Fine art architectural street photography as a new direction in photography
Waves of Imagination – Agora, Athens Olympic Center
This is my last fine art architectural street photograph that I shot during my previous private photography workshop in Athens. These days I’m working with another student in Athens and, like every time I work with my photography students, I’m thinking again how lucky and grateful I am to be working with such interesting people at my workshops. It is amazing to see how every artist has his own style and artistic personality and to be able to help them develop it.
My next group workshop will be in Chicago on October 17-18, 2015 and I’m looking very much forward to it, as it will be my third workshop in this fantastic city and for this I have put up a great program, with both shooting and theory + processing content. If you want to join me you can sign up to it but you will have to be quick because there are only 2 spots left.
The image Waves of Imagination (you can see it at the link in better quality and larger size) is part of the genre I presented recently as fine art street photography , it is also an example of what I call Architectural Street Photography and it exemplifies again an idea I’m thinking about for quite some time and this is how we can combine a fine art approach in photography with capturing the moment, with capturing emotion in the urban environment.
What I mean when I talk about this new genre I’m working on is to combine fine art photography with street photography, also to combine architectural photography with street photography. Architecture and street photography are two of my big loves in photography and they are related with my way of thinking in photography. By adding to these genres a fine art element, which is the expression of my vision, I am creating a new style in my work – a different artistic expression of my vision and my world representation. As Arthur Schopenhauer says: “The world is my representation”, my vision and representation of the world rely in a large measure on these genres: architecture and street photography, but their materialization in images is different than what we call classic architectural photography or classic street photography. Why are they different? Because I see them in a different way, that is based on my personal style and personal way of expression. Just like in the case of the rest of my photography work, I do not intend to show the world as it is, not even in street photography, but to show what I feel about the world I see. I’m relying on reality, but I modify it to recreate my world, to create a perfect world, which is my goal in black and white photography.
All these components create what I call fine art street photography, architectural street photography, and a combination of both – a genre that I call Fine Art Architectural Street Photography. This style is something you will see more in the future and it may even evolve into something else.
I’m always trying to push the boundaries of imagination and creativity in my work, and one of the ways to do it is to look at things in a different way then I am expected to, or that I have done in the past. Doing this always gives me new ideas and it is something that I recommend you to try as much as you can. Always question what you see, always try to look at your work and the world around you in a new light, from a visual and philosophic point of view and you will discover new challenges and, eventually new means of expression and new answers too.
Speaking about architectural street photography, I have presented this new genre extensively in my book From Basics to Fine Art – Black and White Photography – Architecture and Beyond, written with Joel Tjintjelaar, where I explain what I mean with this photography style and I give more examples, some of them images that have not been published elsewhere, but only in the book.
What is Fine Art Architectural Street Photography
Architectural street photography, fine art architectural street photography, is a genre of its own. It has not been officially defined as such till now, but this distinction has to be made, because this genre cannot be assimilated neither with pure architectural photography nor with pure street photography. It is not something in between either, but a distinct genre with its own rules and principles.
In the case of Architectural Street photography the architectural object will be the background, not necessarily the subject.
In Architectural Street photography the main subject of the image is the HUMAN PRESENCE.
The human presence will be integrated in the image, becoming its point of interest. As you see, I am talking about the “human presence” and not about the “person” as subject in architectural street photography, because there is a difference between the two as far as how they are used and the results we can see in the final image. The message they convey is very different in each case. Using a “human presence” and not a person as subject for architectural street photography means that in this case we are interested in the person or persons populating our image only in the measure in which they show us their relation with the built environment and not as individuals.
This is the main difference between classical street photography and architectural street photography: in classical street photography the accent falls on the person as she can show us the human nature and its reactions to external stimuli (environment and other individuals) while in architectural street photography the accent falls on the relation the inanimate built environment has with the animate human presence that populate it or that happens to come in contact with it.
The “Double Subject” Concept in Fine Art Architectural Street Photography
At a closer look, architectural street photography is a genre that has in fact two subjects, not only one as in most photography genres. It may sound like a surprising affirmation, since I mentioned only a few chapters back that the image needs to have a clear subject and this is an important compositional aspect but think about the fact that in architectural street photography the architecture is meant to point to the human subject, while the human subject is meant to emphasize the architecture. As a result of this relationship between architecture and the people interacting with it, which is a requirement without which we cannot talk about architectural street photography, this type of photography cannot exist without any of these two subjects.
A detailed description of this style with many examples you can find in From Basics to Fine Art book and I will come back to it in my blog posts too. Many of you have already read the book and I hope the ones who will read it will take good advice from it and find it inspiring.
I shoot this image with an awesome camera, the new 20.2 megapixels DxO ONE camera, that can be used independently or attached to an iPhone and that has the quality of a DSLR camera both as for capturing as well as for processing especially when processed with the DxO software. You’ll see more photos I shot with this camera very soon.
In the meanwhile, I invite you to try this new approach in your photography you too and I would love to hear about your experiences.
FURTHER STUDY RESOURCES – FINE ART BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY, ARCHITECTURE, LONG EXPOSURE
You can find more tutorials on fine art black and white photography, (en)Visionography, long exposure photography and architectural photography in my extensive collection of photography tutorials. To receive my future tutorials directly via email you can subscribe to my website.
More about how to create fine art photography, from vision till processing and the final image you can read in my book From Basics to Fine Art – Black and White Photography, with co-author Joel Tjintjelaar, and in my video tutorial Long Exposure, Architecture, Fine Art Photography – Creating (en)Visionography a hands-on tutorial accompanied by an eBook presenting my processing workflow, or attend one of my workshops.
Julia Anna Gospodarou – (en)Visionographer
Julia Anna Gospodarou is an internationally acclaimed photographer, author and educator, teaching workshops and lecturing around the world. Founder of (en)Visionography™ and Photography Drawing™, co-author of the best-selling book From Basics to Fine Art, with high distinctions in the most important photography competitions worldwide, published internationally in numerous books and magazines, Julia is passionate about art and striving to spread it into the world.