Go Back   Rangefinderforum.com > Cameras / Gear / Photography > Coffee With Mentors > Frank Jackson on Street Photography

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).

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

Old 11-18-2015   #41
Timmyjoe
Registered User
 
Timmyjoe's Avatar
 
Timmyjoe is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,020
Quote:
Originally Posted by uhoh7 View Post
HCB delt with it enough to go on about his tactics.
Could you share where you found this. I would love to read his thoughts.

Thanks.

Best,
-Tim
__________________
http://www.timcarrollphotography.com

New Photo Books
Sturgis Stories
& Scenes From Sturgis
now available
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #42
uhoh7
Registered User
 
uhoh7 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,806
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmyjoe View Post
Could you share where you found this. I would love to read his thoughts.

Thanks.

Best,
-Tim
http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2...t-photography/

See #6

He was very sneaky.

I know that's a list with many cliches, but I think it's accurate in this case.

Now, one could argue: I can't shoot kids like he could! Note many of his kid shots are third world. The "creepo" paranoia is also much less in the third world today. But even then I think he was sneaky as often there are no adults in view.

Again it is possible to photograph kids with nary a bad look, if the context is right:


Moustache by unoh7, on Flickr


Leopard by unoh7, on Flickr

I got many smiles from these folks. Still of course a frown or two And I was no HCB, with two bodies, 75 Lux on the M9 and 300/2.8 EDIF on the A7.mod

But in general, if you think it's hard in a crowded city, try random picture taking of strangers in a small town. The more people the easier.

Complaining about the fact people don't like it is pointless. But comparing ways to cope is useful.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #43
fireblade
Vincenzo.
 
fireblade's Avatar
 
fireblade is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,168
Fight fire with fire. I have had females, never males, approach me in a loud condescending tone that they think will give them some superiority. I have a standard reply in a louder tone, eyeball them and tell them to p!ssoff and get the f*ck out of my image.
I have no fear of what society thinks of me with a camera in my hand while i walk the streets my taxes paid for.
__________________
Vincenzo

"No place is boring, if you've had a good night's sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film."
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #44
DNG
Film Friendly
 
DNG's Avatar
 
DNG is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Camby, Indiana. USA
Age: 63
Posts: 2,958
Quote:
Originally Posted by fireblade View Post
Fight fire with fire. I have had females, never males, approach me in a loud condescending tone that they think will give them some superiority.
I have a standard reply in a louder tone, eyeball them and tell them to p!ssoff and get the f*ck out of my image.
I have no fear of what society thinks of me with a camera in my hand while i walk the streets my taxes paid for.
Love this answer.... shuts them down completely! and their ego that you where taking their picture.
__________________
Feedback Link
Flickr: My Street
Other Gallories

Nikon: F2, EM, Konica: FS-1, TC,

Nikkor: 24mm f/2.8 Ais, 28mm f/3.5 Ai, 50mm f/1.4 N/Ai, 105mm f/2.5 P N/Ai
Hexanon: 28mm f/3.5 AR, 40mm f/1.8 AR, 57mm f/1.2 AR
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #45
Hsg
who dares wins
 
Hsg is offline
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 641
Quote:
Originally Posted by uhoh7 View Post
Again it is possible to photograph kids with nary a bad look, if the context is right:


Moustache by unoh7, on Flickr
HCB would appreciate the surrealism of this shot where only one kid out of everyone is perfectly in focus.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #46
DNG
Film Friendly
 
DNG's Avatar
 
DNG is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Camby, Indiana. USA
Age: 63
Posts: 2,958
Quote:
Originally Posted by kshapero View Post
When shooting out in the street, I have noticed an increase in tension from 3 places.
1. Feel like Police in general are on edge when shooting.
2. Feel like random subjects are less accommodating and sometimes just not accommodating at all.
3. Feel like business owners are more restrictive about photographers.

I have been shooting "the street" for 40 years, so of course, I have seen this before. But it now it seems increased. Recent events over the last 15 years, seems to have changed everything. maybe I am wrong.
1: In Indianapolis, IN, USA, the downtown police are very friendly, and the one time I had couple complain to two cops near me that I had no right to take their picture without asking first. The officers both defended my rights as long they are on public property to take their photo.

2: I find random candid photos are less of a threat.. I may take a waist level or have my camera up to my eye and just keep it there after they have passed. It looks like I am waiting for them pass by before I take a picture.

