Amid the thrum and whirl of city life, today’s street photographers patiently wait for what their forebear, the influential French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, famously termed “the decisive moment:” that split-second when the visual and emotional elements of a scene come together to express its essence.
Street photography is about the possibility—though never the promise—of capturing a flicker in time that might make a good photograph. That might mean glimpsing a symmetrical group of nuns in a Kolkata doorway and instinctively framing the image. Or it might be fortuitously capturing a fleeting gesture that hints at a bigger story: the precise moment, perhaps, that a young boy turns his head to get a second look at the girl behind him.
Street photographers must push past their comfort zones. Which makes the images in this gallery—taken by members of our Your Shot photography community—even more remarkable. These photos transport you from the steamy back alleys of Seoul to a Buenos Aires street café and a colorful Cape Town neighborhood. They also illustrate how street photography can happen anywhere: In the heart of Midtown Manhattan, yes, but also in a Muscat mosque or Nepali temple.
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