The Beauty Of Street Photography

Advertisement

Street photographers strive to capture the life and culture of city streets, searching for what Henri Cartier-Bresson, probably the most famous street photographer of all, termed the ‘Decisive Moment’.

When it comes to street photography, many photographers traditionally choose to work in black and white, focusing the viewer’s attention on the subject by eliminating the distraction of colour. Wide angle lenses are used by photographers who like to get in close to the action, a method that encourages interaction between the photographer and subject. Another technique is use a lens with a long focal length to take photos from a distance and throw the background out of focus.

Smashing Magazine celebrates the diversity and livelinesss of the world’s streets by presenting you 50 excellent examples of street photography, urban photography and photojournalism. There are links to the photographers’ websites and also some useful links to articles and tutorials at the bottom of the post.

Please notice: we didn’t feature Garry Winogrand, Bruce Gilden, Martin Parr, Henri Cartier-Bresson and other famous photographers — their works deserve a single post.

You may be interested in the following related posts:

60 Incredible Street Photos

Narelle Autio
Lisbon, Portugal.

Beautiful Street Photo

Beautiful Street Photo

Beautiful Street Photo

Beautiful Street Photo

Beautiful Street Photo

Nils Jorgensen

Beautiful Street Photo

Beautiful Street Photo

Egill Ibsen
Madrid, Spain.

Beautiful Street Photo

PeeT NeeT

Beautiful Street Photo

Beautiful Street Photo

velco

Beautiful Street Photo

tbaur

Beautiful Street Photo

Trent Parke

Beautiful Street Photo

Beautiful Street Photo

irq506

Beautiful Street Photo

Beautiful Street Photo

MisterKey

Beautiful Street Photo

Beautiful Street Photo

Beautiful Street Photo

Beautiful Street Photo

Paulete Matos

Beautiful Street Photo

Craig Martin
Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

Beautiful Street Photo

FrizzText

Beautiful Street Photo

Blake Andrews

Beautiful Street Photo

Mario Mitsis

Beautiful Street Photo

an untrained eye

Beautiful Street Photo

Randy Cummings

Beautiful Street Photo

pennyred*

Beautiful Street Photo

Gianmaria

Beautiful Street Photo

Markus Hartel

Beautiful Street Photo

Beautiful Street Photo

Jim O’Connell

Beautiful Street Photo

Jesse Marlow

Beautiful Street Photo

Andy Morley-Hall

Beautiful Street Photo

P. Costa

Beautiful Street Photo

Ransom Riggs
Dublin, Ireland.

Beautiful Street Photo

Sion Fullana

Beautiful Street Photo

Könrad

Beautiful Street Photo

David Solomons

Beautiful Street Photo

Beautiful Street Photo

Beautiful Street Photo

Beautiful Street Photo

Matt Stuart

Beautiful Street Photo

Beautiful Street Photo

Nick Turpin

Beautiful Street Photo

Beautiful Street Photo

Beautiful Street Photo

Pierre Choiniere

Beautiful Street Photo

~ fernando

Beautiful Street Photo

Claude Renault
Patna, India.

Beautiful Street Photo

Massimo Camocardi

Beautiful Street Photo

Adriana
Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Beautiful Street Photo

Claude Renault
Chennai, India.

Beautiful Street Photo

Richard Ford
Beijing, China.

Beautiful Street Photo

Stefan Nielsen
Venice, Italy.

Beautiful Street Photo

Umberto Verdoliva
Italy.

Beautiful Street Photo

Richard Ford
Beijing, China, but it could be everywhere.

Beautiful Street Photo

Jimmy Dovholt
Stockholm, Sweden.

Beautiful Street Photo

Mario Jean
San Francisco, United States.

Beautiful street Photo

Moses Stell
Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Beautiful street Photo

Nino Cannizzaro
Savoca, Sicily.

Beautiful street Photo

Giuseppe Squillacioti

Beautiful Street Photo

Last Click

Hamed Masoumi
A photo of Curig and Esther, a beautiful Iranian couple.

Beautiful Street Photo

Resources

Famous Street Photographers

  • Henri Cartier-Bresson
    The French photographer who coined the term ‘The decisive moment.’
  • Bruce Gilden
    American street photographer famous for getting extremely close to his subjects.
  • Martin Parr
    Quirky and colourful photography from a master documentary photographer.

Related posts

You may be interested in the following related posts:

↑ Back to top

Andrew Gibson is a photographer and writer. He runs Magical Places Fine Art, an online photography magazine and another great photography resource.

  1. 1

    That’s great inspiration post. Thanks for this post. More beatiful is David Solomons.

