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If a "street photographer" shoots a picture inside a building..
Old 12-09-2018   #1
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If a "street photographer" shoots a picture inside a building..

Does he turn into an apartment photographer? Can a street photographer shoot in a ranch or frame a cloud in the sky?

Every time i read "street photography" i cringe. It means nothing to me and i have been involved w/ photography for 50 years.

There is photography and artists who use photography. A relevant photographer is an artist. An artist is constantly evolving and constantly thought provoking. Cartier Bressson was an artist. Robert Frank is an artist and so is Egglestone. Avedon, Arbus, .. i go go till Z and there are millions of good artists using cameras which are still unknown.

What matters in photography is not creating categories but the image: how and why it stops you on your tracks.
Natural light, studio, film, digital.. these are minor details and only circumstance. Forget them and see the big picture.

Photography is not a sport defined by where it takes place. It is defined by how far we go into observing our existence.
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Old 12-09-2018   #2
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I agree with you, the term «street photography» is absolutely annoying.
Hence, I prefer the term «candid photography», even if it's perhaps not exactly the same, but who knows?
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Old 12-09-2018   #3
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Is William Klein a street photographer or a fashion photographer? Does it even matter?
Is Avedon a portrait photographer or a fashion photographer?

Jeff Wall shoots carefully constructed images on 5x7, some of them are street scenes.
Lorca Di Corcia shot portraits in urban surroundings w/ focus on sexuality. Other series focus on artifficiality x natural occurrence when he was firing an electronic flash on people passing by in front of his long tele lens.
Street photography is not even a genre.. it´s just a circumstance.
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Old 12-09-2018   #4
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Well, fifty years doesn't count then. It doesn't ring the bell until you directly into it.
Then it is very simple and clear.
Street is your main place where photos are taken. Pictures could be taken inside as well, but your main forte is street.
Victor Kolar is great example. He started to practice after work in photo lab in Toronto.
He was going out on the streets, into parks and practicing. Every day. Every day after work he was on the street with Leica and lens he was able to purchase after working at the mine in BC.
He was taking pictures on the streets and wanted to do more. He connected with right people and recived grand from Canadian government. And he was able to receive it because he was taking great street pictures. His assignment was new by when malls.
He was taking pictures in malls just as he was taking them in the street.

So, to me you are street photographer it is then you have this unexplainable need to go out and take pictures on the street.

I'll make it simple for you. Then inside, non street and not so much photogs takes photos of what they eat and drink. Street photog takes pictures of those who eat and drink.
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Old 12-09-2018   #5
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People love labels. I also prefer "candid photography" but even that term can get dicey.

Every time I hear or see written "street photography", I get a mental picture of a homeless guy lying on the sidewalk. Makes me cringe too. I hate the term. But it's not likely to change.
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Old 12-09-2018   #6
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Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Well, fifty years doesn't count then. It doesn't ring the bell until you directly into it.
Then it is very simple and clear.
Street is your main place where photos are taken. Pictures could be taken inside as well, but your main forte is street.
Victor Kolar is great example. He started to practice after work in photo lab in Toronto.
He was going out on the streets, into parks and practicing. Every day. Every day after work he was on the street with Leica and lens he was able to purchase after working at the mine in BC.
He was taking pictures on the streets and wanted to do more. He connected with right people and recived grand from Canadian government. And he was able to receive it because he was taking great street pictures. His assignment was new by when malls.
He was taking pictures in malls just as he was taking them in the street.

So, to me you are street photographer it is then you have this unexplainable need to go out and take pictures on the street.

I'll make it simple for you. Then inside, non street and not so much photogs takes photos of what they eat and drink. Street photog takes pictures of those who eat and drink.
Most of Jeff Wall´s work is also done on the street but it´s all directed w/ actors filling a predesigned composition and shot w/ a 5x7in sheet film camera.
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Old 12-09-2018   #7
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People also love to decline of existence for something they don't understand. Yet.
This is what is happening with OP and some others here.

Candid is only part of street photography. Fred Herzog has street pictures without people and they are great street pictures.

Then I see homeless word in threads like these, the portrait taken by Allen Bourgeois comes to me right away.
He is street photographer who works and get paid for taking portrait pictures inside.
But he goes on the street. His portrait of homeless is one one the powerful portraits I ever seen.

Klein is else photographer who learned and benefited by taking pictures on the street.
He used street as decoration for else and paid photos. And so is 5x7 dude OP just mentioned.

But.

Ellliot Erwitt is street photographer with some else pictures. He was taking pictures on the streets between assignments for else pictures and on his free time.
I have no idea what else he photographed, zero interest in it. But his street photography is recognized most, it seems. And for obvious reason.

He was thinking about street as the source of photos unveiling something you can't fake. He even took it on assignments for his somewhat known by now else photography.
While on assignment to take photo of bunch dressed as brides, he sees how dude with child walks into the frame. He took it. It is hilarious and it could only happens on the street.

This is what is street photography often is. Coincidence. Sometimes it is in front of you, but most of the time you are working hard and thinking, feeling it to get this coincidence of geometry, light and correlations.

I know one catalog and jewelry photog who goes on the street every time after work.
According to her, it takes hours before it starts to line up. In her head...
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Old 12-09-2018   #8
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I think public photography is apt. It involves subjects not requiring model releases or copyright licences to record, because it is taken in public. Indoors can be public, but often is not. Outdoors is almost always public but sometimes is not. So when I think of street photography, I typically think public photography.
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Old 12-09-2018   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
People also love to decline of existence for something they don't understand. Yet.
This is what is happening with OP and some others here.

Candid is only part of street photography. Fred Herzog has street pictures without people and they are great street pictures.

Then I see homeless word in threads like these, the portrait taken by Allen Bourgeois comes to me right away.
He is street photographer who works and get paid for taking portrait pictures inside.
But he goes on the street. His portrait of homeless is one one the powerful portraits I ever seen.

Klein is else photographer who learned and benefited by taking pictures on the street.
He used street as decoration for else and paid photos. And so is 5x7 dude OP just mentioned.

But.

Ellliot Erwitt is street photographer with some else pictures. He was taking pictures on the streets between assignments for else pictures and on his free time.
I have no idea what else he photographed, zero interest in it. But his street photography is recognized most, it seems. And for obvious reason.

He was thinking about street as the source of photos unveiling something you can't fake. He even took it on assignments for his somewhat known by now else photography.
While on assignment to take photo of bunch dressed as brides, he sees how dude with child walks into the frame. He took it. It is hilarious and it could only happens on the street.

This is what is street photography often is. Coincidence. Sometimes it is in front of you, but most of the time you are working hard and thinking, feeling it to get this coincidence of geometry, light and correlations.

I know one catalog and jewelry photog who goes on the street every time after work.
According to her, it takes hours before it starts to line up. In her head...
Really... So i am not capable of understanding what "street photography" is?

It´s the contrary: i have more understanding of what photography is about and that´s why i think it´s embarrassingly silly.
it´s 35mm, handheld, reportage photography.
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Old 12-09-2018   #10
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Originally Posted by colker View Post
Really... So i am not capable of understanding what "street photography" is?

It´s the contrary: i have more understanding of what photography is about and that´s why i think it´s embarrassingly silly.
it´s 35mm, handheld, reportage photography.
Yes, you don't understand what street photography is. For some reason you are limiting yourself, by yourself.

Have a look at Helen Hill street photography. It is not reportage. It is blurred and not in focus sometimes. But it gives you some feelings.
If you are open for it, of course.

Anna Bocharova, whom I mentioned in my previous comment uses f3.5 35mm slow lens and slow shutter speeds often on the street.
It is not as primitive as reportage. It is photography which is as Helen Hill street photography. It opens something else. Something inside of us.
As long as we willing to open it.

Join us. Set yourself free from self-limiting frames.
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Old 12-09-2018   #11
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Well that escalated quickly.
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Old 12-09-2018   #12
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What do you mean by escalated? Then one friend tells another one - you don't understand - it is not escalation. It is open and because of it most respectful observation.
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Old 12-09-2018   #13
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Originally Posted by johnwolf View Post
You guys can all me "street photographer" anytime you want. It's a moniker I wear with pleasure. If only I could rise to the standard of its great tradition.

John
There is no such tradition.

I doubt any magnum photojournalist calls himself "street photographer".

There is wedding, fashion, portrait, still life, war, news and amateur photographer. No street photographer.
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Old 12-09-2018   #14
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Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Yes, you don't understand what street photography is. For some reason you are limiting yorself, by yourself.

Have a look at Helen Hill street photography. It is not reportage. It is blurred and not in focus sometimes. But it gives you some feelings.
If you are open for it, of course.

Anna Bocharova, whom I mentioned in my previous comment uses f3.5 35mm slow lens and slow shutter speeds often on the street.
It is not as primitive as reportage. It is photography which is as Helen Hill street photography. It opens something else. Something inside of us.
As long as we willing to open it.

Join us. Set yourself free from self-limiting frames.
This is wildly funny...

Do you teach photography? How many books on The History of Photography have you written? How many did you read? Based on what did you create such photographic genre that never existed? i guess it is an "internet thing"..
You are an amateur photographer, right? I am not saying this as a derisive comment. On the contrary.. the term also means photography lover. Otoh, pretending to tell me i don´t understand what "street photograohy " is ... it is pompous and ridiculous. And that´s why it´s funny.
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Old 12-09-2018   #15
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Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
What do you mean by escalated? Then one friend tells another one - you don't understand - it is not escalation. It is open and because of it most respectful observation.
Oh yes, I can see that now. LOL.
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Old 12-09-2018   #16
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Originally Posted by johnwolf View Post
I suggest you do your homework.

From Magnum's web site: "Magnum Photos has a long and rich history in the genre of street photography."

https://www.magnumphotos.com/events/...aphy-workshop/

https://www.magnumphotos.com/theory-...t-photography/

https://www.magnumphotos.com/theory-...t-photography/
LOL. Even they went w/ this nonsense?
Walker Evans shot most of his work roaming around w/ a big camera. Some of it for the administration during recession.
Is it street photography? Or is it landscape photography?
What´s called street photography on the internet is amateur photography. Again: there is nothing less in amateur photography. Vivien Mayer was an amateur. But calling it "street" and affiliating w/ people who would cringe at being called street photographers is wrong. It is misleading. Cartier-Bresson and Evans never called themselves street photographers. Neither did Frank. The term lessens photography.
If photography is viewed, sold as art.. it is art. It is not street art. Lorca di Corcia, Wall or Cartier-Bresson... they are artists as much as Mapplethorpe, Penn or Avedon. No one is a street artist.
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Old 12-09-2018   #17
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I do not see anything "nonsense" with the street photography definition.

Definitions are to make things easier, we must accept and understand them with an open mind. If I meet somebody who tells me to be a photographer, doesn't matter if amateur or pro I'll probably ask him what kind of photography he does. He could answer portraits, landscape, architecture or street or...

And I have an idea of what he does. Simply like this, just my opinion.

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Old 12-09-2018   #18
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Street photography means different things to different people. Some have a restrictive view, others a more expansive view. Few on either side are able to articulate the criteria explicating their view, as is evident in this thread, yet this does not stop them from advocating strongly. Hence disagreements arise. Everyone thinks they are right. I would not seek resolution on a forum. However, you can ask people to clarify their position. Good luck with that. When you do, they mostly just raise their voices.
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Old 12-09-2018   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colker View Post
Every time i read "street photography" i cringe. It means nothing to me and i have been involved w/ photography for 50 years.
A few of my friends over the years have come from the same mold as yourself. One of them even introduced himself to me as someone who enjoyed a good argument. With that in mind I'm not really sure how to respond as I'm guessing you'll find fault in whatever I type, lol. While i myself am somewhat confused by the phrase street photography, I can't say that I cringe at the thought of it. I don't find it surprising that some would take issue with this term. Many can't even agree on what makes a good photograph as that seems to mean different things to different people. So it shouldn't come as a surprise then that people can't agree on the labels or categories that photographic styles tend to be lumped under. I do know that much of the photography that I enjoy viewing is considered by many to be street photography.

Coming at this from another angle, I think we all tend to know what we like as individuals. Over the past few months I've spent a fair amount of time on this forum. Of those who choose to share their images here on a somewhat regular basis I can say that I've come to appreciate the photography of a few individuals in particular including Erik van Straten, helenhill and rhl-oregon. I'm almost always sure to spend more time looking at their images than those posted by others. I would struggle to find the words to explain what qualities in particular I find appealing about their images. But I can tell you that it has nothing to do with how they or someone else might label their work. Is theirs truly "street photography"? I don't know. I do know that they all bring something different to the mix that I really enjoy. Maybe that's why I don't get as worked up about such things.
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Old 12-09-2018   #20
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A few of my friends over the years have come from the same mold as yourself. One of them even introduced himself to me as someone who enjoyed a good argument. With that in mind I'm not really sure how to respond as I'm guessing you'll find fault in whatever I type, lol. While i myself am somewhat confused by the phrase street photography, I can't say that I cringe at the thought of it. I don't find it surprising that some would take issue with this term. Many can't even agree on what makes a good photograph as that seems to mean different things to different people. So it shouldn't come as a surprise then that people can't agree on the labels or categories that photographic styles tend to be lumped under. I do know that much of the photography that I enjoy viewing is considered by many to be street photography.

