has been on DeviantArt for over four years and in that time has been a strong supporter of Street Photography, advocating for the genre time and time again. He has, more recently, become the Street Photography Community Volunteer and this article will hopefully give you a bit more insight into how he works, what inspires him and what Street Photography means to him. Houman is from New Caledonia and describes himself as a modest but passionate photographer on an eternal learning curve...
Tell us a bit about yourself, where you are from and how you got started with Street Photography...
I'm from Lyon in France and I'm thirty-seven years old. I have a son and have been married for twelve years. I actually live and work in New Caledonia which is a little French island located in the Pacific Ocean north East from Australia. For work, I am a miner and have been travelling for work since 2003 in various countries across the world. photography is my passion, it's an incredible part of me that was revealed when I was just sixteen years old. My Father inspired me when he began taking photos with an Analog camera, photos which he painted from.
Why Street Photography? I wanted to capture instant moments, emotion and people. I wanted to shoot wider than nature and objects offered me.
I use all of the below, I used to have a Canon 400D and then moved to a 5D Mark II.
Analog Leica M5 with a lens - Summicron 50mm f/2.
Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon lens 50mm f1.4 and a 70 - 300mm lens.
Fujifilm X100T - I just got this and can't wait to get started!
What advice would you give to someone starting out with Street Photography?
Observe. Based on your mood and your heart, be humble. Have fun. Look at the people around you, at the places, at the tiny magical moments which happen around us at every corner on every street. Go to a Cafe with your camera in hand and whilst sitting, look at everything around you. Beauty is very subjective but I believe that it's everywhere. You have to shoot and shoot and shoot again to improve your techniques - let your inner emotions bloom whilst photographing.
Do you find yourself shy or self conscious when shooting on the Street? How do you overcome these feelings?
I was when I first started out, I confess that I missed billions of occasions where I could have captured something amazing but didn't due to feeling shy. It's a human feeling. I'm still self conscious but happy. To me, a good shot has to be found sometimes by moving around the subject. Trying and looking from different angles and points of view. I do it frankly for sure, but I smile. I look at people and they quite often send the smile back and forget all about me.
How else do you interact with people when shooting?
I have a trend not to interact. I like to be invisble. I like to be an observer who will not disrupt what is happening in front of my eyes. I guess I'm afraid that my interaction would ruin a magical moment. I'm just the guy who will shoot and capture the moment. This particular shot below is important to me...
When I took this, I wasn't yet a Father. I shot it in Marseille and I remember it as being a time of my life where a lot of things were giving me headaches. Seeing children running, laughing and being free was a sort of therapy to me. I took lots of shots that afternoon and this was amongst them. The bedsheets with things written on them were an art exhibition and it was funny to see the children playing amongst them.
Have you ever had the opportunity to photograph some journalstic events?
I have been travelling the past twelve years and haven't been particularly active in the social and political aspects of my country. I have lived through some incredible changes though, such as the two presidents being in power in the Côte d'Ivoire, or the time I was in Mali before the French Attack or in Guinea when the dictator died after twenty four years in power. I remember being part of the Je Suis Charlie walks for freedom in New Caledonia...
Where do you draw your inspiration and enthusiasm from?
From my mood, feelings or sometimes both. My son inspires me and I have a lot of inspiration from other deviants here... MARX77
... DeviantArt remains a place where I can involve myself in supporting the community through sharing art, discussing, debating, promoting and featuring. I like to say what I think and feel, here I can do that. I also live by some very important quotes....
"Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst."
"Photography is an art of observation. It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them."