Below is one of my favourite characters, from one of my favourite places.
Let’s take a walk down some of the older lanes in Shanghai, we will see a pattern emerge of cobblers at the end of alleyways (called Shikumen in Shanghai). The Shikumen are very narrow alleyways, with small houses built in either side. Washing and cooking facilities are often outside and bathroom areas are usually shared. This moves life to the outside and makes for ideal street photography.
What has this got to do with fishermen and hunters?
The fisherman and the hunter are two metaphors for Street Photographers. A lot of what we do is hunting. We go out and see what we can catch, ‘hunting’ for the perfect picture, or scene to unfold. There is nothing wrong with this technique and it is a great way to explore a new area and find fresh locations to take photos.
The fisherman is different type of Street Photographer, and relates to a style of shooting we should all try. The above shot of the cobbler highlights how this style of shooting works. I know the area well, I know where the light will be at different types of day and have come to know how different people will react to having their picture taken. There are a few shots of this guy, at work and in his home. He happily ignores me, occasionally giving a toothy grin. On this evening I was fishing – the area is well known and photographers will have numerous characters to interact with. As with real fishing, you never know quite what you will catch, and you may come back empty handed. Yesterday I was lucky and caught myself a ‘keeper’.
What kind of Street Photographer are you?
Have fun and keep clicking, Chris.