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Frank Jackson on Street Photography I am happy and excited to announce a new RFF forum on Street Photography mentored by Frank Jackson, one of the best producers of analog B/W prints I have ever seen. His shows include the Open Shutter Gallery, Heriard-Cimino Gallery, and Ogden Museum of Southern Art. His images are in the collections of Smithsonian Ogden Museum of Southern Art, California Afro American Museum and Xavier University New Orleans LA. He has worked for or has been featured with Visa Card, Xerox, UCLA, Eric Owen Moss, Architect, Hasselblad Forum (cover),Gordon Parks, Muhammed Ali, Million Man March Wash. DC, Lionel Hampton, jazz legion photographer , 1995-2002, Stevie Wonder, B+W Magazine (British version) twice, Rangefinder Magazine, Dahon Bicycles, Arelli Wheels, Real Product Design, Automobile Club of Southern California. Frank's online images are at fotographz.500px.com and fotographzfrankjackson.tumblr.com . "While on this diverse photographic journey…I have to say during this whole time my love for fine art black and white photography kept growing. I always found time to shoot in different cities and my own personal work…this has sustained me through some very tough times. As of 2012, with the help of a very good friend I maintain a state-of-the-art dream darkroom. The darkroom helps greatly in the on-going practice of understanding “the light”, being able to process film and print drives me to keep my digital photography “organic”. I’m curious visually and shooting what’s, what on the street feeds this curiosity. Everyday I walk out my front door to “see” the world with a digital camera, a film camera, the “cup” and an open mind (mostly).

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Old 02-17-2015   #81
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Well this is a bad idea for a thread. You're just going to discourage people from shooting.
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Old 02-17-2015   #82
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Yes ...for me ...that sums it all up.
That`s how I feel about it anyway .
Yes I agree...
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Old 02-17-2015   #83
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Well this is a bad idea for a thread. You're just going to discourage people from shooting.
This could also make us (some) go out and "photograph".
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Old 02-17-2015   #84
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Street Photography clichés, no no's and taboos.
Clichés:
1: "This is my hometown, the people here are visually boring."
2: "Nothing worth photographing ever happens here."
3: "I can't wait till I go on vacation - then I'll do some street photography!"


No no's:
1: Failing to get out and shoot street, even when you "don't feel like it."
2: Thinking/saying "My street photography always sucks - why even try?"
3: Comparing your street photography to Jay Maisel/Vivian Maier/Alex Webb/
Joel Meyerowitz/Garry Winogrand/Bruce Gilden/Cartier-Bresson/whoever.


Taboos:
1: Photographing children
2: Photographing The Police
3: Candid shots



Therefore:
If you are serious about succeeding in street photography -
* Disregard the
clichés
* DON'T do the no no's
* DO do the taboos
* Most of all, Know/obey all laws regarding photography that are in effect for the location where you are doing street photography (you can't do street photography when you're in jail, they'll take your camera for evidence).





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Old 02-17-2015   #85
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Clichés:
1: "This is my hometown, the people here are visually boring."
2: "Nothing worth photographing ever happens here."
3: "I can't wait till I go on vacation - then I'll do some street photography!"

Yep, that sounds like me
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Old 02-17-2015   #86
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I've gone with just shooting anything that catches my eye, trying not to be judgemental. I then make a decision when I see the shots on the big screen. Boy do I toss a lot of pixels.
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Old 02-17-2015   #87
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As I understand it, you are talking about your photography and comparing it to Bresson, yes?
No way I'm I comparing. If you look at my work there is a big difference. I am saying he was an influence as were many others. I do believe that great work has the things he does talk and write about in it.
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Old 02-17-2015   #88
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Well this is a bad idea for a thread. You're just going to discourage people from shooting.
I agree. I just go out and have fun. You don't get better at photography by sitting at home.
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Old 02-17-2015   #89
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I agree. I just go out and have fun. You don't get better at photography by sitting at home.
This is true. But the same can also be said for every other thread on this and other forums.
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Old 02-17-2015   #90
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I won't engage in this conversation because I'll quickly make a lot of enemies.

I'll simply say that I'm amazed at the high count of blind photographers out there. Photographers that don't understand what they're seeing ... It's scary.

I agree completely with Mikhail. No, an interesting poster or a weird punk does not make a good photo just because the poster is appealing (another person's work of art) or the punk is a punk.
... that wasn't a punk ... this is a punk, or was at the time anyway ... and it's a really good photo too



Watty, Craven Heifer, Bankfoot par Sparrow ... Stewart Mcbride, on ipernity
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Old 02-17-2015   #91
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I agree. I just go out and have fun. You don't get better at photography by sitting at home.
I don't know if this falls under "excuses" but it's f**** cold right now, been like that since January. Every winter I say I'm going to find something to do, photographically, every year winter wins
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Old 02-17-2015   #92
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I agree. I just go out and have fun. You don't get better at photography by sitting at home.
... so should we stop posting on it then?
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Old 02-17-2015   #93
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Quick question. If I can't photograph from behind how am I supposed to get creepy shots of young women in short shorts?
I thought creepy shots of women in yoga pants was very the in thing.
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Old 02-17-2015   #94
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it's all pretty much been done before...the trick is converting your vision/interpretation and catching a new moment/twist on it...
i failed to mention previously that i can't do this!
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Old 02-17-2015   #95
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i failed to mention previously that i can't do this!
... yes you can, I've seen em
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Old 02-17-2015   #96
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I think it's a bit funny that we should set the rules of street photography. Rangefinderforum.com is a site with 90% amatures that don't know how to take good pictures, but we are learning! So why set up rules for what we can't do instead of just encourage each other to shoot more!
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Old 02-17-2015   #97
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... yes you can, I've seen em
not true...let's face it...i'm a hack...with or without rules or cliches...
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Old 02-17-2015   #98
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I think it's a bit funny that we should set the rules of street photography. Rangefinderforum.com is a site with 90% amatures that don't know how to take good pictures, but we are learning! So why set up rules for what we can't do instead of just encourage each other to shoot more!
what is this 'encourage' of which you speak?
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Old 02-17-2015   #99
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not true...let's face it...i'm a hack...with or without rules or cliches...
... you are reliable, and have a pretty impressive back catalogue in my estimation
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Old 02-17-2015   #100
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what is this 'encourage' of which you speak?
Maybe I got the word wrong?

I guess that this thread is not that serious but it's fun to see people discuss what not to do when almost all off us really can't call ourselves photographers. When one start with photography we need to go trough a few steps. Often it starts with family photos, macros, landscapes, portraits of friends and so on. Then you find your style and then you start to copy photos you like. All this is normal to get better! Along the way a lot of people needs to show their photos to get som critics to get better!

That's how I see it, right or wrong.

Sorry for my English, I'm really tired.
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Old 02-17-2015   #101
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Maybe I got the word wrong?

I guess that this thread is not that serious but it's fun to see people discuss what not to do when almost all off us really can't call ourselves photographers. When one start with photography we need to go trough a few steps. Often it starts with family photos, macros, landscapes, portraits of friends and so on. Then you find your style and then you start to copy photos you like. All this is normal to get better! Along the way a lot of people needs to show their photos to get som critics to get better!

That's how I see it, right or wrong.
my apologies...i was being a smart ass...sarcastic about the amount of encouragement that happens here at rff.
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Old 02-17-2015   #102
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... you are reliable, and have a pretty impressive back catalogue in my estimation
much appreciated...
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Old 02-17-2015   #103
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my apologies...i was being a smart ass...sarcastic about the amount of encouragement that happens here at rff.
Haha I got it now!
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Old 02-17-2015   #104
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99% of us suck at taking photos (compared to the legends we all want to be like), and often the one that suck the most is the one that hate the most. I just think that we can help each other not to suck! We can help each other to be really great! But then we need to start giving some love and constructive criticism! Who cares if some photos are more common or cliche? Who here has only taken original photos that no one have never seen before?
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Old 02-17-2015   #105
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Rikard, I visited your blog. Great stuff there.
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Old 02-17-2015   #106
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Originally Posted by Landberg View Post
I think it's a bit funny that we should set the rules of street photography. Rangefinderforum.com is a site with 90% amatures that don't know how to take good pictures, but we are learning! So why set up rules for what we can't do instead of just encourage each other to shoot more!
Thought this worth a repost. I posted this early on in this thread.

What some of the greats had to say about rules:
"Photography is not a sport. It has no rules. Everything must be dared and tried!" - Bill Brandt

"There are no rules and regulations for perfect composition. If there were we would be able to put all the information into a computer and would come out with a masterpiece. We know that's impossible. You have to compose by the seat of your pants." - Arnold Newman

"When subject matter is forced to fit into preconceived patterns, there can be no freshness of vision. Following rules of composition can only lead to a tedious repetition of pictorial cliches." - Edward Weston

"Anything that excites me, for any reason, I will photograph: not searching for unusual subject matter but making the commonplace unusual, nor indulging in extraordinary technique to attract attention. Work only when desire to the point of necessity impels – then do it honestly. Then so called “composition” becomes a personal thing, to be developed along with technique, as a personal way of seeing." - Edward Weston

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs." - Ansel Adams "

To compose a subject well means no more than to see and present it in the strongest manner possible." - Edward Weston

"And in not learning the rules, I was free. I always say, you're either defined by the medium or you redefine the medium in terms of your needs." - Duane Michals

"What I write here is a description of what I have come to understand about photography, from photographing and from looking at photographs. A work of art is that thing whose form and content are organic to the tools and materials that made it. Still photography is a chemical, mechanical process. Literal description or the illusion of literal description, is what the tools and materials of still photography do better than any other graphic medium. A still photograph is the illusion of a literal description of how a camera saw a piece of time and space. Understanding this, one can postulate the following theorem: Anything and all things are photographable. A photograph can only look like how the camera saw what was photographed. Or, how the camera saw the piece of time and space is responsible for how the photograph looks. Therefore, a photograph can look any way. Or, there's no way a photograph has to look (beyond being an illusion of a literal description). Or, there are no external or abstract or preconceived rules of design that can apply to still photographs. I like to think of photographing as a two-way act of respect. Respect for the medium, by letting it do what it does best, describe. And respect for the subject, by describing as it is. A photograph must be responsible to both." - Garry Winogrand


And this to your other point. BTW I agree with you as you can see.
I believe as Ansel Adams believed:
"No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit."-Ansel Adams
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Old 02-17-2015   #107
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What makes you think that people don`t do that .?
I'm talking specifically about photographers who don't do that -- not suggesting that any and all photography of the homeless etc. fall automatically into that category.

I think there's something to be said - a lot, complimentary - for documenting reality...the social condition, whatever you want to call it. It boils down to motivation and respect, I would suggest -- quick and surreptitious grab-shots are just that, quick and surreptitious and nothing more.
I think you can do so while preserving a person's inherent dignity...heck, I'm positive there's examples of candid photography that displays that, too. But I know there's a lot more that are basically a form of tourism and that's not respectful of the subject and I'd suggest it's lazier, too...it takes work to talk to a stranger and you run the risk of them saying "no". But I think that people who do that create images that are different than people who don't.
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Old 02-17-2015   #108
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Well this is a bad idea for a thread. You're just going to discourage people from shooting.
If an internet thread is going to stop someone from making images then they shouldn't be out making them in the first place...clearly they're fragile pieces of icing sugar who aren't made for this harsh old world.
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Old 02-17-2015   #109
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According to you.
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Old 02-17-2015   #110
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Sorry to be disagreeable (well, maybe not ) ) but the list is meaningless. Let me deal with just one item on the list: "People just walking." Surely it is still possible to come up with an original angle, original light source, an unusual person, an unusual composition, an unusual background, etc. to make such a shot original and eye catching? Or, am I out to lunch?
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Old 02-17-2015   #111
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According to you.
Yes, which is why I said it and not you. Sort of what conversation's all about.
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Old 02-17-2015   #112
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Sorry to be disagreeable (well, maybe not ) ) but the list is meaningless. Let me deal with just one item on the list: "People just walking." Surely it is still possible to come up with an original angle, original light source, an unusual person, an unusual composition, an unusual background, etc. to make such a shot original and eye catching? Or, am I out to lunch?
...amen! (I agree)

You go out to photograph the street and you get what is there AT THAT MOMENT...your choice is how you go about capturing
your vision in a photograph.
Almost everything out there has been photographed and then someone finds a new way to re-photograph it again.
...you may not know you might have liked something until you've seen it.
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Old 02-17-2015   #113
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Yes, which is why I said it and not you. Sort of what conversation's all about.
I just wanted it clear that you weren't speaking for all of the Cool Street Photograpers Who Never Do These Things, or even more than one of them, only for yourself, when you made your announcement.
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Old 02-17-2015   #114
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I just wanted it clear that you weren't speaking for all of the Cool Street Photograpers Who Never Do These Things, or even more than one of them, only for yourself, when you made your announcement.

OK Dude...you have it your way.
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Old 02-17-2015   #115
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Sure document all these over and over again... put your own spin on them... mix and match.

ie: backs with great light framed through a coffee shop window with reflections of people walking and crossing the street...

...but please, please don't watermark them
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Old 02-17-2015   #116
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...but please, please don't watermark them
thank you.
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Old 02-17-2015   #117
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Would you classify indoors as street?............but not your own home.
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Old 02-17-2015   #118
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Originally Posted by Colin Corneau View Post
I'm talking specifically about photographers who don't do that -- not suggesting that any and all photography of the homeless etc. fall automatically into that category.

I think there's something to be said - a lot, complimentary - for documenting reality...the social condition, whatever you want to call it. It boils down to motivation and respect, I would suggest -- quick and surreptitious grab-shots are just that, quick and surreptitious and nothing more.

Understand ...thank you for the reply.
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Old 02-18-2015   #119
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Often the things we hate the most are things we used to do ourselves.
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Old 02-18-2015   #120
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Originally Posted by airfrogusmc View Post
Thought this worth a repost. I posted this early on in this thread.

What some of the greats had to say about rules:
"Photography is not a sport. It has no rules. Everything must be dared and tried!" - Bill Brandt

"There are no rules and regulations for perfect composition. If there were we would be able to put all the information into a computer and would come out with a masterpiece. We know that's impossible. You have to compose by the seat of your pants." - Arnold Newman

"When subject matter is forced to fit into preconceived patterns, there can be no freshness of vision. Following rules of composition can only lead to a tedious repetition of pictorial cliches." - Edward Weston

"Anything that excites me, for any reason, I will photograph: not searching for unusual subject matter but making the commonplace unusual, nor indulging in extraordinary technique to attract attention. Work only when desire to the point of necessity impels – then do it honestly. Then so called “composition” becomes a personal thing, to be developed along with technique, as a personal way of seeing." - Edward Weston

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs." - Ansel Adams "

To compose a subject well means no more than to see and present it in the strongest manner possible." - Edward Weston

"And in not learning the rules, I was free. I always say, you're either defined by the medium or you redefine the medium in terms of your needs." - Duane Michals

"What I write here is a description of what I have come to understand about photography, from photographing and from looking at photographs. A work of art is that thing whose form and content are organic to the tools and materials that made it. Still photography is a chemical, mechanical process. Literal description or the illusion of literal description, is what the tools and materials of still photography do better than any other graphic medium. A still photograph is the illusion of a literal description of how a camera saw a piece of time and space. Understanding this, one can postulate the following theorem: Anything and all things are photographable. A photograph can only look like how the camera saw what was photographed. Or, how the camera saw the piece of time and space is responsible for how the photograph looks. Therefore, a photograph can look any way. Or, there's no way a photograph has to look (beyond being an illusion of a literal description). Or, there are no external or abstract or preconceived rules of design that can apply to still photographs. I like to think of photographing as a two-way act of respect. Respect for the medium, by letting it do what it does best, describe. And respect for the subject, by describing as it is. A photograph must be responsible to both." - Garry Winogrand


And this to your other point. BTW I agree with you as you can see.
I believe as Ansel Adams believed:
"No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit."-Ansel Adams
.... yep, they say that when they've become famous by following em ... then once they'er famous they trot out this stuff, Henri never cropped anything and the like ...
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Regards Stewart

Stewart McBride

RIP 2015



You’re only young once, but one can always be immature.

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