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Dictionary of Sydney: Street Photography

Photography today is not the same as it used to be. We now have a whole generation who don’t have to develop their films, and the photograph has become a less significant act.

Dictionary of Sydney’s Lisa Murray says that back in the early 20th century, when cameras were first being developed to be accessible to a wider population, you would go to a photographic studio to have your photo taken – and this would typically mark a special or significant occasion (get married, having a child, a formal family photo).

In the 1930s, however, photographers emerged onto Sydney’s streets to take candid photos of people walking down the street – a familiar sight, leading to a photographic craze where 10,000 photographs were being purchased a week.

Some of these make up an exhibition called “Street Photography” currently on at the Museum of Sydney.

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