Explaining photography is just like explaining an art form, and talented photographers frequently display their body of work much as painters do with their canvases. Today’s organizations, including business, scientific research, screenwriting, apparel, attractions, advertising, etc., use photography. Previously, city street photography, street art photography, and street portrait photography all contained different techniques for capturing the images. Large landscapes, or areas with multiple aspects to them, were difficult to photograph because the photographer would have to decide what they wanted to focus on before taking the shot. If the picture was centered around a specific street, the camera would have to be positioned in a way that is able to capture the entirety of the street and its aspects in one shot. Amir Chodorov has since come up with a relatively new and extraordinary way to take large photos such as these, and incorporate all of the desired aspects without compromising anything. His technique allows for a wide variety of particular characteristics to be featured in the photo, whilst also capturing the complete attention of the eye of the viewer. His trademark, branded “wholeness photography” puts emphasis on just that: the wholeness of the photo. As the different frames are pieced together, Chodorov is able to add the pictures of the same view to the one photo, and perfect his masterpiece with never-before-seen accuracy. A great example of this would be the usage of this technique in his city street photography, street portrait photography, and street art photography. In a city, naturally, there are an infinite amount of things happening at once. Different art on the wall, people walking swiftly through the city streets, birds flying by, clouds moving from one place to another, and other endless possibilities that make it difficult to get a good shot. In a desired photograph, the photographer can only hope to capture a beautiful moment where all of these aspects align and are in just the right amount of sync with one another to form an image that encapsulates this. When one person is walking by and they emit a particular color scheme, it fosters all sorts of inspirations for one with a creative eye such as Chodorov’s. These aspects, such as color schemes, other movements, art, and more, will all be taken into consideration during the careful planning and building of the final photograph. It is in Chodorov’s hands (and most importantly, eyes) to pick just the right compilation of photos that capture the underlying beauty in the city streets. The thought process behind Chodorov’s technique is explained by his aim to break through our eyes ‘attention barrier’, which is essentially our brain’s way of filtering through the most important factors that our eyes register. Given that our brain’s mental picture is unable to give us a complete view of all the entities together, complexity and sensory overload classify nearly every visual environment. In regular photographs, we may only focus on one specific group of people or a particular building, but with the “wholeness photography” technique, this can all be seen at once. Making sure our eyes see everything, our brains register everything, and our emotions feel everything, makes these photographs infinitely more special than others. By breaking through this barrier, at any given time, with any given frame, his photos are able to capture multiple perspectives of what is deemed most relevant to the photo. Over time, these different relevances and times are put together into a type of ‘picture puzzle’ and made to look as if they are all happening at once. For example, in his street portrait photography, Chodorov is able to insert and edit different aspects of photos he has taken to compile a completed product that really incorporates all of the street’s important aspects, including matching color schemes and continuing city motifs that really upgrade the quality of the photo. When there is so much complexity to a piece, one can’t help but want to stare at it for hours and visually dissect it to the point where the beauty is properly understood. This technique may seem tedious, but in reality, Chodorov’s hard work on each one of the pieces that use his technique, be it street photography or otherwise, is what produces such magnificent results. Amir explains his process by dividing it up into three different insights, the execution, and the final phase of his work. Firstly, he specifies that the shots carefully chosen for the given photograph come from his own mind rather than the camera’s viewfinder. He explains that the viewfinder, and in general letting the camera decide on the point for you, takes away from the experience of the photograph itself. The human eye, and especially the eye of a trained photographer, can spot a special moment much better. Second, he spends some time in the location before the shooting, to fully adjust and carefully study the actual objects, including line shape, form, and color pigments. People, religion, culture, and energy all contribute to an emotionally stimulating environment. At the end of the day, these intricate aspects of his work are what make the complete photograph so unique, so they must be thoughtfully considered. Chodorov explains that finding the best point of view that encompasses all objects at once is the third key insight he uses to sufficiently prep and polish the upcoming final product. This point of view is exceptionally important because Chodorovs personal insight is put into every single one of his photographs, and his specific point of view is a large part of that. All of these processes together are integrated into one another and form the final product, known as ‘wholeness photography’. This technique, unique to Chodorov, is an exceptionally creative and innovative part of modern-day photography.
