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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #81
brennanphotoguy
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Well thanks to the internet that stuff is all available online and that wouldn't make it to the front steps of a court house.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #82
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You're kidding right? if a homeless person is being harassed by a "photographer" here, and had a phone (which isn't likely) and called a cop.
I'm not kidding at all. There are homeless people with cell phones, there are homeless people that do not trust the police, there are homeless people that don't mind being photographed, and there is nothing that a cop can do about you photographing in public. I'm not saying it is a great move to photograph the homeless, but they are people and you cannot predict human behavior based on class, financial situations, or race.

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The likelihood of a cop showing up is nil. If a non-homeless person, who can afford a $200 lunch calls a cop for the same reason a..do you think the cop will show up?
This depends on if you are in a big city or a small town. The cop might show up, but what is he going to do about it?

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Anyone can sue anyone. It's what I was taught in "Photography and the Law" years back. Taught by Jim Marshall, a photographer
Sure, they can sue, but will they win? What will they gain? We are not talking about commercial usage here.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #83
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Originally Posted by tunalegs View Post
Not really. Much easier to be mindlessly impressed by vacuous work, I think.
Ok, correction... it's easy to be a bad critic.

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The problem with street photography, like most photography is that people just make pictures with no real goal in mind. Many who are technically proficient at using a camera, but haven't a clue what they're really after.
This isn't a problem with street photography. This is a problem with the street photography you've been looking at no? I see this type of stuff on these forums, but I just ignore it.

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There's nothing inherently wrong with that, taking photos as a hobby, just as something one does purely for their own amusement is fine. But how many wide-angle views of people walking away from the camera can people present as either art or well crafted document, when they haven't given any thought to why it should be art, or even just interesting to anybody else?
People are learning, trying to figure something out. You do this by trying. They are excited. It is not easy to be GREAT at something. No one here is presenting these type of photos as masterpieces. You take this forum photography too seriously. Now, if you go to a good gallery or a museum and you feel the same way... that's a different story.

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One can say the same for portrait photographers and landscape photographers. Most of it is superficial. Most of it is boring. And when it is interesting it is often just the case of the photographer documenting a subject which is interesting in its own right (a pretty sunset, a pretty face, etc.) without using their craft or vision to add anything more to it.
That's an opinion. I find that a lot of what makes a photograph special is nuances, the small things that come together. If you've photographed a lot you know damn well that when a photograph is done well... it truly looks easy to do. However, it is anything but easy to do. A bad photographer can make a beautiful sunset or face look bad... no doubt about it.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #84
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Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
I'm not kidding at all. There are homeless people with cell phones, there are homeless people that do not trust the police, there are homeless people that don't mind being photographed, and there is nothing that a cop can do about you photographing in public. I'm not saying it is a great move to photograph the homeless, but they are people and you cannot predict human behavior based on class, financial situations, or race.



This depends on if you are in a big city or a small town. The cop might show up, but what is he going to do about it?



Sure, they can sue, but will they win? What will they gain? We are not talking about commercial usage here.
I think to further this is pointless. We live in two very different worlds. Best, pkr
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #85
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Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
OP went nothing new route on flaming at beaten to the dust topic about bad street photography. What OP did is nothing new, either. Blaming others for something OP is incapable to see/understand and find/learn is nothing new.

Meanwhile, yesterday, I ordered "About Russia" by Henri Cartier-Bresson and "Soviet Union" by Emil Schulthess street photography books. And couple of weeks ago I paid big money (in CAD) for Viktor Kolar Canadian street photography book.
Thanks for this post, Ko.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #86
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Originally Posted by PKR View Post
I think to further this is pointless. We live in two very different worlds. Best, pkr
We certainly do. Have a good day sir.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #87
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Originally Posted by PKR View Post
You're kidding right? if a homeless person is being harassed by a "photographer" here, and had a phone (which isn't likely) and called a cop. The likelihood of a cop showing up is nil. If a non-homeless person, who can afford a $200 lunch, calls a cop for the same reason a..do you think the cop will show up?

