General Note: We’re trying a new approach for the SPOW in the coming weeks to encourage more Lebanese street photographers to take part. We’ll be choosing two street photographs each week for the SPOW– one from an International street photographer and one from a Lebanese one. Feel free to let us know your feedback on whether we should continue with this approach. Thank you!
How often do you find yourself in a crowd? What is it that actually draws us to form and become a part of a crowd? The streets, alive and constantly moving, are a common stage for crowds to form whether intentionally (for example, to watch a street performance or as part of a demonstration) or not (an accident or unusual event that draws attention).
But crowds sometimes form just because there are lots of people in one place and not necessarily there for the same reason.
For this week’s “Lost in the Crowd” theme, the crowd becomes a backdrop for another subject to stand out from. In this case, that subject actually becomes the main focus of the shot and it’s the photographer’s role to help us spot that peculiar subject and understand why it’s important to see it.
We chose the following two shots and you’ll notice how within each, the crowd and the main subject have a different relationship:
In Achim’s shot, the crowd could be any crowd at a festival or event but had it not been for the image on one of the spectator’s iPad, we wouldn’t know what that event was. We’re instinctually drawn to crowds because of the curiosity it peaks within. For something to get the attention of so many people, it must be interesting or at least worth finding out about, right? The hand that pokes out of the crowd satisfies that for the viewer and adds a nice dimension experiencing this moment.
The second you look at Nadim’s shot, you’re taken to a different time. This could very well have been a photograph taken a few decades ago but the devil is truly in the details. The crowd in this shot give us a better sense of time and place. If several of the people in this shot were wearing top hats, we’d actually believe this was an old photograph but their dress code tells us its more modern. The contrast of crowd in black with the white of the bride frames the scene nicely. The crowd and dramatic effect of the black-and-white in this shot puts the bride in the spotlight on her special day – even with the crowd facing many different directions. The crowd becomes a frame for this special moment.
What do you think of the shots? Share your thoughts and check out the complete album of entries for this theme here.