3: If your inside a business, you are no longer on public property, and caution is advised. Most don't care, but some do... I have had no issues the few times I did take some photos (from the hip) in businesses. But, I don't burn through 10 images either in a very obvious way... one or two, and not obvious.
__________________
Feedback Link
Flickr: My Street
Other Gallories

Nikon: F2, EM, Konica: FS-1, TC,

Nikkor: 24mm f/2.8 Ais, 28mm f/3.5 Ai, 50mm f/1.4 N/Ai, 105mm f/2.5 P N/Ai
Hexanon: 28mm f/3.5 AR, 40mm f/1.8 AR, 57mm f/1.2 AR
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #47
Jamie Pillers
Skeptic
 
Jamie Pillers's Avatar
 
Jamie Pillers is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Oakland, California
Posts: 3,811
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
It could be as simple as they don't like to have their picture taken by an individual they don't know? It could be someone who isn't doing something they should be doing. There could immigration concerns. I'm not saying these are real, but people are not thinking that we photograph for fun because most people don't care about this aspect of photography. Sure, we are allowed to photograph anything we want in the street here in the US. However, think of the other side of the coin... do you think they are thinking in their heads that we are trying to make great photos / Art? Probably not...the NEWS makes sure people are paranoid. Just try going to a suburban neighborhood and sit in your car outside someone's home you don't know... what will happen?

I like to photograph in public. However, I understand there is another side to it all and try to respect people's concerns whether real or not.
John, I understand your point completely. But it also seems that paying credence to people's paranoia (paranoia whipped up by media that does so to make money) is the beginning of a very serious slippery slope. At the bottom of this slope is a society so restricted by legal walls that we become just another authoritarian-ruled close-minded society... we've got too many of those in the world already!
__________________
Talk to a stranger today!

Some Fuji gear; Speed Graphic (gathering dust); Polaroid 250 (waiting for an 'art' project)

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #48
Samouraï
Registered User
 
Samouraï's Avatar
 
Samouraï is offline
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauffray View Post
I've been asked which newspaper I work for and whether the pictures will end up online, very often I smile, I say I don't have a facebook and I shoot film which requires dev and scanning. I don't know if they really believe it but for now it works.

If someone reacts angrily or aggressively from the start I just ignore them, no point arguing, otherwise I try to look friendly, confident and calm. If you start believing you're doing something reprehensible people can smell it off you
This is the truth. If you're confident and move with purpose, you can get away with a lot. Or just act geeky. Both work.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #49
Jamie Pillers
Skeptic
 
Jamie Pillers's Avatar
 
Jamie Pillers is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Oakland, California
Posts: 3,811
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveleo View Post
Complex topic, that I have little to zero experience.
But this one case.
Long long ago, I was taking a photo of a 6th grade class where I had just done some "Mr. Engineer" airplane demos. One boy came up and said his mom told him never to let a picture be taken of him "Because her ex-boyfriend said he would kill them if he ever found where they lived".

I agree with the statements above about unfounded paranoia, but once in a very rare while, the fear of photographs is justified.
Dave, what was the justification of the boyfriend's attitude?
__________________
Talk to a stranger today!

Some Fuji gear; Speed Graphic (gathering dust); Polaroid 250 (waiting for an 'art' project)

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #50
Jamie Pillers
Skeptic
 
Jamie Pillers's Avatar
 
Jamie Pillers is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Oakland, California
Posts: 3,811
Making a photograph in our public space is, essentially, expressing our American right to free speech. Period. If we're willing to give that right up, for any reason, we help push our society over the edge of a slippery slope that leads to one run by fear-based authoritarian rule. There are too many of those societies in our world already.

If you want to be polite and ask permission to make a photograph in public, or not make the photograph at all, by all means continue. But you need to ask yourself what would our society be like if EVERYONE behaved like that. What will we have given up? Look carefully at history.
__________________
Talk to a stranger today!

Some Fuji gear; Speed Graphic (gathering dust); Polaroid 250 (waiting for an 'art' project)

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #51
Rick Waldroup
Registered User
 
Rick Waldroup's Avatar
 
Rick Waldroup is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 910
Here is how I do it and I have been using pretty much the same method for years and years. First, be confident. Your body language and posture tells volumes about you. If you sneak about, you look suspicious. It is rare when I shoot from the hip- I usually only do this if I simply cannot get the camera up to my eye fast enough.

I usually look through the viewfinder and shoot. If someone notices me and seems upset or a intrigued, I smile, walk over to them, hand them my card, and explain that I am a street shooter and I found them interesting enough to take a photo. Charm goes a long way. I then tell them that I will probably be posting the photo on my website and I tell them if they would like a copy of the picture, just email me and I will email them back a copy of it. This method works about 99% of the time.

The very few times it has not worked, I simply smile once again and walk away. And there have been only a handful of times that things really got weird, but still, it all seemed to work out. Maybe it is just me, I don't know, but I do not seem to have much problem in the streets. Also, I shoot with small cameras with relatively short, wide angle lenses, so that may be a factor. Could be I am just lucky?
__________________
Rick Waldroup Photography
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #52
lukitas
second hand noob
 
lukitas's Avatar
 
lukitas is offline
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Brussels, belgium
Posts: 760
I may be wrong, and I am limited by the space I photograph, but I have seen the same thing as KShapero.

Others have described the problem better than I could. Since the peadophile scandals of the nineties, kids don't come on the streets unattended anymore, or very rarely.

I've had the accusing 'why do you take pictures?' in many forms and shapes. A guy on a bike once followed me for an hour because I had taken his picture. A 12-year old called the cops on me, because I had taken his picture while goofing around on a bicycle with a friend. Spent an hour explaining my rights and duties while surrounded by six cops. Today, a colleague (!) nearly made me miss my train (my job), because I'd tried to take a picture of him.

It isn't everybody, nor is it all the time, but it is a sorry state of affairs.

I try to find a healthy balance between being open and frank about the fact that I am taking pictures, and trying to hide the moment I am taking them. Often, I keep the camera away from my face, and concentrate on the subject. It sort of works.

I get photo's of kids :



I'll shoot while asking permission, before it can be denied :



And sometimes, I even catch the cops :




Cheers, Thanks for a thoughtful and relevant discussion.
__________________
lukitas

Gallery

photos by lukitas
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #53
daveleo
what?
 
daveleo's Avatar
 
daveleo is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: People's Republic of Mass.
Posts: 3,640
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Pillers View Post
Dave, what was the justification of the boyfriend's attitude?

I didn't ask, but he said something like "we're hiding from him" or "we moved where he won't find us" or something like that. (This was 25 years ago.)

I about died when the kid said these things.

It was none of my business, as a classroom guest, so I didn't ask any questions.
__________________
Dave


"Insults are pouring down on me as thick as hail." .... E. Manet
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #54
f16sunshine
Moderator
 
f16sunshine's Avatar
 
f16sunshine is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Seattle
Age: 49
Posts: 5,783
Quote:
Originally Posted by lukitas View Post
Those pants!!
__________________
Andy
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #55
kshapero
My view
 
kshapero's Avatar
 
kshapero is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: South Florida, USA
Age: 67
Posts: 9,388
Wow lots of different experiences and perspectives. This is obviously a real issue. Don't see it calming down anytime soon. Me thinks sadly.
__________________
Akiva S.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kshapero

Cameras, Lenses and Photos
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #56
uhoh7
Registered User
 
uhoh7 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,806
Love those lukitas. Light behind the cops really striking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hsg View Post
HCB would appreciate the surrealism of this shot where only one kid out of everyone is perfectly in focus.
Obviously I have nothing in common with HCB, for one thing I love landscapes. Nor to I pretend to be any good, except by accident. I just practice alot with varied techniques and lenses, and here and there is a shot I like.

And I feel bad when people disapprove. As a impulsive male, I fight the urge to use fireblade's technique. Charged confrontations bother me for days, so like others, I try to walk away. Long run it's better, and if you provoke the wrong person it could get you stalked and killed in this country.

I like hearing how others handle this issue, fireblade included, and the horror stories are interesting too

Nothing like a dangerous obsession. We are all free to hangglide too, but it may not end well LOL
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #57
lynnb
Registered User
 
lynnb's Avatar
 
lynnb is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Sydney
Posts: 6,960
I do think fear and suspicion is more prevalent now than prior to 9/11. That gave politicians a free ticket to play the fear card in order to have a more compliant population. That's political opportunism for you. Not that fear wasn't an understandable response. I remember full page media adverts showing a large grid of cameras, all identical except for one, with the caption "if you notice anyone taking suspicious photographs, call the police" or something like that. People became more wary of anyone they noticed taking photographs on the street after that.

Soon afterwards there was much media attention given to the sexual abuse of children in institutions and of paedophile rings. High profile inquiries were held, including a Royal Commission in Australia. Arrests frequently mentioned the seizure of large caches of photographs.

