Looking at My Photos for More Sustained Interest in the Frame

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Andrew L
So I've been refining some of my photos lately, both in my backlog (my photos tend to sit around for a while before I do anything with them, including editing and culling) and on public spots like Flickr (which is pretty much it, except for a weakly attempted VSCO profile), and in particular rethinking the way I approached street photography. In the past, I have used shooting from the hip and the tilt LCD on my Panasonic cameras to try and get close, and the result has been some shots where people are figured pretty directly as subjects. As time has gone on and I have been able to study those shots, I've realized something about how they were motivated: I was a newcomer, so understandably kind of scared to be "caught" taking street photos of people. I'm an introvert, so confrontation is not something I enjoy (though working in various brick and mortar, including currently banking, I've gotten fairly comfortable with handling the occasional upset member of the public - so it's not the end of the world, but still not my idea of relaxing). I was using alternate means of composing to avoid discomfort, but at the same time trying to overcome the basic fear I had of photographing strangers. So my technique centered around getting people framed prominently and shot from the front so their faces are visible, so as to avoid the infamous timid street photos of the backs of people.

I got maybe a couple interesting ones this way, see these:

33802292352_cbfbf8cb6c_b.jpg
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P1040512-2 by Andrew Lossing, on Flickr

38370759621_bf3ed46e4a_b.jpg
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emphatic by Andrew Lossing, on Flickr

But I also got quite a few where the characters aren't interesting, or not enough is going on. In addition, I've found the focus on shooting individual subjects candidly doesn't interest me enough in the moment. I'm looking for a way to get my photos to have more sustained interest, through more to study and uncover in the frame. When I look at photographers like Garry Winogrand, that's what draws me to a lot of his work. While I love the simplicity of a lot of Cartier-Bresson's stuff, I feel like his composition stayed with the fifties, and the more complicated scenes of Winogrand and Joel Meyerowitz are more modern. They're what I should be more expectant of finding nowadays, at least when there isn't a global pandemic emptying the streets.

To that end, I've been trending more towards slightly more visually complex scenes. Those are a lot harder to handle, but I think pushing myself into some added difficulty is helping refine my attempts at street, plus having the added benefit of not featuring individuals isolated in such a way that I am solely taking their photo. Incidentally, I'm shooting most of the time either with the Ricoh GR or a film rangefinder these days. With the GR, I hold it out a little from myself, and the motion is more recognizably taking a photograph in people's direction - but, being a wide angle, I can include people in a scene without them feeling like they are being singled out by where I'm pointing the camera. The rangefinder is even more obvious, but I've yet to have anyone really seem to care if I have the camera to my eye pointed at them. I chalk that up to how "retro" the Voigtlander Bessa T looks with a small lens. It elicits interest from people much more often than it seems threatening. I definitely see that as a plus.

Below I'm including some of the images I consider to be what I'm after. To some extent this may be armchair philosophizing, rather than a disciplined modus operandi when I'm out taking photos. But I can tell I'm drifting more in this direction; these are more recent, and they're the sort of things I'm "seeing" more often now.

50028117287_01bc3d43ce_b.jpg
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R0004989-3 by Andrew Lossing, on Flickr

48124292158_bb6cb0554a_b.jpg
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R0001124 by Andrew Lossing, on Flickr

48124319282_4a4a20fb6d_b.jpg
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untitled by Andrew Lossing, on Flickr

50283028141_d907f22935_b.jpg
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R0002213 by Andrew Lossing, on Flickr

What do you guys think? Do the more individual shots have more somehow, or are the more complicated photos more interesting? Is one more "street" than the other in your opinion? Are they both garbage? I've been mulling over my back catalog so much lately what with the limited opportunities to get out and shoot, I'm interested to hear any thoughts that other folks come up with, no matter what they are.
 

WT21

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This doesn't answer your question at all, but I like the last pic the best. I was going to say that a single, clear subject is what is most important, but the last photo has so much going on. The dude dead center looking at/checking out the lady. The lady to the right of center with the ciggy behind her ear. The guy to the left looking right at you. It's a very interesting slice of life/moment in time.
 
