Street photography is an excellent form of escapism.
Many street shooters find solace and relaxation when roaming the streets and searching for a decisive moment. Street photography escapism soothes my spirit and helps me enjoy life without focusing too much on my problems.
The online dictionaryWordweb defines escapism as follows: “An inclination to retreat from unpleasant realities through diversion or fantasy.”
Street Photography Escapism
It’s generally accepted that a street photographer’s work tells you more about him/her than about their subjects. Street photography allows the shooter to show something about themselves in their work. As Eric Kim would put it: ‘we shoot who we are.’
When I go out to shoot the streets I don’t think about my personal problems. I forget all my money problems and erase the memory of my work-related worries. All I think of is the decisive moment. My mind focuses on finding something worth shooting.
It’s during this state of mind that I enter the realm of escapism. I retreat from whatever unpleasant realities I face. And this relaxes my mind. I find inner peace. That’s the reason I don’t feel sad when, at the end of the photo walk, I return home without any keepers.
Even if I miss a shot, I don’t worry too much. Instead I appreciate the fact that at least I saw something worth shooting. It’s like I actually took that shot with my mind. And this brings me satisfaction.
Why Street Photography Is A Perfect Form Of Escapism
I believe that we are all street photographers. We all walk around with cameras in our hands, pockets or bags. And we use these phone cameras everyday without even thinking of ourselves as photographers. But we are. Just think about it.
How many photos did you take at that family gathering? How many selfies did you take with your best friends? I remember attending a wedding in the Free State the other day. There were official photographers who recorded the occasion. But there were also many unofficial shooters, myself included. We took photos of our friends, family and of other guests. Almost everyone at the wedding saw something worth photographing. And most of those who were taking pictures were using their cellphones to do so.
As a street photographer you don’t need specialised photographic equipment. This means that you already have what you need to shoot the streets. Your smart phone is all you need. But you may prefer to use that point-and-shoot or a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Camera). No problem. Grab whatever device you have and go out to shoot.
Unless you’re house-bound or in jail, you can capture decisive moments everyday. Decisive moments are everywhere. All you need to do is see them. And if you can see them, why not immortalise them into historical records?
Street Photography Escapism For The Young At Heart
If you’re over 50, you fall into a group of people I call my tribe. I know that you guys have a special interest in street photography as a hobby. Some of you already have what can arguably be called the best cameras for street photography or at least can afford one.
The cameras I’m talking about here include my favourite, the Fujifilm X70
and its nearest rival, the Ricoh GR II.
But what’s more important about my Alpha Tribe is the fact that I
respect them, feel more comfortable in their company and that I can
and always learn a lot from them. Although some of you guys swear like
drunk judges, I never, ever use the ‘F’ word in conversation.
Talking about swear words, I noticed that Akismet has blocked most of
your comments on my blog. This is because I have listed certain words
in the back-end of my WordPress blog to make sure that no swear words
appear on my site.
If you’re one of those souls who wanted to say something to me in the
comments and Akismet blocked you because of the colourful language that you use, I hope you understand. But you can still connect with me on Twitter. Or, better still, drop me an email and let’s talk street photography in a private setting.
Street photography provides solace and escapism to people of
all ages. So don’t feel left out if you’re not an old-timer like me.
Let me tell you a funny story:
When I was just beginning to develop an interest in street photography
I saw the name Eric Kim. And I thought of him as an old man.
I imagined Eric as this knowledgeable old man who had
learned everything about photography.
Imagine my shock when I saw his picture for the first time. I
realised then that he was a spring chicken and not an old man.
But I appreciated the fact that here was a well-educated and technologically savvy young man who was willing to share his vast knowledge of photography with the world.
So, your age doesn’t matter, really.
Street photography is a male dominated hobby but it’s
interesting to realise that there are many women who also enjoy
shooting the streets. This is a democratic pursuit that’s open to all.
In conclusion, I would like to know how you feel about your street photography. Do you find solace or relaxation when roaming the streets?
Does street photography help you enter a state of mind where you forget about all your troubles? Is street photography an excellent form of escapism for you?
There’s a contact form at the end of this page. Please fill it in and let’s talk.
Connect with me on Twitter or Facebook. If you want to see my photos please check them over at Instagram.