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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 02-22-2015   #41
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@airfrogusmc
Re: your shot

I find your photograph interesting, although on its own not very powerful. My personal preference would be to cut away a piece of the stripes on the right, to lighten their impact and draw the attention to the center-left of the image, where the more important things are happening. I disagree with the comments, that the photo is weak, and the reflections not strong enough, etc. There is an interesting aesthetics, and that on its own can be sufficient for someone to write a cheque for over 4 million USD, like in case of Rhine II, which as a stand alone photograph is worth as much as the printing paper it has been made on. On a more personal note - I dislike the digital look of your photos, but this is my personal thing. I like Jazz and usually am bored by pop music as well.

My shot is just a street photo with no particular acrobatic-geometric effects or historic importance. It is interesting for me, because I am concerned with the individual, her/his problems and thought processes, and a handsome candid moment of solitary reflection is good enough for me to press the shutter. This was shot in Cannes - was this girl French or maybe Russian? Was she texting with her Monaco boyfriend, or was she upset, because her brother was on the Ukrainian front? Only she knows, like only YOU know what is going on in your head now. Not everybody needs to be Cartier-Bresson or Constantine Manos, who BTW for me is one of the best colour photographers I know about.
What I find compelling about your shot is there is a drink in front of her and there is an espresso cup on the other side of the table and now for the real kicker is the guy in the door window coming out. Is he the other person that was at the table drinking espresso and smoking? Who is she texting? And the background is a bit busy but I don't find it overly distracting and maybe necessary because there is a guy that is turning his head back into the frame and that keeps the flow from continuing out of the frame. Nicely done. Probably fits in very nicely in a larger body of work.

I love jazz to but I love the fact I can get med format quality from my MM even at high ISO. When a younger man I shot street occasionally with a 500 C/M and loved the clarity of the larger files and if I were so inclined which I am not I could always degrade the images and add grain and such or go back to shooting 35mm film.

I like Mano's work to and I really like Meyerowitz's color street work.
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Old 02-22-2015   #42
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interesting scene.
would have been good to have the old ladys face in focus, and if you dropped on one knee to take the image so that the barbers legs were in the frame and the whole lounge where the other is sleeping...filling in the top third of the frame....still a nice image.
Thanks. This isn't an excuse, but getting the old ladies face in focus would be really tough. Shooting 1/60th of a second with a fuji GW690. The focus throw is really long.

This is really interesting that you said that though. To switch the focus from the background to the foreground. The way the fuji makes me work is to focus on either slow/non-moving items or the background and have a blurry subject which I don't mind.

A quick autofocus like a Nikon F5 or F6 could have got me what you mentioned (shooting at 1600 iso or above). She was moving quickly so shooting 1/250th would have been necessary (or faster).

Or I could have shot with *gasp* digital at 25000 iso and gotten it rather easily...

Coming down to one knee, it would have shifted the perspective of the man's face in the mirror and would make a straight line instead of a triangle... which if compacted like that, might be a bit too much but then again maybe it would have been really interesting.

Good brain food for me thank you :-)
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Old 02-22-2015   #43
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I think it shows movement, energy and it's moving into the frame. Supporting player and in my opinion not that important to be sharp. In fact I like the movement.

Or if you are shooting manual focus you can use the DoF scales.
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Old 02-22-2015   #44
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You know, a Bronica RF is really nice for the street, although it only goes down to 1/500th, however I do not think you should be concerned with me - it is obvious that digital has become mainstream, and my film photos are becoming ever more an anachronism. Stay focused on the images. I see that you are looking for photos that have immediate graphic impact - nothing wrong with that, but a bit of human emotion can make the images deeper, even if it is subtle, like this look of desire mixed with resignation that i perceive here:


201410617 by mfogiel, on Flickr
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Old 02-22-2015   #45
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I love film and the look of film but I also really like digital and love the look and the information in the files I get from my MM.

