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Introduction to Urban Photography

written by: Gustavo Lequerica-Calvo•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 10/6/2008

Urban photography is one of those vibrant genres of photography, where the common living and the architectonic designs are inspiration for poets and the city exudes beauty behind the steel sky.

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    Introduction to Urban Photography

    In the world of photography and journalism, there are many ways to spread information; it can be in a written way or a way without images. Since the 80’s, there has be a trend of exposing the urban reality trough the style of Gonzo Journalism. It’s interesting to think that a style applied mostly on the subjectivity of written and video image, it can be used as well in photography.

    But what is Urban Photography? Urban Photography is the method the photographer uses to portrait his surroundings according to his objectivity and sensitivity to tell the verse that lays in the urban panorama. Urban photography is closely linked to Gonzo Journalism because most of the time there is a humorous, exaggerated, sarcastic or mundane message that the photographer wants to give through his work.

    Thinking of ways to photograph your urban environment can be difficult because there are so many subjects to take pictures of, buildings can even make a story. The photos we take can even be different from Architectonical Photography, as Architectonical images can tell the mathematical aspect of an edification, but our pictures can tell a story not only from the edification but from the people who lived in.

    As it was expressed previously, we have many subjects and we can think about Urban Photography as genre of photography that contains references to other genres and techniques, such as Landscape Photography, Documentary Photography (we can even say in a daring statement that Urban Photography is an artistic form of Documentary Photography because of the narrative used), Candid Photography which is one the forms that are going to be seen mostly if the photographer is aiming at humans, i.e. a kid in the park riding a bicycle or someone eating a hot dog. Keep in mind that applying candid photography in the urban environment, the photographer needs to be very discrete with the objectives, as not many people like to have their photo taken without concent.

    Breaking the fourth wall, my favorite focus of study are the daily routine of people. It can be someone in a rush walking to a meeting, a hot dog vendor or, in a more audacious way, following someone in the distance and taking different snapshots of an individual as a "paparazzo". Never break the ethics of the persons privacy.

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    Urban Photos: Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

    Tico Angulo Molina / fotografo - photographerTico Angulo Molina / fotografo - photographerTico Angulo Molina / fotografo - photographerTico Angulo Molina / fotografo - photographer