    1
  2. 2

    #10 with the little girl dancing.. good stuff

    0
  3. 3

    Wow, this is cool :D Great for my monday morning inspiration!

    0
  4. 4

    www.galaxyspectrum.com

    December 14, 2008 3:03 pm

    The collection is so real – you can FEEL them inside

    0
  5. 5

    Nice collection… seems a lot of photographers over-baked their images in post production… Very talented shots though!

    0
  6. 6

    Lawrence Anderson

    December 14, 2008 3:35 pm

    Awesome post. Really inspiring.

    0
  7. 7

    Narelle Autio is Australian not “Lisbon, Portugal” and makes photos mainly in Australia, at least those shown were made there… just like her husbands’ – Trent Parke, Magnum Photos member. great post :)

    0
  8. 8

    Some of those pictures gave me so much emotion! I feel strange now.

    0
  9. 9

    Nice collection of inspirational street photography.

    DKumar
    http://www.instantshift.com

    0
  10. 10

    Love this type of photography very inspiring. I like the dove shot!

    Great post!

    0
  11. 11

    Love this post! Thanks :)

    -1
  12. 12
  13. 13

    Wow…what a great collection of street photography/photographers…This is definitely more photography than I can digest at one sitting…a must-have bookmark…I have featured a short post of this wonderful article on my photo blog…thanks again.

    0
  14. 14

    great photos! thank u for sharing!

    0
  15. 15

    This is a great collection. They are all wonderful in their own journalistic sense; Photographs that encapsulate moments of purity, a snap of time as if the camera wasn’t even there.

    A few of my own photographs (Feel free to add me as a contact)

    0
  16. 16

    Thank you SO much for the inclusion of my picture on your list. It’s a big honor to be featured among such amazing photographers. And thanks to all of them, too, for the great inspiration provided by their photos when I’ve seen them.

    Sion.

    0
  17. 17

    Nice collection. Love the picture of Moses Stell.

    0
  18. 18

    The last click makes me believe in a better world…
    thanks for the fantastic post smashing magazine!!!

    0
  19. 19

    Beautiful pictures.

    I especially like Matt Stuart’s and Nick Turpin’s photos. They have brought the word “pun” to another level through images. Very English humour :)

    0
  20. 20

    Fantastic set! I’ve been waiting for one like this for a long time.

    Jaden

    0
  21. 21

    #10 Zwarte piet :D Dancing fantastic

    0
  22. 22

    Why not just say great photos.
    A train is not a street, nor is a seaside cliff or an art gallery or a cafe or bar ……

    BTW, they are great pgotos

    0
  23. 23

    my favorite set would have to be misterkey’s. the last pic with the shadow… looks as if they shadow was about to tap on her shoulder, when it’s actually her hand near the wall. pretty good angle!

    0
  24. 24

    Should’ve been 40.

    0
  25. 25

    Bonjour, j’aime bien la photo du caricaturiste … Les autres sont biens mais celle-ci est ma préférée !

    Hello, I like the photo of the cartoonist … The others are property, but it is my favorite!

    skatepark montbriz

    0
  26. 26

    Truly beautiful collection you guys. It’s articles like this that keep me coming back.

    @ John who posted at 2:18 am

    Among the many accepted definitions of the word street are:
    - the inhabitants or frequenters of a street
    - coarse; crude; vulgar</cite

    0
  27. 27

    “The Decisive Moment” was not the book’s original title but that of its English language version.
    Its original French title, “Images a la Sauvettee”, means images taken on the wing, on the fly, stolen images, a somewhat less positive connotation,

    0
  28. 28

    That is, in my opinion, the best photography post I’ve seen yet on Smashing Magazine. Absolutely love it and will be forwarding on to friends.

    0
  29. 29

    I completely agree with Nathan.
    Great pictures…Most are B&W by the way.

    0
  30. 30

    oh nice pic`s

    0
  31. 31

    some of these are kinda “blah”

    0
  32. 32

    This is great inspiration for us amateur photographers who want to be more pro-like.

    0
  33. 33

    Not a bad collection, a few good ones in there, some “urban landscapes”, some that seemed poised or setup which throws out the whole “Decisive Moment” mantra.

    Look at any Magnum photographer for more fine examples of Street Photography

    0
  34. 34

    These photos are really amazing. There’s just so much vibrancy and life here.

    0
  35. 35

    Great post thanks! Here is a load more from another guy i found on flickr. Some of them are simply great! Tony Littlejohns on Flickr

    0
  36. 36

    Wow!… Isn’t photography awesome?!!!!

    0
  37. 37

    Great post. Inspiring stuff. Definitely need to step my game up.