Anyone can sue anyone. The legality is decided in court. It's what I was taught in "Photography and the Law" years back. Taught by Jim Marshall, a photographer
How does the dispatcher know if you're a homeless person with a phone or not?
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #88
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Originally Posted by brennanphotoguy View Post
How does the dispatcher know if you're a homeless person with a phone or not?
My guess would be location.. public parks are where homeless people are most likely found and photographed here. Description of the compliant: If a child isn't involved and there is no injury involved, the cops have other things to do.

Have you worked as a dispatcher? I have a friend who works 911 here. The Comm Center is a very busy place.

If you're on the phone with a dispatcher, you likely have access To a phone..you're talking on one? No?

I guess I should add, the cops may just drive by, look out the window, and keep on going.

No pay phones here for many years.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #89
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Originally Posted by tunalegs View Post
One can say the same for portrait photographers and landscape photographers. Most of it is superficial. Most of it is boring. And when it is interesting it is often just the case of the photographer documenting a subject which is interesting in its own right (a pretty sunset, a pretty face, etc.) without using their craft or vision to add anything more to it.
I'm not replying to you directly rather more so to the comparison of other genres.

It's true. Landscape and Portrait can be boring or superficial but it's still something.
A portrait with wide open focus on the nose or a mountain range with blown highlights and tilted horizon, still contains the subject.
It's often just poor technique or time of day/light that kills these images.

Poor street photography often (usually) contains nothing.
There are so many images of nothing being shared/posted in street photography.
At least a mountain is still a mountain and a portrait is still a person. It's something.
Photography does not always have to be visually striking or art. But it should contain something for the viewer if it is to be presented.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #90
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"Hey police! There is someone photographing me and my $200 lunch" Need a link.

Ummm... Unless said person is in their own house, the cops are not going to show up. In fact, they may cite you for wasting their time.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #91
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fascinating...


.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #92
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Duke Ellington once said : "There are two music categories : the good, and the bad".

"Street photography" did not even exist some times ago. Looks like it came out when some guys like Robert Frank or Garry Winogrand tried to deconstruct the rules according to which a photo was "working". The same rules which made HCB look at photos upside down to see whether they would stand by themselves, or not.

"Street photography" as we can understand it nowadays will disappear sooner or later, because random photos not telling anything (but the vacuum, best case) don't hold up very well over time. Photography is now a plastic art being more than once century old so we can begin to have some ideas thanks to the old work which is still highly regarded now and, on the contrary, thanks to what more or less quickly sank in the History of Art trash bin.

The same with the "mondane" photography or all those very large size color prints of landscapes without perspective and without any storytelling in them, being kinda low-cost copycats of what the Düsseldorf school attempted to set up since the 1970s.

A matter of time.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #93
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Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
Poor street photography often (usually) contains nothing.
This actually gives me an idea....thanks!
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKR View Post
My guess would be location.. public parks are where homeless people are most likely found and photographed here. Description of the compliant: If a child isn't involved and there is no injury involved, the cops have other things to do.

Have you worked as a dispatcher? I have a friend who works 911 here. The Comm Center is a very busy place.

If you're on the phone with a dispatcher, you likely have access To a phone..you're talking on one? No?

