Street art or graffiti whatever you want to call it, is undoubtedly here to stay and has become so commonplace on our urban street that you may not always notice it.
I know that unless the graffiti is particulaly different that I hardly see it any more which is why it makes such an interesting photography project, once you start looking for it, you will actually see some quite amazing pieces of art.
This photography project is not particularly about photographing street art to depict it but to use it to show how it appears in and interacts with the urban environment.
Whether it is straightforward uninspired tagging adorning run down estates, or political graffiti making a social comment on the times in which we live.
Or even just something that is just great street art, they will all test your abilities to shoot it in your own imaginative way to add your spin on the work.
The four pieces I have chosen show different types of graffiti drawn on different surfaces and all are conveying a different message to the viewer. Notice how each photograph uses the space around the art to give a wider narrative to the image.
This first image taken by Ben Cumming uses black and white to illustrate the simplicity of the graffiti.
The graffiti in itself is very simple but well drawn and rather amusing to look at. The photographer has included a small part of the background to give the image perspective and location.
The photographer has used a narrow depth of field to keep the telegraph pole in focus whilst blurring the background out.
This is important as it tells the viewer that the important aspect of this image is the street art and not the whole street scene.
When shooting close up work like this it is good to ask yourself "what is in the background"? and "will it give the image more impact to include it or not"?
The second image by myself was taken in a rather run down area of London but this graffiti just could not be ignored, as it jumped out at you and demanded to be noticed.
I wanted to show it in context and thought that a straight on shot would give little away of its location. I therefore chose to shoot from the side but to keep the telephone box in to add to the overall urban feel of the image.
I cropped the image later using Photoshop to remove most of the bland white sky and to give the image an elongated look to mirror the long outsized body of the figure.
In doing this the telephone box looked as if it was leaning, so I used the transform tools to pull the image out and stand the phone box upright again.
Don't be afraid to do this if you have to, it is not against the rule to skew real life slightly to gain a better visual appearance for your images.
This third image is also by myself. I wanted to show how run down the area was and also wanted to illustrate "tagging" graffiti.
Tagging, as you know is simply the signature of a graffiti artist, although taggers are rarely artists and just scrawl unsightly scribble everywhere. This makes it rather unappealing to photograph.
I therefore chose to shoot a scene where tagging was a part of a bigger piece of street art. I chose to take the picture pretty much straight on to keep the image a realistic view of the scene as seen as if you were just walking by.
I liked the addition of the street sign and bollard to give the image a little more interest and add to the urban ugliness.
This last image taken by Wandering Thinker has a similar composition to the first with a part of the background kept in the shot to add context. The focus is similar too; with the graffiti remaining in sharp focus while the background is slightly blurred.
I liked this image because the simple shapes, textures and colours in the image. There is also a slight irony in the image, the graffiti is saying, "fight your enemy" and there's absolutely no one around.
In fact it looks like a very disserted area. Perhaps this is what the photographer also saw in the image.
It is a good example of looking for the simple less bold street art in the environment rather than for the brash in your face graffiti.