How much more intriguing it is to get a chance to engage in a photograph instead of just viewing it.
I will never forget an interview with Marshall McLuhan, that I watched some years back. He said, that every time he read a novel or a work of fiction he read it a to z. Every single word.
Then he added, that when he read non-fiction he jumped every other page.
Why, the interviewer asked: Because I am able to figure out what is written on the pages that I don’t read, he answered.
McLuhan was a clever, clever man. He wrote about media hot and cold, the global village and movable types.
Among many other things.
All of it relevant for street photography. You will not regret reading him. If you belong to the reading generation, that it.
Inspired by McLuhan: Being a half shooter, shooting half an image is a grand idea. Not only as a technique for involving the reader of the photograph, but also to get closer to your prime object as a street photographer: life on the go.
Or as they would say in France: Images à la Sauvette.
You remember that was the name of Henri Cartier-Bresson famous book before it was rechristened The Decisive Moment.
Shooting half an image means two things: a) you go for an open theme as opposed to a more closed one; and b) you make sure that there is enough story in your photograph for people to take and hold an interest.
The Principle of Half (POH) or McLuhans Half (MH), as we will call it, works in other areas as well. For instance, it is used in this post. You get a beginning but not the end.
What you see and what you read, is what you get. But what you make of it is entirely up to you.
POH is the academic version. MH is for street photographers. MH, definitely, if you are in a rush.
© Knut Skjærven. All rights reserved. 25/01/14
French translation (to come).
This is a draft chapter to the workbook New Street Agenda. There is a workshop connected to it: New Street Agenda, Berlin June 12 – 15, 2014. If you are interested, please ask for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form below.
Remember this kind of thinking, and shooting, could take you right to Council of Europe. Trying to handle the global village.
You should try it :-).
Good luck with it.
This post is in category New Street Agenda.