Like any other cultural practice, street photography is a product of its time and place. Familiarity with the history of the genre and its varied traditions makes photographing in different places all the more interesting. It’s fascinating to consider how places have changed visually and if – as an outsider – we can capture defining aspects of the contemporary culture as earlier local photographers did in their times. Continue reading →
I’m preparing to leave India after four weeks of street photography that has taken me from Mumbai to Delhi via the southern most states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It’s been a great, if at times gruelling, trip. We have visited some amazing locations and managed to meet up with some India based photographer friends for the first time.
“Scotland is more like Spain than Bengal is like the Punjab” Sir John Strachey, 1888
In his New York Times Magazine article ‘A Too-Perfect Picture’ (30/3/16), Teju Cole famously criticised the portrayal of India by the photographer Steve McCurry.
Based on a narrow reading of a minority of images contained in the photographer’s retrospective book India, Cole claims McCurry perpetuates an obsolete visual narrative and has a hackneyed style. Continue reading →
I’ve always found the most interesting photographers to be those who go out of their way to deliberately manipulate the inherent physical properties of the medium. Yes, I know, it’s an unfashionable modernist view that’s been sidelined by the art world’s promotion of post-modern conceptualists (a.k.a ‘artists working with photography’). However, I do think John Szarkowski was correct in expounding an “essentialist” view of photography (see). Not that I agree with what he saw as its essential properties. Continue reading →