The Curious Camera Club is proud to introduce JOHN LEWELL (@johnlewell) through this Gold Member Feature. As with all our features, we hope that you will visit his Instagram page and go show some <3. And we are very much looking forward to seeing his beautiful photography in print as part of Issue 1 of CURIOUS magazine, available to buy from June 1 2019.
For me, street photography is not only great fun to do but it’s also an activity I take very seriously. Anyone who doesn’t take it seriously will never get good shots every day. Sure, you may chance upon a photogenic situation on your way to work or when you’re out shopping, but you need to be in the right state of mind, to look, to see, and then to compose the image with full intentionality.
Street photography can seem deceptively simple, mainly because it doesn’t require much gear and the streets are open to everyone. In fact, it’s the most difficult kind of photography because it demands intense concentration, constant awareness of the changing scene in front of you, and lots of cunning strategies to achieve success.
Street Photography Is Cool
Alas, I don’t have the space here to explain how to achieve any of these things, but at least I’ve written and published “Street Photography Is Cool” (on Amazon Kindle) which examines the subject in depth. I think it’s my best book. It contains a lot of my London shots which I’ve not shown on Instagram.
My favourite cities for taking street pictures are London and Bangkok. I also like the colourful subjects offered by other Asian cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore, but on balance I think the light is better in Bangkok. In all photography, light is the most important factor. It becomes shaped and filtered by location, weather, and the time of day. I never use flash, preferring instead to rely on prevailing conditions.
I believe it’s important to let your personal style develop gradually, rather than impose stylistic conditions on your work. If you copy someone else’s style, then obviously it’s not personal to you.
My own “cinematic style” relies on a balance between form and content, with neither one fully eclipsing the other. Each of my pictures could be a frame from a movie, maybe not one of those old-fashioned films where “every frame is a Rembrandt,” but certainly a well-composed frame that deserves more than a cursory glance.
When I’m not taking pictures I’m usually creating something else: whether articles, books, or websites. For photographers and media professionals, I’ve put together a set of linked directories, all of which are accessible from PhotoStartSheet.com – a great place to start browsing everything related to photography on the Internet.
My first love is street photography because of its immediacy, its rawness, and its hugely challenging, chaotic subject matter. It makes me more aware of how human endeavour constantly struggles against the ephemerality of existence.
The Curious Camera Club would like to extend our sincere thanks to John for his support to our community. We are very proud to be able to promote his work and share his story. If you would also like the opportunity to be a featured member of the Curious Camera Club through pledging your support, please head over to our membership pages by clicking here
Whether you are a paid member or not, we would also like to thank every one of you for helping this community to grow. We love to hear your stories, help you out with all your street photography questions, and share your photography talents with the world. Stay Curious!