These days, when people talk of street photography people always seem to harp on “The Decisive Moment” and the genre of HCB and his set of styles and beliefs. It would seem that HCB is the originator of street photography and anything else which does not , atleast try, to achieve the ‘Decisive moment’ does not qualify as street photography.
Then there are a million opinions on what constitutes ‘Decisive Moment’ and what does not. I am not a pundit on Street Photography, but IMHO, there is more to street photography other than the decisive moment.
The raison d’etre of street photography is to capture life on the streets, from the point of view of the photographer. It can be a moment, decisive or poignant. Or it can be very literal and personal, giving audience a visceral experience of the walks of life. It can also take the form of social documentary photography, which is an act of recording human activities in their natural surroundings. Photographers like Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Gordon Parks were major proponents of this genre. Then there is Andre Kertesz, whose photographs would never have a ‘Decisive Moment’ but is said to have had major impact on street photographers of later generations, including HCB.
But the current discussions at most forums of street photography seems to accept on HCB’s frame of reference (ie decisive moment) and discard all others. Surely, there are exceptions. But they are minor exceptions , than major ones.
This would raise questions (atleast, in my mind) on the future direction of street photography.
Where do you think it is headed ?
(my opinions on this would follow on a later date)