    D.C. Street Series

    0
  38. 38

    What’s the deal with model relseases for street photography? I was always under the impression that they were necessary.

    0
  39. 39

    These photos are truly amazing and I think the best part about them is the moments they capture, you really feel like you are there.

    After my fiance proposed to me with a gorgeous diamond engagement ring from http://www.idonowidont.com we are looking for a photographer who can get natural moments photographed, where its just us just being us, not formal.

    We would totally love to find someone who can take the knowledge of capturing street photography and translating them to our engagement photos!

    0
  40. 40

    nice pict’s :)
    love it all…

    0
  41. 41

    To ANN:

    Congratulations on your engagement!!! I don’t know if you would consider my style fitting, but if so, I would gladly try my best to make you guys proud of your union and get your complicity put into images…. you can check my style at my Flickr page… available if you click on my picture on this post…

    Thanks!

    0
  42. 42

    Fantastic post and many of these photographers are just the sort of people I would get n with.

    I too am a urban photographer and have my own website about the subject of urban photography and its beauty. If any one is interested it is at http://www.urban-photography-art.com

    0
  43. 43
  44. 44

    Great post – really beautiful shots. I love this type of photography x

    0
  45. 45

    These are so nice. Its amazing what you can do with a camera and just the right moment in time. It’s sometimes hard to find the perfect moment to capture and better yet, be ready for it when it actually happens. Beautiful.

    0
  46. 46

    Impresionantes!!

    Awesome!! wow!!

    0
  47. 47

    Whoa, whoa, whoa

    Is that just black and white, or is that clown in blackface…?!

    0
  48. 48

    No words to describe my surprise !! Really cool post.
    Expecting such posts in future also.

    0
  49. 49

    Some of these might be considered “street” photography; some are not, and, what’s worse, some are posed. But better than the hideous “Fantastic HDR” nonsense.

    0
  50. 50

    Hi the link to my flickr stuff above is incorrect try this instead

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/devtank/

    thanks for the exposure.

    0
  51. 51

    I am just getting started. You are an inspiration.

    0
  52. 52

    i need help,im trying to become a photojornilst can someone help?

    0
  53. 53

    Stumbled into smashing magazine and wow.. Gorgeous pictures! Hope to pick up the techniques that you have shown so beautifully… =)

    0
  54. 54

    Wow! Great photos. If you love street photography and travel, you could write about it. I’m sure you’d have interesting articles. By the way, I really liked the Venice, Italy and Stockholm, Sweden photos.

    You may want to check out Travel-Writers-Exchange.com. You could combine your love of photography with writing. It’s another way to reach many people.

    0
  55. 55

    Thanks, Rebeca!

    And thanks to Andrew for including me in this very fine collection of streetshooters. It´s not every day my images get 15 minutes of exposure ;D

    /Jimmy

    You´ll find a nice compilation of some of my images at Onexposure, http://1x.com/?member=2594&jimmy-dovholt

    0
  56. 56

    another of the best Helen Levitt [http://www.laurencemillergallery.com/levittlist.htm] and someone might be interested in my own: photography [http://www.i-am-z.com/photoz.html]

    0
  57. 57

    You can also see a few other photographs that I’ve found! Beauty on the street I and Beauty on the street II

    0
  58. 58

    that’s grates. like before

    0
  59. 59

    A very nice group of street photos!

    My 70′s Street Images…

    http://www.www.fullframeimages.com

    0
  60. 60
  61. 61

    Great choice of photos – gives the essence of real street-photography

    0
  62. 62

    Very nice collection!!
    Congratulations!

    0
  63. 63

    Hi Andrew,

    I ad a link to your site on my site because I like your site :-)

    grtz, Nico

    http://www.xs4all.nl/~ouburg/Site/Links.html

    0
  64. 64

    Killer, I love street photography, Nice gallery

    0
  65. 65

    hey its beautiful photography……….thnx a lot……

    0
  66. 66

    this sucks

    0
  67. 67

    ER Images Eirwen Rogers

    January 28, 2009 3:06 am

    As the article stated some truly awe inspiring images.

    0
  68. 68

    reminds me of his photo’s: http://www.vanilladays.com/hdr-guide/ check de menu: recently

    0
  69. 69

    Beautiful selection of street photography. Many favorites here, especially work by Trent Parke and other In-Public photographers. Bravo!

    My street work can be seen here:
    robertbrownimages.com

    0
  70. 70

    There’s something so magical about street photos…now I’ve got to check out the links included above…

    0
  71. 71

    Wow, wow, wow, absolutely beautiful shots…where is my camera, I’m going out!!!

    0
  72. 72

    I Like them all, no hipshot fucko’s…well framed.

