I think that’s what I like doing best in photography. Capturing life on the street. But I have to also admit I find that it’s one of the hardest things to do (compared to say, torn posters!).
In fact, thinking more broadly about it, I think I am interested in the street-as-art in all forms of culture and popular culture. From many of my favourite films (for example The Last Picture Show and anything by Antonioni or Godard) to music (my favourite song is LA Woman by the Doors and the best song I wrote* was called Road Movie) to painting (I was reminded how great John Brack’s “Collins Street, 5pm” is when I saw it again recently at the NGV) the street seems often to feature prominently.
I think that what I’m going to have to do is to rock up to the city when I can with a Leica and some Tri-X and snap away. Pure vintage classic old school, baby - woohoo!
Of course society in its infinite wisdom has evolved to distrust the guy with a camera so many once-fertile subject areas are now verboten, but there is still plenty of scope to see if I can release the inner HC-B.
And what do you get with a successful street photo? I think you get many things, with two things primary amongst them - you find out a bit about the way we live today, in this place at this time, and you try to infuse the picture with something of your own - some humour perhaps, or a well-observed social comment.
And it’s challenging, and you have to defeat (or at least assuage) those inner demons that tell you it isn’t worth it. Perhaps that’s reward enough in itself.
* There weren’t that many - and don’t fret if you missed it. Everyone else did too.