I've seen this before and maybe just a bit obvious for my taste but that's personal. Great timing and I really like the way the railing pulls the two together. I also like the dark against the light background. This could work with the other image in a larger body of work. Maybe something about woman or relationships? Maybe a much bigger statement on society is in these?
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Old 02-22-2015   #46
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BTW I am a fan of sjones work. Seek it out if you haven't already seen it.
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Old 02-22-2015   #47
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I do think that crits on the world wide web are sometimes not that helpful Usually they get into pissing matches and personal matters that have little to do with the work. I am not saying that's happening here. It hasn't so far. But live critiques with people that are about the same place on the journey or even ahead of you are for me anyway invaluable.

I was in a large one man exhibit in 2013 35 prints and the folks i crit with regularly were so helpful in helping me edit the work down to the 35 for the show. I had an image selected to be in a juried show last summer in New York at the Soho Gallery only 42 out of 2600 images were selected and they helped me so much in getting the edit down for that and they and the curators at the gallery my show this March is at were so instrumental in getting me to the final images. So getting the right feedback can be so important in helping you grow. Not sure the world wide web is the best setting for that. I might change my mind if this thread keeps moving in the right direction.
Yeah, if I ever get to the point of holding an exhibit, then some external consultation could certainly prove invaluable (will you be available by the way). But at the current stage, I’m happy to avoid the unfiltered Internet murmur.
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Old 02-22-2015   #48
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Yeah, if I ever get to the point of holding an exhibit, then some external consultation could certainly prove invaluable (will you be available by the way). But at the current stage, I’m happy to avoid the unfiltered Internet murmur.
Anytime bro and your time will come...
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Old 02-22-2015   #49
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Ok let's try this. I'll put myself out there. I prefer to post one of my own for a couple of reason. First and foremost I don't feel comfortable posting someone else's work for this purpose and two I know why I took it. Not that I think this is anything spectacular but i do think it works on several levels. I will first talk some about it and include some of the critique that was given. I showed this in out last session.



What caught my eye is when she was starting to walk by I noticed all the stripes. (repeating shapes) and the the guys watching her. I waited until she got to an interesting point in the frame and I took the image.

So what makes this work for me is she is young and from the side she is hold the jacket you don't know if she is yet a woman. The guys looking and the reflection clearly shows that she is. Then you see the advertising poster that in the window that is what advertisers show as the perfect woman. So it I think it works on a visual level with all the repeating shapes (the stripes which are everywhere) and it starts to say a little bit about who we are as a society. Now whether it has any real merit I will leave to the others.

So let's hear your views. Like, hate whatever. HAVE AT IT...
Balance, there is amazing balance here. Two girls real and reflected not watching at all. Two men one standing one sitting watching the girl. Strips and black and white panels of the entrance. Single image of woman off-center watching...all of them. But what I saw first and I'm always attracted too in any black and white photograph is the graphic flow of the image which can be a visual smack to the face or shuttle shaded caress. A great photograph will grab you and visually communicate this...have you coming back to discover other details.
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Old 02-22-2015   #50
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Thanks Frank..
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Old 02-22-2015   #51
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Thanks Frank..
...I might add: This photograph reminds of the image in Rome of the young woman walking down the street through a gauntlet of cat-calling Italian men.
She unlike the girl here had this worried look on here face.

One of the things I hope for this forum is for us all to open our eyes up
a little more, hopefully some hesitant to post their images will start to do so.
I know I can always learn something new...and often don't know I'll like something until I see it.

cheers
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Old 02-22-2015   #52
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...I might add: This photograph reminds of the image in Rome of the young woman walking down the street through a gauntlet of cat-calling Italian men.
She unlike the girl here had this worried look on here face.

One of the things I hope for this forum is for us all to open our eyes up
a little more, hopefully some hesitant to post their images will start to do so.
I know I can always learn something new...and often don't I'll like something until I see it.

cheers
First thanks again. That would be the Ruth Orkin photo?

Totally agree about we need to see more of those that are a little hesitant. Hopefully more folks will join in.

