Stealing the soul of the streets

Walker Evans is largely credited with creating our modern approach towards street photography and an appreciation for the beauty of the mundane. His photos of road markings, shop signs and disused houses back in the 50s and 60s defined a whole movement. Luckily I stumbled across a retrospective on his work from his entire life at the Photographers Gallery. Amazing to think how old some of those photos are with a style that is so currently in vogue at the moment, a huge contrast to the Guy Bourdin exhibition currently at the V&A.

A large part of the exhibition is made up of a large set of Polaroid images that Evans took in the last years of his life after obtaining one of the first instant cameras back in the 70s. This makes me wonder what he would have made of the current plethora of image recording devices – from digital cameras to mobile phones and beyond. An article in the New York times (with great thanks to metafilter as is so often the case) drew my attention to the current swathe of photo blogging that is happening. One particular site is drawn out for mention,, which allows its members to upload up to six images a day. There is an amazing range of people on there, a huge demographic of which seems to either be in Brooklyn or Chile for some reason. Some folk are following in the Walker Evans style of mundane objects, others seem to be content to post lo quality webcam images of themselves and all styles of photography in-between. It’s an amazing blend of images and you can easily lose yourself in there for a couple of hours just following the links to favourites.

So being the compulsive diarizer that I am then I had to join in…. Although I have to quickly say my one gripe is that whatever orientation/size of image you load in the thumbnail images are always horizontal! So of course some images just look downright strange before you see them proper scale. Ah well, if life was perfect then we might as well just go home now {;)

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