How did you get into street photography?
I was first (and that is quite a while ago) interested in travel photography with a high interest in photographing people in their daily activities. The two photographers I knew and admired then were Henri Cartier Bresson and Steve McCurry. Later I became more interested in documentary and humanistic photography after having seen also the work of, amongst others, Walker Evans, Werner Bischof and Eugene Smith.
A workshop with Ernesto Bazan in Mexico in 2002 introduced me to the world of street photography. This workshop was an eye opener on many levels (and also a hard learning school) and from then on I started to focus more on street photography. It was also during that workshop that I for the first time heard of Gary Winogrand. Recently, workshops with Nikos Economopoulos and especially with Maciej Dakowicz have helped me a lot to develop a stronger sense of street photography.
Do you have a favorite photographer or someone who inspires your work?
I don’t have just one favorite photographer who inspires my work but quite a few.
I would say that those photographers mentioned above inspire me most but I would also like to add Diane Arbus, Elliott Erwitt, Lee Friedlander, Bernard Plossu, Alex Webb and Harry Gruyaert.
It looks like you’ve traveled quite a bit, do you have a favorite city for street photography?
I have a favorite country and that is India, any city there will do. People are very friendly and easy to approach. It is also an interesting and complex society and culture. The streets can be very busy, confusing, markets overwhelming so to find some order (clean frames) in this disorder is not always easy. I also like the challenge of more difficult places to photograph. A city I love to go back to is Istanbul. In Europe it is definitely London. I am also looking forward to discovering and shooting in new places.
I love your use of colors in your street photos, why do you lean more towards color than the traditional B&W shots?
As long as I was photographing with an analog camera I was shooting in B&W, loved it and had my own darkroom. When I decided to change and shoot digital, the B&W conversion was not yet ideal and I decided to try color photography.
Looking for inspiration I looked at the work of Alex Webb, Miguel Rio Branco, David Alan Harvey and Harry Gruyaert. The way they use color and light combined with strong compositions is amazing. Next to the issue of subject choice, light, composition and framing came a new challenge: the right use of color.
Do you think street photography will still be relevant in 50 years?
As long as there is life on the streets there will be street photography. However 50 years from now technology will have made an enormous progress, also society, cities and city life will have changed a lot that makes it difficult to predict how street photography will evolve.
I hope one will still be able to read yesterday’s analog and today’s digital images. It will be interesting the see the evolution of (street) photography covering about 170 years all the way from the street images of Atget, Henri Cartier Bresson, Robert Frank, Winogrand and many others to the 2070s.
A big thank you to Rose for her images and insightful words. Give her a follow on Flickr to see more of her stunning images.