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Old 03-07-2017   #41
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Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
Sure, there are all sorts of genres with mediocre photography. Only a very small percentage of photography of any genre has true merit and is extraordinary, but it appears that street photography is routinely praised as extraordinary regardless of whether it is extraordinary, poor, mediocre, or just plain ordinary.
Where and how does this appear? And the same is not true for example for portrait photography? I don't really buy it.
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Old 03-07-2017   #42
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it appears that street photography is routinely praised as extraordinary regardless of whether it is extraordinary, poor, mediocre, or just plain ordinary.

Just curious if anyone else has the same opinion.
I do, and a few years back read an article in which the writer described much of it as, 'The emperor's new clothes' - which seemed quite apt.

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Old 03-07-2017   #43
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I love street photography.

Contax I, Nikkor 50mm f/2, 400-2TMY.

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Old 03-07-2017   #44
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D: ... The term "street photography" and your name have been synonymous for quite some time....
W: .... I think that those kind of distinctions and lists of titles like "street photographer" are so stupid.
+1 for
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I love street photography


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Old 03-07-2017   #45
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Public forums aren't crit sessions at your local art college. People like to show their stuff. Some it will be good and lots will be bad. Some people will be supportive of the bad photos. Where is the problem? Do we need another photo of a mountain? Or a photo of young attractive people drinking PBR? Sure, why not?
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Old 03-07-2017   #46
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Perfectly abstract criticism is perfectly useless. In my experience the only thing that gets more interesting the more abstract it gets is mathematics. Instead of speaking of the thousands or millions of images that can be lumped together as "street photography", why not pick out a few that are representative of the problems you see, or name a photographer you don't get. Then there's a chance that someone will have something interesting to say.


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Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
I'm not criticizing anything, it's just an observation.

Sure, there are all sorts of genres with mediocre photography. Only a very small percentage of photography of any genre has true merit and is extraordinary, but it appears that street photography is routinely praised as extraordinary regardless of whether it is extraordinary, poor, mediocre, or just plain ordinary.

Just curious if anyone else has the same opinion.

Won't be able to reply again for a few hours.
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Old 03-07-2017   #47
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Originally Posted by back alley View Post
you see more anti street photography threads than anti landscape threads...
That's probably because landscapes can't and won't complain about having their likeness posted on social media or flickr without their permission.

I love great street photography but it is far and few between compared to a fair amount of documentary style work in that even though the documentary may be candid, there is at least a modicum of collaboration between the subject and image maker.

Street now, in 2017 seems like a similar operation to a trophy hunter, there is the hunter, the victim and the trophy. In too many cases, there is simply not much respect for the hunted.
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Old 03-07-2017   #48
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That's probably because landscapes can't and won't complain about having their likeness posted on social media or flickr without their permission.

I love great street photography but it is far and few between compared to a fair amount of documentary style work in that even though the documentary may be candid, there is at least a modicum of collaboration between the subject and image maker.

Street now, in 2017 seems like a similar operation to a trophy hunter, there is the hunter, the victim and the trophy. There is simply not much respect for the hunted.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photog...#United_States

I hate this argument about posting people's likeness on social media. I've been living in NYC for 4 years shooting street and can count on one hand the amount of confrontations I've had and two were from rent-a-cops outside of Madison Square Garden. People can throw a fit about me taking a photo of them crossing the street but at the end of the day, I can do it. Am I saying it's right or ok to go to a park alone and give kids candy in exchange for their photograph? No. There is a distinction between what is legally ok and what is morally ok. Some people's morals are different but generally speaking, most people stay in the confines of what would be acceptable in the street photography community. (I can't think of a better term than "street photography" for the conversation.)
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Old 03-07-2017   #49
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Street now, in 2017 seems like a similar operation to a trophy hunter, there is the hunter, the victim and the trophy. In too many cases, there is simply not much respect for the hunted.
A hostile take on photography.
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Old 03-07-2017   #50
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Like anything else..some people are good at it..and some aint..and most..are squarely in the middle..and even get lucky..once in a while..
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Old 03-07-2017   #51
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I cannot get enough of shots of the backs of people's heads, or creeper shots of women walking by.
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Old 03-07-2017   #52
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Years ago when the mall opened here our downtown died, only photos of empty sidewalks and very little traffic. And now the mall is just about empty. So I concentrate on birds.

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Old 03-07-2017   #53
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Originally Posted by brennanphotoguy View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photog...#United_States

I hate this argument about posting people's likeness on social media. I've been living in NYC for 4 years shooting street and can count on one hand the amount of confrontations I've had and two were from rent-a-cops outside of Madison Square Garden. People can throw a fit about me taking a photo of them crossing the street but at the end of the day, I can do it. Am I saying it's right or ok to go to a park alone and give kids candy in exchange for their photograph? No. There is a distinction between what is legally ok and what is morally ok. Some people's morals are different but generally speaking, most people stay in the confines of what would be acceptable in the street photography community. (I can't think of a better term than "street photography" for the conversation.)
Just be aware that as a full time woking pro with almost 30 years experience, I know full well what our rights are but also understand that the big picture perception of the pursuit of street has changed with social media and the web in general, so you are in effect preaching to the choir?

Another thing to note is that NYC is a different animal when it comes to how people react to having their photo taken without permission, so one not ought to apply such a broad assertion to all cases. Even with letters of assignment, I have had confrontations with people that I had to de-escalate, prove my publication intent and it is not fun. In 2006 I made the AP wire when a drug crazed friend of Hunter Thompson's pumped a few rounds of 12 gauge over my hastily departing truck.