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John King

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@agentlossing Andrew, IMO the art of composition is to photograph what you are seeing, not what you are looking at.

Composition has always been the hardest part of photography for me.

About 15+ years ago, I made a conscious decision never to crop. This has gradually improved my composition skills a lot.
 

Bluenose

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So I've been refining some of my photos lately, both in my backlog (my photos tend to sit around for a while before I do anything with them, including editing and culling) and on public spots like Flickr (which is pretty much it, except for a weakly attempted VSCO profile), and in particular rethinking the way I approached street photography. In the past, I have used shooting from the hip and the tilt LCD on my Panasonic cameras to try and get close, and the result has been some shots where people are figured pretty directly as subjects. As time has gone on and I have been able to study those shots, I've realized something about how they were motivated: I was a newcomer, so understandably kind of scared to be "caught" taking street photos of people. I'm an introvert, so confrontation is not something I enjoy (though working in various brick and mortar, including currently banking, I've gotten fairly comfortable with handling the occasional upset member of the public - so it's not the end of the world, but still not my idea of relaxing). I was using alternate means of composing to avoid discomfort, but at the same time trying to overcome the basic fear I had of photographing strangers. So my technique centered around getting people framed prominently and shot from the front so their faces are visible, so as to avoid the infamous timid street photos of the backs of people.

I got maybe a couple interesting ones this way, see these:

View attachment 846030 P1040512-2 by Andrew Lossing, on Flickr

View attachment 846031 emphatic by Andrew Lossing, on Flickr

But I also got quite a few where the characters aren't interesting, or not enough is going on. In addition, I've found the focus on shooting individual subjects candidly doesn't interest me enough in the moment. I'm looking for a way to get my photos to have more sustained interest, through more to study and uncover in the frame. When I look at photographers like Garry Winogrand, that's what draws me to a lot of his work. While I love the simplicity of a lot of Cartier-Bresson's stuff, I feel like his composition stayed with the fifties, and the more complicated scenes of Winogrand and Joel Meyerowitz are more modern. They're what I should be more expectant of finding nowadays, at least when there isn't a global pandemic emptying the streets.

To that end, I've been trending more towards slightly more visually complex scenes. Those are a lot harder to handle, but I think pushing myself into some added difficulty is helping refine my attempts at street, plus having the added benefit of not featuring individuals isolated in such a way that I am solely taking their photo. Incidentally, I'm shooting most of the time either with the Ricoh GR or a film rangefinder these days. With the GR, I hold it out a little from myself, and the motion is more recognizably taking a photograph in people's direction - but, being a wide angle, I can include people in a scene without them feeling like they are being singled out by where I'm pointing the camera. The rangefinder is even more obvious, but I've yet to have anyone really seem to care if I have the camera to my eye pointed at them. I chalk that up to how "retro" the Voigtlander Bessa T looks with a small lens. It elicits interest from people much more often than it seems threatening. I definitely see that as a plus.

Below I'm including some of the images I consider to be what I'm after. To some extent this may be armchair philosophizing, rather than a disciplined modus operandi when I'm out taking photos. But I can tell I'm drifting more in this direction; these are more recent, and they're the sort of things I'm "seeing" more often now.

View attachment 846032 R0004989-3 by Andrew Lossing, on Flickr

View attachment 846033 R0001124 by Andrew Lossing, on Flickr

View attachment 846034 untitled by Andrew Lossing, on Flickr

View attachment 846035 R0002213 by Andrew Lossing, on Flickr

What do you guys think? Do the more individual shots have more somehow, or are the more complicated photos more interesting? Is one more "street" than the other in your opinion? Are they both garbage? I've been mulling over my back catalog so much lately what with the limited opportunities to get out and shoot, I'm interested to hear any thoughts that other folks come up with, no matter what they are.
Last photo. Interesting human interactions that are telling a subjective story to the viewer. It is clearly the best. My thoughts are pictures can have interesting subjects or have an interesting story. Most of the time people try and take photos that have interesting subjects. Interesting stories are difficult.
 