Coming at this from another angle, I think we all tend to know what we like as individuals. Over the past few months I've spent a fair amount of time on this forum. Of those who choose to share their images here on a somewhat regular basis I can say that I've come to appreciate the photography of a few individuals in particular including Erik van Straten, helenhill and rhl-oregon. I'm almost always sure to spend more time looking at their images than those posted by others. I would struggle to find the words to explain what qualities in particular I find appealing about their images. But I can tell you that it has nothing to do with how they or someone else might label their work. Is theirs truly "street photography"? I don't know. I do know that they all bring something different to the mix that I really enjoy. Maybe that's why I don't get as worked up about such things.
I believe false categories ruin things. See... all the photo heroes mentioned here did not have a day job. They abandoned any other safe lifestyle to become photographers. They dedicated themselves to find perfect images: those pictures that help everyone understand life, freedom and above all image itself. They did not want to be just a good street photographer... they chose photography as a medium to do the best they could to give back what they received from life: inspiration. They gave others the understanding of the power of image and not categories. I believe any false theory does wrong to these people who risked something to expand photography´s vocabulary.

The internet made reaching other people easy. It also made easy to create fake news, fake theory, fake everything else. I can show how the term street photography is misguided so i do it. The term street photography clouds knowledge. So yeah.. i get worked up about it and yes, i have also seen good images in the Forum. One thing has very little to do w/ the other.
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Old 12-09-2018   #21
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For interiors the term genre art would apply.

Genre art applies to street photography as well

However genre art is rarely used by photographers. I guess this is because the word genre more often refers to taxonomy.
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Old 12-09-2018   #22
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I've just always thought of it as just a way to describe the syle of the thing that you are shooting, I mean you could call it Urban Landscape crossed with Portraiture photography if you wanted as technically it applies, but street is less of a mouthful.

People could argue for eons on wether or not what to call it in the same way they could argue wether or not something is art or not, just enjoy the images and call it what you want to call it.
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Old 12-09-2018   #23
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it is pompous and ridiculous. And that´s why it´s funny.
That's what I was thinking reading the premise of this thread.

Oftentimes "50 years of experience with photography" often means "someone who can't come to grips with anything outside of their preconceived notions."

Why should anyone care about the term and/or what it should be called?
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Old 12-09-2018   #24
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The real question is, why get worked up about it at all? What does it matter that a person or a group of persons chooses to call something street photography? It sounds like there should be more photography made than splitting hairs about an arbitrary term on the internet just to stir the pot. There is another Thread about Robert Frank right now and I love his work. He is one of the greatest photographers the world has ever seen in my opinion. So if you were to look at the book titled The Americans which is considered a master collection of street photography , and really look where the images were taken you might see that many of them were not taken on the street at all. But doesn't matter if something like that was photographed in a foyer or on the sidewalk? It's technically not in the street. What is being mentioned here is akin to the difference between taking photographs of the actual asphalt street surface and taking photographs of someone standing near it.

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Old 12-09-2018   #25
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I find the term street photography constraining too. I only use it I suppose, because it has such currency in the field. But I often take images while on the street, pointing my camera through a window to capture people inside a building candidly (together with the reflections and blur induced by the window, most often). And I do the reverse - from inside a building I shoot things going on in the street. Are these really street photographs?

Some die hard iconoclasts would argue that neither are legitimate 'street photos". But I disagree. After all, photographers like Saul Leiter were famous for this type of photo and I would have thought many would regard their work as encompassing (if not being entirely dedicated to) street photography. But having said this I am then forced to consider the question that if these are legitimate "street photos" then why are photos, shot entirely within a room, that are of the traditional street photo style also not street photos. Well I suppose I would draw the line there and say they are not as I am neither on the street nor taking photos of street happenings, though as another poster says these could be called candid photos with perfect accuracy.

So I suppose the problem if there is one is with the name "street photography" and the expectations this engenders. But on the whole I am more inclined to agree with others participating in this thread who's central argument seems to be "lets not get too fussed about what we call it' and just enjoy doing it. It's only a name after all.
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Old 12-09-2018   #26
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That's what I was thinking reading the premise of this thread.