Street photography at its core refers to photographs taken in public surroundings. It’s often done without the knowledge or consent of the photographed persons. While this may sound like problem for some, it’s one of its fundamental elements. The ability to take authentic pictures of everyday lives is what give it its unique property.
Street photography differs from other type of photography because it’s not artificially designed or perpetrated in advance. This is crucial for a photographer trying to capture real moments. It’s there to showcase candid views of the general population which otherwise cannot be shown through organized photoshoots.
When cameras first appeared in public, many photographers used to take pictures of streets. Some however did not define themselves as true street photographers. Some, like Berenice Abbot for example, took pictures of New York City’s architecture in the 1930’s. Those were intended to show the contrast between light and dark.
Only after cooperation between 19th century painters and photographers did the concept of urban street photography really come to life. This resulted in some early photographers attempting to capture people walking on the streets. Charles Nègre for example succeeded with this, however with some troubles with blurring.
It was at this period between the first and second world wars that street photography had its first signs of booming. This period was marked by economic downturns which affected hundreds of millions across the world. This provided an ideal opportunity for urban street photography to catch a glimpse of real, intimate poverty.
Famous photographers such as Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange greatly influenced the field by documenting during the Great Recession. For example, Migrant Mother, taken by Lange, depicts a destitute mother with her kids. This picture came to symbolize the Great Recession and facilitated the popularity of the newly born field.
After World War II
After the war, street photography started showing its ability to document entire cultures in a candid manner. These can be clearly seen in works done by several photographers such as Roy DeCarava, Helen Levitt, and Robert Frank. They focused on documenting the daily lives of Americans and used it to showcase their cultures.
This period is often characterized by a more vulgar, irreverent approach to photography, through unconventional perspectives. This contrasts with earlier trends that supported the idea of “straight photography”. This approach promoted basic use of camera capabilities and more old – fashioned techniques.
DeCarava for example focused on documenting the daily lives of the citizens of Harlem in New York City. This largely African – American populated neighborhood allowed for a peak at the community’s great jazz musicians through photos. His photographs allowed for an inside view to a largely closed off part of the population.
Late 20’s Century
The trend of favoring realism as opposed to beauty in street photography continued in the 1960’s and1970’s and onwards. This was brought by several renowned photographers such as Garry Winograd, Lee Friedlander, and Diane Arbus. They all chose to depict American life as it truly looks, without any unnecessary cover – ups.
Arbus attempted to capture the setting of marginalized societies. She dramatically presented reality without any sort of filtering of the content to appease the audience. She aimed at bringing some otherwise neglected and socially shunned figures of the public into the forefront. This was her way of breaking barriers between societies.
Urban street photography is showing sign of becoming more and more relevant in the coming decades. With human societies becoming more and more urbanized, the opportunities for capturing authentic moments become more frequent. Mega cities now host millions of people, each carrying their own stories and backgrounds.
With the recent global crises and social distancing resulting from technology, these moments could be amplified with photographs. Photography studios race to capture incidents of social injustices and economic inequality. These provide powerful spectacles that could potentially send messages across the entire world.
This is in stark contrast with earlier periods when photographers did not try to send any sort of messages through their work. Today, many understand that candid street photography has a role in shaping the way our society behaves and thinks. With social media ever on the rise, photos become more and more relevant in that matter.
Street Photography’s significance
Throughout the years the significance of street photography has been widely reevaluated in contrast with its beginnings. This is especially relevant in the historical sense. while photos of famous politicians and wars show a grander picture, street photography can document historical moments tied to the common man.
This has an ever – lasting effect on the way we view different historical time periods. Historical revisionism can come in many forms, and photography is by no means an exception. A time that might otherwise be depicted as peaceful and simple, can have its image shattered by a single street photograph showing its uglier facets.
However, this could go the other way. A period in history that might be perceived as full of negativity and suffering can be shown to contain some positive moments. Kids playing soccer in poor favelas, a couple embracing during wartime, and other moments that never would have seen the light of day were they not photographed.
Professional Street Photographer at Your Disposal
Capturing real moments is not a job for amateurs. Timing, steady hands and proper equipment are needed for optimal results. This is where Amir Chodorov comes in.
Amir Chodorov is an expert street photographer who developed special methods for photographing. By taking multiple pictures of the same view, (potentially up to a 1,000) he can create collages to make the pictures seems much bigger. These accurately portray the magnificence of a particular view which otherwise cannot be depicted with a standard photograph.