10″ x 8″ landscape
September 28, 2021
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
Street Signs: the comical and quizzical
For those who love to travel, there’s something freeing about the new places, cuisines, and sounds —whether it’s sheep baaing from a remote pasture or traffic buzzing in a city. Photography has always been part of our travels. At some point, however, we turned a corner and found ourselves away from museums and bucket-list landmarks and with more and more time on the street. Or maybe the street found us? Either way, we began discovering the action of daily life, lived out loud, in cafés, on doorsteps, in markets, and on subways, street corners, and park benches.
There’s something inspiring about capturing a simple moment: a glance, turned head, or animated gesture. Simplicity within chaos, silence within noise. Street scenes can be full of frenetic energy and blasts of stimulation while someone rests at peace, in the center of the action, completely ambivalent to it all. When noticed, these tensions are captivating.
We became drawn to images that contain layers of meaning. Signs and text add a dimension of humor or abstractness to a subject that under other circumstances might have been silent. Signs are part of the street landscape. In an image, they can serve as guideposts, contrasts, or a humorous note, or even make you think twice about an initial interpretation. The added layer of literacy brings interesting complexities. In naming our images, we’ve also played with these layers of meaning. While some titles are directly descriptive, others have multiple meanings and, hopefully, provide a pause to think.
Part of the joy of street photography is encountering the quirky, off-beat, quizzical, and absurd. There’s a lightness and playfulness about these interactions that pull at us. We enjoy capturing moments that make us simile and force us to stop just long enough before taking the next breath or step.
Our work has taught us that there are moments to be enjoyed and savored through interactions whether solitary or with others. As much as the solitary figure appears in our work, so do friends grabbing a bite to eat or a small group sitting and socializing on fountain steps in a piazza with a few bottles of beer. There’s an energy to these varied interactions that adds to the storytelling.
So, however or wherever it happened, we’re happy we stepped away from the guidebooks and followed all those unmarked signs to the mixing and the divine of the streets. Voila!