Of all the mainstream photographic genres, I am drawn to street photography. It's a photographic style that that demands the photographer to look for moments and compositions, to anticipate action and to react quickly, both in terms of pressing the button but also in terms of using the camera, focussing and setting exposure.
A good street photograph captures the people on the street looking interesting, it's not about making everyone look good, but that can help too. Added to that, composition plays a huge role; capturing the moment is well and good however if this moment is poorly framed the photo will suffer. My brief journey into street photography has shown me more than anything else that it is hard to get right. So hard, that in the last six months, I have a small handful of photographs that I'm truly proud of.
I have lots of ok photos, but for anyone that goes out specifically to photograph, be it anything from landscapes to portraits to street photographs, who really cares about ok photographs? It is great pictures that I'm after and I don't have many, but it's this that keeps me coming back again and again. Photographers that know how to take a nice portrait and have access to lots to of willing subjects could probably knock out a good number of 'keepers' in a day. Unfortunately for street photographers, that's just not the case, try as we might, we are limited by the scenes that prevail.
A quote from National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson is that "if you want to take better photos, stand in front of more interesting things". Whilst I think this is true, especially if you want to photograph landscapes or temples, street photography is different. Streets are everywhere so we have an almost unlimited source of subject matter and yet somehow, we come away with almost nothing. You could say that as a street photographer we are facing terrible odds, but the feeling of accomplishment brought by seeing success makes all the failures worth it.