Beat Streuli

Street photographer Beat Streuli's style is the polar opposite of Shizuka Yokomizo. Hunter-like, Streuli seeks out his prey using a long telephoto lens so his subjects are unaware of his presence. 

© Beat Streuli. Queens, NY. 

© Beat Streuli. Queens, NY. 

This surveillance style of photography carries with it a sense of responsibility for the photographer to depict his unknowing subjects appropriately. Streuli captures the routine motions of people, from his remote position. He focuses on facial expressions, body movement and posture. Shooting from such a distance creates a very shallow depth of field, which concentrates the viewer on the subjects action and offers blurred references to their location. Angier (2007, p. 73) summarised his style as: 

"The cityscape itself becomes a generalised common space, a globalised version of downtown." 

Meanwhile Beat Streuli himself adds that:

"I think it is easier to look at things against a neutral background, and this is why I hardly ever take pictures in poor suburbs where the social problems are obvious, because in such surroundings people could become just figures reduced to their social role."  1

Streuli is adept at isolating key moments of personal contact that a split second later are lost and overwhelmed by the busyness of the city. Although the photograph is taken in secret, in hiding, Streuli often displays his final images on the city streets where they were created. The hunter returning his captured subjects to the city jungle. 

Beat Streuli's work can be viewed here.  


Angier, R. (2007). Train your gaze: a practical and theoretical introduction to portrait photography. Switzerland: AVA Publishing SA


1. Quoted in Detlev Fischer, "Beat Streuli's Paradise,"$216


Project 9: The moment

Exercise 10: Capturing the moment

Brief: Find a ‘comfortable’ situation. Concentrate on bursts of activity, from which you capture a ‘best’ moment. 

Face off. Both opposing players wait for the puck to be dropped in to start play. 

The key feature of a sports image is often when a player is shown to be in possession. The moment in this image is the Coventry Blaze (blue) player's hockey stick in contact with the puck. 

In such a fast-paced sport like ice hockey, sometimes it is easy to miss those moments when there is a pause in play. This moment shows a stand-off between two of the opposing players, which lasted hundredths of seconds. 

Again the moment here is having the puck in shot, with the Coventry Blaze player (blue) seen to have just released it to go up the rink.

As with lots of sporting events, there are often off-the-ball / puck moments which can easily be missed, but can be the most newsworthy items that need illustrating. The frenetic pace of ice hockey can create hot-headed instances when players lash out at each other. In this image the Belfast Giants (white) player's fist is in contact with his Coventry Blaze (blue) opponent.