Archive for the ‘thoughts about photography’ Category

I was invited by to take part in an article he was preparing for the Huffington Post on street photography.

I didn’t really know what it was about and was asked to send one picture, the one I consider my best and to write in about 50 words why i think it is my best.

It is truly impossible to point out one picture as “best”, it’s like choosing on child over the other. As a photographer ther is always the process of self evolvement and the definition of best may vary with time.

Sweet wrote to me that he was impressed by my color work so I decided to pick a color image for the article. I picked the following image for the reasons I wrote in the article.

© Street photography by Sagi Kortler

© Street photography by Sagi Kortler


this image holds many aspects of photography that I like, the parallelism of the hand gesture of the mannequin and the girl on the left, the surrealism of the whole scene, the dark and long shadows of photographing at the later hours of the day that brings beautiful light. I like photographs that enable the viewer to imagine the story behind the scene. It’s the kind of photo that can be taken lightly, or one where you can find a deeper, more important message.”

Check out the full article here –


Visual relationships, gestures and the elements of surprise all fascinate me and contribute to what I perceive as a good picture. You can find all these elements in this one.

Click the image for a larger view

© Street Photography by Sagi Kortler

© Street Photography by Sagi Kortler

Street Photography and Moral Codes, is a new on-line exhibition curated by Peter Fahrni from the Forward Thinking Museum that tries to examine the moral code in street photography.

The practice of observing and photographing people in candid situations is a direct expression of human curiosity. A street photographer recognizes in a split second the visual potential of any number of human interactions, individual expressions, and patterns occurring in a public space and typically attempts to keep a decisive moment undisturbed by not alerting the subject. One approach is to stay as low key as possible, for instance by pretending to aim the camera at something other than the intended individual. A more aggressive approach may involve a sudden move towards a subject, perhaps with a handheld flash. Here, the singled out passerby usually does become aware, but by that time the shutter has already been released.

Photographing without the subject’s knowledge lays at the crux of potential ethical conflicts – without knowledge there cannot be consent. On the other hand, the absence of consent does not imply unethical behavior. Moral codes come into play for all parties involved: the photographer, who is looking to exercise her artistic freedom while safeguarding an individual’s dignity – the subject, who might ask for the deletion of his image, realizing he has no say in the creation or distribution of the photograph – and the public, who demands both access to street photography (in form of entertainment, news, or art), and to be shielded from excesses. A group not supposed to be guided by moral considerations is law enforcement. However, an officer called to the scene of a dispute may or may not be knowledgeable about the law he is supposed to enforce. The ensuing vacuum is likely filled with the official’s own moral code.

In this exhibit, each of the twelve featured artist shares in a brief essay some of the moral considerations that can come into play at any time. It is helpful to come forth from behind the camera at times to engage with a subject. A smile and some information about the nature and intention of a photographer’s work go a long way to ease tensions. As the legality of picture taking in public spaces continues to be challenged and cultural norms at home and abroad shift in unpredictable ways, a street photographer’s artistry has evolved to include advanced social skills.

The images in this show are as singular as the voices in the introductions. To some extent, this can be attributed to various cameras, including mobile phones, etc, but what accounts most for the individuality of each photographer’s style comes down to a highly personal way of connecting to people in a given space – a readiness to potentially consider everybody and everything worth taking note of. The viewer, in turn, is enriched with stunning images and a friendly nudge to take another look at what’s easily taken for granted.

– Peter Fahrni – Director, Forward Thinking Museum


© Street Photography by Sagi Kortler

© Street Photography by Sagi Kortler

Once in a while you’ll hear the phrase “shooting from the hip” when talking about street photography. Some purists find this method to be dishonest, or cheap or unprofessional.

Is it really that bad?

Back in the day, when TLR’s were used by photographers like Vivian Maier, the shots were made from the hip…. is she a bad photographer now? Does it makes her work less impressive?

Vivian Maier - shooting from the hip

Vivian Maier – shooting from the hip

“Shooting from the hip” is a phrase, it doesn’t mean that you have to shoot from the actual hip… it just means – not looking through the viewfinder. If you are using the same focal length all the time, it ‘s very easy to master the coverage and composition without looking via the viewfinder.

With today’s tech that gives us live view and tilting displays,” shooting from the hip” is even easier and in a way bring us back to the TLR days.

© Street Photography by Sagi Kortler

For me, “shooting from the hip” means also fast response. sometimes you just don’t have the time to bring the camera to the eye. In many cases my shots are taken as I wander, I don’t even stop walking, just reacting to a situation in front of me, shooting by intuition.

Another aspect for me is my height, “shooting from the eye” would mean in many situations aiming down at the subject  and in many situations it won’t look good, so I shoot sometimes from the chest. I could bend a bit and I do that as well but it is not possible in many cases.

One also have to understand that my streets are different then your streets or the other guy’s streets. In each city, in each country, we need to use the techniques that work best for those streets.

© Street Photography by Sagi Kortler

On a final note – in art, only the outcome, the final work counts and have meaning, not the way, path or process. the process of creation is only important to the artist as each artist should find his own process that he is comfortable with and enables him to express himself. The process can also make a good story to help the curator to sell the artist’s work.

Last week we (Street Gang Photos) hosted iN-PUBLIC photographer Richard Bram for an intense one-day workshop.

One of the drills Richard gave the students was to stand for one hour at a street corner, working only the corner and not wandering around.

Although I came along for documenting the workshop for our Facebook page, this drill intrigued me as I usually lack the patience to stand in one place and I’m always on the move. I think that my lack of patience is mostly due to the fact that most of the time such approach is required when working on juxtapositions using signs which is a bit of a cliché…

I decided to pick up the challenge and stand in one place for an hour but instead of looking for the cliché juxtapositions, I was focusing on the small gestures of humanity as I usually like to capture while wandering the streets but this time without moving of course.

So here is my catch from one hour – 60 minutes on the street corner

Felix Lupa is one of the best street photographers out there and also a co-founder of the street photography collective – Street Gang. Felix wrote a very interesting article about what makes a good photograph. It is a great read and I totally agree with Felix. Read the article HERE.

A remarkable photograph must be a personal, visual report of the subject. It has to be able to tell me, using the photographer personal and unique visual language what the photographer saw and what he felt. For a good photograph it is not enough to just be a visual report, it also has to be a psychological report. It has to transfer to me the emotions and the point of view of the photographer behind the camera.

Although this blog and the Street Gang collective are dedicated to street photography, I find Felix thoughts to be suitable for all genres of photography.

© Felix Lupa

© Felix Lupa

Dear friends,
I’m happy to announce the formation of a new International Street Photography collective – Street Gang
The collective was co-founded by Felix Lupa, Sagi Kortler, Eyal Binehaker and Alex Levac.
Check out our new web site –


Street Gang - The Heart of Street Photography

Street Gang – The Heart of Street Photography