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If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Street photography in Asia.

Submitted by on July 8, 2011 – 6:32 pm2 Comments

Karan Vaid-OPINION-
The image above shows you contemporary street photography in Asia. What? You don’t expect a horse on the street? Well, let me tell you, street photography does not only take place on 5th Avenue in NY, and it could have been a camel as well, as you can see from the other pictures in the series of Karan Vaid in the ‘streets’ of Nagaur:

Karan Vaid 1Karan Vaid 2Karan Vaid 3Karan Vaid 4Karan Vaid 5

What? It’s more travel photography? Not really, you know, because these images are all in black and white and that is one of the stylistic choice of many street photographers, because especially in a street setting with random colors everywhere, B&W clarifies the intent of the image. A reportage, let’s say for National Geography, would rather be done in color. What? It’s not even sharp, you say? Well, you should know, street photography often uses a special focusing technique, zone focusing – setting a fixed focal distance to shoot quickly and unobtrusive from the hip, without even bringing the camera to the eye. So of course, you should not expect an always sharp image. What? You say this image is shot with the latest and best, like a Nikon D3s? Yah ampuuun (OMG), the photographer aims to be in the footsteps of such great street photographers as G.Winogrand and alike, so he’s probably disabled autofocus and anything digital snap-snap in his camera.
And by the way, the discussion is rather a little senseless, at least a little too late anyway, since Karan won the Invisible Photographer Asia Street Photography Contest 2011 and received the first prize, an all manual Leica M rangefinder camera. So, who knows, next time he will be probably shooting in the streets with this camera, after all, a good street photographer knows “what kind of photographs/art were made in the past and present, and by whom” to be more informed when trying to define his own voice in this genre, and not just wishing for being one of them.
Congratulations to Karan Vaid!
(all images © 2011 Karan Vaid)


  • Rob says:

    And I thought I was the only one wondering if the “invisible judges” totally forgot about street photography…

    Thank you Thomas!


  • Mayank says:

    hi, I would agree to a large extent that this is not street photography. But then hell who defines the street. Or if its travel. Streets of some villages of India can pretty well lie there. Thats not my arguement.. irrespective of that – I find this a rather ordinary image. This is neither unique nor visually pleasing. Sorry, I have seen hundreds of better street photographs from asia.

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