The combination of these two factors changed the perception of photographers in public where there appeared to be no immediately obvious explanation for taking photographs, such as being a tourist or taking snaps of your own kids. Most people aren't aware of this thing we call "street photography". They may see historic pictures of life in previous times but they don't make the connection that these were often taken by street photographers. They would probably be surprised to find their public art galleries contain street photography collections.

To add to all this there is the increasing unease about the explosion in public surveillance, mostly by government, in the name of security and public safety. Not just in images but also in tracking our digital signatures and trails, physically and online. People understand this is necessary but far from making them feel safer it makes them feel more threatened; a reminder of unspeakable terror like 9/11, 7/7 and Paris and an invasion of privacy, perhaps future opportunity to control lives by a more authoritarian State. In that context anonymity seems an escape, but advances in face recognition software now means that an anonymous street photo is not necessarily anonymous.

The landscape has changed.
__________________
Lynn
RFF Gallery
Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #58
lukitas
second hand noob
 
lukitas's Avatar
 
lukitas is offline
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Brussels, belgium
Posts: 760
Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnb View Post
I do think fear and suspicion is more prevalent now than prior to 9/11. That gave politicians a free ticket to play the fear card in order to have a more compliant population. That's political opportunism for you. Not that fear wasn't an understandable response. I remember full page media adverts showing a large grid of cameras, all identical except for one, with the caption "if you notice anyone taking suspicious photographs, call the police" or something like that. People became more wary of anyone they noticed taking photographs on the street after that.

Soon afterwards there was much media attention given to the sexual abuse of children in institutions and of paedophile rings. High profile inquiries were held, including a Royal Commission in Australia. Arrests frequently mentioned the seizure of large caches of photographs.

The combination of these two factors changed the perception of photographers in public where there appeared to be no immediately obvious explanation for taking photographs, such as being a tourist or taking snaps of your own kids. Most people aren't aware of this thing we call "street photography". They may see historic pictures of life in previous times but they don't make the connection that these were often taken by street photographers. They would probably be surprised to find their public art galleries contain street photography collections.

To add to all this there is the increasing unease about the explosion in public surveillance, mostly by government, in the name of security and public safety. Not just in images but also in tracking our digital signatures and trails, physically and online. People understand this is necessary but far from making them feel safer it makes them feel more threatened; a reminder of unspeakable terror like 9/11, 7/7 and Paris and an invasion of privacy, perhaps future opportunity to control lives by a more authoritarian State. In that context anonymity seems an escape, but advances in face recognition software now means that an anonymous street photo is not necessarily anonymous.

The landscape has changed.
Well put. Thank you Lynn.
__________________
lukitas

Gallery

photos by lukitas
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #59
phatnev
Registered User
 
phatnev is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 212
I've shot in about 10 countries over the last 5 years and never had any problems in any of them. Shot kids in parks in Philly this summer, mosques in Indonesia, temples in Nepal, nighttime in the underbelly of Pittsburgh, the gayborhood in Madrid, the Albayzin in Granada. No one ever says anything. Dunno what you're all on about to be honest. And I'm only 27, so I have no pre-9/11 experience to compare it to.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #60
kxl
Social Documentary
 
kxl's Avatar
 
kxl is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Sunny SoCal
Posts: 2,805
Not that I'm a big practitioner of street photography, but when I do shoot in and around Los Angeles, I've noticed more apprehension when I'm using my RF versus a DSLR.

Just my opinion as a local, but I think Angelenos are inured to seeing DSLR-toting tourists or paparazzi, but don't know what to make of RF shooters.
__________________
Keith
My website
RFF feedback


"... I thought the only way to give us an incentive, to bring hope, is to show the pictures of the pristine planet - to see the innocence.” ― Sebastiao Salgado
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #61
arseniii
Registered User
 
arseniii's Avatar
 
arseniii is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 355
Never ran into any issue with street photography in Toronto, Montreal, NYC or Europe. I guess it might be different in more conservative provinces (states). The thing is the street becomes less and less interesting each ear, people all dress the same boring way, look at their smartphones all the time and don't do much stuff outside anymore but sitting on their assess at home with iPads (like I do right now). The new gen will probably won't even bother to go out: doing a video call instead. Death of human communication is what is the problem
__________________
More by korshe~ on Flickr and korshe.com
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #62
uhoh7
Registered User
 
uhoh7 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,806
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatnev View Post
I've shot in about 10 countries over the last 5 years and never had any problems in any of them. Shot kids in parks in Philly this summer, mosques in Indonesia, temples in Nepal, nighttime in the underbelly of Pittsburgh, the gayborhood in Madrid, the Albayzin in Granada. No one ever says anything. Dunno what you're all on about to be honest. And I'm only 27, so I have no pre-9/11 experience to compare it to.
What's your secret?
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #63
Rayt
Registered User
 
