Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Telephone  (Read 2611 times)
RSL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6401



WWW
« on: June 21, 2011, 05:08:04 PM »
ReplyReply

-
Logged

shutterpup
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 490


« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2011, 05:15:06 PM »
ReplyReply

Russ,
I like the irony.
Logged
Eric Myrvaagnes
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8069



WWW
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2011, 06:02:35 PM »
ReplyReply

That gets a fine chuckle.

Eric
Logged

-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
popnfresh
Guest
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2011, 06:57:21 PM »
ReplyReply

I see the phone in his hand, but what's that thing on the wall?   Wink
Logged
Eric Myrvaagnes
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8069



WWW
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2011, 09:02:53 PM »
ReplyReply

I see the phone in his hand, but what's that thing on the wall?   Wink
For a second I thought it might be a telephone, but it can't be, because there's no crank to turn to ring up the operator.

Logged

-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
wolfnowl
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5791



WWW
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2011, 12:33:17 AM »
ReplyReply

Uh huh... Well seen, Russ!

Mike.
Logged

If your mind is attuned to beauty, you find beauty in everything.
~ Jean Cooke ~


My Flickr site / Random Thoughts and Other Meanderings at M&M's Musings
kikashi
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4055



« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2011, 02:29:29 AM »
ReplyReply

As you know, I'm not a fan of street photography, Russ (not even yours), but that one made me chuckle. Well spotted!

Jeremy
Logged
seamus finn
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 837


« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2011, 07:16:34 AM »
ReplyReply


Hear, hear!

Logged

RSL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6401



WWW
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2011, 09:18:13 AM »
ReplyReply

Just as I raised the camera he hung up and lowered his hand with the phone. I said to myself, "Damn, Elliott Erwitt wouldn't have missed that one." But then I saw he was dialing again...
Logged

walter.sk
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1332


« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2011, 09:59:59 AM »
ReplyReply

My kind of shot.  Very nice!  More evidence to spurn those who say that street photography has had its day and is now passe.
Logged
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2011, 10:57:54 AM »
ReplyReply

My kind of shot.  Very nice!  More evidence to spurn those who say that street photography has had its day and is now passe.




Now that statement raises all manner of questions, not least being the relevance of said genre in the sense of outlets.

Yes, great fun for the lone shooter, but the whole objective of the genre 'in its day' was about making publication somewhere for payment. Take away the hope of paid photojournalism and it is indeed a redundant genre. About as useful in earning a buck as poor old HC-B would have found playing that game today.

That's not to say that it isn't a current sport, something of a romantic dream of what might have been, had life dealt us different cards, different times and different cultures. I know a couple local guys who live that thing, and they are probably under thirty years-old. One's a waiter and the other struggles to make a living off weddings...

I suspect that without the Internet, and fora such as this one where the work can get an airing, it must be even more lonely a furrow to plough than landscape. Or shooting small-town musicians (by means of a camera).

Rob C
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 11:03:27 AM by Rob C » Logged

RSL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6401



WWW
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2011, 12:53:05 PM »
ReplyReply

Rob,

Have you checked Amazon lately? Here are a few of the current street photography books I see listed there: Street Photography Now, Street Photography: From Atget to Cartier-Bresson, Street Seen: The Psychological Gesture in American Photograpnhy, Within the Frame, On the Street, Street & Studio: An Urban History of photography, No Rules Street Photography, Portraiture: A Street Photographer's Approach, Unknown People - Street Portraits - Part 1, A Maverick Eye: The Street Photography of John Deakin, Slices of the Big Apple: A Photographic Tour of the Streets of New York, Lee Friedlander: America by Car, Grim Street, The Word on the Street: The Photographs of Larry Racioppo, New York Street Photography with a Toy Camera, Little People in the City: The Street Art of Slinkachu, Street Art, Street Life, Bombay Mix: Street Photographs by Ketaki Sheth, Scandalous Metropolitan: Tokyo Street Scenes by Kim Laughton, Streets and Spaces: Urban Photography...

These are just some of the current ones -- published during the last decade and for the most part shot during the last decade. I didn't include any of the fabulous retrospectives I see there. Someday I may be able to add something like "Manitou Springs: Tourist Streets" to the list.

Street photography always has been different from reportage. Look at HCB's history. His early street shots are fabulous; his later reportage is excellent and very competent, but from the standpoint of art (there's that nasty word again) it doesn't measure up to the work he was doing before he started making his living with his camera. Look at Elliott Erwitt's work: There's the work he did for pay, which is competent, and then there's what he called his "Personal Best." That's the street shooting he did for fun when the day's commercial shoot was over. For the most part it wasn't the stuff he got paid for. Remember, "professional" is a word that has to do with money; "amateur" is a word that has to do with love. Good street shooters are always amateurs.

