‘STREET IS STRAIGHT ‘ – ALEX COGHE 2016
As a street photographer I try to follow the path suggested from the masters, Lee Friedlander and Garry Winogrand, Stephen Shore and Joel Meyerowitz. A straight approach, focused on the content, on the story, without any heavy editing intervention to edulcorate, no special effects to charm the audience, only the honest truth of what my eye and my experience allow me to find in the streets. I believe is not the pushed contrast or an unreal shadow situation to make a street photo, but what a photographer has been able to observe and documenting with its camera. The genuine, straight photograph as I have seen. I don’t pretend to be that great photographer, but I will always try to be honest, first of all with myself, through my photography.
Street Photography is an attitude, a mindset, a way of seeing the world. As a Street Photographer I am shooting in the streets on a daily basis. I think Street Photography is the most difficult and easier genre of photography. The easier because you just need a camera and a good pair of shoes. The most difficult to understand if you approach the genre, because you need to get familiar with aesthetics, motivation and the lateral thinking . And, to the end, trying to make a real good picture.
Street Photography is a matter of form, content, curiosity, emotion and artistic daring where the only challenge is with yourself. We are talking also about a genre in constant evolution, reflecting the changes of our society.
When it comes to Street Photography i prefer to talk about Energy. I think today the concept of decisive moment is not that topical. At least for me, Street Photography needs to express that particular tension we can see in the cities.
Street Photographyis much more than taking pictures in a public place: I love to repeat that to be a good street photographer you need to be the street. Quoting Bruce Gilden, a nice guy you can trust: “If you can smell the street by looking at the photo, it’s a street photograph” because is exactly of this we are talking about. If you are not really connected with the street you will not be able to make good street photography.
There are not boundaries for Street Photography. Who wants to put limits perhaps it is a supporter of academic thought, but Street Photography is the photographic genre less academic that exists.
Talking about the history of this genre, Joel Meyerowitz, Lee Friedlander and Garry Winogrand are for street photographers like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin for metal heads. You can prefer others but you can’t think to ignore them. And “The Americans” by Robert Frank is the most influential book for street photographers in my opinion.
Composition? Content? Vision? Aesthetics? If you want really stand out with Street Photography the most important thing is called… ideas. New ideas, new photographs. Something you can’t see everyday. Something plucky, different, out of the ordinary. Otherwise you will be always an ordinary photographer. For this reason I prefer those street photographers out of the same circle and they always trying to leave the common places, out of the comfort zone, just making their thing. And I try the same as much as possible.
As a Street Photographer I use film and digital, without prejudice and snobbery. But I prefer manual settings and my preference goes to compact and light cameras that allow me this. In my experience I saw how the “old approach” is the best for Street Photography. I prefer to go zone focus and using an optical viewfinder.
I love anything about Street Photography. I love to go out and shoot. I love that adrenaline running in my veins anytime I am ready to take a picture. I love to meet other street photographers, sharing ideas and points of view with them.
If you want to know more about my work as a street photographer I would recommend you to stay tuned with my blog but also check out these selections: