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Why? Street
Old 04-24-2017   #1
B-9
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Why? Street

You know what frustrates me?

"It's not good for shooting street"

"I only shoot street"

"Street photography"

"It will be great for those who do street"

It sounds rediculous!

Hello, My name is Devin, I'm a street carpenter, I only work with wood on the street, my Estwing 16oz hammer is ideal for street carpentry, but my sledge is just to bulky and people really notice how large it is when I'm hammering wood in the street.

--

I love my cameras (tools) and taking photos is the product of my love. I couldnt care less about anyone's opinion of my photos. I am not a photographer! I am an Artist with many tools.

Why is this such a fad these days? "Street"
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Old 04-24-2017   #2
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Because rangefinder cameras are good tools for street photography?
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Old 04-24-2017   #3
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To borrow the words of US SC Justice Potter Stewart in Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184 (1964):

"I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it..."

IMHO, people in general (I won't say all) have a desire to categorize things to make them easier to describe or explain. I consider "street photography" as such a category.
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Old 04-24-2017   #4
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Just another buzzword to draw in the easily-influenced and those desperate to be part of a clique.

But as a genre of photography it's as good a word as any for urban, people-focused photography.

However, yeah... describing one camera as being better or worse for street (sorry) photography is a load of garbage.
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Old 04-24-2017   #5
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I made no mention of "Rangefinder Cameras"

This is a fad I see on EVERY video about a new camera.

It's apparently a new criteria for manufacturers.

I like Urban over Street to categorize photos.
Couldn't agree more! Any camera will take a photo on the street (so my front yard?)
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Old 04-24-2017   #6
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If you are sitting in the noisy room it doesn't mean what the rest of the world is same about....

Why I'm taking street pictures and it doesn't frustrates me, I don't know. Perhaps, because I get chance to do it only few times per year. And I like pictures of people taken on the street. Isn't it weird? I know, check RFF Gallery, most of the views are for naked ladies. But I'm watching pictures of dressed people on the streets instead. It must be so weird these days.

Actually it was the real "fad" way before these days. Watch interview with Winogrand and documentray about Meyerowitz. Available on youtube. Taken in eighties. It was broadcasted nation wide. What is the street now, these days if without them? Some digital noise on FB and forums. IMO.
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Old 04-24-2017   #7
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why street?

why not?
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Old 04-24-2017   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B-9 View Post
I like Urban over Street to categorize photos.
Urban works for me. I don't do "people" photos but I shoot a lot in blighted parts of the big city. I don't call what I do "street".
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Old 04-24-2017   #9
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I use my cameras in the streets, squares and avenues. In the mountains and by the sea. In my house and in other houses. Sometimes in churches rarely in theaters.

If the photos are good or not it's more due to the photographer I'm than the camera I use

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Old 04-24-2017   #10
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It has became another cliche that's been half-intentionally constructed so you could conveniently fit yourself in to flow with the tide. Not so much different from Lomography I'd say, just with different instruments to use, different idols to follow.

Shoot like Moriyama...buy products named like "Streetpan" (clever marketing that one is)...it's easy to get into that identity.

Meanwhile tonnes of established photographers who work primarily in the streets refuse to call themselves "street photographer". Not a coincidence I say.
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Old 04-24-2017   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B-9 View Post
I made no mention of "Rangefinder Cameras"

This is a fad I see on EVERY video about a new camera.

It's apparently a new criteria for manufacturers.

I like Urban over Street to categorize photos.
Couldn't agree more! Any camera will take a photo on the street (so my front yard?)
Almost every new video I have seen about new camera is the fad. One fad generator would describe tele lens as great street photography lens. Another fad creator would talk about AF as the street photogaphy impressive tool.

"Urban"? No.
Do tell me how candid taken on remote village street in Tibet is not the street, because it is not urban area, but rural. They build this street in the middle on the mountain before any photography was exist. And their street life hasn't changed as it changed in cities where cameras reviews are consumed most. One street alive vs no streets with life.
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Old 04-24-2017   #12
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I call it walking photography.
Although I do stand still when I actually take the picture...
never mind.
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Old 04-24-2017   #13
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this seems to be a recurring topic on rff lately...such a deep seated animosity towards 'street photography'...
i have tried all styles of photography over the years...wedding/commercial...did lots of 'bad' photos...sports, did skiers for awhile...lots of musicians at our local folk music festival...and lots of 'street' shooting...it's my favourite...i like walking, i like sneaking up on people and i like watching people go about their business without a thought given to me. i'm 65 years old and i picked up my first good camera when i was 19 or so...and 'street' was an acknowledged style of shooting back then. it's not new or trendy...some of the photographers doing it may be new and trendy but the style has been around for a long time.
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Old 04-24-2017   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
this seems to be a recurring topic on rff lately...such a deep seated animosity towards 'street photography'...
I think its the term "street" that is the problem. Maybe a better name for it would be "people" photography. Different from portraits; but in my opinion a better name than "street".
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Old 04-24-2017   #15
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No animosity towards street photography/urban photography here,

I just do not go through those lengths of categorizing my photos... yet maybe.

As the OP, I am just annoyed by how much its thrown out there as a criteria in gear mongering. I love to watch videos but when someone starts spouting Rangefinder viewfinder and street this or that its kind of shameful. Using potatoes to describe tomatoes all while buzzing about where the soil is? but never actually giving a fruit.

Again, my opinion, not the norm. Some good comments here!
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Old 04-24-2017   #16
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Possibly the best collection of responses I've ever seen: diverse, but for the most part very much to the point.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 04-24-2017   #17
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I walk the streets and photograph but many wouldn't consider it street because it doesn't fit into the narrow definition the internet has of street photography.
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Old 04-24-2017   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B-9 View Post
You know what frustrates me?

"It's not good for shooting street"

"I only shoot street"

"Street photography"

"It will be great for those who do street"

It sounds rediculous!
You'll find the term used in these ways mostly when somebody has something to sell.

People who actually go out and take pictures have generally found out that there is no "one best" camera or approach to take when doing so on the street. And people who've done it long enough know it would be pretty boring if there was. Street as a genre is so vaguely defined that it makes an excellent buzzword for marketing equipment or photos though.

Some people seem to have missed the point of the original post, it's not a criticism of genre itself, just the silly overuse of the word "street" in reference to anything even vaguely relating to photography. What ever happened to the word candid?
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Old 04-24-2017   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tunalegs View Post

Some people seem to have missed the point of the original post, it's not a criticism of genre itself, just the silly overuse of the word "street" in reference to anything even vaguely relating to photography. What ever happened to the word candid?
Exactly!


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Old 04-24-2017   #20
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I think documentary could be a good way to describe street photos. I see a lot of images labeled street that really don't have a punchline but do a good job documenting the scene.
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Old 04-24-2017   #21
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Debates over words. Seems like no matter what word is used to describe something, somebody will find issue with it.

Oh well.
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Old 04-24-2017   #22
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Anyone tried bed photography with a street camera? With 4K video things would be crisp and clear.
ooops, wrong site.....now wheres the Kardashians phone number........
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Old 04-24-2017   #23
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I like "fad words". Mostly because I can identify them and notice their over-usage. I've seen "street" become one of those words among the greater popular photography realm.

I'm not a gun person, but I've noticed another word in that area...."tactical". Whether you like guns or not, pick up one of those magazines in the supermarket zine zone and thumb through an issue of "Guns n Ammo" or "Handgunner" or .... You'll see nearly every advertisement in that magazine expound on the "tactical" nature of their product. I saw "tactical" backpacks, "tactical" running shoes, "tactical" canned food, "tactical" condoms! Yes, its not just firearms that can be "tactical" any more.
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Old 04-24-2017   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfaspen View Post
I like "fad words". Mostly because I can identify them and notice their over-usage. I've seen "street" become one of those words among the greater popular photography realm.

I'm not a gun person, but I've noticed another word in that area...."tactical". Whether you like guns or not, pick up one of those magazines in the supermarket zine zone and thumb through an issue of "Guns n Ammo" or "Handgunner" or .... You'll see nearly every advertisement in that magazine expound on the "tactical" nature of their product. I saw "tactical" backpacks, "tactical" running shoes, "tactical" canned food, "tactical" condoms! Yes, its not just firearms that can be "tactical" any more.
Hmmmm.... Some condoms are strategic rather than tactical...

And my .44 magnum stainless frame Ruger could be strategic, too, in the right setting.

Cheers,

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Old 04-24-2017   #25
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How about "humanist"?

Or are there too many people who are unable to admit that the French are actually very good at a lot of things, including e.g. cheeses, humanist photography, wine, veal, quality of life...

Cue rednecks talking about cheese-eating surrender monkeys, etc. Rednecks who'd either have been perfectly happy with Nazi occupation, or who lack the brain power to imagine being occupied by a murderous foreign power, cf. The Thousand Years War.

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Old 04-24-2017   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Hmmmm.... Some condoms are strategic rather than tactical...

And my .44 magnum stainless frame Ruger could be strategic, too, in the right setting.

Cheers,

R.
Personally I would consider other forms of contraception from a strategic perspective, though exactly what your goal is may change that.

While I agree that "street" is a kind of buzzword, it also is a kind of photography. Like a lot of handles it is small, tactile (tactical?) and bears little resemblance to the item it carries. "Candid photography of strangers in a public setting" doesn't quite have the same ring. But even if it WAS the popular term, hearing how the latest Sony/Nikon/Canon was good for it would not assist me a great deal.
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Old 04-24-2017   #27
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So much of street photography seems to me to confuse subject for content, including so-called "masters" like Meyerowitz. Artistically, he has nothing to say. Where Evans' great achievement was apprehending the distinctiveness of the American vernacular, both its zenith and swift decline, in the built environment -- which is to say, figuring the uniqueness of the confluence of a 'new world' frontier character, the verve of black culture as it evolved in America and, later, the ascendency of consumer capitalism upon daily lives -- well, Meyerowitz and his attendant fan boys then and now give us meaningless compositions of serendipitous emptiness, "moments", neither decisive nor determined, to reveal more than that which we can see. Which is fine, I suppose. After all, real artists are rare. For the rest of us, the street is where we belong. And as Seinfeld noted, "not that there's anything wrong with that!"
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Old 04-24-2017   #28
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I photograph urban areas for the most part, some of the shots have people, some don’t. Call it what you want, but if I say “street”, it’s not exactly going to be off the mark, given that many of my photos are literally taken from the street or adjacent sidewalk.

Don’t get me wrong, for years, I and others have harped on the ambiguous nature (and I reckon more recently, overuse) of the term street photography, but for conversation’s sake, it’s usually understood.

If folks want to introduce better categorial neologisms, I won’t object.

And yeah, just as super-teles happen to be good for taking photos of birds in flight, a rangefinder is good for street photogra…or whatever the hell you want to call it…there’s nothing wrong with something actually being appropriate. But of course, use what you want, what you need, whatever.

And I certainly don’t take issue with Meyerowitz, Winogrand, or others who do not operate chasing some grander artistic statement, which is quite the relief given the invariable redundancy, pretentiousness, or even potential sanctimony that often underpin artistic proselytizing. Not everyone can be a Robert Frank, and nor should they be.

Besides, compellingly grappling with aesthetics in ways influential and solid holds its own merit, particularly since photographs alone do not tell stories anyway.
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Old 04-24-2017   #29
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'Street' is a subversive word, and a buzz word. Advertisers love such a word. "You mean you don't do street? But you understand it, yeah?" Consumers don't want to be on the outer. How many kids in the central city with a camera are after architectural shots? Not many.

Dislike of the term is not only misunderstanding. It is conservatism. The word street is a noun not an adjective for goodness sake. Maybe a lot of RFFers who dislike the term are synaesthetes: do the words luscious and gorgeous or even just moreish (of food) repel you?
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Old 04-24-2017   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kxl View Post
To borrow the words of US SC Justice Potter Stewart in Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184 (1964):

"I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it..."
And this is an absolute gem.
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Old 04-24-2017   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
this seems to be a recurring topic on rff lately...such a deep seated animosity towards 'street photography'...
i have tried all styles of photography over the years...wedding/commercial...did lots of 'bad' photos...sports, did skiers for awhile...lots of musicians at our local folk music festival...and lots of 'street' shooting...it's my favourite...i like walking, i like sneaking up on people and i like watching people go about their business without a thought given to me. i'm 65 years old and i picked up my first good camera when i was 19 or so...and 'street' was an acknowledged style of shooting back then. it's not new or trendy...some of the photographers doing it may be new and trendy but the style has been around for a long time.