mumu

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So I've been refining some of my photos lately, both in my backlog (my photos tend to sit around for a while before I do anything with them, including editing and culling) and on public spots like Flickr (which is pretty much it, except for a weakly attempted VSCO profile), and in particular rethinking the way I approached street photography. In the past, I have used shooting from the hip and the tilt LCD on my Panasonic cameras to try and get close, and the result has been some shots where people are figured pretty directly as subjects. As time has gone on and I have been able to study those shots, I've realized something about how they were motivated: I was a newcomer, so understandably kind of scared to be "caught" taking street photos of people. I'm an introvert, so confrontation is not something I enjoy (though working in various brick and mortar, including currently banking, I've gotten fairly comfortable with handling the occasional upset member of the public - so it's not the end of the world, but still not my idea of relaxing). I was using alternate means of composing to avoid discomfort, but at the same time trying to overcome the basic fear I had of photographing strangers. So my technique centered around getting people framed prominently and shot from the front so their faces are visible, so as to avoid the infamous timid street photos of the backs of people.

I got maybe a couple interesting ones this way, see these:

But I also got quite a few where the characters aren't interesting, or not enough is going on.

In addition, I've found the focus on shooting individual subjects candidly doesn't interest me enough in the moment. I'm looking for a way to get my photos to have more sustained interest, through more to study and uncover in the frame. When I look at photographers like Garry Winogrand, that's what draws me to a lot of his work. While I love the simplicity of a lot of Cartier-Bresson's stuff, I feel like his composition stayed with the fifties, and the more complicated scenes of Winogrand and Joel Meyerowitz are more modern. They're what I should be more expectant of finding nowadays, at least when there isn't a global pandemic emptying the streets.

To that end, I've been trending more towards slightly more visually complex scenes. Those are a lot harder to handle, but I think pushing myself into some added difficulty is helping refine my attempts at street, plus having the added benefit of not featuring individuals isolated in such a way that I am solely taking their photo.

Forgive me if I'm misinterpreting what you're saying but...IMO it doesn't matter whether your shot has a single subject or many, it's hard to get a good, interesting photo. Street photography is difficult because when a scene presents itself, you don't usually have the time to work it. You have to rely on your past failures and successes to immediately recognize an upcoming opportunity and have a framing idea before your camera has even turned on.

What do you guys think? Do the more individual shots have more somehow, or are the more complicated photos more interesting? Is one more "street" than the other in your opinion? Are they both garbage? I've been mulling over my back catalog so much lately what with the limited opportunities to get out and shoot, I'm interested to hear any thoughts that other folks come up with, no matter what they are.
IMO the number of people in a shot is not a metric that determines the success of a photo, street or otherwise. Neither is the size of the person relative to the frame. There are various elements that can produce a good photo and sometimes one element can take precedence. Sometimes an expression, gesture, or interaction is enough to carry a photo even though the composition and light might be mediocre. Other times, boring poses might not be enough to ruin an interesting arrangement or pattern of people. Also, having more things happening in a photo doesn't necessarily make it more interesting. As a photographer, I've always felt that my job is to reduce the elements in a scene so that the viewer can easily see what I want to show.

With regard to shooting from waist- or chest-level and using the rear screen for framing, it doesn't have to limit you to a specific style. That mode of shooting doesn't funnel you into close up photos of individuals. Vivian Maier shot near and far with her TLR cameras.

When I shoot street I typically have two modes: 1) Walking: I'm constantly looking up ahead for interesting photo ops of either people doing interesting things, or looking interesting. Because of the sudden nature of these opportunities, I carry my camera in my right hand at all times and use zone focusing and a high frame rate (and a min shutter speed of around 1/400); 2) Trapping: During my walk, if I encounter interesting light / architecture / background, I'll give myself time to explore the scene and work out a good composition and then wait/hope for someone to walk into the scene (but I'll also shoot the scene even no one arrives, because it might work just fine that way and because it'll be a reminder for me to return to that location in the future).

