An Introduction: Itching Images.

Broken Dreams. © Knut Skjærven.

Is it all about street photography. This time too. It is going to be a new series of some 10 posts. Maybe even more.

Street photography, in this connection, defines as an approach to things more than a reference  to a location: a street. Street photography does not literally have to be shot in a street: the post office, the town hall, a railway station, an open space, a sports arena will do as well. Even inside a restaurant will do. So will all the likes.

But it needs to be shot in a public place; it needs to be un-staged and unposed; it needs to be contextual showing a slice of life rather then a portrait. First and foremost it needs to havepeople as the distinctive and bearing element. That is what is understood by street photography in this context. We will not concern ourselves with dead dogs, rooftops or colourful posters. Not withcityscapes either. We will deal with peoplescapes only.

Even with such a broad range of options all shots honouring the criteria above will not be proper street photography. There needs to be something more to it. We all know that. There are shots that are very boring, very plain and very ordinary. And then there are the good ones. Ready for all to see and appreciate. And we recognize them when they appear. There must be something to it then.

But what is this more to it made up of? What is this something. Why are some images acclaimed and others not?

Call it that some photographs have an x-factor; call it that extra, call it an undefinable something.  I call it  I T C H I N G   I M A G E S. And sure, we could leave it at that, pull the trigger of the camera and hope for the best. Could even close your eyes in doing so. We could leave it simply by labelingthis mysterious and illusive phenomena. And then know nothing more about it other than the fact that images like these might pop up in front of our eyes from time to time. That would be the easy thing to do.

But we will not rest. We will search for these I T C H I N G   I M A G E S. Those rather few ones that pricks your skin and want to get inside. Those images that will not pass like ships in the night and leave no trace of having been there at all.

I call them  I T C H I N G  I M A G E S. We will seek them out. Not all of them, but the principles that make them itching. Or could make them itching. Not the whole story, but some of it. Enough to make good tools for learning.

Two things of importance:

First thing: Am I going to succeed in this? I have no idea, frankly. Time will show and you will be the judge. I will do my best. More cannot be expected from Europe these days.

Second thing: Are the images I use for illustration all going to be brilliant, I T C H I N G   I M A G E S. Answer: No they are not going to be, because that would not be possible. For copyright reason I will use some of my own images to make the point. I will, if possible, refer to images taken by one or more of the great masters (as we call them). My images are included to make the point only.

Your possible question: Is the image above an I T C H I N G  I M A G E . The answer is: Yes is it. In principle. It makes a point of one of the principles that we are looking for in the pursuit of  I T C H I N G   I M A G E S.  I will deal with it later. This post is only the prelude to the new series so it needs to be later.

How long is this series going to take?  Oh, a month, but probably longer.  Stay tuned if you like the idea :-) .

This series will be a part of Street Photographers Toolbox, which is in the making, but no public yet. It will go into the toolbox.

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