I like graffiti from an artistic standpoint. I don’t argue that it doesn’t belong everywhere and that it costs money to clean up, but the fact that you find it in places where it doesn’t belong just adds to the statement it makes. Many of the graffiti artists are very good at what they do, and I’m sure they all have different reasons for doing it. There are different types of graffiti, from colorful to graphic to branding to writings, and many more. And if you look hard enough, you might just find some appealing and artistic aspects in something that is typically termed “trashy” or “destructive”.

I don’t suggest that you go out and make your own graffiti to express yourself, but there are ways for us photographers to capture the art with the tools we have at hand. I’ve taken several graffiti shots, and I found that I enjoy editing them to bring out the colors and capture the mood created by the graffiti. Because of that, I’ve decided to start a graffiti theme in my photo collection. This just means that I’ll be actively and passively seeking opportunities to photograph graffiti.

© Zts
It turns out that there are plenty of books out there on graffiti and street art. If you’re looking to pick up a little inspiration for your photography, you might look into picking up a book on graffiti.

1. Burning New York covers the latest work of artists from the graffiti capitol of the world.

2. Graffiti World includes the street art and graffiti from various artists and styles all over the world.

3. Wall and Piece just includes the work from the artist, Bansky. He’s not a typical graffiti artist, but he seems to be more about making provocative statements with his artwork. I’ve seen some news pieces on this guy, and what he does is very interesting.

4. Subway Art is a bit retro, covering NYC graffiti from the 70’s and 80’s.

Photo credits: Richard Hoffkins, Zts.


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July 03, 2008


I agree that some graffiti artists are extremely talented and work very hard at what they do. I live in Fresno, CA and get to see really awesome pieces each and every day.

July 02, 2008


Graffiti is not only painted on walls, either. I found some burned in wood sidewalks (one of my images is a love message carved and burned in park sidewalk). You also find it carved in trees. Like your art here.

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