Nick Turpin talks about street photography at the FORMAT International Photography Festival 2011. Image © Olivier Laurent.
"Shooting a fashion spread, an ad campaign, there's a lot of pressure on you, but it was too easy," says Nick Turpin, who was speaking at this year's Format International Photography Festival in Derby. "I realised that the street photography I was trying to do then was the hardest thing I had done. You have no support. You walk ten miles across London or New York or wherever you are - ten hours a day."
He adds: "We're reduced to that rectangle and shutter button. Not only do you have to be at right place and right time, but you also need a cultural awareness. You have to see something, realise its signification and record it in a fraction of a second."
Turpin, who has also started his book imprint, as BJP reported last year, was commissioned by the Format festival to produce a documentary on ten street photographers. Shown in Derby, the documentary will also be released online at a later date. However, Turpin has released the following trailer:
"The street is a stage," explains Turpin. "Any street corner, sidewalk, is a stage for human events. I wanted to demonstrate that. People come and go. Interesting characters." Sometimes, Turpin will stay in one place - most likely around London Bridge, a "favoured place of mine" - for a couple of hours waiting for the right picture. "There are moments," he says, "but not always pictures. You wait for an element of order, and then, slowly, things come together. This is the challenge that street photographers face on a daily basis. That's the magical thing about street photography."
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