Street photography is a non-formalised genre of photography that features subjects in candid situations within public places such as streets, parks, beaches, malls, political conventions and other associated settings.
It typically uses the techniques of straight photography to show a pure vision of a situation, as if holding up a mirror to society. Images can often be ironic or emotionally detached from the subject matter, focussing instead on a particular context or detail. Framing and timing are key aspects of the craft, with the aim of creating images at a decisive or poignant moment. Alternatively, the street photographer may seek a more prosaic depiction of the scene, as a form of social documentary.
Much of what is now widely regarded, stylistically and subjectively, as definitve street photography was made in the era spanning the end of the 19th Century through to the late 1970s; a period which saw the emergence of portable cameras, especially small 35mm, rangefinder cameras, most famously the Leica, as used by Henri Cartier-Bresson, among others. During the course of its evolution, street photography has provided a diverse and detailed record of street culture, particularly within Europe and North America. The advent of digital photography, combined with the exponential growth of photo-sharing via the internet, has greatly expanded an awareness of the genre and its practitioners.
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