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Euro-centric (like everything else)?

Street photography is well-suited to European-style cities where pedestrians rule. So why is it that street photography is primarily thought-of as an American pursuit? Sure, its main practitioners in the 70s were from the States, but they were taking cues from European photographers of the 30s and 40s. Is the fact that street photography is (more or less) a Western ideal a function of the art world?

And why is it that cities in Asia (India, Vietnam, Japan) seem so well-suited for it with their small streets, bustling life, and hot weather that draws people out of their homes? If I’m remembering correctly, Bresson visited all three, yet his best street work is from France.

In America, only New York and San Francisco come to mind as pedestrian-heavy cities. Which partially explains why Winogrand seemed to lose his way after moving to Los Angeles. Portland’s pedestrian friendly, but the population’s a little small. It’d be interesting to comprise a list of what makes a city prime for street photography.

Last week I discovered that Hanoi’s a great place for it, like Tokyo. DiCorcia did some of his zoom-lens w/flash work for “Heads” in Tokyo, I think. I started browsing a bit, trying to find examples of street photography from Asia (and elsewhere). Came across these shots (1, 2, 3, 4) by Maciej Dakowicz, a Polish-born photographer.

I’ve seen a few photographers on flickr who do interesting street work outside America/Europe (Argentina: Marcelo Montecino, Mexico: Locaburg, Japan: Mecan) but I’m interested in seeing other examples if you’ve got ‘em!

All this brings-up a larger question about the similarities & differences between travel photography and street photography. How locals benefit from knowing their cities inside/out vs. visitors who are always on the outside looking in.

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