By the way, here's another shot from yesterday. This one's better in color.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 12:54:39 PM by RSL » Logged

Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2011, 02:50:54 PM »
ReplyReply

Lengthy list, Russ, but by your own definition it doesn't fit into commercial, and I still see street, as in HC-B, Doisneau, Ronis et al as very much commercial, albeit it with political undertones. Or even fairly strident over-ones! And their current reprintings have a pedigree that almost guarantees sales. Even I have bought.

So I stick with my notion that only as 'amateur' in the sense of lover has it (street) a future. A fine hobby, as my original position posited, but as commercial genre, indeed passé. Photo books are seldom money-spinners, as witness the trouble (outwith vanity publishing) in getting them out. How-to photo books are okay, it seems, and cooking, too, with lots of bright food piccies. A distinction between pj and street is stretching it a bit - I think -  because all of any I've seen, yours included, harks back inevitably to what was done in France decades ago, so a semantic ploy to lend an ersatz current validity to a hobby based on the imaginary glamour of the work of a passed age, methinks! Nobody wants to finance a fresh look at the plight of the poor or the life of the city (W. Eugene S. and Pittsburgh comes strongly to my mind, and even he failed!) but the urge to emulate those heroic shoots does still exist for some, and people join up with various 'charitable/humanitarian' groups to play out some of those fantasies for real. Hell, even Magnum courts/courted commerce in the end.

Without dreams we are nothing, but let's be honest about their status.

Purely by chance, I spent a postprandial period today sitting on the terrace under a toldo with a huge Capa on my increasingly uncomfortable knees/thighs. It doesn't rate as one of my brighter buys; in fact, the more I look at his work, the more I realise that he owes it all (the fame) to those poor guys in the lab who blew his 'landings' films. From such mishaps grow legends. I also have a similar tome from McCullin. Now there's a star of that firmament - the real deal.

Rob C
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 02:53:34 PM by Rob C » Logged

RSL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6401



WWW
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2011, 08:44:44 PM »
ReplyReply

Rob,

Yes, as soon as HCB started making a living with his photography it became commercial. But as I said, he did most of his great street work before that, or in the interstices between assignment work, where the street work had nothing to do with the assignment itself.

Amateur (in the real meaning of that word) street work always has been the only thing with a future. If you look back at what was being published in Life, Look, Vu, etc., etc., you'll see that none of it was "street" photography. It was reportage. My favorite Gene Smith product was "Country Doctor." It was pure reportage, though it was very, very good reportage. That kind of thing is dying -- maybe even dead -- now that everybody out there has a cell phone with camera. There was a fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal today on that very subject.

But street photography is no more reportage than the Mona Lisa is reportage. You're right: it's not commercial. HCB did street and he did reportage, but I have a hard time thinking of Doisneau as a street photographer. Doisneau mostly did setups that he intended to be commercial, as in "Le Baiser de l'Hotel de Ville."

As far as harking back to what was done in France decades ago, everything we do in visual art harks back to things even farther back than decades ago. My "Telephone" harks directly back to Elliott Erwitt's collection of ironies caught in flagrante delito. Most of the labored landscapes I see hark back at least to St. Ansel, and beyond that possibly to Eugene Atget's park pictures. Most of the genre photographs I see hark back at least to Andre Kertesz and beyond that probably to Fox Talbot. If photography were as old as painting every photograph we make would hark back to something first done at least centuries and probably millennia ago. But that doesn't mean what we do now isn't unique. Photographs embody time, but the best photographs relate time to the human condition -- which is why landscape photographs fade so quickly from memory. Elliott couldn't have shot "Telephone" because when he was doing his street work there were no cell phones.

By the way, I agree with what you said about Capa. He was a very good war reporter because, as near as I can tell, he had a death wish. I'm not sure whether or not he had it before Gerda Taro was killed, but he sure as hell had it after that. He died while I was flying out of K2 in Korea and we all heard about it and were sorry, but not nearly as sorry as we were when Earthquake McGoon got shot down over Dien Bien Phu about three weeks before Capa died. Capa's really outstanding accomplishment was to be the leader in the establishment of Magnum.
Logged

Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2011, 03:01:10 AM »
ReplyReply

Rob,

Yes, as soon as HCB started making a living with his photography it became commercial. But as I said, he did most of his great street work before that, or in the interstices between assignment work, where the street work had nothing to do with the assignment itself.