Oftentimes "50 years of experience with photography" often means "someone who can't come to grips with anything outside of their preconceived notions."

Why should anyone care about the term and/or what it should be called?
Because it´s not my opinion. It´s not what i think. It´s facts.
The guys revered as founding fathers of street photography or whatever never cared for that categorization. So where is the tradition? There is a tradition of fashion photography, photojournalism, nudes, still life.. there is even a tradition of wedding photography. Street photography though .. it does not exist. Wake up.

If you want to bring facts, i am interested. If you have Bresson, Doisneau, Frank or even Salgado on record sayin anything about them being street photographers.. bring it in. Otherwise don´t bother.. My preconceived notions i find at History of Photography. Nothing else. Have a nice day.
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Old 12-09-2018   #27
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Did anybody here major in English or film? I think they'd know a lot about the question of whether genre exists or not.
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Old 12-09-2018   #28
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Did anybody here major in English or film? I think they'd know a lot about the question of whether genre exists or not.
Good point.
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Old 12-09-2018   #29
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Because it´s not my opinion. It´s not what i think. It´s facts.
Yeah nah.

Street is just a commonly used label. Would you argue that "classical music" is a bad term because in its day it was pop music? That term was not around during Bach or Mozart's time.

More to the point it doesn't matter whatsoever.
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Old 12-09-2018   #30
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More to the point it doesn't matter whatsoever.
Exactly.
Get over the fact that you don't like the term "street photography." That's it, pure and simple. If someone else's description of anything doesn't hurt you or someone else, perhaps the best course of action is to not care about it at all. Does it affect you? No.
Personally, I don't really like the term "street photography" but I don't start threads railing against my dislike for the term itself. I really hate it when it is changed to "street" and don't get me started on the term "togs." Guess what? They don't hurt me, nor anyone else.

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Old 12-09-2018   #31
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It's probably best to refer to the experts on this one

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyvRyxpvDi8

And that just about sums it up. Being called this or that, well, anyone who takes photographs is a photographer, and anyone who calls themselves an artist is an artist. But always, the relevant question is...... are you any good or not? For myself, I, myself, am the sole authority on that question. However, everyone else who weighs in on that question is also the sole authority.

All kidding aside (if this is indeed kidding) the moniker of street photographer is just as relevant as the title of landscape photographer or portrait photographer. People tend to like to work in one of those mediums almost exclusively, and it's the rare landscape photographer that can do street photography (and vice versa). There are plenty of other categories too like photojournalist, fine art photographer, etc. Still, good or bad is all that matters, and sometimes being really, really bad is called being ahead of her or his time, which is good.
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Old 12-09-2018   #32
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Yeah nah.

Street is just a commonly used label. Would you argue that "classical music" is a bad term because in its day it was pop music? That term was not around during Bach or Mozart's time.

More to the point it doesn't matter whatsoever.
I am not a musician. I know rationally it does not matter... i just have a visceral reaction to this thing. It feels wrong to me.

Salgado revived black and white reportage photography in the eyes of the world. He is a freaking superstar and shoots like W Eugene Smith is watching. I never thought it would happen but it did! There is a huge turn of events going on. Just when the photo industry gave up film and Apple is trying to convince the world there s no need for cameras .. a BW photography comeback happens and fuji is bringing rangefinders to the digital front. So ... instead of us enjoying the win we build a ghetto.
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Old 12-09-2018   #33
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What is the point in this thread? To let us know that you find the term "street photographer" corny and annoying? Maybe try and rattle some chains?

Yes, most will agree with you and nothing that you posted is news.
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Old 12-09-2018   #34
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This thread has pretty much been colkered to death.
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Old 12-09-2018   #35
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Wake me up when this thread turns to discussing which camera works best for street.
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Old 12-10-2018   #36
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Quote:
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Wake me up when this thread turns to discussing which camera works best for street.
You mean digital vs analog or it is not street unless it was taken with a Leica?
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Old 12-10-2018   #37
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Quote:
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You mean digital vs analog or Leica is the best camera for street?


I would have guessed the one and only useful answer is: For «candid photography», the best camera is ... a «candid camera».

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Old 12-10-2018   #38
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Quote:
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... it is not street unless it was taken with a Leica?
Is there any other kind?
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Old 12-10-2018   #39
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Is there any other kind?
Apparently not.
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Old 12-10-2018   #40
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Some people play golf or tennis and others spend their time trying to determine what is and what is not street photography. I wish them well.
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