Published on: 6th Jun 2016I decided to start this series with the one tip that is for many people the most difficult to do, namely to make a point to do street photography close at home. Living close to Zoo Lake in Johannesburg, I very often take a stroll through the park after work.
On 16 December last year, like many other afternoons, I decided to gofor a walk, and the obvious choice was Zoo Lake.
Like always, I took my X-T1 with the 35mm lens with me - just in case I happen to see something special. Already two blocks away I realised that I am really going to see something special - I could already smell the braaivleis fires and hear the disco music, and the closer I got to Zoo Lake, the louder the music and more recognisable the smell of braaivleis became. (For the non-South Africans, think of a braaivleis as a barbecue on steroids.)
My stroll around Zoo Lake ended up as a photo shoot of more than 2 hours!
here.)But, if you look at the definition of Street Photography, my Zoo Lake encounter may be frowned upon by the purists of street photographers. The most clear definition of street photography comes for a group called UPSP (Urban Picnic Street Photography) who defines it as follows: "Street photography is a type of photography that features subjects in candid situations within public places. Street photographs are mirror images of society, displaying 'unmanipulated' scenes, with usually unaware subjects...." It is just here that my Zoo Lake encounter falls flat - when you look at my photos, you will see that my subjects are very much aware of my presence. They continue by comparing street photography with documentary photography: "Street photography has the ability to document while documentary photography has the definite intention of recording history. Documentary photography can be candid, but street photography is defined by its candidness.". (Read their full explanation
I would therefore rather describe the set of photos in this article as documentary photography, documenting the typical recreational behaviour of South Africans on a public holiday - and I think you will agree with me that these people know how to enjoy a day like this to its fullest!
On the opposite side of where I live, also within walking distance, is Rosebank Mall. I visit Rosebank Mall also very often with my camera, and will publish some real candid photos of the people of Rosebank in the future.
In the mean time I would like to challenge you to take your camera on a walk in your neighbourhood to document the people and places that is currently busy defining who you are.
(If you have read up to here and did not click on a photo yet, do so to see them in larger format and also to browse through the rest of this gallery)