“Why do I do street photography? Well I guess it’s like a game for me, a kind of challenge… Walking on the street with my camera, that’s something that I really need, and paying attention to the things happening around me.
Looking to find a singular situation, an expressive face, an emotion of a sight, or a nice combination of light and shadows… Capture a moment knowing it will never happen again. And then become surprised with the result.
“Sometimes I see it immediately, then I take a picture just to find out that it’s exactly what I was looking for, and to realize that it works. And sometimes I just let my instinct to guide me, and then you find that point which makes a photo have some sense only when you process it.
“That’s what I’m trying to achieve with my pictures, but it’s quite a difficult task, I must say. I try to take care of the composition to make the picture the most harmonic possible, because that’s the beauty of it, but it also must be somehow different… I usually use people for this. I try to capture their feelings, always avoiding grotesque as I never want to ridicule them with my pictures. I guess that’s my way of empathizing with them…
“That’s why I use the name of The Fresh Feeling Project to sign my pictures. The origin of this name is a song by The Eels which is about how good it feels to be in love with somebody or something, to enjoy a day to day, a hope of the future… And that’s exactly what I’m looking for in my pictures – to reflect feelings or emotions which are positive and optimistic, just like the song. But surprisingly my pictures almost always have a drop of sadness, loneliness, disconnection…
“What attracts me the most is the capacity of the street photography to reflect and show how we live, how we connect, how we feel. In this century, in this world. A street photo shows reality, just like the photographic journalism, but it’s an intimate reality, a quotidian one, where anyone can be a hero, anyone can be important.
“As for the tips and tricks… I’m not sure I’m the one to give them, really. It’s kind of difficult for me to talk about tips and tricks as I’m mostly using my instinct. It’s just good to have a camera with you all the time because a picture may occur at any moment.
“Sometimes it’s worth to wait for a while at some place to find a point which could offer you a good composition, until something interesting happens.
“Also, I always take pictures with my headphones on, listening to some music – it really helps me to concentrate and to feel somehow protected. This also helps me to ignore any negative voices which you very well may hear from someone who’s not happy about being photographed. I never ask permission to take a picture, as these are usually the best ones, but if I can’t find a desired effect or feel that the subject is annoyed, I always ask nicely if I can go on, even though I always end up keeping those pictures I’ve taken without permission.
“Technical hints? I don’t really have many of those… I always use Lightroom to edit my pictures. I also always have the camera’s display in black and white because it lets you see the light effect much better. But obviously I keep the picture in B&W only when the light and shadows are good, the rest of them are processed in color.”
Excellent work Marian and thank you for sharing your thoughts on street photography and a few practical techniques!
Go follow The Fresh Feeling Project on Flickr for more stunning snaps by Marian.