The Other Side – Breakthrough Images by Steve Coleman

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The other side of the glass
The other side of the glass

So…Why is this image one of my seminal breakthrough images? Well for a long time I’ve been interested in trying to find something in a less obvious way. It’s vague I know but I guess I mean to say I struggled with the notion of street photography, not the medium itself, but with my own shackles and interpretations.

A fair amount of my work isn’t exactly conforming to the technicalities of what we are led to believe is the perfect shot. An excuse to disregard form and composition I hear you say! Not really, more an attempt to achieve what my favourite photographers achieved when they ‘broke the rules’ by imposing their own rules on their images.

I think I can best describe the work of Saul Leiter, a master fashion photographer who’s more personal street work said more ‘fine art’ than street art. The negative space he used enchants me.

I also like to push subjects to the edge of the frame, of course that’s not every subject, but in this instance the hidden portion of the bag lady enhances the viewable portion.

The young woman on the other side of the glass is somewhat hidden, the darkness beyond her adds to the intrigue, and the Coke bottle red? To my eyes it ties the issue together.

I know it’s not my best shot, but it’s the one that reminds me to be expressive, to push my own boundaries and to try and see the scene as a story, of  emotion, movement and space. Sometimes a photographer needs to hide itself, its meaning, like a good song lyric that means so many different things to so many.

Steve Coleman –

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