Street Photography Around The World



Madurai, India, 2005.


Madurai, India, 2005.


Mahabalipuram, India, 2006.


Lahore, Pakistan, 2006.


Nkhata Bay, Malawi, 2007


Varanasi, India, 2007.


Mumbai, India, 2007.

Hong Kong, China, 2007.

Aden, Yemen, 2007.


Chittagong, Bangladesh, 2008


New York City, USA


Chefchaouen, Morocco, 2009.


Essaouira, Morocco, 2009.


Solo, Indonesia, 2009.


Sonepur Mela, India, 2010.


Patna, India, 2010.


Kairouan, Tunisia, 2011.


Sonepur Mela, India, 2011.


Patna, India, 2011.


Kolkata, India, 2011.


Varanasi, India, 2011.


Dwarka, India, 2012.


Diu, India, 2012.


Yangon, Myanmar, 2012.


Yangon, Myanmar, 2012.


Mumbai, India, 2012.


Varanasi, India, 2012.


Sonepur Mela, India, 2012.


Chittagong, Bangladesh, 2013.


Rajshahi, Bangladesh, 2013.


Istanbul, Turkey, 2013.


Istanbul, Turkey, 2013.


Istanbul, Turkey, 2013.


Mumbai, India, 2013.


Mumbai, India, 2013.


Mumbai, India, 2013.


Puri, India, 2013.


Kolkata, India, 2013.


Mumbai, India, 2013.


Bangkok, Thailand, 2014.


Bangkok, Thailand, 2014.


Varanasi, India, 2014.


Yangon, Myanmar, 2015.


Yangon, Myanmar, 2015.


Kamshet, India, 2015.


Tokyo, Japan, 2015.


Istanbul, Turkey, 2015.


Kolkata, India, 2015.


Varanasi, India, 2015.


Varanasi, India, 2015.


Sonepur Mela, India, 2015.


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2016.

A man walks with a ladder at Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, India. thumbnail
india_tamil_nadu_madurai_street_photography_moment thumbnail
An Indian tourist photographs with his camera pointed at himself thumbnail
A man carries a toilet on his head in Lahore, Pakistan. thumbnail
africa_malawi_Nhkata_Bay_daily_life_street_photography thumbnail
Fishermen - Varanasi, India. thumbnail
A taxi ride in Mumbai, India. thumbnail
Street scene in Central District in Hong Kong, China. thumbnail
A man buried in the sand on the beach in Aden, Yemen. thumbnail
A girl in a window of her house in a slum in Chittagong, Banglad thumbnail
America Declare Bankruptcy thumbnail
street scene from Chefchaouen, Morocco thumbnail
The promenade in Essaouira, Morocco thumbnail
indonesia_java_solo_light_shop_mirror_reflection thumbnail
india_sonepur_mela_coca_cola_fair_event_color_street_photography thumbnail
A man seen thhrough a hole in the wall in Patna, India. thumbnail
A scene from the medina in Kairouan, Tunisia. thumbnail
india_sonepur_mela_model_poster_woman_street_photography thumbnail
A man uriantes in public in front of advertising posters in Patn thumbnail
Morning bathing at the Mallick Ghat on Hooghly River in Kolkata, thumbnail
india_varanasi_2011_sleeping_dog_bicycle_bike_pedal_street_photography thumbnail
A man jumps over a hole in the wall enclosing a small water tank thumbnail
A dog yawns on a bench on the sea coast in Diu, India. thumbnail
Bogyoke Aung San Market, Yangon, Myanmar. thumbnail
myanmar_burma_Yangon_street_car_mirror_street_photography_geometry thumbnail
Morning exercises on Marina Drive in Mumbai, India. thumbnail
Cows on the bank of Ganges river in Varanasi, India. thumbnail
Circus at Sonepur Mela in India. thumbnail
bangladesh_chittagong_street_mirrors_glass_reflection thumbnail
A man with a ladder at the river promenade in Rajshahi, Banglade thumbnail
turkey_istanbul_sisli_bus_street_photography_humour thumbnail
turkey_istanbul_fatih_man_umbrella_cat_cigarette thumbnail
Children play in Unkapani area in Istanbul, Turkey. thumbnail
A woman and goat in the lane of Ashok Nagar in Mumbai, India. thumbnail
Morning exercises on the sea promenade along Marine Drive in Mum thumbnail
Morning exercises on the sea promenade along Marine Drive in Mum thumbnail
india_orissa_odisha_puri_beach_fishermen_fishing_boats_work thumbnail
india_west_bengal_kolkata_calcutta_color_street_photography_urban_mirror_work_working thumbnail
india_mumbai_bandra_street_market_vendor_street_photography thumbnail
thailand_bangkok_banglamphu_night_nightlife_tourism_khao_san_road_khaosan_tourists_souvenirs_shopping thumbnail
Khao San Road, Bangkok thumbnail
india_uttar_pradesh_varanasi_ganges_ganga_animals_goats thumbnail
myanmar_burma_yangon_street_food_stall_restaurant_people_daily_life thumbnail
myanmar_burma_yangon_portrait_smile_smiling thumbnail
india_maharashtra_kamshet_city_market_vegetable_seller thumbnail
Man with cats in Tokyo thumbnail
turkey_istanbul_pavement_banana_street thumbnail
india_Kolkata_color_street_photography_city_colour thumbnail
color_street_photography_india_varanasi_meat_market_butcher_daily_life_knife thumbnail
india_varanasi_ghat_old_woman_street_photography_decisive_moment thumbnail
A vegetable seller at Sonepur Mela, India thumbnail
malaysia_kuala_lumpur_kl_city_street_crossing_child thumbnail

Street photography around the world by Maciej Dakowicz.

