Why Shooting Street Photography when in movement?

Why Shooting Street Photography when in movement?

When someone take a look at my photographic work is quite common they ask me: why shoot from a moving car?

And I say, because I’m shy, I want to shoot hidden.

 

São Luis Church
São Luis Church, São Paulo, Brazil, 2016. Image taken from inside a car

When I was a child I was thrilled to touring by car trough Sao Paulo city. The town was already a metropolis, full of big neon signs.

We lived in the north side of the city. It was usual to pass through downtown to visit my relatives in the south side. As I recently learned to read and it was a novelty for me I went on reading aloud all the boards, announcements and name stores that I could see during the city crossing.

When back in home I wanted to see again all that I had read during the trip. That’s where my desire to photograph the landscape of the city started. To remember the signs that I could not kept in memory I needed to shoot as a street photographer.

And I say more, even today the principle behind my photography is the same.

Plains of Spain - Farm
Picture taken from inside a train wagon in Spain, 2010

Any tour, any trip, whatever means of transport I use, starts a urge to take pictures.

This need to shot is only overshadowed by the shame or fear to have a camera exhibited in front the subject that I photograph. I have to force myself to stifle the fear of having my equipment stolen, to be prohibited from shoot someone or even be observed in the act of shooting.

And thus the shyness that I have, the fear and the will to fix everyday experiences in my memory eventually caused me to develop a very specific working method.

In this method images obtained in unfavorable situations of focus, light and equipment are transformed into a faithful record of my personal poetics.

Today I work with a series of cameras of all kinds. I choose the right equipment to use depending on where I will go and the situation that I will be exposed. My state of mind is also important because if I’m feeling very “courageous” I can use a larger or heavier camera. But if I’m tired or feeling more “frightened” I can use a smartphone.

The increased resolution and image quality of both advanced cameras as of smartphones ended up creating a new situation for me.

A higher resolution allows the final composition to be set after the photo was taken because we can then cut and reshape the composition without losing too much image quality.

My photography then took new directions.

I started shooting with less planning and more intuition pointing the camera and clicking after identifying an interesting situation.

My workload has increased a lot because now almost all my pictures have undergone a very large workflow in Photoshop.

 

Viaduto do Chá
Heavily manipulated RAW file of Viaduto do Chá, São Paulo, Brazil, 2016. Image taken from inside a car

I can say that my work has become more stressful because now I spend hours and hours working on the image. However this work has also become more rewarding. The artistic result, formal and aesthetic choices, remind me of the same kind of work I do as a visual artist in drawings and watercolors.

I have tried to overcome the issue of fear and shyness. I have done sightseeing, going to parks and even gone to non tourist areas, where a person carrying a camera would not be much expected. I have also photographed in some events invited and identified as a photographer or photojournalist.

Perhaps someday I’ll no longer need the protection that a moving car gives to me but even so I think I will continue exercising this method to produce works within the idea of Street Photography.

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