Rayt's Avatar
 
Rayt is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,682
In unfamiliar territory I prefer to use a Rolleiflex. Most people I come across don't know what it is and others find it cool and strike up a conversation with me. I had a blast shooting with the Rollei in NYC with people reacting in amusement. Regarding aesthetics, I have always made it a point never shoot people in the back with rare exceptions unless the photo works. In the modern age I don't shoot people when they are staring into their phones but they are everywhere. I see too many shots of young girls with their phones. Must be a new fetish or a new definition of low hanging fruit.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #64
kshapero
My view
 
kshapero's Avatar
 
kshapero is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: South Florida, USA
Age: 67
Posts: 9,388
Another take:

http://phogotraphy.com/2015/11/10/no...st-no-nothing/
__________________
Akiva S.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kshapero

Cameras, Lenses and Photos
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #65
kuuan
plays with lenses
 
kuuan's Avatar
 
kuuan is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,045
besides all the paranoia created by politicians to gather the sheep into their herd the internet certainly has changed things. I have had people in rather touristic places in Asia covering their faces just because they don't want to end up on the internet. ( there was an example in a recent thread of very good travel pics taken in Hanoi, and I am quite sure that it was taken in 'the Old Quarters', a touristic area where shopkeepers are 'subject' to having their picture taken almost on a daily basis )

Around Asia in most places there still is a lot of life on the street, in comparison people in cities 'in the west' appear like an anonymous mass. Taking photos in western cities, if showing scenes, not hunting for weird expressions, I feel more at ease than in places with a lot of street life where taking photos always means, though viewable in public, showing more intimacy.

Ok, one has the privilege of being a tourist, or one may be of 'higher class' and therefore the 'subject' deems not having the power to protest - e.g. once was out shooting with a local photographer in a market in Saigon and he simply 'ordered' an old, poor woman sitting on the street, she only had a basket with a few things to sell in front of her, how to pose. She complied without any sign of emotions.. Imo giving respect is important, in the case of the market woman more than she expects! - Around Asia I usually ask before taking a photo and I find it much easier to do candids when I am back e.g. in Vienna.

I find it remarkable that we, well, not sure if you too, but many seem to be hesitant to show a photo online of somebody we know well, or wouldn't at all, but care less if it is a stranger.
__________________
my photos on flickr: : https://www.flickr.com/photos/kuuan/collections
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #66
rscheffler
Registered User
 
rscheffler is offline
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 462
Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
Parents are creepy these days.
I had a mom give me a foul look and shield their kid when I lifted my camera to take a picture of my Girlfriend at Pike place last week.
Is it really so close in a parents mind that they are in reflex mode?
My GF has kids. When she noticed the woman she actually said sorry.
I grilled her on it.. She said she would have reacted similarly.
She actually did not realize how offensive it was to treat another human like a criminal.
It turned into a horrible awkward afternoon.

My parents never had such suspicion when I was a kid.
I think the constant fear mongering and speed of communication makes our world scarier.
At some point we'll all have to chose to be less afraid in order to take back the sense of safety.
Yes there are real threats but there are even more exaggerated ones.
This was an interesting read in The Atlantic: The Coddling of the American Mind

The apparent irony about people being suspicious about photographs of them but not by them ending up on FB, etc., yet they're endlessly snapping selfies posted to FB is IMO about control, or lack thereof. Similar to corporate and government PR departments, the individual is concerned about controlling their 'message' or their 'brand' resulting in reluctance to participate in something over which they have little control. Another explanation could be they are suspicious about their likeness being used to promote something with which they don't agree, or for someone else's commercial gain, from which they won't benefit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuuan View Post
I find it remarkable that we, well, not sure if you too, but many seem to be hesitant to show a photo online of somebody we know well, or wouldn't at all, but care less if it is a stranger.
That's an interesting point and one with which I can certainly relate.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-18-2015   #67
f16sunshine
Moderator
 
f16sunshine's Avatar
 
f16sunshine is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Seattle
Age: 49
Posts: 5,783
Quote:
Originally Posted by calebarchie View Post
Maybe we are all looking at it the wrong way.
If we are documenting contemporary society (on the streets) then not much has changed regarding photography. It just that society has changed, and when future generations look back on our period maybe then they will realise how bland or not bland it was compared to where they are through our photos.
If we are seeking photos resembling a past time then it really isn't an accurate reflection, perhaps this is where the 'street photography' term has evolved (hence the difficulties).
If this is the case, you would be more of an artist than a photojournalist and that requires a certain temperament that will allow you to perform regardless.

