Some of my favourite photographers are street photographers. I’m thinking of Saul Leiter and Alex Webb. There’s something about the look of their photos that appeals to me. I now know what that is.
Leiter and Webb share four common themes; shape, colour, tight framing and abstraction. Let’s take one photo from each of them to illustrate those ideas.
A perfect example of Leiter’s work in colour. He makes use of bright colours – primary in this case. His tight composition captures and creates frames within the frame. The use of a mid telephoto lens (about 150mm) compresses the scene, which combined with a wide aperture draws the eye to the hand, framed in the taxi window.
I do own a copy of The Suffering of Light by Alex Webb. This photo is one of many stars in that collection. All of them demonstrate Webb’s delight in using frames within the frame, compressed depth, with layers of shape and colour. This photo also echoes Taxi, New York, with its subtle use of hands and the colour red.
These two artists have shaped the kind of street photos I look for. Most recently I have purchased a 90mm (135mm equivalent on my Fuji X-T4) to develop my eye for a scene with depth, where I can use both wide and narrow apertures to explore creative potential.
Earlier this week I took the new lens out for a spin in the Rhonnda valley town, Porth. I have much to learn, but I see the potential. I am most used to using a 35mm lens (50mm equivalent) and the 90mm’s view of the world is quite different. I do like it though.
Here are three of my favourites from my recent photo shoot around Porth and three others from another Welsh Town – Bridgend. The latter were created two years ago using my 35mm lens, but exhibit a similar style. I’m sure there will be more to come from other towns, any day now!