No pay phones here for many years.
What happens if a homeless person calls from a Central Park bench near 5th Ave where people buy $10,000 handbags? Quite a confusing issue I would think.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #95
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If you equate shooting street with the thrill of trophy hunting, it makes sense that shooting street would be such a thrilling and intriguing experience. You're literally hunting for that decisive moment and shooting well...people at your own will. Evidently, it is also a good vehicle to teach people how to concur their fear, or how not to give a f about what others think of you

Why do you see so many so-called "mediocre" street photos these days? There might be just as many mediocre street photos back in the day but there weren't facebook/flickr or instagram to share on.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #96
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Originally Posted by mlu19 View Post
If you equate shooting street with the thrill of trophy hunting, it makes sense that shooting street would be such a thrilling and intriguing experience. You're literally hunting for that decisive moment and shooting well...people at your own will. Evidently, it is also a good vehicle to teach people how to concur their fear, or how not to give a f about what others think of you

Why do you see so many so-called "mediocre" street photos these days? There might be just as many mediocre street photos back in the day but there weren't facebook/flickr or instagram to share on.
+1 Couldnt agree more there.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #97
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Some replies here understand the topic but others are reading a meaning that isn't there.

I would suggest it would be helpful to comment on what I actually posted.

Street photography itself is not being criticized here.

Understanding street photography is not the topic.

No one else has been 'blamed' for anything.

I simply made an observation: everything from poor to mediocre to average street photography seems to reap inordinate amounts of praise. For example, as someone who sent me a PM phrased it: "as if the shutter was just tripped accidentally when pulling it out of the bag."

It's almost as if *any* street photography is considered *good* street photography just *because* it is street photography.

This is not something I routinely notice in other genres.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #98
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Originally Posted by benlees View Post
"Hey police! There is someone photographing me and my $200 lunch" Need a link.

Ummm... Unless said person is in their own house, the cops are not going to show up. In fact, they may cite you for wasting their time.
No one is going to do that on/in private property without permission, I think. The issue would be about photographing on "The Street" in front of the business. The business owner would likely call and complain. The cops will show up! And the "photographer" will be asked to move. Even if working for a national publication, who may or may not support legal fees if your not a contract photographer; Its best to do as told. My experience. Some are handed back their broken cameras.

The business owner may not care until one or more of his/her customers complain. Then s/he will care.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #99
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Originally Posted by Highway 61 View Post
Thanks for this post, Ko.
Thank you for noticing and thank you for yours!

I made few more after this one with pokes to those who reminded me then I started and knew nothing about Garry Winogrand, Henri-Cartier Bresson, Walker Evans and so on. I was at the same stage and making same comments about homeless, backs, ladies and else. Looking at the pictures taken by those whom I mentioned, reading their interviews and essays about them helped me to "get street photography" and it is helping to get where with my photography.
I also want to mention RFF memeber airfrogusmc who is real mentor for street photography to me. At the earlier learning stage I was making same arguments with him as I could see here. But he was always calm even if I wasn't.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #100
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I simply made an observation: everything from poor to mediocre to average street photography seems to reap inordinate amounts of praise. For example, as someone who sent me a PM phrased it: "as if the shutter was just tripped accidentally when pulling it out of the bag."

It's almost as if *any* street photography is considered *good* street photography just *because* it is street photography.

This is not something I routinely notice in other genres.
I beg to differ. I never really noticed that crap got praised in a durable way by serious people.

It may be that nowadays, "street photography" is generally done by young people spreading the social networks with their "masterpieces", while keeping "liking" and "faving" everything.

I don't have any FB account, I don't have any Twitter account, I don't have any Instagram account, but I know what those social networks are and how they work (and how they make people lonely and unable to think by themselves after having taken some time to make their mind in an elaborated way).

When you see some profiles with dozens of thousands of "followers" and dozens of thousands of followed people, you get it all.

But, it won't be like that forever. These people will sooner or later realize that you don't create some real art with no story to tell and no real matter to make other people think of.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #101
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Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post

Poor street photography often (usually) contains nothing.
I have been called the Seinfeld of Street Photography.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
Some replies here understand the topic but others are reading a meaning that isn't there.

I would suggest it would be helpful to comment on what I actually posted.

Street photography itself is not being criticized here.

Understanding street photography is not the topic.

No one else has been 'blamed' for anything.

I simply made an observation: everything from poor to mediocre to average street photography seems to reap inordinate amounts of praise. For example, as someone who sent me a PM phrased it: "as if the shutter was just tripped accidentally when pulling it out of the bag."