The photos are ordered chronologically – from the first 2004 attempts up to the newest from 2016. Quite a few taken while out shooting with participants of my photography workshops.
What is street photography?
Most people say that street photography features people photographed public places in candid, un-posed situations. In my opinion this definition is too broad as it includes portraiture, travel or editorial photography, which might have nothing to do with the genre. Thus, the definition can be refined easily to define proper street photography by adding just one word – “a twist”. A little twist – something clever, funny, unexpected, surprising or ambiguous. Something making you scratch your head, putting a smile on your face or simply making you say “nice…” And of course a photo does not have to be taken literally in the street – it can be shot indoors, on the beach or in the forest, at any place where photographers can take candid, unposed pictures. But what matters is that little “twist” taking the photo work to a different level.
Unfortunately, these photos with a twist do not come often. So I don’t call myself a street photographer. I am just a photographer who sometimes manages to take a street photograph.
What are the key elements of a good, single photograph? In my opinion it is the content, composition and light.
The content is the most important. Sometimes a not-perfectly composed and lit photograph still can be good, what matters is the message it conveys. Moments! Emotions! They matter.
The decisive moment is one of the key concepts of the genre. It is this once in a lifetime opportunity. If you miss it, it will never happen again. It is a sort of apogee, the exact moment when something happens. The timing is crucial. But these moments have to be caputed in an aesthetic way, in such a way that they are clearly seen.
An echo is another concept – putting visually similar elements in the frame. A circle here and there, a similar pattern on the wall and somebody’s shirt, a laughing person standing next to a poster with a smiling face – these similarities can produce entertaining images.
A contrast is the oposite of the echo. Here instad of similar elements we are looking for contrasting ones around us. So, a not so slim woman with an ice-cream standing next to a poster saying “stay fit”, a well dressed man walking past a poorly dressed one, a hairy guy and a bold one – these differences in the frame make the shot interesting.
An ambiguity, or a mystery is another concept. Here we are talking about pictures that provoke questions rather than answering them. Each viewer can interpret the image in a different way. Sometimes situations are ambiguous just like that, but often isolating fragments of the scene from the whole context can create a mystery.
Composition is the way elements are placed in the frame, how they relate to each other. It greatly depends on the distance from the subject – usually the closer you get the more dynamic perspectives you achieve. You get this sense of being there, right in the middle of things. Then it is all about where the camera is positioned and when the shutter is released. Where and when.
Talking about composition we often deal with geometry – lines, curves and shapes that add structure to our composition, and make it aesthetic and well readable. Framing lines, lines or curves leading to the subjects, shapes enclosing them.
Here we can also talk about the depth of the composition and distinguish different layers consisting of the foreground, middle distance and background elements. Complex multi-layered photographs with multiple subjects are very interesting to look at, but due to their complexity they are rather appreciated by the photography crowd and not fully understood by the rest. You need to remember that simple is good. A simple, clean photograph with a strong content will most of the time have a bigger impact on an average viewer than a complex, multi-layered compositional masterpiece.
Finally, the light is what illuminates the scene. It can be natural – coming from the Sun directly (giving us shadows) or diffused through the clouds. Can also be artificial – coming from a bulb in the ceiling or from a flashgun on top of the camera. A bad light or inappropriate handling of it can ruin the shot, while a good light can make it very special. Once you understand the light and learn how to handle it your pictures will be so much better.
When these three elements come together nicely in one frame you most probably have a great photo. Well done.
Here are some of my favourite quotes that apply to street photography:
“If your photos aren’t good enough, then you’re not close enough.” – Robert Capa
“I want people to keep looking, not just move on to the next thing.” – Richard Kalvar
“The difference between a good picture and a mediocre picture is a question of millimeters — small, small differences — but it’s essential. I didn’t think there is such a big difference between photographers. Very little difference. But it is that little difference that counts, maybe.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson
“There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera.”…”Oop! The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson
“Photographers mistake the emotion they feel while taking the photo as a judgment that the photograph is good” – Garry Winogrand
“There is one problem for me if I try to shoot in the West. There’s an element of privacy . . . even on the street. You can’t go up to someone and put your camera in his or her face. You can sneak a photograph, but you can’t, you can’t intrude on the person.” ”Now, in India, you can do it all the time. No one minds. [And] every Indian person thinks of the photograph – the camera – as something before which he poses. So you might have shot several rolls of someone, you know, but that person… will not think that you have taken a photograph until he’s struck a pose.“ – Raghubir Singh