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THERE ARE TWO TYPES of photographers in the world: those who make photographs and those who take photographs. The first have their studios and for the others their studio is the world. – Ernst Haas1


Often viewed as a simple and candid form of documentary, street photography reveals a more complex nature when one analyses the attitudes of the photographer walking on the streets and taking pictures. Specifically, this chapter aims to clarify that many photographers who have chosen the city environment as a space for reflection, appear to be led by a predominantly existential outlook, invoking street photography as a moment of interaction with the world, which contributes to their understanding of it and builds their individualities.

Focusing on the 1950s and 1960s I examine how the interaction between the photographer and the surrounding world takes place. In particular, I argue that during these two decades street photography underwent an alteration in its dynamics, and that the existential attitudes guiding the photographer gradually began to be characterised by a new playful orientation toward the real. Ultimately, street photography became a peculiar existential game in the world which was now both a risky playground and a battleground in which the photographer was required to play with caution and attentiveness. Photographs become evidence of a photographer playing, and a powerful gauge through which the photographer reflects on her own actions and experiences, eventually learning from them. It is exactly here that reflexivity finds a place in street photography, where photographs act as a “presentation” of


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