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:
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