabled me to capture that perfect shot of the individuals path I would cross, without their reactions becoming unnatural.
Lichfield Photo Shoot ©Rosie Roberts
After researching into artists such as Melanie Einzig & Weegee, I choose to take a few more photographs for this project. I ventured out into Lichfield to see what individuals I could capture within this city. When taking these picture’s I took a different approach after looking at Weegee, I decided to talk to some of the people I was photographing and this seemed to have worked well. Overall I believe there was a couple of photograph which I could use in my final prints once edited.
Street photographer Weegee real name Arthur Fellig, was well known for his black and white street crime images in New York. Capturing scenes of murders which police had not even turned up to was were he gained his name ‘Weegee’, these images were not comforting photographs but them of an unnerving nature, which is why he was named after the ‘ouija board’. Before turning to freelance photography in 1935, Weegee previously worked as a dark-room technician for Acme Newspictures. In 1945, ten years after he decided to become a freelance photographer Weegee produced his first book ‘Naked City’ which consisted of all his street photographs so far.
Weegee’s photographs really stood out to me as they were not like any kind of street photography which I had observed before. One in particular really appealed to me which is the photograph below. This image is of peoples reactions to a murder which has just occured. For Weegee to be able to take an image this close to the public without them looking annoyed or uncomfortable or even disturbed by the camera in front of their face, must had meant they trusted or knew Weegee. Comparing weegee’s techniques to mine, when capturing indivduals in a city I can almost become unoticed as my camera isn’t as big as Weegee’s camera. Also the public never used to notice my camera until they were right infront of me and by that time it was too late because I had already captured the image.
© (Arthur Fellig)/International Centre of Photography/Getty Images
After briefly looking at Weegee and some of his work, it has made me think about how I approach taking my images. The individuals which I focus on in the street when capturing my images are ones who create assumptions and become lost in a city. This means it is key for them to appear comfortable and natural in my images, so I have now decided to talk to some of the people I would like to capture in order to create a connection with them. This I believe will encourage them to feel comfortable when I am capturing their image in the street and they understand why I am and have chosen to take their picture. As well as this, Weegee is another photographer whose street photographs are produced in black and white and this evidently works really well in the dramatic emotions felt when observing his images. This has encouraged me that when it comes to printing my final images, producing them in black and white will make the emotions and messages I want to express be portrayed stronger to the audience.
When looking through my ‘Street Photography Now’ book I came across New York photographer Melanie Einzig. Differing from other photographers that I have looked at Einzig images are produced in colour. Even though colour works well in her photographs I still believe black and white tones work better in my images. The aspects which really drew me into Einzig work is the way she managed to photograph individuals in a city all differing from one another. I have regularly mentioned throughout my blogs about the public blending into one another and become a society full of people instead of individuals. This is why I believe Einzig’s work really appealed to me, she has managed to single out people and make them individuals in themselves no matter how many people are involved in the photograph.
The image below is a perfect example of how Einzig manages to single out all individuals in a city. Not one of the people below seem similar to each another apart from three of them being the same sex. The composition of the photograph has been framed well in order to highlight all of the people involved in the image. The man crouching down with his shopping bags reveals the couple cuddling behind to the man just in front of him with a bird on his shoulder. They all work well within the frame to enable each of them to stand out as individuals.
© Melanie Einzig, Spring Corner, New York City, 2000
Differing from the one above the photograph below has been taken four years later in a food restaurant. The audience is lead to assume that the lady in the foreground has been on a night out and has ended here at the end of the night with none of her friends. Even surrounded by the public and having others in the photograph Einzig has still managed to create everyone visually in the frame as individuals, by using techniques. Such as focusing on the lady in the foreground and the unfocused people in the background to create layers. This is what I have done in some of my previous photographs to create texture and catch the attention of the viewers.
© Melanie Einzig, First Avenue, New York, 2004
Once looking at Melanie Einzig’s work it has now inspired me to look at the composition within my photographs. Also it has shown me that even when others are involved in images individuals can still stand out by using different techniques. Assumptions are also used in Einzig’s work to create a story about the individuals, but in her work it benefits the images as it enables them to become stronger.These assumptions are one of the aspects which enables the people to become individuals within the society of the city.
Reference: Howarth, S & McLaren, S. (2010). Street Photography Now. London: Thames & Hudson.
When looking back through my previous photo shoot’s in both London and Derby, I came across these two images which I had taken in London. Without previously realising they work really well with my other six photographs I have edited so far.
In the top image, the use of space again is powerful in portraying the individuals that I had photographed. The space also gives them an identity which society took away from them. When the audience observes this image assumptions will be created. With no signs or famous landmarks in the picture the viewers will not know this photograph has been taken in London, therefore they will quickly assume that the two individuals sitting on the floor are homeless or poor with all their belongings in their backpacks. Whereas on the other hand they could be travellers in London, as this image had been captured in convent garden which is a well known tourist attraction. Unlike some of my previous images there are other people around these two individuals on the floor. The public which surround them blend into the background and do not stand out as much as these two do. Many factors contribute to this, the main one is the fact that they are in focus and the others are not. This creates layers and brings the two people on the floor further into the foreground. Also the way this image has been edited - the black and white tonal range creates a texture to the photograph. This enables the image to almost become tangable and draws the attention of the audience into the picture.
The image at the bottom is very similar to the top one in some the techniques which has been used to create it. The focusing of the busker in the foreground separates him from the unfocused public in the background, creating layers and texture. It is showing a different person and a different individual in a city, but still the same assumptions can be made.
These individuals in both of these photographs are very different from one another but the public are assuming the same things about each of them - being homeless, poor or sometimes lonely. These assumptions are what make individuals in a city become lost and blend into a society without standing in a society alone as an individual.