This is a critical aspect of street photography success that is often overlooked or undervalued. – Gary Winogrand, Mark Cohen, and Joel Meyerowitz, to name but three. Atget’s photographs were not mere documents or experiments with new technology. In the 1930s Hungarian photographer Brassaï (born Gyula Halász), began to gain a reputation for his night photographs, using a technique he learned from Kertész while they were both living and working in Paris. Well, yes, of course it is, but not for the purist who lives in the age of black and white analog photography. This is actually not a new trend that was started by someone, but an extension of earlier trends in other artistic fields like painting. What is the point? Since its inception in Victorian times, humankind has had a fascination with capturing not only the real, raw and gritty but also the mundane. Not only has the content of the image become worn out to our eyes (thanks to our visual culture where everyone now literally carries a camera in their pocket) but the vision behind making the image is also lacking or even absent altogether. This is the idea that there is a “perfect” moment to take a photograph in any unfolding human scene on the street. Seemingly no one edits his or her work anymore, at least in street photography. The very publicness of the setting enables the photographer to take candid pictures of strangers, often without their knowledge. Cartier-Bresson was a champion of the Leica camera and one of the first photographers to maximize its capabilities. These critics understood the history of photography and the philosophy of aesthetics and situated (or rejected) the work into that larger conversation. Save 50% off a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. You’re now a street photographer. Numerous photographers, including Alfred Stieglitz, Berenice Abbott, and William Eggleston, took photos on the street but did not consider themselves street photographers. These same “street photographers” come home and sort through their 9000 frames (thank you digital photography) and pick out a couple they think are good. We have to go back a little further into the annals of history to really locate an adequate beginning. This is how so much of the banal, clichéd, over-worked street photography makes its way into our lives. This is a critical aspect of street photography success that is often overlooked or undervalued. Art dealing with the life of the street, whether within views of cityscapes, or as the dominant motif, appears in the West in the canon of the Northern Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, of Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. She covered topics related to art history, architecture, theatre, dance, literature, and music. To suggest that there is an objectively definable correct moment may be difficult to establish, to say the least. This is okay, and you might even get lucky and make some great photographs, but know that being an artist, at least in the traditional sense, is a lot more work than that! Does this kind of image bear any relation to the work of Cartier-Bresson, Evans, Frank, Meyerowitz, or Arbus? So there you go, the father of street photography made street photographs without people. Finally, there is the issue of editing. It is because of this fundamental understanding of the art of picture taking that he is often credited with rediscovering the medium all over again roughly a century since its invention. Begin by looking up some of the names I’ve mentioned and you will quickly find yourself submerged into all the history of street photography you could ever want. In order to understand the history of street photography, it is vital to know what street photography is. What is here is a number of starting points for further reading. Learn more about the history of street photography in this article. He experimented with a series of photographic methods, attempting to find one that would allow him to capture movement without a blur, and he found some success with the calotype, patented in 1841 by William Henry Fox Talbot. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Updates? Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). I think much of what we know and call street photography today is in for a serious moment of truth. Street photography is a tradition that dates back to the invention of photography. Let me attempt to illustrate what’s going on. At first the camera was seen as a tool that could replace the artist’s hand, but over time the camera’s unique capacities—its instantaneousness and ability to see more than the human eye (and with better focus)—clearly set a photograph apart from a painting and made photography not an adjunct study but rather a distinct medium valuable in and of itself. So, where are we? Somehow monochrome images are supposed to be superior in conveying reality – despite the fact that we all see in color. There is no true criticism anymore. So why does all this bad street photography exist? Interesting concept but hotly debated. Academia - Is Street Photography Ethical. History of Street Photography. No, of course not. That would be more fascinating somehow. William Henry Fox Talbot, inventor of the calotype. Street photography, a genre of photography that records everyday life in a public place. Where is all this so called street photography headed?