street – an ancient etymology

O. E. stret (Mercian, Kentish), stræt (W. Saxon) “street, high road,” early W. Gmc.borrowing from L. L. strata, used elliptically for via strata “paved road,” […] Used since c.1400 to mean the people in the street;” modern sense of “the realm of the people as the source of political support” dates from 1931. Man in the street “ordinary person, non expert” is attested from 1831. Street-cars attested from 1862. Street-walker “common prostitute” first recorded 1590s. Street people is from 1967; street smarts is from 1972; street-credibility is from 1979.*

in front and behind the lens

This word history proves that the combination of street with ordinary, non-expert people, politics, smarts and above all credibility is not only a linguistic fact but leads directly to what the street might mean to a photographer with a particular kind of interest.

Bastian Staude is one of them. Addicted to street photography since 2006 he travels the world for collecting moments, constantly on the scout of opportunities to get in contact with his subject, regardless of how ordinary the non-expert person might be. The act of photographing for him also involves the idea of bringing the photographer into the scene while remaining behind the lens.

symmetry, harmony and contrast

Following a keen interest and acute sense for small details Bastian Staude delights in focusing not only the main subject but also on the whole set of the places people appear in for just a moment or live their whole lives. He especially emphasizes the symmetry of forms, textures and lines, the harmony between light and shadow, words and images, the contrast between black and white, individual and society, the seen and unseen. Drawing attention to the small things in the modern world of exaggeration, which often distorts what lies deeply in the concept of street, Bastian Staude’s pictures represent what is called street-credibility. One time that means just plain facts, rough and blunt, the other time humorous, romantic and ingenuous. Each view has it’s own truth.


Eventually what street photography is all about is fair enough … just verifying the etymology. that simple.

*source: Online Etymology Dictionary s. v. street.

Apart from wandering the streets collecting moments with his camera lens Bastian Staude works in collaboration with other photographers in shooting and holding workshops in order to spread his experience and for charity reasons supporting various social projects.