No ... a deep seated distrust and dislike of tribalism and fetishism. For me at least ... and that's not to say I don't appreciate good examples of the genre. I just don't like what happens when populism overtakes art.
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Old 04-24-2017   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PunkFunkDunk View Post
So much of street photography seems to me to confuse subject for content, including so-called "masters" like Meyerowitz. Artistically, he has nothing to say. Where Evans' great achievement was apprehending the distinctiveness of the American vernacular, both its zenith and swift decline, in the built environment -- which is to say, figuring the uniqueness of the confluence of a 'new world' frontier character, the verve of black culture as it evolved in America and, later, the ascendency of consumer capitalism upon daily lives -- well, Meyerowitz and his attendant fan boys then and now give us meaningless compositions of serendipitous emptiness, "moments", neither decisive nor determined, to reveal more than that which we can see. Which is fine, I suppose. After all, real artists are rare. For the rest of us, the street is where we belong. And as Seinfeld noted, "not that there's anything wrong with that!"
Artist, smartist...

Meyerowitz, Winogrand and others were only mentioned here in return of OP assumptions what street photography is something which is hot now.

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Old 04-24-2017   #33
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I make no such assumptions, please refer to my OP and my previous comments.

I am merely commenting on the use of the term "street" in recent times. Which relates much more to the comment about the use of "tactical" in gun themed magazines.

Obviously these are well known photographers who developed a style long before my post. Mention of these people has no relation to my point. Maybe I have not made that clear enough.
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Old 04-24-2017   #34
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i think this thread is a no-win situation...as usual here at rff we have separated into the art vs. gear camps.
i have shot all types of cameras both off and off the street...so, while i love gear it does not set my artistic preference.
the little hairs on the back of my neck (no bald jokes, please...) get all prickly when street is talked about as populist or some new form of shooting that has just recently emerged...because this is not the case.
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Old 04-24-2017   #35
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Quote:
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i think this thread is a no-win situation...as usual here at rff we have separated into the art vs. gear camps.
i have shot all types of cameras both off and off the street...so, while i love gear it does not set my artistic preference.
the little hairs on the back of my neck (no bald jokes, please...) get all prickly when street is talked about as populist or some new form of shooting that has just recently emerged...because this is not the case.
A while back there was a thread asking about when "Street Photography" as we know it today became a thing. I found a magazine article from 1902 that suggests the term was already in use then in reference to candid shots (as opposed to portraits, tintypes, etc. taken by "street photographers") taken on the street.

That said, I think the term's use has exploded with the popularity of the internet, whereas it was rather a niche thing previously.
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Old 04-24-2017   #36
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[quote=Ko.Fe.;2718538]Artist, smartist...



That's deep. Dentist?
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Old 04-25-2017   #37
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There are the few who are genuinely documenting something to tell a story; and the many who are just taking snaps to document their surroundings on a day out. And I guess there are those who photograph in the street as practice for their journalism, or to gather ideas or practice composition for product/advert photography.

But other than that "street photography" often seems to be practised by people with gear they want to use without any real reason to do so, and no real aim in mind other than - possibly - meeting compositional and exposure criteria. Which sounds like practising for when there will be a reason to take a picture.
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Old 04-25-2017   #38
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. . . "street photography" often seems to be practised by people with gear they want to use without any real reason to do so, and no real aim in mind other than - possibly - meeting compositional and exposure criteria. Which sounds like practising for when there will be a reason to take a picture.
Dear Joe,

Beautiful!

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Old 04-25-2017   #39
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I photograph whatever I find interesting ...to me.
Sometimes in a street and sometimes not.
The location is unimportant.
I took my very first photograph aged 12 ... that was in a street in Belgium but was it street photography .
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Old 04-25-2017   #40
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I make no such assumptions, please refer to my OP and my previous comments.

I am merely commenting on the use of the term "street" in recent times. Which relates much more to the comment about the use of "tactical" in gun themed magazines.

Obviously these are well known photographers who developed a style long before my post. Mention of these people has no relation to my point. Maybe I have not made that clear enough.
I just saw your original post, which was both funny and subtly perceptive. Too subtle, perhaps, like any good joke that no one gets. Yes, I am suggesting that if you are a "street photographer" who managed to take offense or bristle in any way at the OP, you did not get it, because there was nothing there to offend anyone.
I see that Roger has even managed to inject "rednecks" into yet another thread.
Anyway, Devin, thanks for posting, even if it wasn't clear enough.
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