How to Photograph Strangers | Street Photography Tips | SVP

How to Photograph Strangers | Street Photography Tips | SVP.

Interesting article about the practical and other dilemmas involved in shooting film/people on the streets…………..

In the Rain in Tokyo

In the Rain in Tokyo (Photo credit: Stuck in Customs)

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Right and left are fading away in politics – Steve Fuller – Aeon

Right and left are fading away in politics – Steve Fuller – Aeon.

The way ahead?



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Next Transect Walk…..sometime in September/October…..

I’m thinking of aligning my next transect walk with the work of Vivian……… which she centred on Chicago & New York.

I’m very taken with her approach, her subject matter and her total disregard for pretence or publicised material. She quietly went around photographing city scenes without ever seeking merit for herself. Yet her work is quite outstanding……..


So how to plan the work…….?  Firstly a little information about her…………

About Vivian Maier

Vivian Maier, Self Portrait, October 18, 1953, New York
Vivian Maier, Self Portrait, October 18, 1953, New York

A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

Piecing together Vivian Maier’s life can easily evoke Churchill’s famous quote about the vast land of Tsars and commissars that lay to the east. A person who fit the stereotypical European sensibilities of an independent liberated woman, accent and all, yet born in New York City. Someone who was intensely guarded and private, Vivian could be counted on to feistily preach her own very liberal worldview to anyone who cared to listen, or didn’t. Decidedly unmaterialistic, Vivian would come to amass a group of storage lockers stuffed to the brim with found items, art books, newspaper clippings, home films, as well as political tchotchkes and knick-knacks. The story of this nanny who has now wowed the world with her photography, and who incidentally recorded some of the most interesting marvels and peculiarities of Urban America in the second half of the twentieth century is seemingly beyond belief.

An American of French and Austro-Hungarian extraction, Vivian bounced between Europe and the United States before coming back to New York City in 1951. Having picked up photography just two years earlier, she would comb the streets of the Big Apple refining her artistic craft. By 1956 Vivian left the East Coast for Chicago, where she’d spend most of the rest of her life working as a caregiver. In her leisure Vivian would shoot photos that she zealously hid from the eyes of others. Taking snapshots into the late 1990′s, Maier would leave behind a body of work comprising over 100,000 negatives. Additionally Vivian’s passion for documenting extended to a series of homemade documentary films and audio recordings. Interesting bits of Americana, the demolition of historic landmarks for new development, the unseen lives of ethnics and the destitute, as well as some of Chicago’s most cherished sites were all meticulously catalogued by Vivian Maier.

A free spirit but also a proud soul, Vivian became poor and was ultimately saved by three of the children she had nannied earlier in her life. Fondly remembering Maier as a second mother, they pooled together to pay for an apartment and took the best of care for her. Unbeknownst to them, one of Vivian’s storage lockers was auctioned off due to delinquent payments. In those storage lockers lay the massive hoard of negatives Maier secretly stashed throughout her lifetime.

Maier’s massive body of work would come to light when in 2007 her work was discovered at a local thrift auction house on Chicago’s Northwest Side. From there, it would eventually impact the world over and change the life of the man who championed her work and brought it to the public eye, John Maloof.

Currently, Vivian Maier’s body of work is being archived and cataloged for the enjoyment of others and for future generations. John Maloof is at the core of this project after reconstructing most of the archive, having been previously dispersed to the various buyers attending that auction. Now, with roughly 90% of her archive reconstructed, Vivian’s work is part of a renaissance in interest in the art of Street Photography.



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Jane Wright…..Her artistic statement…..

Artistic Statement

“Beauty, discovery, serendipity, signs that something’s happened; all these things are important to me. I like my pictures to ask questions of the viewer, as they do of me. They should be evocative, deeper than just surface, and go way beyond mere visual attraction. The world I inhabit is inspiring and to seek out the singular images I create may be my way of making sense of it. I revel in the excitement of discovery, those traces of humanity, the evidence left, something nature has made, sometimes what man has done, sometimes what I have created, the suggestion……… My intuition leads me along a path with no certain destination, and leaves me open to distraction.
I capture fleeting moments, for life is transient and our existence changes us.
The finest art should engage and impact on many levels. Attraction and colour may pull you in, but there are deeper issues that go beyond the merely visual, so, please look at the work and let your intelligence, your imagination and your emotions do the rest.”

Jane Wright


For those students looking to explore  mathematical models of History, have a look at ………………..Cliodynamics.

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