Travel Photography versus Street Photography

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I love discussing photography in various forums on the web. It is such a wonderful opportunity to learn, although som of the discussions can tend to get heated. I try to phrase my comment so that it comes across as a personal opinion and not as I own any truth. I feel I learn the most from when people don’t see in my image what I felt I saw. Perhaps there was something outside the frame that I didn’t capture, and thus cannot contribute in telling my story.

One of the subjects that keep coming up is whether an image qualifies as “street photography”.

I have two ways of looking at it. I either look at street photography as a process. When I walk around a city looking for moments I am performing street photography.

The other angle is that – okay – I am on the street but I also capture travel images, architecture, portraits and still life.

What makes a photograph stand out as “street” to me is when there is an ironic moment of some kind. I worked around this man trying to find a twist. And to me the image I was working on changed from “travel” to “street” when he was looking down on a bookshelf, and I found an angle that made his head disappear.

Street Photograph

3 Responses to “Travel Photography versus Street Photography”

  1. Eli, you are much deeper into the discussion of street photography than I am, but let me offer my view of what “street photography” means to me. To me, street photography is the unaltered photography of humaneness in public spaces. That is neither correlated with nor distinct from whatever one might wish travel photography to mean, which I think is perhaps the more complicated definition. The more disturbing issue, however, is why are you looking to decapitate people. :-)

  2. And of course you are right, Jeffrey! I am about to invent my own category. Should I call it Strelly Photography?

  3. Geir says:

    I see why people discuss this, and the afinity between street and travel is close, but I’ve been thinking that there are two elements: the humane, and the intuitive. You have both in travel photography, but they aren’t necessary for a travel image, something I would say it is for street images. This makes most of my travel images street photos, but not necessarily the other way around.

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