Amateur (in the real meaning of that word) street work always has been the only thing with a future. If you look back at what was being published in Life, Look, Vu, etc., etc., you'll see that none of it was "street" photography. It was reportage. My favorite Gene Smith product was "Country Doctor." It was pure reportage, though it was very, very good reportage. That kind of thing is dying -- maybe even dead -- now that everybody out there has a cell phone with camera. There was a fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal today on that very subject.

But street photography is no more reportage than the Mona Lisa is reportage. You're right: it's not commercial. HCB did street and he did reportage, but I have a hard time thinking of Doisneau as a street photographer. Doisneau mostly did setups that he intended to be commercial, as in "Le Baiser de l'Hotel de Ville."

As far as harking back to what was done in France decades ago, everything we do in visual art harks back to things even farther back than decades ago. My "Telephone" harks directly back to Elliott Erwitt's collection of ironies caught in flagrante delito. Most of the labored landscapes I see hark back at least to St. Ansel, and beyond that possibly to Eugene Atget's park pictures. Most of the genre photographs I see hark back at least to Andre Kertesz and beyond that probably to Fox Talbot. If photography were as old as painting every photograph we make would hark back to something first done at least centuries and probably millennia ago. But that doesn't mean what we do now isn't unique. Photographs embody time, but the best photographs relate time to the human condition -- which is why landscape photographs fade so quickly from memory. Elliott couldn't have shot "Telephone" because when he was doing his street work there were no cell phones.

By the way, I agree with what you said about Capa. He was a very good war reporter because, as near as I can tell, he had a death wish. I'm not sure whether or not he had it before Gerda Taro was killed, but he sure as hell had it after that. He died while I was flying out of K2 in Korea and we all heard about it and were sorry, but not nearly as sorry as we were when Earthquake McGoon got shot down over Dien Bien Phu about three weeks before Capa died. Capa's really outstanding accomplishment was to be the leader in the establishment of Magnum.


Russ - I wonder if we are chatting about the same Robert Doisneau? Reference to the infamous de Ville shot and subsequent débâcle convinces me that we are, but the medium-sized brick in my hands convinces me, equally, that he is as ‘street’ as the next man on the list! I suppose it all comes down to our personal definition of ‘street’.

As to whether ‘street’ in the sense of hobby has a future, I’m sure it does, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t just a future in a redundant genre. As with most things I can think of, myself very much included, unless we serve a greater purpose than our own existence, we eventually die out. Hence, my music pics or the next desperate attempt at staying alive in the mind, keeping the juices out of the freezer. Not that I’m into cryonics, heaven forefend!

Your point about all works being derivative is true – not only painting but photography, as well. I also agree that that, of itself, doesn’t make either pointless; some very derivative works are noticeably superior to the models from which they draw, something perhaps very pertinent to the world of music. But in the sense of a style, a print genre, a viable vehicle for employment and I hope in the spirit of the reference which kicked this debate off, I have to insist that street and pj are as passé as Life and Picture Post, however good they might have been in their time. That’s now the preserve of tv news teams. Who are probably just as guilty of staging as RD may have been!

You mention Magnum. How long its future unless it changes radically? The recent history of similar photographic news agencies in France has been dismal; one after the other they have been absorbed, changed or simply have folded. They could seriously have considered help from the dodo on survival stratagies!

I mentioned tv a few lines ago. Having been without one for about a month, not missing it at all, I entered a period of disenchantment with digital photo processing, the Internet and fora, leading me into the purchase last week of a new tv set as alternative couch fodder to the above. I spent a small fortune buying one of those new things that are LEDs, enable stereo as well as Internet browsing, all this built-in and making my two recently replaced digiboxes expensive paperweights. A few moments of ooing! and wowing! at the quality of image, of  looking at my own website on it, I began to see all the problems, greatest of which is that the station content has not improved, and is, if anything, lower than I’d imagined when the previous tv died. I suppose you get used to low standards after a period of indoctrination, but a respite gives your eye time to recover a little. As for my own site, what looks fine to me on my calibrated monitor looks too contrasty and glaring on the tv… the hell with it all!

;-(

Rob C
Logged

David Sutton
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 898


WWW
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2011, 03:46:02 AM »
ReplyReply

Fine photographs Russ. I only discovered Atget this year. What I like is how often his images make me look and think. So do yours.
Logged

William Walker
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 553



WWW
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2011, 04:31:35 AM »
ReplyReply

I "got" those two Russ!

William
Logged

RSL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6401



WWW
« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2011, 10:09:36 AM »
ReplyReply

Rob, I may be too critical of Doisneau, but I have a hard time forgiving him for the setups he passed off as street photography. "Le Baiser de L'Hotel de Ville" wasn't the only one. On the other hand it really ticks me off when I go into a mall shop selling cheap photographs offset-printed and see "Le Baiser" without Doisneau's credit line. Go figure.

