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An inspirational day yesterday, spent in Shoreditch with likeminded fellows under the instructional eye of Ida Pap. Note that this was an Urban Photography workshop and distinctly different from Street Photography.

Urban is all about textures, juxtaposing colours and shapes with tight crops and very selective focus. While ‘street’ is all about the people and their environment, ‘urban’ looks at the residue, often dismissed or ignored as irrelevant. But with more than a nod to ‘art’ the urban eye sees much in these details.

Several times during our walk I was asked why I was taking a photo of something insignificant – a drain pipe, some stencilled numbers on a wall or some crumbling plaster…

“Urban photography has a certain “anonymous” aspect, the ever-occurring people within the frame are coincidental, hence become less important. This allows a bit of space for the viewer’s imagination and this freedom is what makes a photograph into a piece of art…. What it requires [is] to have a creative approach to look at things differently (dare to explore and experiment).

Interestingly Ida always produces square format images, something I’ve been moving towards increasingly. As Ida explained, once a digital photographer has experimented with traditional sizes (incidentally, she doesn’t enjoy portrait format, which is something I use most frequently) they gravitate to square as an art form. Seems like I might be an ‘artist’!

With little in the way of urban decay and regeneration, or street art and the more destructive ‘graffiti’ in Wallingford my next moved should be to see how this ‘urban eye’ can be applied to the south Oxfordshire countryside…

As an opening salvo on my route to being an ‘urban artist’ these are the first six images I have processed from the Shoreditch urban walk:

Photo Gallery: Urban Eye Photography

4 Comments »

  1. ryan says:

    Really love these shots, something I’m very attracted to and love shooting myself. If you ever want to take a break, come down to Porto, and we’ll go shooting the urban decay that I have fallen for.

  2. Love those first two (you know me and colour…! I don’t mind square format for most things but I hate it for food shots – it always seems claustrophobic! But works v well here. I’m sorry I missed the walk!

    • andrew says:

      Shame you couldn’t have come, it was much fun! Square is in – but thinking about it I don’t recall seeing ANY food shots in a square format.

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