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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Me and Street Photography

by John D. Roach

I consider myself a nature, flower, weather, landscape (both intimate as well expansive landscapes) photographer with some amount of cityscape and architecture thrown in.  I have never developed comfort or a lot of interest in most street photography although I admire the work of many others.  There are some photographers who make magic with their efforts.   And, yet, I have found myself starting to walk the streets when out for a good exercise with my camera and seeing what I can find. 

I have found that street photographers fit a number of categories.  Many create images that are nicely done compositions that generate a lot of interest, demonstrate tension, and even truly spark our imagination.  Yet, there is an equal number, (dare I say), images I see in that genre which lack interest, are humdrum, lack tension and fail to spark the imagination.

I suspect that might be true for all of photography, but for me it bothers me more when I see cluttered street images of rather mundane people doing mundane thinks or photos of very ordinary things (often decaying things) with ho hum lighting and terrible composition.  While there are many fine images with fine lighting and great composition there are just as many that are just are plain, in my opinion, and that do not take us to another level.  This thing called photography which is about capturing light around us in the city, in my opinion, should always lift us up and excite us about life.

With that said and off my chest, I will now share a few images that I recently captured as I attempt to discover street photography.  I just hope I don't fall in the negative ho hum side of my comments above.


Two Place of Worship?

Ok...the image above might not be street photography in the sense of many.  It might be argued that it is a ho hum street scene.  Indeed, it was taken with my camera through the windshield of my car when I pulled over to the curb to ponder what my eye saw!  What I saw though was a temple built to God (St. John's Cathedral in Milwaukee) framed next to and in front of a temple to finance (US Bank Building).  How does that grab you.  It did me.

Well, that image was selected to be in a Juried Art show through CoPA (Coalition of Photographic Artists) here in Milwaukee at the Art Bar.  The Exhibit is titled Reflections - A Place Called Milwaukee.  The Exhibits extends from July 31 through September 10 this year at Art Bar Riverwest, 722 E. Burleigh, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.   There is a reception from 7 pm to midnight on July 31, 2015

The next image was also accepted for the exhibit.  It is a billboard I found on Farwell and Ogden Avenue in Milwaukee that lets you ponder a little about life, direction, purpose and a host of other things.


What is Your Mission in Life?


Now this next image was when I was out walking and decided to stop at the small boutique hotel (The Plaza) with my wife for some breakfast at its little lunch counter.  I think it says something about labor and the world of the kitchen as seen from my lunch counter seat.


The Breakfast Cooks

Finally, for the sake of some humor, here are two images that where found on Brady Street which is a quirky, honky tonk street with quaint shops, saloons, etc.  One has a bar with an interesting name next to a Milwaukee Fire Department Station and the other is one of those quaint shops with such a very interesting name.  I hope you enjoy.


Hosed on Brady


Art Smart's Dart Emporium


Copyright 2015, John D. Roach




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