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Author Topic: Color on the Street  (Read 1788 times)
RSL
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« on: May 31, 2011, 08:23:56 PM »
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Traditionally street photography is black and white, but here are two street shots I think are better in color, and though the group on the street is pretty good in B&W, the pizza parlor abstraction dissolves in B&W. See what you think. Neither of these is the kind of once-in-a-year shot upon which I'd hang my reputation, but they fall pretty neatly into a somewhat lower category of OK.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2011, 10:17:17 PM »
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I was tempted to say that they'd be more interesting with better subject matter (say, mountains and trees, for example), or that music does this much better than photography does, but I won't.    Grin

Eric
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stamper
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« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2011, 03:02:22 AM »
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In both of the images there are people looking at the camera, the first one especially so. It gives the image a posed type of look which I am surprised you seem happy about. In the first a move to the left to exclude the person on the right would have been better imo. The cluttered background doesn't help either. I have seen better from you Russ. Undecided
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Rob C
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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2011, 03:06:50 AM »
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Hi Russ

The first one is pretty good, but I would have concentrated on the chick in the background. And thus lost the picture. Or, I might have waited until the car in the background had been replaced by the Cadillac '57/'59 combination I always hope I'll meet some day; by then, both the older people in the front would have passed away and the blurred lady to whom I referred a moment ago would probably have also given up and gone home.

Such drama, such deliberation! No wonder there's so much for curators to discuss!

;- )

Rob

PS I'd happily hang my reputation, had I one, on that first shot. The second one displays an ironic sense of equilibrium -sorry, drifting away again...
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William Walker
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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2011, 04:45:33 AM »
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Russ

Let me start by saying that I am no expert on "street photography".

Having said that, I totally "got" the two pictures (especially the wit of the first one) that Jennifer posted on "Outside the State Library". That picture keeps coming up in my mind all the time, it is as good as anything I have ever seen here.

I totally "don't get" what you are trying to say with these two. Try as I might, I see nothing.

What is even more puzzling to me is that you posted them. I would have thought that, following the ongoing debate, you would have posted something to strengthen your argument. It seems to me that, with these two examples of "street', you have weakened it. In fact, I think your landscape of the derelict farmhouse blows these two pictures clean out of the water.

Where am I going wrong? What don't I understand here?

Perhaps it boils down to the fact that even an idiot (like me) can tell the difference between a good picture and a poor one - even if he does not have the ability to explain why?

And that is all there is, good pictures and not so good ones...forget paint, photographs, landscape, street, portrait, nature and all the other boxes we all love.

If something is good we all seem to recognise it.

William



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Rob C
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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2011, 08:14:20 AM »
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Actually, as if the shot needed any protective speak from me, Russ has gone beyond street.

I doubt he's even aware of where he treads with this one, not being into fashion photography and its heroes, but he's slap bang in the middle of the Helmut Newton ethic with his brutal images of Berlin society.

Some images of older women and men speak a language that you have to, unfortunately, be there to understand; not in Berlin, but in time. The conterpoint of youth rubs salt into the wound.

That's maybe the bit you couldn't get.

Rob C
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William Walker
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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2011, 08:42:32 AM »
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Actually, as if the shot needed any protective speak from me, Russ has gone beyond street.

I doubt he's even aware of where he treads with this one, not being into fashion photography and its heroes, but he's slap bang in the middle of the Helmut Newton ethic with his brutal images of Berlin society.

Some images of older women and men speak a language that you have to, unfortunately, be there to understand; not in Berlin, but in time. The conterpoint of youth rubs salt into the wound.

That's maybe the bit you couldn't get.

Rob C

And you have only managed to confuse me more with that reply... Huh  Wink
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Rob C
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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2011, 09:27:10 AM »
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And you have only managed to confuse me more with that reply... Huh  Wink



Absorb Sumo.

Rob C
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William Walker
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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2011, 10:21:08 AM »
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Absorb Sumo.

Rob C

Will do. Can I borrow your copy? Or £ 9000.00?
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RSL
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« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2011, 11:12:05 AM »
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Eric, Why not say it if that's what you believe?

Stamper, That's a fair criticism, and I'm sorry the shot looks posed to you. Actually, the people are looking at the camera but they don't know I'm shooting a picture. I wasn't out to do street shooting, and I was carrying the D3 with a 28-300mm lens on it -- a pretty huge beast that always gets too much attention. I was talking to a guy out of sight on the left. When I saw the scene I cranked the lens out to about 70mm by feel and shot from the hip. As far as the guy on the right is concerned, he's absolutely essential to the shot, both to offset the weight of the triangular arrangement on the left and as a contrast to the age of the woman. (See Rob's comment.)

