Originally Posted by johnwolf
I like the term "street photography." But I don't take it literally, any more that I would insist that landscape photography be exclusively about land.
I consider SP different than documentary photography, in that the latter has an objective, an intention to cover something, like a theme or place or happening. To me, SP follows the flaneur model--idle wandering with no particular goal in mind.
Actually, that was an issue I had with the film "Everybody Street." Most of the photographers covered seemed more like documentary photographers than street photographers.
Lots of folks hate the term “street photography” but still use it anyway for lack of a better alternative, which itself causes more consternation.
But it’s not the ambiguity of the term that’s most problematic as much as it is the certainty with which some define it: it must be urban, it must include humans—-candids only, it must be black & white, it must use a wide angle, normal at longest, and so on. To note, I actually prefer some of the "rules" I just stated, but I ain't out to semantically impose them.
I agree that most folks who do street photography usually lack any objective other than to find that rare moment when a variety of visual elements combine to create something hopefully compelling…again, a rarity.
As Winogrand said, he took photos to see what something looks like photographed, and that pretty much sums it up.