Street

All Rights Reserved © David R Banta

Street was where I started…first with friends, then strangers. I’ve always been high in anxiety, so this was a leap forward for me at 16. With my East German Praktica camera, my first urban street photographs were shot in Chicago in 1968. Somewhere in my boxes there are shots of a Chicago police officer and a Chicago waitress (I’ll have to find them). I later returned to Chicago as my photographic birthplace and studied under David Plowden and David Rathbun at the Illinois Institute of Technology: Institute of Design.

The camera for me was something that made socializing easier for me. I had a reason to be wherever I was. Consequently I carried my camera much of the time or an acoustic guitar, writing and singing songs for my social group. To this day I am ill-at-ease in social settings, but with a camera, I’m good!

I was chief photographer for a weekly newspaper for five years…one of the best jobs ever! A good portion of my work was to travel the area around Grand Rapids, Michigan and find photos to be used as “filler photos”. I saw a guy walking into a funky old house with a large fish once. I stopped and invited myself into his home for a portrait of him holding his prized catch in a kitchen piled with dirty dishes and sundry loose items that had been cast about.

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