The 70's and 80's sure look cool now.
When a young adult in the 90's it was embarasingly boring to see those pictures from my own childhood era.

So yes... It takes some time for docuentation photography to become interesting and meaningful in a nostalgic or historic way.
That history gives a good reason to document the next ....one our time now.
Any street photography will be better than a collection of selfies !
Everyone keep looking and taking pictures
__________________
Andy
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2015   #68
phatnev
Registered User
 
phatnev is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by uhoh7 View Post
What's your secret?
I dress well, I act like I belong, I don't hide what I'm doing, I smile and I move along. If someone wants to chat, no problem at all, if you can engage with the subject even better.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2015   #69
robert blu
quiet photographer
 
robert blu's Avatar
 
robert blu is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Italy
Age: 68
Posts: 4,764
Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnb View Post
...The landscape has changed.
We like or not times changed...we cannot compare HCB times with our times...it's sad but this is the reality...yes, there is too much paranoia around and we have to deal with it...sometimes I asked people if I can take of photo of them and positive answers are I would say 50 %, but if I ask them if I can publish that on Internet, on my blog most of times the answer is no.

Probably they are the same people who ten minutes later publish their own selfie...

But times dictate how we (should?) relate with other people, their opinions, their fears...for me the fact I can do ti is not enough to do it if this disturbs anyone else...

robert
__________________
Remember: today is the Day !
from Ruth Bernhard recipe for a long and happy life


my quiet photographer's blog


My RFF photos and my albums on RFF
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2015   #70
phatnev
Registered User
 
phatnev is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny scarecrow View Post
Just to get back to the original concern of the thread...

My experience in Melbourne, Australia has been strongly supportive of item 2 above.

Now you may think that my icon is representative of the true Johnny Scarecrow but I can assure you that it's not. I am actually clean-shaven, neatly dressed and very polite. In fact my icon was chosen as a kind of tongue-in-cheek response to the way I've been finding I'm viewed when in the streets with Leica in hand.

The last five times I've been out street shooting I've been subject to verbal abuse and/or remonstration on four occasions. And there were instances scattered through various other occasions before that, probably stretching back five years or so.

The last time, it was when I decided I'd like to spend a pleasant Sunday a few weeks ago photographing in a crowd where a local dance festival was taking place. As I was sitting changing film at one point a security guy stood over me and told me to stop shooting girls (who, admittedly, accounted for probably half of the gender that I had been photographing) and - at this over-18 only festival - accused me of being a "paedophile".
I guess it may be different because you're older, but who cares? Why does it bother you? If someone yells at you, smile and move on. You're not doing anything wrong, you're not breaking the law, so they can't do anything legally to stop you. I doubt everyone Bruce Gilden photographs responds politely.

I got chased by a homeless man with a knife down Pennsylvania Ave in 2006 for- get this - taking his friend's photo. I didn't even photograph knife ****. It certainly didn't stop me, just made me laugh and gave me a great story. Same thing when riot police shot at me with bean bags and rubber bullets while I was covering the G20 for my college paper. Or was pepper sprayed and nearly run over by horse mounted police during a post-Super Bowl riot.


If it's not worth it for you that's fine and I completely respect that, but I would never let naysayers stop me from doing something I love. Stay strong!
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2015   #71
kuuan
plays with lenses
 
kuuan's Avatar
 
kuuan is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,045
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuuan View Post
I find it remarkable that we, well, not sure if you too, but many seem to be hesitant to show a photo online of somebody we know well, or wouldn't at all, but care less if it is a stranger
Quote:
Originally Posted by rscheffler View Post
That's an interesting point and one with which I can certainly relate.
One may be hesitant, out of convenience, to think my point through. But doing so it's apparent that we show more respect to people that are close to us and that we do not grant the same attention to preserving personal integrity to strangers. One may say this is justified, but is it?

In the context of differing levels of respect I want to point again to something which may be a bit of a tabu in our modern, egalitarian societies, but which nevertheless also exist there: The perceived social level, the 'caste', so to speak, of both the photographer and the photographed and the right or lack thereof being deducted from it. Or why did some of you mention that, when out shooting on the street, you dress 'nicely'?