I think I said this earlier, every singe time I get a little narrow in my thinking something comes along that changes my opinion. The day I stop learning and growing is the day I put down the cameras.

Great forum BTW.
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Old 02-22-2015   #53
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It's such a tough crowd here lately though!
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Old 02-22-2015   #54
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It's such a tough crowd here lately though!
LoL it always is. Come on Frank, ya know ya wanna...
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Old 02-22-2015   #55
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Hey Frank S I thought you would have thrown up something?
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Old 02-22-2015   #56
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NSFW: Main St. Port Dover, Friday 13th motorcycle event:

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Old 02-22-2015   #57
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My attention was caught by HSG's initial framing concerning whether street photography has rules, a question that comes up in many art forms. In my view, rules are necessary and foundational, because the without rules you are just left with chaos. That doesn't mean you have to follow rules, but ignorance is not the same as artistic license. If you don't know the rules, how can you rebel against them.

Chaos is boring.

The world is full of entropy. A photographer artist chooses a time, place and point of view to organize that "decisive moment" and call our attention to it. So you better put some thought into it or why would anybody care? You can have a thousand monkeys shooting a thousand flicker accounts and never come within a thousand parsecs of a great photograph like HCB's "Bali, 1949". The linked article by Adam Marelli points out how HCB used his mastery of the rules of composition to make that photograph work.

HCB's training in formal composition does enable him to dance around the rules when he wants to.
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Old 02-23-2015   #58
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I believe that the photographers like Bresson and many other greats are/were not so much about rules as they were about being very fluent in the language that they communicate with. Learning to communicate is not about rules and frees you from rules and brings clarity to chaos. Bresson refers to it as a developed instinct. Understanding how to use the language is a journey and and far along the path you are can determine how much you see in your own work and the work of others.

The greats were all master at visual communication and the more fluent one is at that that the more free they are from rules. Understanding how to use line, shape, color, tone etc is key. No before someone say those are rules understand that what can work in A fails miserably in B. Example would be certain lines with certain colors in photo A create a feel and the composition creates a balance the creates a harmony with the subject. In photo B that same combo creates tension with the subject because the subject t is different. That is way over simplified but these things can take a very long time to master and become part of a developed instinct and in this fast world that is not a popular notion.

You become good at this by looking at paintings, sculpture, photographs and other art forms. Seeing what works and what doesn't and then trying to figure out what works for you. Learn about color theory and two dimensional design. The more you learn the less you realize that this is about rules and more about using visual tools to express yourself.

A great photographer once told me that either everything in your photograph is helping your visual statement and if those things are helping the photograph then the are hurting it.

Here's what some of the masters had to say about it and they were all masters at visual language and visual communication.

"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

Maybe my favorite
"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
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Old 02-23-2015   #59
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... they'er more like guidelines actually ... and I've noticed over my years on the interweb it is usually the people who haven't bothered learning about aesthetics and perception who advise breaking or ignoring them
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Old 02-23-2015   #60
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Old 02-23-2015   #61
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To all those who say, that history is junk, and only your "original" and "new" vision counts, I say to be more humble and learn from others first - this will save you several hundred years of time....
Then, once you will know what's going on in your creative process, you will be able to look for your own way forward.
absolutely agree with that
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Old 02-23-2015   #62
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In my opinion, too many street photographers get wrapped up in the situation and what it means to them, and nearly entirely forget the fundamentals of formal photography, ending up with half of a picture, something inadequate no matter how good the subject matter is-----merely snapshots of interesting things.
agree with that, too. That's why someone's perceived extraordinary shot is for an outside no big deal at all- it only tries to pus a content which worked for the photographer in the right context but for an innocent bystander, it's just an interesting object or person on a pic (therefore, not really the merit of the photographer).
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Old 02-23-2015   #63
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And then there are those that only see in terms of RoTs so they dismiss work that falls out that and only shoot things that fall into it. So there's millions of look alike images out there on the world wide web taken by the RoTs army. No thought of self expression or why they took the photograph. They also don't understand that some landscape photographers follow a different rule. Rule 5ths or some call it 4/5ths so the RoTs people dismiss those images because they don't fit the guidelines LoL...

