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Author Topic: Street photography & cameras.  (Read 25301 times)
RFPhotography
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« Reply #60 on: June 30, 2013, 05:36:30 AM »
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Spontaneity isn't necessarily about just being close to your subject. 

WRT the 'in your face' street style, not all street has to be that.  Can't speak for Russia, but there certainly have been many well-known street photographer who plied their trade in New York.  Personally, I'd be more concerned about it in The Bronx than Brooklyn.  Brooklyn's pretty tame, all things considered.  Bed-Stuy ain't even what it used to be.
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ripgriffith
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« Reply #61 on: June 30, 2013, 11:46:10 AM »
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Spontaneity isn't necessarily about just being close to your subject. 

 Can't speak for Russia, but there certainly have been many well-known street photographer who plied their trade in New York.  Personally, I'd be more concerned about it in The Bronx than Brooklyn.  Brooklyn's pretty tame, all things considered.  Bed-Stuy ain't even what it used to be.
All quite true, and I used to be one of those street photographers, but I didn't know many who practiced this so-called "in-your-face" style who still have all their teeth.  I personally have no  respect  for those kinds of photographers, just as they  have no respect for the people they are  photographing.  FWIW, when I lived in Brooklyn, Bed-Stuy was very much what it used to be, maybe even worse. And there was still a team called the BROOKLYN Dodgers!
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #62 on: June 30, 2013, 06:32:36 PM »
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Ah!  Lots of change since then.  Washington Heights/Harlem are pretty hip areas now too and reasonably safe.
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Jim Kasson
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« Reply #63 on: June 30, 2013, 06:36:24 PM »
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The type of camera used would depend a lot on someone's style.

You're right there, IMHO. I think the question of equipment choice is so tied in to your personal style that there's no useful answer to the question, "What's the best camera for [insert a genre here]."

Whatever your photographic pursuits, whether they fit into a neat description or not, what you want is different than what anyone else wants, and what you must do to get what you want is different from what anyone else does.

The bad news is that no one can tell you the perfect instrument for you to achieve your photographic goals from a pigeon-hole description of those goals. The good news is that your photography will tell you how to formulate a question which has an answer that moves you along your path in a productive direction.

The first step towards equipment selection is the same as the first step towards almost any photographic goal: make pictures. Pick up whatever gear seems right to you and use it as best you can. It may seem awkward for the task, but ignore that for a while. After a while, you’ll notice that you aren’t learning as fast as you did. Sit down and make a list of what you’d like your equipment to do for this project, and what your current equipment does that doesn’t work for this project (It doesn’t feel like a project yet — then maybe you need to keep working a while longer). Now, armed with your list, if you want other people’s opinion, ask around for recommendations for equipment. It’s quite likely that you’ll look at your list and you’ll know what you need to use in the next phase of your project.

The shoot-analyze-buy cycle can, like the cycle on the shampoo bottle, be repeated indefinitely. There is no danger that it will converge, because your vision for the project will change as you work on it, and the universe of available equipment will change as well. Be careful about blaming your equipment for your failures in vision and attempting to buy artistic inspiration, but accept the fact that your experience with new gear will give you insights you wouldn’t have gotten with your old stuff. And yes, there are snares: we've all fallen into to "If I had x, my photography would be so much better" trap.

I've gone through one body of my work and paid attention to how changes in my vision caused changes in my equipment. It's too long to post here, but you can see it on my blog.

And one last good/bad point. It's bad news that no camera is perfect for any particular task, and it's good news that there are usually several that are perfectly adequate.

Jim
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kencameron
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« Reply #64 on: June 30, 2013, 06:53:23 PM »
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  I personally have no  respect  for those kinds of photographers, just as they  have no respect for the people they are  photographing. 
Interesting. With any luck, respect will be catching, so that what would be intrusive without it becomes a kind of collaboration allowing considerable intimacy. But I am not sure whether all good art derives from respect for the human race. Artists can be pretty ruthless.
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RSL
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« Reply #65 on: June 30, 2013, 08:49:32 PM »
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The key to good street photography has very little to do with equipment. The key to good street photography is what "The Shadow" used to do: "cloud men's minds." You need to be amongst your subjects, but not in their faces, and you need to make yourself completely irrelevant. If you're irrelevant you're not threatening. Which is one reason most pictures of street people are so meaningless: You're not being irrelevant when you walk boldly up to a street person or persons and shoot a photograph. The subject is reacting to the photographer and the result is an image that's utterly worthless as a street shot.

The photographer doesn't appear at all in a really good street photograph, and by that I don't mean you should be careful to keep your reflection out of the window behind your subject. A really good street photograph is entirely about the person or people in the picture, and that means that if there's any indication at all that the subject even realizes you're there, you've failed.

For children too young to remember The Shadow, here's a reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shadow. (Like The Shadow, I'm sometimes able to cloud men's minds, but I've never been able to cloud women's minds, though there was a time when I used to try very hard.)
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #66 on: June 30, 2013, 09:33:04 PM »
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So all of Bruce Gilden's street work is a failure?
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kencameron
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« Reply #67 on: July 01, 2013, 12:31:12 AM »
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...The subject is reacting to the photographer and the result is an image that's utterly worthless as a street shot...
Worthless as a "street shot" maybe, but not necessarily uninteresting as some other kind of shot (ie, as a photograph).
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Rob C
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« Reply #68 on: July 01, 2013, 02:44:33 AM »
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(Like The Shadow, I'm sometimes able to cloud men's minds, but I've never been able to cloud women's minds, though there was a time when I used to try very hard.)



