Max Colson: Tales

Photojournalism MA student at the LCC

I’m not a stalker, but I do do street photography

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On to Street Photography. The next assignment. I guess one of my incentives to start photography was the street itself. I was backpacking. I remember holding my Canon point and shoot tentatively in my hand in Rio de Janiero and feeling strange. If I remember correctly I think I was looking at the surroundings, wide eyed with the wanderlust, naive as hell, and not quite sure where to start. WTF barely covers it – perhaps it’s more ‘WTF Standing Outside of its Comfort Zone with some Drool Coming Out of its Mouth’. Or WTFSOOICZWSDCOOIM for short.

So naturally I just shot everything I came across, burned it all to CDs, and mailed them back home in installments as I travelled: through southern Brazil, past Iguaçu, Buenos Aires, Bariloche and all the way down the spine of Argentina to freezing Ushaia. The tip of the iceberg. I was learning a lot (still am, and always) and learning that photography is difficult, even with auto focus and auto settings glued to just about everything on your little machine. But I was fascinated.

The thing I found with the little experience I got shooting on the street before I got a proper job was that you never know what you’re going to photograph until it happens –

(NB: it took a journey that included point and shooting across Brazil, Argentina, Chile, NY, Washington, New Jersey and London to teach me that. Am I slow or what?!).

But anyway planning is impossible, and I’m so easily distracted by ANY movement happening in front of ANY corner of my frenetically darting eyeballs at ANY point in time, that in the moment thinking rationally isn’t quite so attractive. It’s all stressy, cos where the hell does the ‘moment’ start anyway? Blink and you’ve missed it. To hell with focusing on one thing – I might miss something, somewhere else. It is a kind of madness I guess.

And there is the other thing, the worry that creeps up on you. Should I be doing this? Is this completely right? Do these people mind? You dart around, unblinking; you eventually lose the angry faces you think you saw in the crowd, and five minutes later you’ve re-appeared and the scene has changed. You hope.

No one likes being watched unannounced, and no one likes CCTV cams studded over every building in central London, and certainly in this day and age no one likes where their picture can end up.

However, this is what I’m doing. Here’s some of my faves from back in the day to start things off:


Written by Max Colson

January 29, 2011 at 11:28 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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