It's almost as if *any* street photography is considered *good* street photography just *because* it is street photography.

This is not something I routinely notice in other genres.
i must be a truly dreadful street photographer as my mediocre to average images get no praise, feint or otherwise.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #103
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See, you get it!

HCB's shot is excellent as we see the sideways face of the man pouring the wine, inviting us to join his lunch party while we are drawn by the gaze of the others to the river.

But my well versed friend, you miss-read my second point. I said 'creeper', not 'creepy'. This Winogrand pic that you link to, however, still works on the creepy level as the rigid young lady is being stalked by the man in the shadows, while the contorted mannequins can barely hide their glee.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #104
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As for the unwarranted praise that street photography receives; I have not noticed this, but then again, when I’m viewing photos, I’m doing just that, not really reading any of the comments that may or may not follow below.

Moreover, since I don’t ask for critique, I don’t give it either…I think that only fair. As such, I don’t really muck about in critique-based forums. This said, I’ve heard folks in various forums complain that praise and compliments are excessively dispensed, so this problem is not unique to street photography.

In general…

Street photography doesn’t even necessitates a human subject. But if focusing on the purpose of the candid, one aspect to consider is timing. Often, the opportune photograph materializes and dissolves nearly instantly…that whole decisive moment thing. Consequently, consent beforehand is not possible.

If folks are burning out on the decisive moment thing, that’s OK, except again, one can say that about every other type of photography, particularly given the number of photos generated on a per second basis across the globe.

As for the ethics of candid photography, it’s a personal choice. I follow my own limitations, whereby I pretty much apply the golden rule…would I want to be photographed doing that or being in that particular condition. However, I typically wouldn’t impose these restrictions on other photographers.

These street photography bashing threads are relatively common, which is fine, but I never seem to receive an alternative recommendation that doesn’t face the same flaws. No one has yet to impress me with a new exciting route, not even close.

Then again, I’m pretty much stuck on stuff from say the late 1920s to early 1970s, which is really no different than someone who prefers classical music from centuries back; there’s no rule that we all need to shove to the front.

And really, so much of this often comes down to arguing that the color blue is better than the color red; thanks, you’ve got your things, I’ve got mine.

In any event, I would hate to think that the photographic documentation of humanity should be limited to posed shots or those done with prior consent.

Still, we can continue to single out street photography if it makes y’all feel better; I'm critical too. But, aside from ethical opposition to candids, it’s simply misguided to believe that any other genre or style is immune to similar faults or criticism.

Finally, no type of photography should need to advance a social message to validate itself; that’s ridiculous. This is not to discredit any type of art that seeks to improve humanity, which needs all the help it can get, but for the love of God, I don’t need ALL art to proselytize, even if for a good cause.

Then again, I don’t believe that photos tell stories, so as you might have gathered, I have no problem with photography being appreciated for form only; there’s nothing shallow about this…that’s aesthetics, and not all art is meant “to get” because often there is nothing intended ‘to get.’
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #105
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Nobody can chase you down, in the US, and threaten you with legal trouble. . . .
Of course they can. They are likely to have considerable trouble in carrying out the threat, but they can still make it. Or they can just stab you...

Legally. this is a minefield. It varies from place to place, and time to time. Mostly, though, a variant on the old "reasonable man" (or woman) test is all you need to worry about. The people who are the most excited and excitable are rarely the most reasonable, or the most likely to pursue pseudo-legal threats.

Cheers,

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #106
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This phenomena is not referring to social media. I'm not on Instagram or twitter and don't view street photos on facebook and am not counting 'likes.'

This is a general perception common to various media, going back many, many years (the 70s to be specific) including print magazines, coffee table photo books, to modern online magazines, to photo blogs (including blogs of well-known street photographers) and photo news sites. The praise could be from random commenters on a blog, to writers in American Photographer or Pop Photo many years ago and everything in between.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #107
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And once more for additional clarity, this is NOT a 'street photography bashing thread.'