BTW I'm also very shy so using the tilting screen helps me a lot. People have noticed my camera although I don't know if they're necessarily aware that I was photographing them. No one has confronted me or said anything, but in case they do, I keep a softcover photobook in my bag that shows some of my street photos (none of which appear to embarrass the people in the photos). I'm hoping it'll help to allay people's fears of my intentions.

20200713_175259_PGX96147_vancouver-island.jpg
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20200801_135458_PGX96713_street.jpg
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20200907_153851_PGX97707_street.jpg
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Bluenose

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Forgive me if I'm misinterpreting what you're saying but...IMO it doesn't matter whether your shot has a single subject or many, it's hard to get a good, interesting photo. Street photography is difficult because when a scene presents itself, you don't usually have the time to work it. You have to rely on your past failures and successes to immediately recognize an upcoming opportunity and have a framing idea before your camera has even turned on.


IMO the number of people in a shot is not a metric that determines the success of a photo, street or otherwise. Neither is the size of the person relative to the frame. There are various elements that can produce a good photo and sometimes one element can take precedence. Sometimes an expression, gesture, or interaction is enough to carry a photo even though the composition and light might be mediocre. Other times, boring poses might not be enough to ruin an interesting arrangement or pattern of people. Also, having more things happening in a photo doesn't necessarily make it more interesting. As a photographer, I've always felt that my job is to reduce the elements in a scene so that the viewer can easily see what I want to show.

With regard to shooting from waist- or chest-level and using the rear screen for framing, it doesn't have to limit you to a specific style. That mode of shooting doesn't funnel you into close up photos of individuals. Vivian Maier shot near and far with her TLR cameras.

When I shoot street I typically have two modes: 1) Walking: I'm constantly looking up ahead for interesting photo ops of either people doing interesting things, or looking interesting. Because of the sudden nature of these opportunities, I carry my camera in my right hand at all times and use zone focusing and a high frame rate (and a min shutter speed of around 1/400); 2) Trapping: During my walk, if I encounter interesting light / architecture / background, I'll give myself time to explore the scene and work out a good composition and then wait/hope for someone to walk into the scene (but I'll also shoot the scene even no one arrives, because it might work just fine that way and because it'll be a reminder for me to return to that location in the future).

BTW I'm also very shy so using the tilting screen helps me a lot. People have noticed my camera although I don't know if they're necessarily aware that I was photographing them. No one has confronted me or said anything, but in case they do, I keep a softcover photobook in my bag that shows some of my street photos (none of which appear to embarrass the people in the photos). I'm hoping it'll help to allay people's fears of my intentions.

View attachment 846049 View attachment 846050
View attachment 846051
Wow first and third photo are spectacular
You somehow managed to have engaging interactions/dynamics going on with the people, AND the photos have beautiful lighting or in the case of the third photo lighting that really suits the scene of the woman corralling the child to her while an ominous dark figure approaches
Quite excellent really
 
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Last photo. Interesting human interactions that are telling a subjective story to the viewer. It is clearly the best. My thoughts are pictures can have interesting subjects or have an interesting story. Most of the time people try and take photos that have interesting subjects. Interesting stories are difficult.
Yes, exactly! That last photo is an example of where I got lucky enough for the multiple subjects to be interacting with each other; it's my favorite of the bunch for sure, and interestingly, it's one of a very few that "turned out" at all from that evening. I shot a ton, but I'm the end felt demoralized with the lack of successes (and got picked on by an overzealous security guard who thought I might be trying to take inappropriate photos of people - that made me pretty mad but I stayed understanding and offered to show them all the photos. Transparency was a lot more important to me, along with preserving my right to shoot, than standing on principle when some inexperienced event security person misread the situation). This photo sat on my hard drive for a long time, but I kept thinking about it, and finally pulled it out and put it up on Flickr.
 