Yes...you have a right but be aware that your rights and what is right may not always align with those on the other end of the camera. One should be a voice of reason and respect when navigating opposing views of the right to photograph people they do not know in public places.
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Old 03-07-2017   #54
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A hostile take on photography.
You mean if the hunted, right?

Because hobby street photographers often can not see how they are making people feel uncomfortable all for the sake of their hobby and how to deal with that outcome with empathy and humility.
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Old 03-07-2017   #55
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I cannot get enough of shots of the backs of people's heads, or creeper shots of women walking by.
Yea! Whatta shame those are:

https://www.moma.org/calendar/exhibitions/967?locale=en

http://ccp-emuseum.catnet.arizona.ed...d-c03725fcb44b
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Old 03-07-2017   #56
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hobby street photographers often can not see how they are making people feel uncomfortable
Do you know how often you are caught by security cameras every day?

Erik.
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Old 03-07-2017   #57
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(...) A world with one Cartier Bresson had a few outstanding photographers. A world with two million Cartier Bressons produces a lot of sameness.
Maybe I misunderstand you, but if not:

Please name one of your Cartier-Bressons, or five?
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Old 03-07-2017   #58
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Street now, in 2017 seems like a similar operation to a trophy hunter, there is the hunter, the victim and the trophy.
Quote:
He once compared himself to a fisherman. The most important thing was to approach his catch cautiously, and to strike at just the right moment. The only difference was that the catch was not an animal but a chance.
Read the rest here to learn about one the fathers of so called "street photography".
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Old 03-07-2017   #59
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Do you know how often you are caught by security cameras every day?

Erik.
Yeah, I wish they would get my good side but my pants are always up...

By the way, love your work the Erik, but you should know that.
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Old 03-07-2017   #60
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They stalk the homeless here. Totally unforgiving in their pursuit of a" like" on whatever social media site they use. Really sick stuff.
Photos of homeless people are the low hanging fruit of street. There is just nothing to be gained from it generally.
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Old 03-07-2017   #61
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They stalk the homeless here. Totally unforgiving in their pursuit of a" like" on whatever social media site they use. Really sick stuff.
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Originally Posted by brennanphotoguy View Post
Photos of homeless people are the low hanging fruit of street. There is just nothing to be gained from it generally.
They stalk the homeless here!

https://www.moma.org/collection/works/52297?locale=en

https://www.moma.org/collection/works/130438?locale=en

Moma must be closed and American Photographs should be burned!
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Old 03-07-2017   #62
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Security images aren't commonly posted on photo and social media sites.
Actually they are commonly posted to the latter, generally in video form more than photo form.
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Old 03-07-2017   #63
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I can't say whether or not I like street photography. I like good photography - as it is defined by my tastes and preferences - and I like good photography that happens to be shot on the street.

Regardless of what genres people would like to assign to photography (or music or dance or any art, really), the quality of the art is really what counts. Different people can appreciate different aspects of "quality" and define it in different ways if they like, and that's fine. It's a big world and there's room for everybody.

It's also a sliding scale; the best photographer in his or her local photography club may receive praise from the others in that group because their work stands out in that crowd. Maybe it wouldn't if it were held up against a larger pool. Maybe it would. At what point is a piece of work's quality high enough to "rate"? Who's definition is the defining definition? I see lots of photography on line that I perceive as *** but others adore. I'm sure there are also images that I really like that someone else thinks are ***. It's all good.

Roger's example is right on - it's something I've said about music for decades: 90% of everything is crap. But we might not all agree on which 90%, and that's okay, too.

To me, what's harder to tolerate is the need so many people feel to categorize, pigeonhole and "grenre-ize" everything. Street Photography means little to me. I live in NYC. Practically ALL my photography is street photography! So what?
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Old 03-07-2017   #64
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Sturgeon's Law:

Critic, to Theodore Sturgeon: "90% of science fiction is crud".

Sturgeon: "90% of anything is crud"........................

Cheers,

R.

Too true.

......1.2.3.4.5.6.7.8.9.0.
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Old 03-07-2017   #65
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You mean "the easiest targets" ? The homeless aren't going to chase these "street photographers" down and threaten them with legal trouble.
Nobody can chase you down, in the US, and threaten you with legal trouble.

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I would challenge one of these photographers to photograph outside of an expensive restaurant or private club in this city. I think the reaction by the subjects would be much different.

What do you think?
What is their reaction going to be and how could you possibly think you can predict it?
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Old 03-07-2017   #66
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Street Photography means little to me. I live in NYC. Practically ALL my photography is street photography! So what?
Exactly.... it's too narrow of a genre to me and seems to have come to fruition as a term with the internet. Prior to the internet, I didn't hear the term much.
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Old 03-07-2017   #67
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It's easy to be a critic.
Not really. Much easier to be mindlessly impressed by vacuous work, I think.

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.

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?

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.
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Old 03-07-2017   #68
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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 03-07-2017   #69
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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 03-07-2017   #70
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Not really. Much easier to be mindlessly impressed by vacuous work, I think.
Ok, correction... it's easy to be a bad critic.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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 03-07-2017   #71
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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 03-07-2017   #72
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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 03-07-2017   #73
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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. 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 03-07-2017   #74
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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 03-07-2017   #75
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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.
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 03-07-2017   #76
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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 03-07-2017   #77
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fascinating...


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Old 03-07-2017   #78
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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 03-07-2017   #79
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Poor street photography often (usually) contains nothing.
This actually gives me an idea....thanks!
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Old 03-07-2017   #80
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Age: 27
Posts: 786
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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