I say don't pay much attention to rules but learn about how to communicate effectively and that usually takes a very long time and is really a life long journey. How are the elements supporting your intent?

I love this one by Weston
"To compose a subject well means no more than to see and present it in the strongest manner possible." - Edward Weston
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Old 02-23-2015   #64
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“The eye should learn to listen before it looks.”
― Robert Frank
Great quote...
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Old 02-23-2015   #65
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So what makes this work for me is she is young and from the side she is hold the jacket you don't know if she is yet a woman. The guys looking and the reflection clearly shows that she is. Then you see the advertising poster that in the window that is what advertisers show as the perfect woman. So it I think it works on a visual level with all the repeating shapes (the stripes which are everywhere) and it starts to say a little bit about who we are as a society. Now whether it has any real merit I will leave to the others.

So let's hear your views. Like, hate whatever. HAVE AT IT...
OK who am i to give critique to anyuone else's photos but hey, here it comes anyway, since you've asked us all
but take it with a mountain of salt, of course.
First of all: You should not have "talked a bit about it". Even a title is sometimes too much for a picture (if it's a single picture and not documentary, should not need any introduction or background info).
Second: the words i made bold up in the quoted text. Seriously??
-you seriously couldnt tell, only from her face?
-you seriously think this is important at all in the picture?

I do like the girl and her reflection walking out of the image and the guys staring and you staring (=it gives me the feeling a bit that i am staring at her, too), it's a good composition with a good content. But it's too broadly framed, the stripes would balance it out if there was no big patch of nothing on the right and big darkness on the top. The ad-woman face doesn't add anything for me. Your explanation on the beauty ideal etc is therefore imo forced (again, explaining it doesnt make it appear), it is not in the image (the main subject is not in strong contrast with the ad face - she looks okay nothing wrong with her face or physical appearance thus there is no contrast).
So the girl w reflection, the guys looking, with the added level of the repeating stripes is okay, the rest detracts/makes it weaker for me.
Multiple "subjects" or messages in it, would be better with a single one in focus.
I find that images like this (repeating patterns, guys staring at a girl on the street...) are so often done in street photography, that in order to make it stand out, the subject itself (or the message if any) does not suffice, you need a very strong clean composition for it.

The old shot of the girl walking down the street in Italy and the many men staring at ehr worked because 1. it is old 2. there's a LOT of men with all different and well-visible faces / facial expressions which make the image a whole story, to look and recognize all the feelings/thoughts of those guys, and 3. compositionally it is ver well done, in balance and all around one central idea.
But i'm certainly not qualified to critique that shot i just mentioned it as comparison and since it was already brought up here, anyway...
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Old 02-23-2015   #66
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And then there are those that only see in terms of RoTs so they dismiss work that falls out that and only shoot things that fall into it. So there's millions of look alike images out there on the world wide web taken by the RoTs army. (...)
i say rule of thirds (and most rules- not in traffic, of course ) is like light meters indoors
i.e. a tool to help but not something to blindly follow.
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Old 02-23-2015   #67
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"Who has the authority to critique your street photography?"

Every person who views my street photography has authority.

I have the authority to accept or reject their critique.

Professional curators have the final say.
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Old 02-23-2015   #68
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First of all: You should not have "talked a bit about it". Even a title is sometimes too much for a picture (if it's a single picture and not documentary, should not need any introduction or background info).
Second: the words i made bold up in the quoted text. Seriously??
-you seriously couldnt tell, only from her face?
-you seriously think this is important at all in the picture?

First thanks so much for the comments and I know how forums work and I wrote some about it to get ball rolling. Plus intent in any image is HUGE.

I think from the camera side the bow in her hair and not being able to see her shape her age is bit ambiguous. No question with the reflection. And I do agree with Franks comments on the previous page that it is well balanced and this is the way I tend to see and put images together visually.

And yes I do think it is important because I think all better work is working on several levels. The more you look the more you see.
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Old 02-23-2015   #69
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I want to comment on the general idea of the critique. First, I suppose if photographs are seen strictly as commodity products, then the best critique is measured with one's wallet; no other comment required.

I've always been weary of professional photography critics, they say such ridiculous things that seem more informed by the world of painting rather than having an understanding of the way photographs are actually created. (Hypothetical) statements like "The photographer should have moved the building several feet further to the left, and made the light come from another direction" reveal their ignorance of the way photos are created, as if the photographer could have actually moved a skyscraper and the sun by the force of his will alone.

Photographs are often found things, sudden discoveries made; there's less for the photographer to control than what an oil painter could do on a blank canvas. The photographic artist is less in control, more like an observer, his images a record of what he uncovered.

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Old 02-23-2015   #70
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My take on the photo is that while there are these compositional/narrative elements within the picture (repetition of line, reflection of people on the other side of the street) that the others have rightly picked up on, I don't find these elements strong enough to make a significant impression. The reflection of the people on the other side of the street isn't really clear enough to make any meaningful sense of situation (this could possibly be enhanced with some PP), the repetition of line and shape isn't really immediately powerful, I didn't actually notice the poster at all until a second ago and only since you mention it; it all comes together as being fairly vague. I find myself being more intrigued by the image the more I look at it, but had this been on flickr, tumblr, or a portfolio I would have scrolled past without much of a thought. The most pleasing part of the image for me is actually the light and expression on the girl's face.

Also, to echo what Pherdinand said I really don't think you should caption your work the way that you did. There are some images that really require some context (not this one), and no work requires a pre-packaged interpretation.
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Old 02-23-2015   #71
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...post a photograph.
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a photograph is:

moments captured
time stopped,
lives made still.
the dark truth-
a bright lie-
neither bad.
neither good.
this simplicity, pure
stolen moments.
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Old 02-23-2015   #72
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“There are rules about perception, but not about photography.”

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Old 02-23-2015   #73
rogue_designer
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Speaking personally - there are people whose opinion I value (for differing reasons). Sometimes its because I respect their own art. Sometimes, their expertise. Other's their objectivity, or natural sense of composition, etc.

Who = who I determine. For my own reasons.

I listen to critique from everyone, but I definitely value some opinions more than others.
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Old 02-23-2015   #74
DominikDUK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JChrome View Post
Fair enough. But before I dive deep enough to come to those conclusions, the first thing it needs to do (for me) is be visually pleasing. You may want the advertisement to be above her head because it creates this notion of the ideal woman in her mind. But visually, it doesn't work for me.

If I understand you right, I suppose the question becomes "Should you compromise the visual appeal to enhance some sort of philosophical/psychological meaning?"

I know when I shoot street, I only aim for visually pleasing compositions that come out of the chaos. Any sort of deeper meaning is just icing on the cake. I don't shoot street to convey to people something philosophical.

That said, I do have a project which is specific and is in the street and is using strangers as subjects. I am trying to convey something philosophical in this work, but I don't consider it "street photography". I am striving towards something else, completely different than my street work.

The other issue at play here is our ego and our ability to "covet" our own work. The below image is my favorite from a recent trip to India. I've posted it elsewhere on this forum. No one ever gave it any roaring applause on here (someone said my series was nice). But I keep coming back to it and it still shines to me. My own critique:

It could be a bit sharper (a bit of hand shake)
The spacing could be better.
Not sure if I like the mirror to the left so close to the edge of the frame.

What do you guys think?