Bluenose

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Yes, exactly! That last photo is an example of where I got lucky enough for the multiple subjects to be interacting with each other; it's my favorite of the bunch for sure, and interestingly, it's one of a very few that "turned out" at all from that evening. I shot a ton, but I'm the end felt demoralized with the lack of successes (and got picked on by an overzealous security guard who thought I might be trying to take inappropriate photos of people - that made me pretty mad but I stayed understanding and offered to show them all the photos. Transparency was a lot more important to me, along with preserving my right to shoot, than standing on principle when some inexperienced event security person misread the situation). This photo sat on my hard drive for a long time, but I kept thinking about it, and finally pulled it out and put it up on Flickr.
If I took that photo no way would I be demoralized
It is portfolio quality
 
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but...IMO it doesn't matter whether your shot has a single subject or many, it's hard to get a good, interesting photo. Street photography is difficult because when a scene presents itself, you don't usually have the time to work it. You have to rely on your past failures and successes to immediately recognize an upcoming opportunity and have a framing
That's for sure. I don't live somewhere with many good opportunities for street shooting, it's very rural. I'm usually on limited schedule in the bigger cities when I shoot street, so my output is very low - it makes learning the right lessons take longer as I have fewer experiences in a given time - though offset by the fact that I have a lot of time to think about it in between.
the number of people in a shot is not a metric that determines the success of a photo, street or otherwise. Neither is the size of the person relative to the frame. There are various elements that can produce a good photo and sometimes one element can take precedence. Sometimes an expression, gesture, or interaction is enough to carry a photo even though the composition and light might be mediocre. Other times, boring poses might not be enough to ruin an interesting arrangement or pattern of people. Also, having more things happening in a photo doesn't necessarily make it more interesting. As a photographer, I've always felt that my job is to reduce the elements in a scene so that the viewer can easily see what I want to show.
Certainly, photography is an art of subtraction. We're putting a frame around the world, so there's as much art - or more - to figuring out where to put it as there is figuring out what to shoot. But I do think aesthetics are partly dependent on the age we live in. And we can be too subtractive, trying to get the cars and the advertisements and all the other detritus out of shots... But I begin to think the chaos needs to be a part of what I shoot.

Don't take this the wrong way, but the images you give as examples strike me as the kind of thing I am trying to get away from. Your work is great, and I'm sure you picked these examples because they're the ones that have personal satisfaction for you, but they are kind of like the ones I was making in that they have one or two figures or subjects of interest. I'm not making a value judgment of your shots because I'm really only talking about how MY photos make ME feel - so our two viewpoints aren't the same, nor should they be. But the vast majority of the shots I've made with a compositional focus on one person, or the interaction between say two people, don't satisfy me when I go back and look at them again.

I'm not looking for sheer numbers, of subjects or people. But I am finding more long term, sustained interest for myself in images where there are several interplays between different compositional elements, i.e. people, than ones with fewer. Maybe it's just a phase - or maybe I'm just turning into a photographer with a mind more like Meyerowitz than HCB. Maybe the wide angle is doing this to me.
 
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If I took that photo no way would I be demoralized
It is portfolio quality
You know, the reason why I was demoralized is because last year I went to the same event (county fair) and got a decent number of charming, snapshotty photos. And this time around I was only looking for those, and the vibe was totally different. I'm glad I made this shot. But I think I actually got even more value out of that lesson I learned - not to expect or look for something to reoccur to the detriment of seeing what is there.
 

John King

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These are just really rough (as guts) crops that I think pull the critical parts of the images to the fore by removing what I see as distracting elements.

I highly recommend Michael Freeman's "The Photographer's Eye". There are many others that are equally useful. I've also looked at many different photo books in an attempt to inform my own photography.

Anyway, your images with nothing but a rough crop on my tablet.

andrew_lossing-01.jpeg
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Andrew_lossing2-01.jpeg
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Bluenose

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These are just really rough (as guts) crops that I think pull the critical parts of the images to the fore by removing what I see as distracting elements.