Once I saw a documentary of HCB 'shooting' in a market in Paris, I think it was. He was all 'Sir' and there were his subjects, toiling market women and all looked natural. However I am quite sure, would I see someone 'sneaking on his prey' as he did then but today, that I'd view him as a bit of a weirdo. Todays modern societies are more egalitarian, that has changed things.

I wonder, wouldn't it be best, in the end, if we showed the same respect to a stranger than we do to a friend? Once I had posted photos of people I had just met, later they became close friends and that had made me delete some of the previously posted photos.

----
Having said all that, if I had asked if I could take the photo I usually also take the liberty to post that photo online. I assume that they know that it might end up on the internet and that agreeing having their photo taken also is agreeing to that. I would not post a photo that shows somebody in an obvious unfavourable way though.
__________________
my photos on flickr: : https://www.flickr.com/photos/kuuan/collections
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2015   #72
JoeV
Thin Air, Bright Sun
 
JoeV's Avatar
 
JoeV is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Albuquerque, NM, USA
Posts: 1,627
I wasn't going to post this link here, knowing it would rankle most people here, but what the heck!

http://joevancleave.blogspot.com/201...raphy.html?m=0

This is strictly my own opinion, of course, but my contention is that there is no street photography. What there is, is social documentary, and urban landscape.

What we call "street" is either social documentary that happens to occur in an urban setting, or urban landscape that happens to include people.

If any of us desire to make images of people in public, it would help tremendously to think of it as social documentary photography, instead of this imaginary thing called "street". Which implies that we therefore have a responsibility to the subject to treat them as humans, to first develop some form of relationship, or at least provide a wider context than their physical countenance being a mere photographic subject like a vase or sculpture.

~Joe
__________________
"If your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light"

Inventor of the Light Pipe Array
My Blog
My latest book
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2015   #73
jsrockit
Moderator
 
jsrockit's Avatar
 
jsrockit is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Santiago, Chile
Age: 44
Posts: 18,405
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Pillers View Post
John, I understand your point completely. But it also seems that paying credence to people's paranoia (paranoia whipped up by media that does so to make money) is the beginning of a very serious slippery slope. At the bottom of this slope is a society so restricted by legal walls that we become just another authoritarian-ruled close-minded society... we've got too many of those in the world already!
I get it, but it is easier to just move on to another photo... you won't change the world one interaction at a time. I'm just one nobody that doesn't have the power the media has. Luckily I live in NYC where there is so much to photograph, so I just don't stress it if someone is being ridiculous. That said, I never say I'm doing something wrong. I just understand if someone doesn't want their photo taken as well.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2015   #74
kuuan
plays with lenses
 
kuuan's Avatar
 
kuuan is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,045
Quote:
Originally Posted by rscheffler View Post
This was an interesting read in The Atlantic: The Coddling of the American Mind

The apparent irony about people being suspicious about photographs of them but not by them ending up on FB, etc., yet they're endlessly snapping selfies posted to FB is IMO about control, or lack thereof. ....
very interesting article, thank you very much for that!
facebook ( or 'fakelook'? ) is all about creating and perpetuating a certain image of oneself. There even seems to exist an unwritten agreement, one only posts photos of others if it shows them in an universal, happy, successful, peace and enjoyment pose
__________________
my photos on flickr: : https://www.flickr.com/photos/kuuan/collections
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2015   #75
gns
Registered User
 
gns is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,187
If people are so full of suspicion, fear and concern for privacy, why not make your street photography about that. Maybe it's more of an opportunity than a problem.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2015   #76
Hsg
who dares wins
 
Hsg is offline
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 641
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeV View Post

... What we call "street" is either social documentary that happens to occur in an urban setting, or urban landscape that happens to include people.

~Joe
Before any other definition, street photography is photography.

This is what people forget.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2015   #77
uhoh7
Registered User
 
uhoh7 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,806
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatnev View Post
I dress well, I act like I belong, I don't hide what I'm doing, I smile and I move along. If someone wants to chat, no problem at all, if you can engage with the subject even better.
TY for that. I like your bemused attitude. I think many of use are just as over-sensitive as some of our subjects. You alot pack into few words. What stands out to me: I dress well, I smile and move along. I imagine you are a pretty quick shooter too, and not that HCB is any god, he was pretty fast. But he did hide what he was doing. I think this is one point where many good street shooters differ. Of course, there is a difference between "hiding what you are doing" and your subject aware he/she is the subject at the time of the shot.