My personal definition of "street" doesn't include setups. To me, "Street" is a genre in which you catch what's actually happening, without interfering with it. And it's not the kind of thing you do in reportage, where you have to get the central picture and then the auxiliary ones that fill out the story -- where the central shot has to be good but the auxiliaries can be less art and more information. (Seamus, please correct me if I'm wrong about that.)

Quote
I have to insist that street and pj are as passé as Life and Picture Post, however good they might have been in their time.

First of all, street always has been passé in the commercial sense you're suggesting. As I said earlier, the stuff published in Life, Look, Vu, etc., never was street. It always was reportage. The only place you see street from that era or any other era is in books. Reportage can't afford to be contemplative, and street is contemplative. It's art (though I hate to use that fuzzy term) rather than reportage.

Quote
You mention Magnum. How long its future unless it changes radically? The recent history of similar photographic news agencies in France has been dismal; one after the other they have been absorbed, changed or simply have folded. They could seriously have considered help from the dodo on survival stratagies!

I think there's a fundamental difference between Magnum and the other agencies you list. The photographers associated with most agencies are either employees or contractors. They get paid for their work, but the work remains the property of the agency. Not so with Magnum. Magnum is a cooperative, and each photographer is an independent business unto himself, though they all contribute to Magnum's overhead. Since a Magnum photographer owns his own negatives or files, his output is a long-term personal investment, which at least helps to explain why the majority of really creative photojournalism comes out of Magnum. Markets for still photography have shrunk, but they're a long way from vanishing. Dire predictions to the contrary notwithstanding I don't for a minute believe newspapers are going to go away altogether within the twenty-first century, though their formats may see drastic changes. Magazines are even less likely to disappear, though many probably will be viewed on computer screens or color versions of Kindle-like or Nook-like devices.

Yes, TV is a disaster for the human race. About thirty years ago I was watching a lot of TV. I was sorry when M.A.S.H. folded, though after Trapper John and Col. "Henry" left, the show went downhill rapidly, along with the rest of TV. I kept on watching, thinking it couldn't possibly get any worse. After a few more years I realized that thinking TV couldn't get worse was living in a dream world, so I stopped watching -- altogether. The only times I've turned on a TV during the past at least twenty years has been during elections. What a relief! And from what I read about it, TV's downhill slide has continued, and even accelerated.
Logged

walter.sk
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1332


« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2011, 10:32:03 AM »
ReplyReply

First of all, street always has been passé in the commercial sense you're suggesting. As I said earlier, the stuff published in Life, Look, Vu, etc., never was street. It always was reportage. The only place you see street from that era or any other era is in books. Reportage can't afford to be contemplative, and street is contemplative. It's art (though I hate to use that fuzzy term) rather than reportage.

That is the sense in which I made my first comment.  Without regard for the commercial value, but using the "fuzzy term, 'art'," what I meant is that regardless of whether a style has been done, and even overdone, in the past, it is the content of street photography and its ability to get the viewer to think about the human expression, condition and activity vis a vis the environment that gives it a power that is timeless.  It is sad to think that the "gatekeepers" of art relegate it to a style "no longer valid."

I also agree that the purpose of street photography is essentially different from "PJ" or reportage.  As one who has spent time in front of a scene waiting for just the right person to pass by, or following an individual until the right background appears, or suddenly seeing a situation that just has to be captured, I find myself going back to my street photography roots despite all of the more "sophisticated" shooting I do.  And I get more personal satisfaction from the street shooting because of what it communicates.
Logged
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2011, 02:37:56 PM »
ReplyReply

That is the sense in which I made my first comment.  Without regard for the commercial value, but using the "fuzzy term, 'art'," what I meant is that regardless of whether a style has been done, and even overdone, in the past, it is the content of street photography and its ability to get the viewer to think about the human expression, condition and activity vis a vis the environment that gives it a power that is timeless.  It is sad to think that the "gatekeepers" of art relegate it to a style "no longer valid."
I also agree that the purpose of street photography is essentially different from "PJ" or reportage.  As one who has spent time in front of a scene waiting for just the right person to pass by, or following an individual until the right background appears, or suddenly seeing a situation that just has to be captured, I find myself going back to my street photography roots despite all of the more "sophisticated" shooting I do.  And I get more personal satisfaction from the street shooting because of what it communicates.



I trust you include the opposite views in that emotion too? Opinion is all any of it is, and it really doesn't prevent anyone from following their own star. If it does, then God help them for even thinking photography.

To make it, it's my experience that you have to live it 24/24, tailor your own blinkers and never have self-doubt; anything less and you need the day-job.

Rob C
Logged

Pages: [1] 2 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad