Paul Graham – The Present
Images from Paul Graham’s 2012 series ‘The Present’ are in challenge to street photography and the decisive moment, they show more of the story, more of the truth than the singular moments that we are used to seeing in the works of Henri Cartier Bresson, Robert Doisneau and Paul Strand. We are used to seeing the perfect moment where something important has happened, not a shifting reality to explain more of what has happened. Regular street photography is close up, but Graham takes a step back to observe the street and capture the impacts of events around him.
The project is a modern interpretation of street photography so all images are in colour, and are taken to show a more modern slant to previous street works. The lighting helps Graham to achieve the modern aesthetic. The Present is a great example of how natural light can be used in photography. In each photograph there is incredibly intense lighting which creates thick shadows and crisp detail. Graham has achieved this by photographing on sunny days so the suns light isn’t reflected by the clouds; its directional. I think the lighting shows a modern interpretation of street photography, and creates more of an interesting, different aesthetic that will draw the viewer in.