Whether you’re an aspiring street photographer or someone who just loves to read books packed with ideas and inspiration you’ll enjoy “Street Photography Is Cool,” John Lewell’s provocative and illuminating take on this challenging photographic genre.
At a time when one or two critics say that street photography has lapsed into repetition and cliché, the author puts forward a powerful argument for renewing our efforts to extend the art form and take it forward, screaming perhaps, into the twenty-first century.
First, says the author, you have to take street photography seriously. Forget glib advice about the best camera being “the one you have with you.” In fact, leave your camera at home unless you intend always to hold it in readiness as you walk the street looking for compositions. Yes, street photography can be great fun, but it requires a hundred percent concentration.
Illustrated with over 200 of the author’s photographs from London, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore and other cities, “Street Photography Is Cool” has five sections sub-divided into a total of 89 short chapters. The sections add the word “Because” to the book’s title:
Street Photography Is Cool…
1. “Because It’s Contradictory, Like the Human Condition”
2. “Because It Helps Us View the World As It Is”
3. “Because It Can Tolerate Many Compositional Structures”
4. “Because It’s a Very Democratic Art Form”
5. “Because It’s a Tough and Potentially Perilous Activity”
Tough? Perilous? It needn’t be, but it can be…if you take pictures in demonstrations, riots or thunderstorms.
If you’re looking for tips on how to improve your street photography you’ll find an abundance of them throughout the book. However, the author is not prescriptive, with “do this, get that” advice. He wants street photographers to develop their own style, not copy his!
About the Author
John Lewell is the author of many books on photography, technology, and literature. After writing “The Digital Photographer’s Software Guide” (Cengage) and “Digital Photography for Next to Nothing” (John Wiley and Sons) he took up street photography and developed his style over the following decade.