Street Photography Oddities

When travelling I’ve always enjoyed finding street photography oddities as they spark a lot of visual interest in me. I appreciate that many other photographers find high levels of interest in photographing people in street situations. One approach isn’t better than another… they’re just different.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 50 mm, efov 135 mm, f/8, 1/50, ISO-400

The photograph above was actually the graphic on the shirt of a woman working in a shop in Italy. I found it visually arresting. Through some hand gestures I communicated my desire to capture a photograph. Fortunately the woman agreed. I composed this image very quickly, trying to create a strong left to right eye flow. The red lipstick in the bottom corner was designed to anchor the photograph.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 23 mm, efov 62.1 mm, f/8, 1/200, ISO-400

I found this embedded artwork during the same street exploration as the previous image. I loved the simple balance of the outstretched leaves and how the two coloured leaves at the bottom of the spread helped to accentuate colours in the stem.

Carmichael Point Ireland, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 100 mm, efov 270 mm, f/8, 1/125, ISO-160

My wife and I spent 4 weeks circumnavigating the island of Ireland in 2019. We travelled primarily on rural, back roads as we much prefer the tranquility. I happened to look up to see this single horse wagon driving off down the road. To me it really captured the peaceful feeling of rural Ireland.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 46 mm, efov 124.2 mm, f/8, 1/160, ISO-400

Street photography oddities can be found in numerous locations. I am regularly attracted to strong, colourful graphics like the one above. I captured this image while we were waiting to visit a historic site in Italy. It took a little bit of time to get the framing the way I wanted it and to have the bright yellow elements properly balanced. This graphic was on the side of a garbage truck.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 100 mm, efov 270 mm, f/8, 1/8, ISO-160

Italy has long been recognized as a leading, European fashion centre. While on a city walking tour I noticed these stylish sandals on a toddler’s feet. People are introduced to fashion at a young age in Italy.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 64 mm, efov 172.8 mm, f/8, 1/25, ISO-160

On another city walking tour along a canal in Italy I noticed this collection of “lovers’ locks”. Signs and symbols of young love can be found in many unexpected places, and can make interesting subjects for street photography.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 68 mm, efov 183.6 mm, f/8, 1/160, ISO-200

Street photography oddities can even include antiquities. While on a walking tour of Pompeii I noticed this ancient carving of a penis. It was used to advertise the availability of particular ‘physical services’ in Roman times.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 41 mm, efov 110.7 mm, f/8, 1/30, ISO-800

As soon as my gaze came upon this outdoor faucet spout during a city walking tour in Palermo Italy I knew I had to capture an image of it. Surprisingly to me, few other people in our tour group had even noticed this unique spout.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 48 mm, efov 129.6 mm, f/8, 1/160, ISO-800

My eye has always been attracted to repeating patterns and I often notice street photography oddities because of their patterns. These stacks of hats were on display on an outdoor table in an Italian market. I loved the symmetry.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 87 mm, efov 234.9 mm, f/8, 1/160, ISO-400

While participating in a city walking tour during our trip to Italy in 2019, I noticed this elevator control panel… even though I was on the  other side of the street. Like a moth to a candle, I was uncontrollably attracted to it, crossing the street for the sole purpose of creating this image. I loved the simple, yet powerful graphics.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 48 mm, efov 129.6 mm, f/8, 1/25, ISO-800

Sometimes an old artifact like this iron ring will grab my attention. I am often thrust back in history, and think about the human condition in past centuries when creating these types of photographs.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 64mm, efov 173mm, f8, 1/100, ISO-160

While driving through the hamlet of Burkes Pass on the South Island of New Zealand  I saw some incredible graphics on display outdoors. I stopped the car and spent some time walking through the displays and capturing some images.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 60mm, efov 162mm, f8. 1/320, ISO-160

Some of the graphics brought a smile to my face.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 60 mm, efov 162 mm, f/8, 1/80, ISO-160

While doing some extensive walking through the downtown area of Christchurch I was moved by the incredible artwork that had been painted on the sides of buildings damaged by an earthquake that ravaged the city in 2011. The creative spirit and determination of New Zealanders is inspiring to say the least.

Nikon 1 j5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 72mm, efov 194 mm,, f/8, 1/400, ISO-160

Street photography oddities can be found close to home. A number of years ago a friend and I spent some time walking the streets in the small town of Port Dover Ontario. I found the red, metal chair in the photograph above, most intriguing. It took some time to compose this image in terms of trying to find the right framing and visual balance.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 79 mm, efov 213, mm, f/5.6, 1/80, ISO-160

The bicycle wheel above is another image captured during a photo walk in Port Dover. I used rule of thirds and a strong corner exit to compose this photograph.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 14 mm, efov 38 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-200

The strong blue and yellow graphic above was another visually compelling subject that I found in Port Dover. I was attracted to the symmetry and colour contrast of the artwork.

NIKON 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 75mm, ISO 160, 1/50, f/8.0

I spent some time to get myself and my camera precisely positioned to create the optical illusion in the photograph above. I noticed this interesting convergence of angles and shapes while doing some street photography in Hamilton Ontario. The rectangle shape in centre frame is composed of lines from three different surfaces. It incorporates a top ledge, part of a brick wall, and a stone patio.

NIKON 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 31.9mm, ISO 200, 1/800, f/5.6

When doing street photography I enjoy looking at signage that can be found in various shops. Sometimes the poignancy of a sign can increase dramatically with current events. This one was found in Hamilton Ontario.

NIKON 1 V2 + 10.0-30.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ ISO 3200, 1/20, f/5.0

Street photography oddities can be found all over the world. I spotted this sign for a tattoo shop while on a walking tour in Mykonos Greece.

NIKON 1 V2 + 32.0 mm f/1.2 @ ISO 160, 1/60, f/5.6

The image above was created during the same walking tour on Mykonos. I loved the progression or colours and the tactile nature of the paint brushes.

NIKON 1 V2 + 6.7-13.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ ISO 400, 1/100, f/5.6

Street photography oddities can take the shape of a chopped back end of the VW Beetle. I found this image opportunity while on a walking tour of Nafplio Greece.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 10mm, efov 27mm, f/8, 1/160, ISO-160

A jumble of fishing gear can create an interesting and colourful street photography image. The one above was captured in Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 14 mm, efov 37.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/160, ISO-400

While on a city walking tour in Milan Italy we visited the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. As I looked up at the intricate ceiling this image presented itself.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 75 mm, efov 202.5 mm, f/8, 1/500, ISO-400

The combination of strong colours and angles always catch my eye. This portion of a sign jumped out at me when doing some street photography in Niagara-on-the-Lake Ontario.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 52 mm, efov 140.4 mm, f/8, 1/25, ISO-400

Street photography often leads to folks walking through fresh air markets. I captured this image of a tumble of yellow melons while on a walking tour of Palermo Italy. Finding the natural flow and balance in a grouping of fruit or vegetables is always a rewarding experience for me.

While some photographers are drawn to street architecture… or everyday people going about their lives… I’ve always been attracted to street photography oddities. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Technical Note:

Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were created from RAW files using my standard approach. Photographs were resized for web use. This is the 1,199 article published on this website since its original inception in 2015.

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