Photo by Romain Lours Street photography has been almost a synonym of documenting people or society in urban or rural scenarios. Here the lecturers talk about the challenges and joys that come with photographing people in their natural “habitat”. And well, beyond talking about what it means to them to photograph people, they also share some of their best techniques for approaching strangers both candidly and extremely obviously. Here you also can understand how certain interactions with strangers can go beyond mere street shots. In Focus – Peter van Agtmael Peter van Agtmael is perhaps the youngest of the photographers in this course, he works across different subjects and topics, from street to some really harsh global conflicts. Here he shares with us his approach to people on the streets, and you'll be really surprised at how he sees street photography. Alternative Approaches – Mark Power Mark Power really blew my mind – in a good way. He approaches street with a very different tool, a 5×4 technical camera with a medium format back attached to it. Here we are able to see a consistent photographer working at a really slow pace, and it is amazing to see how easily he can turn simple elements in the urban scenarios into amazing images. Editing – Creating Order out of Chaos Alright, here is where the true magic of the course happens. After 10 years of documenting the streets, this really got me thinking. The editing process (which is not to be confused with post-processing) is the most important stage for a photographer after mastering the tool. Here is where the role of philosophy blooms as well, and for me is the main reason why you should invest (if not indulge yourselves) in this course. Here the photographers talk about how they approach the editing stage of their workflow, but if you want to get an even deeper experience in this facet, I really recommend this fantastic book . Iconic images are not a product of serendipity, they are a product of a conscientious editing process. Presenting Your Photography In the last episode of this fantastic course, there was some insightful advice and guidance on building not only a portfolio or body of work but an interesting look into why we need to do it. In this point in history, where we are flooded by images online, learning how to present our work is fundamental indeed. So, Why Art? Photo by Spencer Imbrock We see the world with a unique perspective, built from the sum of our interests, traditions, philosophy, ideas, influences and maturity. As long as we are able to see inside ourselves, we are able to see the world more clearly. The art of street photography is about being able to replicate with our cameras the way we see life surrounding us. The course is at some points poetic, because it is like photography itself, and I'm very sure that the people at Magnum haven't noticed the beautiful metaphor they've created here. The course is extremely quick, in total it is exactly 165 minutes long, or 2h45m. That is indeed a pretty swift course, and that's why I think it is poetic. The act of taking a picture is extremely fast, it is what happens after that which makes it absolutely meaningful. And this course is exactly the same, it is what you get by reading at a slow pace the PDFs of each episode (which are basically transcripts, photos and quotes from each lecture) and the further readings are what makes it nurturing for someone like me. Revisiting the videos, embracing the assignments and looking at those photographers work is where the true magic happens. You won't become a better photographer simply by watching the videos and reading the texts, you have to allow yourselves to be inspired but what these people have to share with us. BTW if anyone at Magnum reads this, please consider making a course on Contact Sheets!!! These are the people (mainly photographers) that built the philosophical discourse that you can witness by taking this course:
It is worth your time! If you've taken this course, we'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Also, if there are any other courses that you love and have been inspired by, definitely feel free to share.