How We Can Appreciate Street Photographs

In today’s digital world with a flux of photographs swimming online it’s hard to appreciate any of them. We spend a good portion of our day scrolling through our Instagram feeds going on liking sprees, but it’s rare to find a photo that really resonates with us. Only when we do, do we actually take time to analyze the photo.

Hawaii Street Photography 2018 – Tim Huynh


We should focus less on who took the photograph and more on the composition of the photo to really appreciate it for what it is. I think once we associate the photographer with the photo then we subconsciously create a bias opinion.

For example, Alex Webb, one of the gold standards in street photography, in my opinion isn’t producing as great of photographs as in the past.. I think however, if I were to view his current work without knowing he took the picture I probably would appreciate it more. By knowing upfront that a certain photograph was taken by him, I look at it with higher standards. And if it doesn’t compare to his past work, I already dismiss the picture as not being good.


Looking at photos in printed form also helps us to appreciate the photography as an art. There’s something tangible there. There is something real when you have a physical print or a book in your hands. It feels real, the photos come to life, and in the end a better appreciation of the photos or the artist. Finding photographs that you like and resonate with you, and not basing your judgement off of what’s been getting a lot of recognition from competition or online. It’s hard to absorb all a photo has to offer by viewing it on your computer or iphone, the print has a special way of taking you on the photographic journey almost leaving you mesmerized. Just the other month, I walked into a local camera store and saw film prints on their wall. I loved it and when I took a closer look to who the photographer was I thought to myself these photos don’t look as good when I’m scrolling through my instagram feed. The prints were 8 by 10’s much larger than a phone screen but also the sequence of the photos had a fluidity to them that maybe the photographers instagram page wasn’t in. Perhaps it was just the air in the store. I don’t know.


There are so many good photographers with no following and average photographers with huge followings. Try not to focus on the number of followers! I recently read an article that most people will look at the amount of Instagram followers someone has before even scrolling through their work. I think the number of followers does influence the viewer in determining if the photographer is good or not. That’s what our society has become, everything is so superficial and most people can’t even digest a good photo. The average viewer likes one and done type photos or humor street photographs, which is the reason that theme of street photography has risen in popularity. 


I also feel that we need to be in the moment. With social media and having our hands and eyes glued to our phones each day we become less in touch with the present. That’s why I feel looking at old photos from the 50s and 60s even 70s makes us appreciate that current era because there’s that nostalgia feel…or some of us having not lived in those era’s are curious on what it was like. Whereas in the present we know what it is like.


So there you have it. Ways to better appreciate either your own photos or photos made by others. If you have any other ways you appreciate photos please leave a comment!

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4 Bold Street Photography Predictions in 2018


Kinwing Edas Wong becomes a member of iN-PUBLIC or some other prestigious street photography collective

Whether you’re a fan of one and done type photos, or photos of gradual humor, you can’t deny the talents of street photographer Kinwing Edas Wong. This man has taken photos that will breathe for a long time in the 21st century. And with that, my bold prediction is that this year a prestigious street photography collective will reach out to Edas to join…whether that be iN-PUBLIC, Burn My Eye, Street Collective, etc. there are so many, I’ve lost track. Bottom line is, Edas’ time is coming. It is a great reminder that talent always wins.


Michael Ernest Sweet Returns to Street Photography

Michael Ernest Sweet had a meltdown last year and wrote an article in the Huffington Post that he was going to retire from street photography (article has since been deleted) because of all the same bullshit photos he sees on social media and all the politics that comes with it. I like Michael Ernest Sweet’s style and he provides good feedback as a judge on World Street Photography. I truly feel Mr. Sweet just needed a break. I mean don’t we all? And I hope his time away from street photography brings him back rejuvenated, refreshed, hungrier for more, and not concerned about what other “street” photos are floating around on social media.

This serves as a reminder that we need to shoot for ourselves. Don’t worry about others and what other people are posting unless you draw inspiration from them.


Ricoh GR’s New Camera

I think it’s time for Ricoh to capitalize on the street photography community and release an updated version of the infamous Ricoh GR II. The Ricoh GR II has been a popular choice among street photographers over the years. But a release of a newer version, keeping the size and weight the same, the built in flash, upgrading the sensor or lens, adding some additional features, it will be a major hit! I have no idea why Ricoh is starving many street photographers from a new camera, however, when the new Ricoh GR is released later this year as I am predicting, it will most likely sell out very quickly.

Mobile Street Photography Will Start to Take Over

Many people are now shooting with their phones because of the convenience but more importantly how much the camera’s in our phone have evolved over the past few years. Do smartphones have their limitations? Of course they do, it’s not perfect, but it is good enough for most average consumer. I’ve seen prints as big as 8 X 11 from an iPhone and Android and they’re amazing. Honestly, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference unless you blow it up larger or if you are a professional that can nitpick the small details like highlights and shadows in a image.


Adding this donate button. Any donation will be greatly appreciated. Your monetary donation will be used for coffee and photobooks. Mahalo!