Da Beat goes Street: Rembrandt

This site is subtitled Da Beat goes Street, because every now and then, Da Beat does streetphotography. He realises this is a laden, almost controversial term, therefore he will share his personal idea about the term. It should merely be taken as an indication of how he will apply the label on this site. Not as a genre definition.

First of all, streetphotography should be understood as immediate, impromptu photography. It is not in a studio, it is not deliberate or preconceived, it is not landscape for example, it is on the spot, almost improvised, and very much spontaneous. Of course, this is no different than taking a snapshot, and basically that is exactly what streetphotography is: it is first and foremost a snapshot.

What then distinguishes true streetphotography from your average tourist snapshot? The story depicted in the snapshot. The snapshot should represent some kind of narrative, something that makes an average viewer pause and think for more than a microsecond.

Of course, Da Beat realises full well, that making the audience look at an image for longer than a microsecond, especially these days, requires a bit of effort. Part of that effort includes composition. The composition should be at least somewhat pleasing or attractive in a literal sense in order to attempt to engage the viewer to look further, beyond the mere obvious.

Thus, in the split second of a spontaneous moment, you need to capture a relatively pleasing composition, with something that catches the attention of the viewer (in general), and additionally with a narrative of some kind. The narrative could be a simple colorscheme, or a more elaborate metaphor. In the latter case it usually involves people and their interactions with other people or their surrounds.

Here we have a simile in the etch by Rembrandt and the guy’s head below, which is what initially triggered Da Beat to raise the camera, and then serendipity kicked in to provide a lovely added element that so perfectly complements and completes the colorscheme. Admittedly, streetphotography is perhaps more about luck than about wits, at least in Da Beat’s case, but then “serendipity” is Da Beat’s middle name.



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