Black Country 011, Divided Street, 1961.
John Bulmer (British, born 1938)
Gelatin silver print, 11 x 16 in. Crocker Art Museum, gift of Lois and Dr. Barry Ramer, 2018.104.5.

Street photography came into existence nearly two centuries ago, alongside the invention of some of the earliest cameras. Since then, the genre has evolved in style, scope, and technique due largely to technological advancements, most notably the portable 35mm camera and, today, the ubiquitous smartphone. Despite its name, street photography does not necessitate the street as a backdrop or people as the subject. Closely related to documentary photography, the genre encompasses a spectrum of compelling images — usually taken in public spaces — that reveal something about the subject or stir emotion in the viewer.

This image features a man in an historic industrial area in the West Midlands region of England. Seen from behind as he considers a fork in the road — the forced perspective and high horizon line forming an unsettling distortion — he appears to be at a metaphorical crossroads as much as he is at a literal one.

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