I highly recommend Michael Freeman's "The Photographer's Eye". There are many others that are equally useful. I've also looked at many different photo books in an attempt to inform my own photography.

Anyway, your images with nothing but a rough crop on my tablet.

View attachment 846053

View attachment 846054
The crop of the guy drinking a beer makes a dull photo much better as it draws attention and more importantly it eliminates distractions

however for me the black and white photo crop really ruins the photo. For me the original was great because you have to ‘find’ the story with those four people in the crop. The crop hits you over the head with it. If you notice the four people, they are all trying to be subtle. Subtle interactions in art are more....what.... rewarding?to the viewer when discovered within a busier scene.If there is no audience there is no need for subtlety
 
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These are just really rough (as guts) crops that I think pull the critical parts of the images to the fore by removing what I see as distracting elements.

I highly recommend Michael Freeman's "The Photographer's Eye". There are many others that are equally useful. I've also looked at many different photo books in an attempt to inform my own photography.

Anyway, your images with nothing but a rough crop on my tablet.

View attachment 846053

View attachment 846054
It's interesting, obviously quite a few folks have the same sensibilities I had a while ago. I'd have agreed with you then... Now I don't. I'll have to see where this goes.
 

Bluenose

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The crop of the guy drinking a beer makes a dull photo much better as it draws attention and more importantly it eliminates distractions

however for me the black and white photo crop really ruins the photo. For me the original was great because you have to ‘find’ the story with those four people in the crop. The crop hits you over the head with it. If you notice the four people, they are all trying to be subtle. Subtle interactions in art are more....what.... rewarding?to the viewer when discovered within a busier scene.If there is no audience there is no need for subtlety
Plus I forgot too— the crop eliminates the guy on the left looking directly at the viewer, and it eliminates the woman on the left laughing which strongly contribute to setting a scene
 
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The crop of the guy drinking a beer makes a dull photo much better as it draws attention and more importantly it eliminates distractions

however for me the black and white photo crop really ruins the photo. For me the original was great because you have to ‘find’ the story with those four people in the crop. The crop hits you over the head with it. If you notice the four people, they are all trying to be subtle. Subtle interactions in art are more....what.... rewarding?to the viewer when discovered within a busier scene.If there is no audience there is no need for subtlety
I agree with you - on the beer drinker shot, I wish in retrospect that I'd picked a different moment, and not reacted to the guy as the subject of the photo. Because, the way I see the photo now - he's not. But compositionally he kind of ruins it. Going back, I'd have waited till someone else in the scene interacted more with him, or, ideally, several interactions happened.
 

Bluenose

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I agree with you - on the beer drinker shot, I wish in retrospect that I'd picked a different moment, and not reacted to the guy as the subject of the photo. Because, the way I see the photo now - he's not. But compositionally he kind of ruins it. Going back, I'd have waited till someone else in the scene interacted more with him, or, ideally, several interactions happened.
You are being way to hard on yourself
A less self critical mindset would help
 

mumu

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Wow first and third photo are spectacular
You somehow managed to have engaging interactions/dynamics going on with the people, AND the photos have beautiful lighting or in the case of the third photo lighting that really suits the scene of the woman corralling the child to her while an ominous dark figure approaches
Quite excellent really
Thanks but you're attributing too much to my abilities. I had zero engagement with the people besides getting busted taking photos of them. Actually, they were probably just looking at my camera (or me) but not actually cognizant of being photographed. Since I started try to improve my street photography near the start of the year (and yeah, COVID-19 kinda put a damper on the first couple of months), I think I've really come to appreciate light and shadows much more.
 

mumu

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Certainly, photography is an art of subtraction. We're putting a frame around the world, so there's as much art - or more - to figuring out where to put it as there is figuring out what to shoot. But I do think aesthetics are partly dependent on the age we live in. And we can be too subtractive, trying to get the cars and the advertisements and all the other detritus out of shots... But I begin to think the chaos needs to be a part of what I shoot.
Sure, if that's what you want to show your viewers then by all means pursue it.

