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Photographing a Street Corner

Updated on July 8, 2014
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0 | Source

Would you be willing to do this?

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Ever taken your camera, gone outside or just randomly chosen a spot and just simply taken photos for a short time without looking at the resulting images until afterward? Off course you have, and if you haven't, then you should. It doesn't require anything more than your camera an a standard lens and maybe a tripod.

This project is so simple yet so fun that it begs to be done on a regular basis and it is sure to produce some interesting results and can also involve any subject. But preferably a street corner would more than likely be the best subjective arena to conduct it. Thus giving your street corner its 15 minutes of fame as it were.

With your gear in hand and some time on your hands, choose a street corner or main thoroughfare in you neighborhood and position yourself in one particular area or spot. Start taking photos, that's it.

There are some variations to the technique such as taking photos while your camera is aimed at one specific spot or general area such as where the mailbox is. Here the camera doesn't change angles or perspectives. It remains in the same exact spot for the duration of the shoot only being snapped when anything approaches the chosen location such as the mailbox.

Another variation is to allow yourself some movement around the general pre selected area and shoot whatever or whomever goes near. Yet another variation is to set the camera with a timed shutter release switch and let it shoot automatically at regular timed intervals.

With all of the variations you should avoid looking at the recorded images, the fun is to see what you have "captured" later. Digital is the wave of the future, yet film is better suited since you couldn't cheat even if you wanted to.

This technique is very similar to regular street photography,straight photography and from the hip photography, but with the difference of maintaining one main central point of focus; one basic location. Here is a little bit more on street photography so that you can compare the slight differences between it and this particular project.

"Street photography is a type of documentary photography that features subjects in candid situations within public places such as streets, parks, beaches, malls, political conventions and other settings." Wikipedia and what is commonly called straight photography. "Straight photography uses basic camera and processing techniques to create photographs that are manipulated in the least possible way, resulting in what is described as a real image." Read more: Information on Straight Photography |"

This should be done in intervals of about fifteen minutes at a time, but there are no rules, this time is just suggested to allow for some brevity and should be done at about the same time of day every time.

Most of the time the best results will be accomplished after repeating the process for at least a month, but depending on the amount of subjects that cross your photography path on any given time the duration can be a lot shorter.

Attribution 2.0 Germany (CC BY 2.0 DE)
Attribution 2.0 Germany (CC BY 2.0 DE) | Source

This project can be used as a study of life, street photography and just as a general artistic enterprise. Do not focus on anything special just shoot.

The resulting images can be used to display in an art gallery or for book publishing purposes.

They can also be done just for the sake of the art and nothing more; as yet another way of practicing the art of photography since only taking on photography for the sake of making money is the wrong reason for involving yourself in photography.

Use color, use digital or film, even consider using a monochromatic medium, it really does not matter how you record the images what it's important is that they capture a slice of life over an extended period of time and of a particular spot, corner, street or area.

This is what gives the project its life, its flavor, its appeal. It is taking photos that are not planned, no models, no special gear, no special anything just a common everyday look at common everyday subjects in a common everyday location, but like many things in life, you never know what your images may end up recording.

CC BY-SA 3.0
CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source

© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      tammyswallow: Thank you, it's humbling to hear that

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Beautiful shots and a great idea. I live way, way, way out in the country so I don't think anyone would want to see that.. :) You are such an inspiration.