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Street Shot or Travel Shot?


Before I express my thoughts on the title of this post, I have some news:  If you go to the bottom of the page you will see a place where you can FOLLOW by email and get notified with every new post.  After you enter your email address a window will pop open telling you to complete the "Captcha" and all you have to do is click in the box that says you are not a Robot.  Then check your email and click on the link  you receive there to start the subscription.  Pretty easy stuff and the best think is you'll never miss a post.

I'm going to do a little thinking with my fingers on the keyboard here.  The question I ask myself when I come across a photo like the one above that I took in a market in Hue, Vietnam is should I post this as a Street Photo or as a Travel Photo?  To answer that I have to ask myself "What is the difference?".  To me it is usually not too difficult to differentiate, but I know there will be gray areas.

As I've said in previous posts about Street Photography, these are my personal thoughts and ideas and will be different than some other photographers.  There is no "International Definition" that anyone has to stick to.  It's what you think that matters in this very subjective question.  However I've found that it helps me if I do put some kind of definitions on the topics for future decisions.

If it's more about people just being people and living their lives it is probably weighted toward the Street Side.  Of course, I can't classify anything as street photography if it's not in a "public" place where anyone would have open access to be there and see the same thing I saw at that time.

Henri Cartier Bresson, whether intentionally or not, has put his stamp on street photography by using what he called a "decisive moment".  That "moment" can be expressions, as on all three of the ladies above, an action or gesture, a compositional occurrence that is very fleeting, etc.

A "Travel Photo" on the other hand is more oriented toward the act of going somewhere or being somewhere away from home.  Though there may be people in the photo it is more about the location or the process of getting to a location than it is about a person.  For example if I have a photo of a flight attendant going through the cabin of the airplane I have to ask myself is the photo about the fact that we are in an airplane going somewhere and the flight attendant simply helps to show what it is; or is the photo of the flight attendant in an interesting, attention drawing, "decisive moment"? 

There are many "street shots" which could easily be classified as "travel shots".  Realistically if it was not taken in your own back yard - so to speak, it could be called a travel shot, whereas there are not very many "travel shots" that could also be classified as "street shots".  They may include people but do they have that element of feeling, or expression, or gesture, or timing, or composition, or etc. or etc, or etc. that makes it a good "street shot"?

THE BOTTOM LINE:  In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn't matter.  It only matters if you think it matters or if you decide to make it matter.


Your comments and questions are always read and appreciated. Let me hear from you.

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