Street Photography. How many have heard of it? I follow a Facebook page of amateur photographers in the Maritimes which I enjoy immensely and they recently had the theme of 'street photography'. People shared all sorts of street photos from streets themselves, to traffic, people, cars and parades. It was the photos with people that I liked best and there is a photographer in Moncton who captures actual street people....as in those who live on the streets....in his photos. They are beautiful. He gets to know these people on a personal level and asks to take their photos. He edits them beautifully and brings out their true character and personality.
There are many well known street photographers around the world and in today's world it is a touchy thing to do with privacy issues even though 'big brother' is watching all the time with cameras everywhere! But to ask a person to take their photo is a polite thing to do I guess, although really, the street is a public place so if you don't want your picture taken what do you do? Stay home? It's a touchy issue isn't it.
A friend posted a great 'street photo' of her and her fiancé taken in 1971 in Calgary, Alberta. Apparently there was a photographer set up on a busy downtown sidewalk that did this a lot in that city and in Edmonton too. Another friend of hers shared a photo from a street photographer taken in the 1930's which reminded me of some old photos I had. I finally figured out why the 3 photos I have were taken on a busy sidewalk in Calgary sometime in the late 30's or early 40's.
Someone wrote "Belle and yours truly" on the back of this one.
My mother's mother and grandmother came from Scotland in the early 1900's and the family moved to Calgary. I have a few photos of family members and even their house inside - I suppose they were showing folks out east what it looked like - but I don't have a clue who anyone is in the photos. I know none of these ladies is my grandmother. At least I don't think so. She made her home in rural New Brunswick living on a farm and raised 4 children. I wonder if she visited her relatives in Calgary and perhaps she is in the photos. I studied them carefully to see details like the buildings in the background and the style of clothes, including hats and real fur animals around their necks, and the 'proper' footwear. I remember my other grandmother and my great aunt wearing the black or brown heeled oxfords too.
I wonder who the child is in this photo too. The same lady is in all three photographs. They appear to be taken in different seasons.
In the first and last photos there is a building in the background with "MacLean Block" painted on it. I Googled that and found there to be a MacLean Block in both Calgary and Edmonton. I'm guessing this was Calgary though as that is where they lived. I also searched for street photography in the 1930's and 40's for both cities and found lots of photos although not all were in Calgary and Edmonton. One interesting photo was of a man set up at a small table on the sidewalk with his camera - one of those old ones with a big round flash attached - dated in the late 30's. Apparently these photographers took the photos and, I'm assuming, stopped you to get your name and address so he could mail the photos to you. There are numbers written in pencil on the back of each photo. One would have to be very trusting to give out their address to a stranger I'd think - even in those days.
I find this all to be very interesting and am wondering if anyone out there has old photos of this sort in an album or shoebox and didn't realize it. If anyone knows anything more on this topic, especially for Calgary, I'd love for you to leave a comment.
The greater mystery is that I may have family in Calgary that I don't even know - other than our daughter and family who we visit once or twice a year. It is sad how families lose touch over time and get forgotten about.
This is downtown Calgary taken in February 2015. Stephen Ave. is the main street and is mostly a pedestrian 'mall' with buildings old and new.
My family - I had permission for this one. :)
A lot of the old business are now new ones. Lots of eateries on this street.
The older buildings are overshadowed by the new skyscrapers today.
I did not need permission from these two gentlemen to take their picture!
But, you know, I was very careful not to get peoples faces in the photos. Mind you it was a very cold and windy day that day so there weren't many on the street even at noon hour. There was some action though. Some young men exited a building chasing another young man and shouting obscenities at him and basically telling him to stay out of their territory. A gang up right in broad daylight! It was kind of scary and I didn't take pictures as I was afraid they'd see me. But, I bet they were caught on video cameras from buildings along the street. And I bet I was caught too, taking photos of those buildings. Ha!
Smile....you're on (Candid) Camera!!
That's Murray in the middle - always joking around for the camera!
Thanks for visiting today. I hope you're having a wonderful week!