Don't take this the wrong way, but the images you give as examples strike me as the kind of thing I am trying to get away from.
No insult taken at all. I actually posted them as humorous examples of me possibly being caught photographing people. Being the introvert that I am, I actually feel a frisson of fear whenever I look at these photos, no joke.

Your work is great, and I'm sure you picked these examples because they're the ones that have personal satisfaction for you, but they are kind of like the ones I was making in that they have one or two figures or subjects of interest. I'm not making a value judgment of your shots because I'm really only talking about how MY photos make ME feel - so our two viewpoints aren't the same, nor should they be. But the vast majority of the shots I've made with a compositional focus on one person, or the interaction between say two people, don't satisfy me when I go back and look at them again.
I totally get it. When I started my Instagram account at the start of the year, I found myself sifting through my Lightroom catalog to feed the Instagram beast. I was surprised that some of my earliest street stuff still engaged me but a lot of it didn't, as well.

I'm not looking for sheer numbers, of subjects or people. But I am finding more long term, sustained interest for myself in images where there are several interplays between different compositional elements,
Ah, I can definitely get behind that sentiment which I think is a much better way of thinking of it than my earlier (shallow) interpretation of wanting to have more people in the frame.

i.e. people, than ones with fewer. Maybe it's just a phase - or maybe I'm just turning into a photographer with a mind more like Meyerowitz than HCB. Maybe the wide angle is doing this to me.
One of of the street shooting Youtubers I follow is Samuel L Streetlife and he and his friends have talked about how they prefer wider focal lengths because it makes it easier for them to layer elements in their photos. I suspect this is similar to what you're seeking, or at least a component of it.

Your post has made me go back and look at my photos from the start of this year. I have discovered that I have only a few street photos with multiple things going on. Most of my photos were inspired by one or two people who are usually interacting in some way, or by an interesting background or setting.

eg:
20200907_144440_PGX97538_street.jpg
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These three have multiple elements that provide interest but those elements aren't really tied together.
20200308_160657_P1024052_street.jpg
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20200509_144440_P1024467_street.jpg
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20200516_135708_P1024624_street.jpg
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These two have multiple elements which are related (they're related in that they both have silhouettes who are echoes of the people in the foreground):
20200719_160200_PGX96229_street.jpg
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20200719_160213_PGX96234_street.jpg
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And then there's this one which I think is more interesting because at first glance it's a humorous photo of a mildly eccentrically-dressed guy but then when you see the expression of the guys in the shadows looking at him, it changes to a representation of judgment. Maybe this is a weak example of a punctum?

20200718_154317_PGX96168_street.jpg
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https://georgepowell.wordpress.com/2008/07/01/studium-and-punctum/

" Punctum is an object or image that jumps out at the viewer within a photograph- ‘that accident which pricks, bruises me.’ Punctum can exist alongside studium, but disturbs it, creating an ‘element which rises from the scene’ and unitentially fills the whole image. Punctum is the rare detail that attracts you to an image, Barthes says ‘its mere presense changes my reading, that I am looking at a new photograph, marked in my eyes with a higher value.’ "

I think in your last photo in your OP, the people who really like it are viewing the guy looking at the girls as a kind of punctum? It's a pretty daunting thing to shoot for in a fleeting street photo, though.

I'll end with this final comment: there's a enormous photo, “Abbott & Cordova, 7 August 1971,” by Stan Douglas (printed on several gorgeously back-lit glass panes) in a building downtown that I always stop and stare at. It's a depiction of a specific riot in Vancouver from the '60's. Stan went through the effort to construct a movie set to make the photo:
riot.jpg
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Now THAT'S a photo with lots of things going on! As it was shot as multiple large format exposures (small portions of the total scene were shot individually) and then stitched together, there's plenty of resolution to really savor each little bite of drama in that photo. Sometimes I'm reminded of it when I photograph people standing, like actors, in beautiful light:
20200906_134122_PGX97238_street.jpg
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