This is one of the great demarcations of street work I think, those which recognize the photographer and those which don't. You can see very interesting work in both genres, like lukitas shot above, but I generally prefer the photographer be "out of it" it terms of the attention of the subjects:


You by unoh7, on Flickr

This was an experiment for me. I have a new to me nikkor 300/2.8 EDIF, which is an unbelievable lens, but huge and long. So you are an obvious photographer. But you can stand back a bit and yet enter interactions. Of course DOF is out of the question at any aperture.

The whole look is different of course, and I switched from 75 to 35 on my other body to give me that more classic street perspective.


L1041735 by unoh7, on Flickr

Bottomline: I loved it. But I'm weird, for example i far prefer color
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2015   #78
kiss-o-matic
Registered User
 
kiss-o-matic is offline
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Chicago
Posts: 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by mabelsound View Post
Oh man, that is terrible. I guess it's getting harder and harder to disappear...
Something like this sadly does happen... but I mean... what can you do? Assume everyone has a stalker?

Quote:
If I'm feeling a little reticent or am being sneaky, people pick up on that vibe and get defensive.
I was trying to position myself to take a photo in HK a couple of years ago and another white **** took it upon himself to awkwardly stare at me all the while and of course spoil the whole shot. I bet that guy got all the girls...

I get a little disdain from time to time, but it helps that I don't look like a creepy weirdo (just a non-creepy one). I generally dress somewhat fashionably, which allows me to blend in a little better. If I wanted to go to a shady part of town, I always have scruff and can mangle the long hair and fit in there as well. Never bothered yet though.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2015   #79
nightfly
Registered User
 
nightfly is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,731
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeV View Post
This is strictly my own opinion, of course, but my contention is that there is no street photography. What there is, is social documentary, and urban landscape.

What we call "street" is either social documentary that happens to occur in an urban setting, or urban landscape that happens to include people.

If any of us desire to make images of people in public, it would help tremendously to think of it as social documentary photography, instead of this imaginary thing called "street". Which implies that we therefore have a responsibility to the subject to treat them as humans, to first develop some form of relationship, or at least provide a wider context than their physical countenance being a mere photographic subject like a vase or sculpture.

~Joe
I disagree and don't think the terms social documentary or urban landscape add anything at all. Why throw out a term like street when generations of photographers and photography viewers have come to know what it means or at least to identify when they see it.

Happen to come across this quote in an article about Robert Frank from the NY Times magazine a few months back:

"Photography can reveal so much. It's the invasion of the privacy of people." Accordingly there was an element of tradecraft. "I felt like a detective or a spy. Yes! Often I had uncomfortable moments. Nobody gave me a hard time, because I had a talent for not being noticed."

I would say one of the greatest social documentarians of our time expressively didn't have that attitude. He shot as an outsider without forming any sort of relationship intentionally. The power of his photography was very much a product of his outsider looking in status and stealing images and invading privacy.

He had a lot of trouble getting traction especially here in the states because of the sometimes unflattering and all too revealing quality of his images.

This isn't to say that this is the only way to practice street photography but it certainly isn't invalid. I'm not sure how you can judge if you are "treating a subject as human" or if "you've formed a relationship".

Most of the street photographers who I admire, Frank, William Klein, Daido Moriyama I don't see as documenting social relationships primarily.

There are certainly scores of others who do aim to do this expressively that are also street photographers but "social documentary" isn't the aim of all street photographers.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-19-2015   #80
Colin Corneau
Colin Corneau
 
Colin Corneau is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Brandon MB Canada
Posts: 950
Quote:
Originally Posted by arseniii View Post
Never ran into any issue with street photography in Toronto, Montreal, NYC or Europe. I guess it might be different in more conservative provinces (states). The thing is the street becomes less and less interesting each ear, people all dress the same boring way, look at their smartphones all the time and don't do much stuff outside anymore but sitting on their assess at home with iPads (like I do right now). The new gen will probably won't even bother to go out: doing a video call instead. Death of human communication is what is the problem
This is a really good point. I certainly notice a very marked increase in surly, hostile or paranoid attitudes among people on the streets. Still no major issues, which goes to what you bring to the situation with your attitude...however, we live in a much more anti-social, alienated environment now. No doubt about it.

I can't say how many scenes I would otherwise have made a photograph from, but just don't bother because it's some bored drone, face down in their smartphone. Boring boring boring...and pointless.

As has been noted elsewhere, also - it's always amusing to have some mama bear give you a lecture on privacy law, and then proceed to put 500 pictures of their kid on Facebook...where it can easily be hacked and stolen. These are not rational attitudes we're dealing with
__________________
www.reservedatalltimes.com

"Viva Film Renaissance"
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:56.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.