Street Photography Revisited PDF
Written by Pedro Meyer   


Pedro Meyer © 2004


Several topics come together once again. On the one hand that old standing tradition of street photography and the question of what the limits are for “manipulating” an image and still consider it as photography.


I know, these are all hot buttons, which call into question so many of the old ways of looking and doing things. But we have to take risks as we move forward in this new age of photography.


Pedro Meyer © 2004


First let me revisit the issues I brought up not too long ago about street photography.


Of course the issue of security for photographers has become more and more a problem in large metropolitan areas the world over. But then the other day I came across a small sign in a little photo store were they do the usual passport pictures, down the street from were I live. The sign read:


“Did you know that the world has as surface of 510,000,000 square kilometers?, Then why do you have to come to this little place and smoke here?"



Pedro Meyer © 2004


We could apply the same notion to street photography, if the world is so large why do we need to take our cameras and photograph precisely in those areas that are actually very dangerous? Why not go to those spaces were you are welcome? I am sure everyone can understand the logic of this.


We have all heard horror stories about the dangers of street life in Brazil. Now coming from Mexico, I thought to myself that I would probably be able to cope with those issues in a recent trip I made there. But then there was also another issue, Brazil is the size of an entire continent, so to make those statements about street life for all of Brazil I thought was a bit of an exaggeration. And so it was. I did find that place were I was actually accepted.


Pedro Meyer © 2004


I went in Brazil to photograph in the city of Trenedad in the state of Goias, and there no one bothered me in spite of carrying all my equipment around my neck in the midst of a crowd of nearly 300,000 thousand people during a religious procession. I was able to come and go at my pleasure with absolutely no major concerns, and that went on for the better part of ten hours. So it wasn’t a fluke.


The same thing happened to me the year before photographing in the streets of Madrid.


I am about to start a trip around the world. I will be going to Germany, Spain, Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Singapore and then the USA before coming back to Mexico City next January, I will be reporting back to you as the trip progresses as to what is going on with street life all over the world.



Pedro Meyer © 2004


The other topic I was going to mention is something I already started to comment on in my previous editorial, and which relates to the manipulation or handling of the photographic image with new ways of moving the pixels around so as to give the image a combination of photorealism together with a more painterly look, both at the same time. I want to explore the visual impact that such a new form of photographic representation will actually offer the viewer.


It appears that there is plenty of room for a lot of very exciting explorations. At least it offers, to what would appear an old tradition, some new visual challenges to deal with.


Pedro Meyer
November 2004


As always please joins us with your comments in our forums.


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