The style of Street Photography isn’t limited to urban street scenes. I somewhat think the genre is a bit of a misnomer – it’s simply a label for a style of candid photography (often of strangers). The likes of which can be practiced almost anywhere. In the case of the appropriately titled photo, Candid Camera, Jonathan Robson used the street photography style on a train.
As is the case with any type of street photography, one aspect that makes this photograph fantastic is eye contact (or at least the illusion of). It creates a moment of tension for the viewer – a split second before the subject might confront the photographer. Furthermore, the fact that only one of the many people in this photo seems to take notice helps that emotion. A good street photo will build on this tension. Robson does it two ways in the case of this photograph: Use of color (or lack-thereof) and a skewed camera angle. Draining the shot of color increases the apparent contrast for the viewer, which makes the shot that much more dramatic. This is, of course, one of the classic tricks of the street photography trade. As for the skewed camera angle – any time you throw the horizon off-kilter, it creates the feeling of disorientation. Disorientation helps to build tension, which is why loose camera movements are used in movies during the most intense scenes. Combined, the elements in this photo create a good deal of tension, which is why we love it so.
For more of Robson’s work, you can visit his Flickr Photo Stream.