#ModesofFlight #UrbanPhotography | I

Black and white BW B&W Hamilton Ontario Canada contemporary urban photography

Watermark Pick a Tune for This Occasion

I’ve said it before that if you really want to draw a line between street photography and urban photography, and it’s completely excusable if you regard them both as exactly the same thing, then you would put emphasis on places and spaces as main subjects. In street photography, it is the people in those places and spaces that are made to stand out.

The difference, as just expressed, is really ultra-simplifying things. Such a literal description gives no consideration to the fact that street photography reflects how people naturally conduct themselves in and interact with their environments, while urban photography highlights a curious state of being for places or spaces where people may exist.

I find that the challenge in photographing the urban scene lies in trying to see familiar locations with a fresh eye. I aim to show how a mundane place or space actually has a profound importance that ought to not be taken for granted.

This shot is of an old inner-city suburb. I don’t live there, I never have and I doubt that I ever will but I’ve travelled down this street nearly every day for many years. From passing through so often, I have become familiar with the long-standing aspects of the avenue and intrigued by the aspects that have been far less static. All of these things have connected me to this place emotively, and I am inspired to try my best to capture it and the presence of the people who live there, without literally showing any of them in this case, in some impactful way.

I shot this old block sentimentally, showing what I feel indicates its neighbourhood character, with the hope that I can cause others to relate to it with similar affections.

Someone may look at this and know of a place a lot like it. A favorite place or a resented one. Personal memories may surface that brings out either a healthy respect or even logical disrespect for the virtually breathing location depicted. For those like me, some earworm will probably start playing in their heads, and that will be their theme song for the place or, at least, its image.

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18 thoughts on “#ModesofFlight #UrbanPhotography | I

  1. this just came up in my reader as I logged on – and what a nice way to start the day – a fresh post from the moff man (that is my nickname for this blog – ha)
    and after a first read – this is my fav takeaway:

    “trying to see familiar locations with a fresh eye”
    and this next part –
    “have connected me to this place emotively”
    nice to see in connection with photography (has me thinking)
    but also applies to other areas of life (so much wisdom and health)

    and that tree is nice with the lines – but the photo offers more as well – as eventually the wires emerge and play with the light and darkness….

  2. Haunting and broody shot, Allan. Like you said, the image can mean very different things to different people. For me, it looks like a peaceful street to walk down with no one in your way, but it also speaks of uncertainty of what lies ahead and who might cross your path you can’t yet see.

    I think you distiction between street and urban photography is spot on. People comes to mind when I hear the phrase street photography, and it is people who give the image life in this photograhy genre – like shots of people up close. With urban photography, I think of concrete buildings and man-made structures without people – just structures standing on their own, images with focus on bringing out intricate architecture. I do think a particular place can be both street and urban photography at different times of the day. For instance if you were at that street in the morning, it could be bustling with people and then one might think more of it as a street photography image. It’s similar to what Draco said – there can be a crossover.

  3. The way you put it urban photography has much in common with landscape photography, except it’s photos of an urban landscape. I love the mystery that lies in that foggy street captured at night. It’s a gorgeous photo.

  4. Pingback: Favorite Place – Leiden – What's (in) the picture?

  5. Pingback: WPC: Favorite Place | Lillie-Put

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