Make it snappy: The street photography of Daido Moriyama

Jon Foro on September 05, 2019
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We live in a Golden Age of photography. Everyone who isn't walking around with five pounds of state-of-the-art camera dangling from their neck has five ounces of .jpg processing power in their pocket. But most of us still have no idea what to shoot. We cluster to record the same handful of landmarks and monuments, loading our hard drives with images without much to say in 40 megabytes. We are either underthinking things or overthinking them.

Daido Moriyama has no such problem. For 50 years, his snapshots of cafes, subways, and sidewalks — and the people who inhabit them — have made him a progenitor and icon of modern "street photography": the art of capturing daily life, unvarnished and without pretense. In Daido Moriyama: How I Take Photographs (co-written with Takeshi Nakamoto) he shares his approach to the work, his gear, and his travels. But the most important thing to remember is, Keep it simple. As he writes in the book's third paragraph: 

"Well the first thing I always tell anyone who asks me for advice is: Get outside. It's all about getting out and walking. That's the first thing. The second thing is forget everything you've learned on the subject of photography for the moment, and just shoot. Take photographs — of anything and everything, whatever catches your eye. Don't pause to think."

Here are a few images from the book. 


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All images © Daido Moriyama. Used with permission.


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Daido Moriyama: How I Take Photographs
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