In this digital age, it is much easier than some decades ago to take pictures. This is both a good thing and bad in my opinion. It’s good because, of course, more people have access to cameras these days, hence allowing them to pursue their photographic ambitions. On the flip side, a very negative effect of this is that many kinds of photography, including street, are becoming more about capturing every single mundane thing around you and putting it up on Instagram rather than actually caring about the story you’re telling the world.
While there are merits to going out and shooting the streets, the fact that so many people are doing it these days is not helping anyone. Let’s see how the digital age of photography is slowly ruining street photography.
It’s Too Easy!
The foremost reason why a majority of ‘street photography’ these days is not up to par is because it is way too easy for anyone to pick up a half decent camera and go into the streets without a second thought. At the time when street photography was at a high, people had to carry heavy gear outside, they had to wait full days for that one shot that would make sense to them. I’m not saying that the advent of cheaper and lighter cameras is bad, but the sheer presence of a multitude of them means that anyone can pick one up and go out without any real interest in street photography.
As a result, you see so many similar photos these days that it is nearly impossible for anyone to stand out. Steaming coffee cups on rainy days, yellow taxis in a monochrome urban setting, thoughtless juxtaposition of elements; these are what constitute a major chunk of street photography these days. And it’s quite sad.
The Real Stuff is Lost
In the midst of all these coffee cups and sign boards, the really good street photographs, taken by people who actually care about their content and spend days in its pursuit, are lost. Any good, really good, street photographers that exist in the world remain undiscovered because there is so much saturation throughout the internet that it takes a lot of work and patience to stumble upon something promising.
And that is the main reason why I think street photography is headed towards its doom.