If you are a follower of street photography then most of the photographs here shouldn’t be a surprise for you. But now lets meet the photographer himself. This is Ed Peters from New York for all of us. Such elegance and staggering compositions in street photography is great to watch and very inspiring. In this fine Interview, Ed speaks a lot on where it all started and how its perfectly poised now.
Three things I like about these photographs:
- Decisive moments, there is this certain class of photographers, who wants to put in more than the best ingredients for a great photograph. Ed Peters seems definitely there for me.
- Lights and shadows are beautifully weaven together to form the right photograph.
- Interesting elements, be it the moment or the scene or the events surrounding it. Ed masters and nails them with great ease.
Could you please Introduce yourself to our readers?
I’m a photographer living in the New York area.
What first drew you to photography and how did you discover it?
I didn’t grow up aspiring to be a photographer. In college I studied sociology and political economy. It was only afterwards, when I was sharing a house with some friends, that I became interested in photography. A roommate’s girlfriend was a photographer, and she introduced me to the camera and darkroom. After that one thing led to another, and here I am.
What makes street photography so special for you?
I’m not sure if street photography is all that special. While it’s true that I primarily practice something that’s loosely defined as street photography, I admire the work of people who use cameras in a wide variety of ways.
You have visited India several times, Few words about your experience in India?
Given the kind of pictures that I’m currently making, India is fertile ground. It’s large cities are vibrant environments with lots going on. Also, I’ve always had a particular interest in the subcontinent and it’s history. As to why, I’m not completely sure. Sometimes a particular place has a special pull on our imaginations, but we’re not always fully conscious of all the reasons.
Most of your street photographs are shadow play and very interesting in colors/composition, how did you develop this style?
Everyone has their own way of looking at the world. Each of us is attracted to different kinds of subject matter, and we inevitably interpret it in a personal way. I guess it’s true that I sometimes incorporate strong shadows when I’m composing my pictures, but it’s not something that I deliberately set out to do. Furthermore, In some cases the setting that I’m in dictates how I use my camera. I’ve photographed quite a bit in Mexico, and while I’m there I always seem to encounter strongly contrasting light and shadows . When I’m showing pictures from a place where the light is more diffuse, you’d probably notice less shadows.
What difference does photography create in your life?
I can’t turn back the clock, so I don’t know how my life would be different if I never became a photographer. For now the medium gives me a great deal of personal satisfaction, and that’s enough.
One thing you always make sure to remember on the streets?
I’m stumped – I can’t think of anything.
Mostly Leicas and Canons. For the past few years I’ve also been using a Ricoh GR. It’s very unobtrusive, and a good little camera for street photography.
Which photographers inspire you?
There are too many to name them all, but here are a few from my list of the “usual suspects”: Andre Kertesz, Henri Cartier- Bresson, Manuel Alvarez- Bravo, Walker Evans, Eugene Atget, Lee Freidlander, William Klein, Daido Moriyama, and Robert Frank. When it comes to color, I’d also like to mention William Eggleston, Saul Leiter, Helen Levitt, Raghubir Singh, and some of the people at Magnum like Harry Gruyerert, Alex Webb, and Gueorgui Pinkhassov.
You have any favorite books on photography?
Once again, there are too many to name, but I recently purchased a copy of Masahisa Fukase’s Ravens. It’s a reissue of the original 1986 edition, and it’s wonderful. Isn’t it nice when someone publishes a reprint of a great book that was almost unattainable?
Apart from photography, tell us your hobbies and interests?
I’m broadly interested in the arts, and I’d venture to say that artists like Henri Matisse, Kurt Schwitters, or Robert Rauschenberg have influenced my work as much as the photographers mentioned above.
Any tips for aspiring street photographers out there?
What we do is usually a solitary practice, but it’s rewarding when we can form connections with like minded people. Over the last several years social media has given rise to a number of sites (like 121 Clicks) and collectives where photographers can share work and ideas. I’d encourage people to check them out. I belong to Vivo, and it’s been an eye opening experience to communicate with photographers from around the world.
You can find Ed Peters on the Web :
All the pictures in this post are copyrighted Ed Peters. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.