    Thank You

    0
  73. 73

    the phote so so so cute

    1
  74. 74

    thank you for showing this beautiful street photography….and thank you for posting!

    1
  75. 75

    Thanks for publishing some of my pics. One digital (bleah) and one my lovely TMAX-400!

    @ John

    Street shooting isn’t about being on the street. It is just a label. Street shooting is about creating or freeze framing the random and fleeting juxtapositions of real life.

    I also second the fact that Mark Kitaoka should be looked at. He is one of my influencers and is a damned sight better than I.

    http://www.markkitaoka.com/photo-blog/

    Cheers,
    RF.

    1
  76. 76
  77. 77

    Great post, still amazes me everytime I visit it..

    0
  78. 78

    Thank you for publishing my photo!!!

    0
  79. 79

    Really great examples, makes me want to go out and shoot street myself! This is a site I never get tired off.

    iarehuman.com

    updated everyday so theres always good street stuff to look at.

    0
  80. 80

    Vittore Fotografo

    October 23, 2009 7:04 pm

    Really great examples.
    Here you can find some interesting gallery of street photography and reportage. Thake a look becuse are really nice.

    0
  81. 81
  82. 82

    Beautiful pictures and so many photographer names I didn’t know.

    Diego

    0
  83. 83

    this is beautiful photos so i wait what do next

    0
  84. 84

    Just beautiful!

    0
  85. 85

    Excellent selection of photographers, if you like can go to see my street photography work at:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gustavopaz

    0
  86. 86

    Great captures shared here…im a fan!

    0
  87. 87

    Decisive moments captured!

    0
  88. 88

    Isabelle Boutonnet

    September 16, 2011 2:27 pm

    Really beautiful, you show famous photographer but don’t forget this great french street photographers :
    1. Cartier Bresson :
    http://www.magnumphotos.com/C.aspx?VP=XSpecific_MAG.PhotographerDetail_VPage&l1=0&pid=2K7O3R14T1LX&nm=Henri%20Cartier-Bresson

    2. Serge Bouvet :
    http://sergebouvet.com/blog/category/street-photography/

    0
  89. 89

    Hi,

    These are some wonderful examples of street photography. However I feel to give a more balanced view you should include works from many different parts of the world. There are some very unique sights and people to be seen in countries like India, China, Japan, the Middle East and other parts of the non-Western world.

    One recent photographer I can think of who exemplifies my point is linked below. I especially love how each picture tells a story at multiple layers and levels and the unique perspective of the photographer shines though.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/vineetradhakrishnan/

    Cheers,
    Perry

    0
  90. 90

    Gabriela patrescu

    December 14, 2011 3:38 pm

    nice share …. street photography is photgraphing the various mood if there are a lot of people an important side in photography … let me share article about reactions that may encountered by people, that extremely improve the quality and mood of your street photography.

    0
  91. 91

    Absolutly wow. Hope that one day I can make such photos. Thank you very much to sharing this with us. Wish you only the best!

    0
  92. 92

    i found my inspiration for my subject matter. thanks alot

    0
  93. 93

    Ardeshir Abdolrahimi

    June 28, 2012 3:11 am

    I will be happy to have some feedback from those who are interested:
    http://www.MyStreetBeauty.com
    cheers

    0
  94. 94

    Raghmah Solomon

    August 9, 2012 8:23 am

    Your insight is unbelievably inspiring. You have a lot more than talent, pure magic :)

    0
  95. 95

    An absolutely inspiring article, it enriched my week! A thousand times Thank You!

    0
  96. 96

    D'IGNAZIO Serge

    March 10, 2014 4:51 am

    Bonjour
    Ma modeste contribution à la photographie de rue.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/119524765@N06/
    Bien cordialement
    Serge

    0
  97. 97

    Greg Alessandrini

    March 21, 2014 11:30 am

    Hello !
    I thought that you might be interested by my blog entitled: NEW YORK IN THE 1990′s PHOTO ARCHIVES.
    http://galessandrini.blogspot.fr
    It features hundreds of exclusive images of New York taken between 1991 and 1998.
    Images of lost landmarks, transformed locations, street parties, the Meat Market and 42nd street, the old NY diners, signs and grafitti, New Yorkers and street scenes, Halloween, Gaypride, Wigstock…

    Kindest regards,
    GA

    0
  98. 98

    My teacher told me to look and learn from this post. And I think it’s fantastic.

    0

Leave a Comment

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic! Please keep in mind that comments are moderated and rel="nofollow" is in use. So, please do not use a spammy keyword or a domain as your name, or else it will be deleted. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation instead. Thanks for dropping by!

↑ Back to top