ON STREET PHOTOGRAPHY and other life changing events


Nodes: City, Street and Body

The Crossing © Berlin 2012.

The Crossing © Berlin 2012.

Node, what is a node translated from a notions within city planning and description to street photography?

Not that big a jump in terms of associations, is it? From city to city street. Roads on the same map.

In the lay out of a city the American architect, Kevin Lynch, says: “Nodes are the strategic foci into which the observer can enter, typically either junctions of paths, or concentrations of some characteristic”.

In street photography it is just the same: A strategic loci into which an observer can enter. Any visual point that is the conglomerate of vectors.

A note is not a static thing like a volume just sitting there. Nodes are points of energy where vectors come together. Like in a junction, like in a crossing.

Since street photography, in the OES definition of it, definitely has to do with human beings, particular attention should be paid to the human body and its nodes. If the human body, the torso, is the volume the limbs are its vectors. Like arrows pointing. Arms, feet, head, fingers. You name it.

In stead of city junctions, you have body joints.

Arms crossing, legs crossing, grasping, fingers pointing. Not only in a single individual but in encounters with others. A couple dancing, holding hands, crossing feet, making street love.

Rudolf Arnheim stresses bodily contractive and expansive movements as important nodes: outgoing breast and arms confining the head, are the words he used in a description of a Gustave Courbet  nude: Woman In The Waves.

Hands, arms, finger, legs and feet are a joint-full lot. So are faces.

There is no reason to define nodes in street photography more strict than this. It is no hard science anyway.

Go figure it out on your own.

Have a good day.

© Knut Skjærven. All rights reserved.


2 comments on “Nodes: City, Street and Body

  1. Berns Gilna-Murphy
    November 4, 2013

    Thank you Knut !

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This entry was posted on November 4, 2013 by in The Countdown and tagged , , , , .

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