Street Photography in North Essex – Clacton and Walton
I recently went with a very good friend (and fellow photographer), Jeff Turnbull, for a day of ‘street photography’ in the north Essex towns of Clacton and Walton. Not only are Clacton and Walton both seaside towns but they both also boast the presence of a pier. The idea was to go out and capture something of the spirit of the towns and the people and to record it anonymously.
Clacton you may remember is the first place in the country to elect a UKIP MP, Douglas Carswell, and it was during the period of the campaign that we visited the town.
You may be wondering what the term ‘Street Photography’ means. Well I think the best way to explain is to point you to a brief definition by photographer Larry E Fink, I have produced this below together with a link to his web site, please do take a look he has some excellent work.
Street Photography: A Brief Definition
It is a branch of realistic fine-art photography that records unposed scenes in public places (streets, parks, restaurants, stores, museums, libraries, airports; train, bus, and subway stations, etc.)
The primary subject is people, at rest or in motion, alone or with others, going about the every-day activities of life (walking, sitting, standing, waiting, reading, eating, talking, listening, laughing, daydreaming, greeting, parting, working, playing, shopping, viewing art, sightseeing, etc.).
The emphasis is not on the subject’s personal identity, as in portraiture. And unlike photojournalism, there is no news here, rather, the commonplace; although, the line between photojournalism and street photography is often blurry.
The primary emphasis is on capturing a fleeting composition, a temporary arrangement of lines, forms, textures, and tones—balanced within a rigid frame. While such photographs often document clothing styles or automobile design, these details are subordinate to the artistic elements; whereas, in strict documentary photography, content is more important than artistry. In street photography, the image can be sharp or blurred and impressionistic. Many images feature strong graphic elements which—considered separately—constitute interesting geometric patterns.
Consistent with their overwhelming interest in composition, many street photographers—not all—shoot with a black and white final image in mind, eschewing color as a distraction. Another reason for this is the generally-conservative nature of the discipline. The early masters are revered and emulated, their styles and shooting techniques studied.
Some purists not only insist on shooting un-posed scenes, they attempt to compose entirely in-camera, without cropping. Finally, the tone of these images tends to be positive, celebrating life and its fleeting nature in the very act of seeing and seizing and sharing momentary beauty and meaning with the viewer.
Larry E. Fink