Street Clichés I

Barcelona Street Photography - Mark Moore

The first of a sequence of street photographs while I wait for the last batch of films to finish processing. They are part of an ongoing project for street photography in Barcelona.

Street photography is an odd genre, so wide, ill defined and extensively shot that it often feels like its own cliché. Keeping this in mind, this sequence will do its best to use high contrast black-and-white processing, and hackneyed techniques such as pointing at a poster and waiting for someone to walk past. To reinforce the modernity of the cliché, these are all shot with wide-angle (24 or 28mm equivalent) lenses and usually from a point no more than a meter or two from the subject.

Photographing people on the street is at once the easiest and the most difficult forms of photography for me. It is easy in the sense that Barcelona is rich in possibilities for images – both backgrounds and people. It is hard in the sense that isolating subjects and framing without distractions can be near impossible in the overcrowded central areas of the city.

For these shots, I use a point-and-shoot camera rather than something more “professional” – another cliché. There are two ways of working. Firstly, there are the unexpected, spontaneous events that just appear as you walk around, where you need to react quickly to get the picture. Secondly, there are times when I find a beautiful or conceptually useful background with excellent lighting, and I wait for someone/something interesting to pass through that conveys an idea or concept that seems important (such as the very clichéd concept in the image for this post).

Either way, almost all the interesting photographs are serendipitous. They seem to randomly turn up when out doing other things – trips to the supermarket or venturing for coffee. For this reason, the uploads for this sequence are going by necessity to be less frequent than usual.

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