What drew Benilde, our featured street photographer of the week, to street photography? What was it that made her feel a stronger draw to this particular genre instead of landscape photography, portraits or the like? Benilde says it’s the little things.
“Capturing everyday moments, I feel even more observant of the tiny details that often pass by unperceived. Street photographers convert themselves into sociologists of sorts, or perhaps students of the society in which we live. I have always been observant of what is going on around me and to photograph these moments allows me to share them with others.
It is true, apparently, that there are more men than women that practice street photography. I imagine that, like most of the professions in our society, men are still dominating the field. Fortunately though, things are beginning to balance out. Women are now reaching out for a more prominent place, not just in photography, but in all aspects of society. I believe that women in general are great observers and therefore, with this much needed skill we can value to street photography.”
It is true, each one of us does become a sort of sociologist when we head out to the streets, especially when we begin hunting those “decisive moments.” I asked Benilde about the techniques she uses to capture particularly moving moments or expressions when out on the street.
“To capture the images I want, especially images that are powerful, that capture attention, whether it be because of the people or the scene, I search for the place and the person that I believe can give my photograph this extra value. When it comes to people, I look for spontaneity and I try to be invisible in their presence. As far as places go, I look for textures, color and shadows.”
Many of Benilde’s photos feature the sharp contrast between light and dark. How does she do it?
“To create a dramatic effect in my photographs with shadow and light, I search out a place where the light is intense and the contrast with the shadows is great. I try to create an interesting composition and then I wait for the right situation before I capture the scene.”
Excellent techniques we can all practice to create dramatic and moving street photos. Many thanks to Benilde for sharing her talent and her thoughts about the art of street photography.