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #108
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I get Street Photography when it is well executed, like any other genre. For me it is all about content and composition. There are very few people who can melt into the background and be the observer of human life and daily activity without drawing attention to themselves. That in itself is the cause of a lot of mediocre street shots. If you have a small pocket camera it helps as people are not threatened by them, but an SLR/DSLR with a massive zoom is another thing entirely.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #109
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i must be a truly dreadful street photographer as my mediocre to average images get no praise, feint or otherwise.
Thanks for the levity, Joe. I'll have to start commenting on your stuff...
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #110
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I have been called the Seinfeld of Street Photography.
This and Roger's 'just stab you' was worth the whole 3 pages of reading.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #111
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"First there is a mountain / Then there is no mountain / Then there is." - Donovan Leitch (from a Buddhist saying originally formulated by Qingyuan Weixin)

Just because of the shear numbers and social media etc. you are going to find a lot of [street] photos / photographers in different phases of their shooting experience. Sometimes I have to search long and hard for something positive to say about a particular photo... and if inclined to comment, in most cases I would rather be supportive. Sure a comment about (e.g.) muddy shadows is also supportive, but one might choose the time and place.

Yesterday I ran across "Sense of Place" by Motohashi Seiichi... support the good ones ; )
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #112
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What happens if a homeless person calls from a Central Park bench near 5th Ave where people buy $10,000 handbags? Quite a confusing issue I would think.
Well, I just don't know. This thing really has you going.. I'm sure you being a smart person can work the logic out? Are there lots of homeless people being photographed with the buyers of expensive bags in the photos? If so, maybe ask them how they feel about it.

Is this really productive for you? If it is, please explain it.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #113
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support the good ones ; )
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #114
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Street photography rarely passes beyond two things: rote formalism and gawking. Neither of those things are difficult or interesting. However, some interesting things can (and have) been done with it. Often it's a lot better when collected into a book/zine/etc. so you can see common threads in the photographer's mindset. The collections themselves rarely make it much more interesting but at least it becomes cohesive.

Some quality past masters are Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, William Eggleston, and André Kertész. There are, of course, more great street photographers - but these are all solid intros into the four predominant modes of "street photography". A quality contemporary is Daniel Arnold (who has a very famous Instagram, but rarely posts his best work there now that he works for Vogue/NYT). He's still finding his legs somewhat, but he's only been doing it for three years full-time (if I recall correctly) and you can see he's chasing after something in humanity that interests him.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #115
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^^^ "Gawking"
The next great Genre category?
Maybe I'll start a flickr group just to see what happens.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #116
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Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Of course they can. They are likely to have considerable trouble in carrying out the threat, but they can still make it. Or they can just stab you...

Legally. this is a minefield. It varies from place to place, and time to time. Mostly, though, a variant on the old "reasonable man" (or woman) test is all you need to worry about. The people who are the most excited and excitable are rarely the most reasonable, or the most likely to pursue pseudo-legal threats.

Cheers,

R.
One more option, show you the knife, take your camera(s), and then stab or not stab you..
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #117
Paulbe
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splitimageview--I agree! It hasn't hit me yet why taking pix of complete strangers is art. My best "street" photos were of architecture--oh well...
Thanks for the opinion..
Now--what camera and film/lens is best??!! :-)
Paul
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je suis creep (she is la belle)
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #118
Ko.Fe.
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je suis creep (she is la belle)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
See, you get it!

HCB's shot is excellent as we see the sideways face of the man pouring the wine, inviting us to join his lunch party while we are drawn by the gaze of the others to the river.

