Not all street photography has to be black & white. If you need some street photography ideas, then check out these colour street photography shots
'The Wait' by Michelle Palazzo, Fujifilm X-T2, 23mm, 1/60sec at f/2, ISO 5000
Taking a look through the plethora of street photography available to view online, you would be forgiven for believing that truly great street photography must be produced in black & white. This is perhaps a hangover from the influence of the masters of the genre: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, Weegee, Bruce Gilden, et al. There’s a benefit to producing your street images in this way, of course. Black & white can emphasise light, shadow and form. It can reduce the elements of a busy scene down to its most vital shapes and narrative.
However, this thinking bypasses the influence and impact of such photographers as Joel Meyerowitz, Stephen Shore, Fred Herzog and William Eggleston. Would their images have had as much influence if they were in black & white? Probably not. Those figures were pioneers of colour photography and they did it largely through the genre of street photography. Today we find their teachings permeating the work of such figures as Nick Turpin, Alex Webb, Steve McCurry, Eric Kim and Harry Gruyaert.
There’s perhaps a fear of producing street photography in colour. With so much going on, with so much to think about when faced with such ephemeral and chaotic scenes, colour is another distraction, another visual element to contend with. But with a little time and patience, you can easily adapt to this added layer of narrative. All it takes is practice.
It’s worth bearing in mind Nick Turpin’s thoughts concerning colour in street photography – if street photography is an attempt to show the world as it truly is and as it unfolds in front of you, then surely you have an obligation to represent that scene in colour. After all, it’s a more honest reflection of how we see the world.
If you need a little inspiration, then take a look at these 20 colour street photography images from Photocrowd photographers.
'After Bath' by Pinki Biswas Sanyal, Nikon D750, 24-70mm, 1/4000sec at f/8, ISO 1250
'Resident' by Steve Deer, exposure unknown
'Maurice' by Mark Davies, Canon EOS 7D, 19mm, 1/500sec at f/6.3, ISO 100
'Waiting in Stream' by Masayuki Yamashita, exposure unknown
'Collaterals' by Larnal, exposure unknown
'Red Door' by Alexius van der Westhuizen, Nikon D5100, 26mm, 1/180sec at f/5.6, ISO 320
'Marrakids' by Sara, Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 50mm, 1/400sec at f/2, ISO 800
'Untitled' by Sunil Malhotra, exposure unknown
'Tokyo Underground' by Dan Beinart, Fujifilm X-Pro 1, 18-55mm, 1/15sec at f/5.6, ISO 200
'The Kiss' by Naf Selmani, Nikon D7100, 50mm, 1/125sec at f/4, ISO 200
'Down in the Tube Station at Midnight' by Paul Coomber, Nikon D750, 70mm, 1/80sec at f/10, ISO 12800
'Street Art' by Marzena Rej-Brodowska, Nikon D750, 35mm, 1/400sec at f/2.8, ISO 160
'Morning over the Yamuna Ghats' by Manish Jaisi, Canon EOS 600D, 18-55mm, 1/250sec at f/5, ISO 400
'Basket Seller' by Sivapoom Yamasaki, Olympus OLYMPUS SZ-15/DZ-100, 15.79mm, 1/80sec at f/4.7, ISO 100
'Being a Child' by TolGaildun, exposure unknown
'Soldiers' by Orlinkski, exposure unknown
'Yellow Junction' by Dominic Papa, Leica Q, 28mm, 1/800sec at f/5.6, ISO 100
'Riot Control' by Adam Butler, exposure unknown