William, You don't need to be an expert on any art genre to appreciate it. I have a course from The Teaching Company whose risible title is "How to Look at and Understand Great Art." You don't need instruction in order to "look at" great art, and you don't "understand" art; you experience art. (The course itself is interesting, though.) I'm sorry you "don't get" it, but everyone can tell the difference between a good picture and a poor one because that evaluation always is subjective. These two may be especially difficult because they violate the "street photography" canon.

Rob, Thanks for the kind words. Yes, I at least know who Helmut Newton was, though he's not my cup of tea. From what I've read about him he had every reason to produce "brutal" images of Berlin society. The whole point of the first picture is the play between the three principals: the inert guy on the left (who's always sitting there, by the way), the woman, who's the focal point, and the guy on the right Stamper wants out of the picture. I'll bet that in her twenties that woman was a beautiful girl -- the kind you, Rob, loved to photograph. Now the lines in her face reflect a history of hard experience: still a beautiful face but in a different way. Her alertness and interest in what's going on around her is offset and enhanced by the indifference of the guy on the left, and the depth of experience in her face is underlined by the callow glance of the youth on the right.

I love to photograph in this spot. The building on the left is a restaurant called "The Maté Factor," subtitled "A Common Ground café." There's always a different group of interesting people in front of it. Here's a record shot from a few days earlier. If you look closely you'll see the inert guy from the first picture. He's moved a few chairs to your right in this one.

Still no real comments on the abstraction. Has anyone noticed that the name of the place is "Hells Kitchen Pizza" or read the sign on the right? No, Stamper, the bearded guy in hell, on the right, isn't looking at the camera. He's looking off to my left.
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Bruce Cox
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« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2011, 11:19:17 AM »
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[You are faster than me; this was written before your last post] If these "fall pretty neatly into a lower category of OK," I either envy your standards or doubt them.  The excellent portrait in Sidewalk Gathering is enhanced by its less than completely controlled environment.  The Chick may not be as focused as Rob would like, but that she is laughing ...        

I not only enjoy looking at the "Pizza" photo more than any of yours that I can remember [which is saying something], but I think it's meaning is valid; different in kind though it is from much of your other work.

Bruce
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2011, 12:18:44 PM »
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If there ever was a good example for images in dire need for post-conceptualization or curator/gallery-speak, these are the ones.

But then again, I already admitted I do not know much about nor I like street photography (apart from, perhaps, Elliot Erwitt's type, or even better, Ernst Haas' or Pete Turner's one).
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Slobodan

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RSL
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« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2011, 01:06:52 PM »
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... nor [do] I like street photography (apart from, perhaps, Elliot Erwitt's type, or even better, Ernst Haas' or Pete Turner's one).

So you do like some street photography. Sounds as if you're about in the same place I am with respect to landscape photography, Slobodan. Elliott Erwitt, by the way, is my favorite photographer, with Walker Evans a close second.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2011, 01:11:48 PM »
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In the first one, the face on the elderly woman near the center is riveting. She appears to be looking directly at the camera, but she is wrapped up in her own angst and is oblivious to the camera (she wouldn't even notice it if you picked it up to eye level and waved it around).  The man at the left is also lost in his own world, and the young man at the right and the young woman in the background are too young to understand real pain. This one works for me, although some of the background elements seem irrelevant.

The "abstract" doesn't move me. The connection between the two signs seems a bit forced, especially since the "Hell's Kitchen Pizza" sign is almost unreadable, and Russ's signature is bigger than the other sign.

The third shot looks like a real keeper to me. The three windows frame three separate small stories that interconnect, and even the open door at the left invites you in to imagine other tete-a-tetes and encounters going on inside. I like this one a lot.

And the third one includes the necessary musicians.  Wink

Eric
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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Rob C
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« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2011, 01:24:15 PM »
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Will do. Can I borrow your copy? Or £ 9000.00?





You can borrow my copy if you live in Mallorca, but you only need €100 or so - Taschen makes a smaller but still damned heavy version that comes with a perspex X-shaped lectern that collapses flat for travel. Quite why one would choose to travel with such a tome is not clear, but the possibility is there.

It's the only Newton book I ever bought: found his work too hard to live with, but considering he's gone, now, and that he did so many wild things to open doors for us more gentle folks... anyway, June might need the cash. Like, I doubt that.

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2011, 01:41:17 PM »
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If there ever was a good example for images in dire need for post-conceptualization or curator/gallery-speak, these are the ones.

But then again, I already admitted I do not know much about nor I like street photography (apart from, perhaps, Elliot Erwitt's type, or even better, Ernst Haas' or Pete Turner's one).