But my well versed friend, you miss-read my second point. I said 'creeper', not 'creepy'. This Winogrand pic that you link to, however, still works on the creepy level as the rigid young lady is being stalked by the man in the shadows, while the contorted mannequins can barely hide their glee.
Thanks for replying to me.
Do you know what calling RFF member as "my friend" is considered as offensive here buy some? I'm immigrant in Canada who has changed it and many others have changed it and we understand each other. But those who are frozen in time and single culture are not accepting it.

It is up to you to judge Winogrand as the creep. He wasn't hiding, he was using 28 mm lens and to get this close to person and as openly as Winogrand did is nothing creepy to me. It was well visible in advance what he was photographing on the street. He was not hiding, but staying in the middle of the flow.
Winogrand was from immigrant family. He mentioned what with his photographs he was "student of America". This is very close to me. I was taking pictures of Canada since we landed. It is still a lot to learn to me about Canada and Canadians. And it is changing fast.

Here is the picture I recently took openly with camera to my eye. I named it "je suis creep (she is la belle)"



Why I took it same way as Winogrand was taking it? I'm not horny creep to print and dink at it later. I'm documenting the life. Have you seen people dressed like this in Winogrand pictures or Vivian Maier photography? The world has changed and it has to be documented as it is constantly changing. Only few decades ago women in Iran were free to dress as they wanted to. It has been changed and choice was not made by them.
http://rarehistoricalphotos.com/wome...ng-hijab-1979/

Now, back to hobos and backs. This is the photo which triggered HCB to photograph.
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l6...eumgo1_500.jpg

I googled Henry Cartier-Bresson photography and hobos, backs photos were plenty. I'm not big fan of it, but experts think opposite. Not "street photography" experts, but museum experts.

https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...-bresson-9.jpg

https://artblart.files.wordpress.com...xique-1934.jpg

http://www.urban-photography-art.com...sson-berli.jpg

http://d2jv9003bew7ag.cloudfront.net...sbourg1945.jpg

http://www.soulcatcherstudio.com/exh...otre_dame.html

So, Peace on Earth and salam alaikum.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #119
Huss
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Alaikum salam Ko.Fe!
I said Winogrand's photograph is creepy. Not him. The atmosphere of his image.

Thanks for the discussion and the links. I was familiar with HCB's shot, but not Winogrand's..

(p.s. my whole premise was tongue in cheek to start with)
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #120
JHutchins
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post

People are learning, trying to figure something out. You do this by trying. They are excited. It is not easy to be GREAT at something. No one here is presenting these type of photos as masterpieces. You take this forum photography too seriously. Now, if you go to a good gallery or a museum and you feel the same way... that's a different story.
In the Eastern Orthodox liturgy of St Basil the Great, the priest announces readings with "Wisdom! Let us be attentive" and I feel maybe jsroclit's post should have been similarly heralded.

Even if you look at something and know it's crap it's worth bringing a little charity and humility to your discussion of it. Even if the photographer thinks it's good and other people think it's good and every bone in your body and hair on your head is bored by it, it's worth recognising that it is probably, nevertheless, the work of someone who cared about what he was doing and thought he saw something worth preserving and worth showing to others. Maybe it's someone young and learning, maybe it's someone who entirely lacks understanding of the art and will never be able to successfully convey what he saw in an image or maybe it's someone for whom what is banal to you is still new and fresh. Or maybe you've missed something in the work. We aren't all equally equipped to see the merit that's there. Chesterton said "is ditchwater dull? Naturalist friends with microscopes tell me it teems with quiet fun". Whichever it is tolerance rather than impatience is more likely to lead to the spread of insight. And anyone who is tempted to criticize a photograph, street, landscape, or other, might want to think back to his teenage years and consider how easy it was then to hint at a superior understanding and taste by savaging the songs friends and acquaintances liked and how hard it was, when a song is being ridiculed, to say no, that's good. Cynicism is a much easier pose to carry off than earnestness if you want to seem grown up and cool. But there's a lot more to be gained by thinking about and talking about why things succeed than there is in just pointing out that something's failed.
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