The Image has a very cinematic feel and could have been superb but unfortunately it fails (for me) the unsharpness of everything but the mirror is what bothers me. The unsharpness would have worked if you were standing directly behind the barber/customer, but the other elements the man lying on the bench and the unsharp lady in the front make it busy, there is simply to much going on that is not totally out of focus but also not sharp. The same image with everything sharp would be reminescent of a Spaghetti Western or other interior shot in a western. I can understand why you like as all the necessary elements save one are there the color is beautiful, the scene and setting are superb but the last element that would make it outstanding is missing.
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Old 02-23-2015   #75
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Interesting link- thanks for sharing.
If I had my doubts about the usefulness of master classes and workshops (I did not, i always thought they’re useless waste of money and time) they are vanished now.
Costa Manos is honestly telling how his picture would look like, if he took it, being there instead.
Nothing to do with education (is it even possible in such format?).
The “too easy”, “no people in frame”, etc. – in my opinion it’s a complete nonsense.
Still, thank you.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Hsg View Post
On the internet forums its common to come across photographers who argue that street photography has no rules , everyone should follow their 'vision' and all street photography are 'good' because they document life.

On the opposite side is those who approach photography through the vision of an authority figure, an experienced photographer with certain achievements in the field of street photography who's paid through workshops to critique the work of others.

Magnum photographers are the authority figure for most street photographers. Through Magnum workshops many street photographers get their work critiqued. In the following link, Costa Manos, a veteran of magnum photos critiques the work of one of his students.

Watch the video and discuses if you agree with such an approach to street photography, namely by trying to become 'better' by the critique of an authority figure.

Constantine Manos : Critique for Karl Edwards
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Old 02-23-2015   #76
Hsg
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Quote:
The “too easy”, “no people in frame”, etc. – in my opinion it’s a complete nonsense.
Everyone has their ideas of what is good street photography; however, one cannot escape the tradition of street photography. That tradition is dominated by people such as Costa Manos who have pioneered some of the techniques that others are emulating.

If you want to do street photography outside of the established street photography tradition, then you're either being innovative or you don't care; nevertheless, the tradition of street photography will always be there and those who know it will judge your work based on that tradition.
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Old 02-23-2015   #77
MIkhail
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hsg View Post
nevertheless, the tradition of street photography will always be there and those who know it will judge your work based on that tradition.
That makes sense, I cannot disagree.
Goes back to a bigger idea: everything that public likes now was effectively already chewed out for us by curators, historians, acclaimed critics, etc. New is always rejected first. Eggleston is the glaring example, or Saul Leiter even better one..
But my statement on usefulness of such exercises still stands.
Nothing new can come from exactly following the rules, whether it's Webb's rules, Costa Manos's rules, of Martin Parr's rules...
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Old 02-23-2015   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIkhail View Post
That makes sense, I cannot disagree.
Goes back to a bigger idea: everything that we like is effectively chewed out for us by curators, historians, acclaimed critics, etc. New is always rejected first. Eggleston is the glaring example, or Saul Leiter even better one..
But my statement on usefulness of such exercises still stands.
Nothing new can come from exactly following the rules, whether it's Webb's rules, Costa Manos's rules, of Martin Parr's rules...
I can see why tradition can be a burden, but I can also see why tradition is there in the first place.

For one, you can only break the tradition if you know it well, and secondly, if you break the tradition then you have to offer something that was lacking in the tradition, otherwise your break with tradition is simply a regression.

An 'easy shot' is a regression, unless you make a body of work based on easy shots that begins to form a pattern. For example Atget's work.
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Old 02-23-2015   #79
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Old 02-23-2015   #80
MIkhail
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hsg View Post
I can see why tradition can be a burden, but I can also see why tradition is there in the first place.

For one, you can only break the tradition if you know it well, and secondly, if you break the tradition then you have to offer something that was lacking in the tradition, otherwise your break with tradition is simply a regression.

An 'easy shot' is a regression, unless you make a body of work based on easy shots that begins to form a pattern. For example Atget's work.

The "easy shot" that Costa Manos dismisses is an old new for a long, long time already. That's not even something that needs to be broken.

One thing that he said (and you mentioned as well) - there has to be one stem on which you hang your work, one governing idea, not random shots. With that I agree 100%. Weather your individual shots are easy to make or hard, that seems to me so "day before yesterday"... Especially with current level of photo equipment.
P.S. I am nto talking about proverbial "story" unless you are striving for being a reporter, dying profession by many authorities...
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