That's because you were attempting the impossible: their minds never cloud, they see and understand everything perfectly, have it figured out before you even realise you are going to have the thought, but it becomes their decision whether to accept or reject.

Some chaps use alcohol and Ferrari as aids to conviction, but that's pointless: the objective is the one who already has the Ferrari or the means to its possession. That, then, becomes progress, a step in the right direction.

Isn't theory a wonderful thing?

;-)

Rob C


P.S. You see what you can get away with if you don't use pictures at lunchtime?
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ripgriffith
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« Reply #69 on: July 01, 2013, 03:09:42 AM »
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That's because you were attempting the impossible: their minds never cloud, they see and understand everything perfectly, have it figured out before you even realise you are going to have the thought, but it becomes their decision whether to accept or reject.

Some chaps use alcohol and Ferrari as aids to conviction, but that's pointless: the objective is the one who already has the Ferrari or the means to its possession. That, then, becomes progress, a step in the right direction.

Isn't theory a wonderful thing?

;-)

Rob C


P.S. You see what you can get away with if you don't use pictures at lunchtime?
I'm sorry, but a Ferrari is but a wannabe's Porsche!
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Rob C
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« Reply #70 on: July 01, 2013, 05:23:51 AM »
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I'm sorry, but a Ferrari is but a wannabe's Porsche!


Thanks for explaining why some people buy Leicas!

Rob C
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ripgriffith
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« Reply #71 on: July 01, 2013, 06:14:40 AM »
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Thanks for explaining why some people buy Leicas!

Rob C
If a Ferrari is an upscale Fiat, and a Porsche is an upscale Volkswagen, then a Leica is an upscale what?
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petermfiore
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« Reply #72 on: July 01, 2013, 06:19:00 AM »
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If a Ferrari is an upscale Fiat, and a Porsche is an upscale Volkswagen, then a Leica is an upscale what?


Contax, Rollie etc.....?

Peter
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Rob C
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« Reply #73 on: July 01, 2013, 10:26:09 AM »
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If a Ferrari is an upscale Fiat, and a Porsche is an upscale Volkswagen, then a Leica is an upscale what?


Ferrari/Fiat: that's only a relatively recent commercial event; there are no roots there. Lamborghini just a stripped-out tractor?

Leica upscale what? I suppose, one model is an upscale version of the one before it. Even if it's not.

A road less travelled, perhaps, for good reason?

;-)

Rob C
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PhillyPhotographer
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« Reply #74 on: July 01, 2013, 11:35:33 AM »
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The key to good street photography has very little to do with equipment. The key to good street photography is what "The Shadow" used to do: "cloud men's minds." You need to be amongst your subjects, but not in their faces, and you need to make yourself completely irrelevant. If you're irrelevant you're not threatening. Which is one reason most pictures of street people are so meaningless: You're not being irrelevant when you walk boldly up to a street person or persons and shoot a photograph. The subject is reacting to the photographer and the result is an image that's utterly worthless as a street shot.

The photographer doesn't appear at all in a really good street photograph, and by that I don't mean you should be careful to keep your reflection out of the window behind your subject. A really good street photograph is entirely about the person or people in the picture, and that means that if there's any indication at all that the subject even realizes you're there, you've failed.

For children too young to remember The Shadow, here's a reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shadow. (Like The Shadow, I'm sometimes able to cloud men's minds, but I've never been able to cloud women's minds, though there was a time when I used to try very hard.)


This is the only post in this whole thread that comes close to making sense.
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #75 on: July 01, 2013, 02:45:34 PM »
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This is the only post in this whole thread that comes close to making sense.

No, it really isn't.
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RSL
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« Reply #76 on: July 01, 2013, 04:41:05 PM »
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So all of Bruce Gilden's street work is a failure?

As far as I'm concerned, Bob, the answer is yes for the shots he made parading down the street in a photographer's jacket with a flash in his left hand and a camera in his right. I've seen some fair street photographs by Gilden, but they weren't made when he was trying to copy Klein.
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #77 on: July 01, 2013, 05:31:52 PM »
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OK, that's fair.  That's your opinion and that's fine.  I don't necessarily think that Gilden or Cohen are particularly good, in terms of the 'guerilla' style of street shooting, but that too is an opinion that may not be, in fact isn't, shared by others.  Not that their form of the guerilla style isn't done well, just that I don't prefer that style of street work.  I tend to lean more toward Winogrand's style who was probably somewhere between, say, Meyerowitz and Gilden.  I'm not familiar with Klein.
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RSL
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« Reply #78 on: July 01, 2013, 05:37:06 PM »
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Google William Klein and go to "images" in Google. Here's an example: http://londonartreviews.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/web-williamklein_bikini_moscow_1959.jpg
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stamper
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« Reply #79 on: July 02, 2013, 02:41:33 AM »
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If someone is an experienced photographer technically speaking then I don't see the point of trying to worship/copy these forgotten "masters" especially when you can't cover the ground they did? Do what suits you and if you are "successful" then you will have achieved something that is different from them.
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