Who’s Who? – Idea Development/Research

Luc Kordas


“I have no moral consideration, no mission, no defined project. I’m not documenting anything.”

In an essay written by Luc Kordas, he said in may of 2012 in Williamsburg he was walking down the street towards a subway after a day of shooting in the area. He catches a glimpse of a man in silhouette showing in the lowest windows as he’s climbing the staircase. He said

“I freeze for a split second before I realize what’s happening. The building stands tall and proud against a moody dark sky. It’s dusk, but the contrast between the warm light of the staircase showing through the windows and the bluish world outside is already stark. Click!

I realize that if I am lucky enough this man will shortly appear in the middle window. And I know what that means. Click!” luc-kordas-silhouette

For me this says, especially for Street Photography you have to be aware and always be observing your surroundings. He goes on to say

“I move a couple of meters to the left so as to be perfectly aligned with the building hoping I’d still have time to double-check and adjust the camera’s settings before the silhouette reappears. A second passes, two, then three – hesitation. Doubt. Is he coming up? Oh, he probably just lives on the first floor. Dang it. What a shame! But wait, there he is in the middle window. I am ready. Everything is in focus. Pre set manual mode. The man pauses and looks at me. Oh that’s just perfect. Three frames, pow-pow-pow! The man moves on. And I am fully aware of what just happened. This could probably be my best street image so far.”

He goes on to explain the best lens to use for street, a “prime lens with the most natural angel like 35mm or a 50mm, like Henri-Cartier Bresson, who shot with it exclusively“.

During one of our lectures I made the comment that a lot of street photography is done in Black & White, and its puzzled me ever since. Luc explains “Sometimes you focus deliberately on color. In b&w it’s more about subjects. But either way, the situation has to be there” so, if I was to continue to do street photography for my who’s who, black and white is defiantly something to consider.

“Street photography is 99% failure. A weird and demanding genre.”

All quotes and photos are from here

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