Street Photography Essdras M Suarez and Jose Reyes at XPOSURE

  • Thursday 19, September 2019 07:24 PM
  • Street Photography Essdras M Suarez and Jose Reyes at XPOSURE
Sharjah24: “While confusion is a good emotion to be induced from street photography, the purpose of a good picture is to primarily evoke complex emotions”, DC-based two-time Pulitzer prize winner Essdras M Suarez said during the first day of the International Photography Festival XPOSURE 2019. This is the globally acclaimed photographer’s second consecutive presence at the festival.
Joining him at the region’s leading photography festival in Sharjah was Juan Jose Reyes, the founder and Executive Director of the Miami Street Photography Festival, the largest and most widely recognised event in this genre.

Suarez and Reyes shared their thoughts on what creates extraordinary pictures from the streets at a session titled, ‘Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary’, moderated by award-winning street and documentary photographer and Chief Marketing Officer of the Miami Street Photography Festival Chris Suspect.

The two expert photographers, with inputs from Suspect, touched base on the basics of modern street photography by citing over 20 sample images from path-breaking contemporary street photographers from across the globe. While the nature of street photography is serendipitous, the panellists said photographers can follow a certain formula for shooting compelling pictures.

Suspect began the session by providing a brief history of street photography and its impact, displaying works of artists from the 1920s to the 2000s, including the works of William Klein and Fred Herzog from the 1950s and present-day pictures taken by Australian World Press Photo award winner Trent Parke.

Stressing that the advent of social networks, digital cameras and mobile phones has rapidly increased the popularity of street photography, Suarez said: “While this phenomenon has been scary for professional photographers, it has opened a window to a world that has never been seen before.”

While Suarez called street photography ”travel pictures taken out of context”, a good street picture is so interesting, the public cannot ignore it. "Most importantly, it must possess the human element," he added.

Commenting on myriad emotions evoked by good street photography, Reyes said, “There are different emotions street photographs can trigger. The more complex the emotion, the better the picture. If it triggers humour, anger, fear, or confusion, then it is a really powerful image”, he added. “Often, if looking at a picture each time derives a different meaning, then it is a great picture.”

Suarez said the composition of a good picture follows a geometrical formula, namely, the Fibonacci sequence. Chipping in, Reyes said: “Layers in photography, good use of light and colour, and good use of gesture also make an outstanding picture.”

As part of an exercise to identify excellently composed, meaningful pictures from the street, Suarez advised upcoming photographers to learn from the works of other great photographers by looking at one picture book after another.