Then, Slobodan, how come the beauty you shot from a bus looking down into a restaurant or bar? It might not have been from ground level, but still street, and damned good; much as is your blue railroad, from even higher. I interpret 'street' in a less literal way; also, there is a kind of epiphany going down in my head since seeing the latest shot of the three windows: I used to be hesitant about shooting any musos on the street - buskers - but since doing my own stuff in bars and like that, I have come to take a totally benign stance towards those who make music in public places. Gone is the nervous doubt. Never thought that there'd be time left to change a spot or two on this old gattopardo.

Rob C

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William Walker
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« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2011, 02:14:56 PM »
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Russ, thanks for the patient reply. You are right:-

and you don't "understand" art; you experience art.


That feeling one gets simply did not materialise here. I see what you, and others are saying about the pictures. For some reason they did not "move" me enough to make that kind of effort that Slobodan refers to.

I suppose it is similar to what you and Rob experience when you look at most(?) landscapes, sort of, "so what...". The difference, I think, is I have no prejudices towards any kind of "genre".

Rob, I'll look up that cheaper option you mention. I have just spent a few bob on Bruce Davidson's "Outside Inside" so might have to wait a while. Shipping to my neck of the woods doubles the price of the book!

William
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Rob C
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« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2011, 03:23:36 PM »
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Russ, thanks for the patient reply. You are right:-

That feeling one gets simply did not materialise here. I see what you, and others are saying about the pictures. For some reason they did not "move" me enough to make that kind of effort that Slobodan refers to.

I suppose it is similar to what you and Rob experience when you look at most(?) landscapes, sort of, "so what...". The difference, I think, is I have no prejudices towards any kind of "genre".

Rob, I'll look up that cheaper option you mention. I have just spent a few bob on Bruce Davidson's "Outside Inside" so might have to wait a while. Shipping to my neck of the woods doubles the price of the book!William



I suffer with you! That's why I was devastated when my French friend with the bookshop in Pollença packed it in; he was very good with photography and stocked a helluva lot of stuff I'd have liked to buy but don't really have space into which to slip them all. I used to buy French PHOTO from him, and one of the great things it did was feature new books on the art. However, these were pretty well all available in France, and nowhere else - outwith Taschen's list - certainly not in Spain. I don't like buying anything sight-unseen, and books in particular, and neither am I comfortable with buying via Internet - seldom do anything financial that way.
 
Bought something from Amazon once - the delivery was prohibitive; I don't know how they have a market. I often used to buy in Scotland too, but the road trips there are now, sadly, but memories of happier days.

Rob C
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stamper
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« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2011, 03:03:12 AM »
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Russ you obviously see much more in the pictures than I do.

Quote

Stamper, That's a fair criticism, and I'm sorry the shot looks posed to you. Actually, the people are looking at the camera but they don't know I'm shooting a picture. I wasn't out to do street shooting, and I was carrying the D3 with a 28-300mm lens on it -- a pretty huge beast that always gets too much attention. I was talking to a guy out of sight on the left. When I saw the scene I cranked the lens out to about 70mm by feel and shot from the hip. As far as the guy on the right is concerned, he's absolutely essential to the shot, both to offset the weight of the triangular arrangement on the left and as a contrast to the age of the woman. (See Rob's comment.)

Unquote.

You point out in a recent thread by John R Smith that images posted here are here for criticism? My criticism is - imo - valid in respect that two of the people are looking at the camera, intentionally or not therefore the posed comment is valid and detracts from what appears to be street photography. You state the third person is needed to balance the image. The out of focus face, half out and half in doesn't - imo - balance it. No balance needed if you crop it out and frame the other two more tightly. They without doubt are the picture which unfortunately is spoiled by the background. The good elements are overpowered by the distracting elements. A picture must be judged by all of what is there and not by some of it. A smaller aperture would possibly have the third person in focus. If something isn't adding to a picture then get rid of it. If you had posted the picture without the third person then I suspect nobody would have wished for it? Your ideas obviously differ from mine? As stated you have posted better.

BTW is anyone up for a points system when judging images. Say 5 out 10, or is that for camera clubs? Wink

I forgot to mention that the third image is - imo - a very good street image. Not as intrusive as the first posted but near enough to wonder what everybody is doing and talking about. One you can go back to a few times which means it has done it's job because you keep thinking about it? Smiley
« Last Edit: June 02, 2011, 04:19:21 AM by stamper » Logged

stamper
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« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2011, 03:20:35 AM »
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Russ your third image I have looked at again. I have even dragged it onto my second monitor so that I can type and look at it. There are three images here. six or seven people on the left. Two people on the right all involved in their world and then there is the guy in the middle in red, who is possibly wishing they would shut up so he could get peace and quiet to enjoy his own little world. There is even someone behind the window possibly agreeing with the guy in red. This image is far better than the other two. It does it's job and is without doubt one of your best. Wink
« Last Edit: June 02, 2011, 04:19:56 AM by stamper » Logged

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