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Author Topic: Love Real Street  (Read 16812 times)
Slobodan Blagojevic
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When everybody thinks the same... nobody thinks.


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« Reply #220 on: February 13, 2013, 12:53:26 PM »
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The poor guy's nuts....

Pardon my limited understanding of English, but are you referring to guy's balls or are you saying that the guy (the guy) is crazy? Wink
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Chris Calohan
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« Reply #221 on: February 13, 2013, 12:54:13 PM »
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Sheese! I did mistype esoteric instead of aesthetically..but that's no matter. This as the question:


For an image to be "street" by whomever's definition, does there have to be a visible connection between the subject and either the camera or aesthetically as Siegfried-Hansen uses, something contrary to the image which makes the image cohesive?

I was just trying to wade through all the bullshit to get a clearer understanding of what makes a shot street, and what makes it almost. Amolitor got the closest. I used the example because there was a definite connection between the photographer and an unseen object. There was no action taking place, no indication of an action because if there was, then it is not a static shot, nothing really happening other than a look in a particular direction. There are all manner of ways his staredown could be interpreted, therefore enough ambiguity exists to take the shot.

I don't understand why having a camera in hand changes any outcome. Do the two poodles in the Mexican doorway indicate some kind of response. Are they going to bark. Their only connection is to the photographer, but they could also be looking at another cute poodle down the way. The question remains: does there have to be a connection between the photographer and the subject or can that connection be as ambiguous as staring down a potential shot?

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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #222 on: February 13, 2013, 12:57:31 PM »
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Exactly! Right on, Doug. Are we talking about how successful a photograph is or whether or not it's street photography? They're too completely different things.
What a refreshing advance then. It's no longer about rules, definitions and books to read, but about photographs taken.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #223 on: February 13, 2013, 12:58:51 PM »
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... By the way, do you ever post photographs? I'd enjoy seeing what such a self-proclaimed heavy weight can do.

Yes, I too wish they* do... and often wish they didn't.

* All self-proclaimed heavy weights
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #224 on: February 13, 2013, 01:09:27 PM »
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For an image to be "street" by whomever's definition, does there have to be a visible connection between the subject and either the camera or aesthetically as Siegfried-Hansen uses, something contrary to the image which makes the image cohesive?



The answer to your question is, yes if you want there to be, and no if you don't. Just an artist's choice.
 
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #225 on: February 13, 2013, 01:09:33 PM »
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... Is Slobodan's "Chicks" self-explanatory? You bet. It's a girl and her mother looking at some chicks. Cute picture, but there's nothing else there...

Russ, Russ, I thought you'd knew me better by now. You do not really think I would seriously post in a street thread, the subject and genre I often admitted I do not understand sufficiently and do not particularly enjoy (at least not the type that gets posted here)?

It was just a playful response to Ken's question. You are taking me too seriously, just like RG did when I joked about Emperor's clothes (the joke Walter got perfectly well).

On the other hand, I am surprised that you, of all people, did not catch the built-in title ambiguity. What chicks was I talking about? How many are there? Wink  Tongue
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Slobodan

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amolitor
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« Reply #226 on: February 13, 2013, 01:09:37 PM »
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Pardon my limited understanding of English, but are you referring to guy's balls or are you saying that the guy (the guy) is crazy? Wink

Can't say what Rob meant!

I was just amused by Rob, in the shower, thinking about a "poor guy's nuts". The connection to testicles seemed clear!
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amolitor
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« Reply #227 on: February 13, 2013, 01:18:08 PM »
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Chris,

This is all personal opinion here, just my take on it. I think a connection to the camera is almost counter to street, usually the camera is an uninvolved observer. I'm not even sure connection is necessary, although that's a rich source of the kind of thing I see in street. In much of HCB's work there actually isn't much or any inter-action (I spoke too quickly earlier) but there may be action. The action in "Behind La Gare St. Lazare" is what's inscrutable. The inter-action between crossing glances is what's inscrutable in much of Winogrand. The camera isn't a player, in either case, really.

For me, it's not about connections, though they may exist.

Our minds have a lot of machinery for modeling what's going on in the minds of people we're talking to, or observing. We imagine, constantly, what they're thinking, what they're looking at, what they're going to do next, who they are, and so on. For me a defining characteristic of street is that it makes my mental machinery for that stuff go "GRRRRRIND CRUNCH" for pretty much whatever reason.

Note that my machine does NOT do this when it's just some crazy guy acting incomprehensibly, or a kid mugging weirdly, my mental machine can accomodate that stuff just fine. It has something to do with getting coherent and sensible input that somehow "DOES NOT COMPUTE".

Connections can certainly be a part of that, perceived connections (sightlines, especially) are a big part of what our mental machinery uses to build and run this model of what other people are thinking, motivated by, feeling, and likely to do next. But it's not the inputs that matter to me, it's the hideous grinding of unmeshing gears that does it.
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Rob C
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« Reply #228 on: February 13, 2013, 01:58:10 PM »
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Pardon my limited understanding of English, but are you referring to guy's balls or are you saying that the guy (the guy) is crazy? Wink


There you have it: the kernal of the nut!

Ambiguity, dear Slobodan, ambiguity! That's why I took time off from singing: can't handle too many concepts at once - I'm not female, you know.

Rob C
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RSL
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« Reply #229 on: February 13, 2013, 02:49:39 PM »
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What a refreshing advance then. It's no longer about rules, definitions and books to read, but about photographs taken.

Yes, it's always been about photographs, but this thread is supposed to be about street photographs. If you want to post pictures of vehicles there's a thread for those. If you want to post pictures of trees there's a thread for those. If you want to post pictures of clouds there's a thread for those. If you want to post anything else there's either a thread devoted to it or you can start a new one. But to be able to post street photographs you have to have at least a tenuous grasp of what constitutes a street photograph.
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Chris Calohan
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« Reply #230 on: February 13, 2013, 03:09:05 PM »
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There you have it: the kernal of the nut!

Ambiguity, dear Slobodan, ambiguity! That's why I took time off from singing: can't handle too many concepts at once - I'm not female, you know.

Rob C

Aye, but if you didn't have any, you could sing like one.  Grin
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Rob C
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« Reply #231 on: February 13, 2013, 03:48:52 PM »
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Aye, but if you didn't have any, you could sing like one.  Grin


That's true, but the chances of not dying from either option run about equal, I think. Of course, nature balances this by making the chances of premature departure about equal, as well, so not all is lost. It's much like spending all your money too soon or too late: you can't usually tell. However, it's fairly normal to assume that the hearse doesn't stop at the bank.

Rob C
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tom b
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« Reply #232 on: February 13, 2013, 04:02:49 PM »
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Not too sure if I agree with Russ's narrow view of street.

One from Rome, 1978…



Cheers,
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kencameron
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« Reply #233 on: February 13, 2013, 04:37:18 PM »
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One from Rome, 1978…
What was she selling? Looks a bit like the wings from baby birds. Those Italians will eat anything.
Where is she now? In her prime, as I see it these days.

It may not be "street" on the ambiguity-based definition, but if Cartier-Bresson often does documentary on the streets, why not the rest of us?
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« Reply #234 on: February 13, 2013, 04:39:46 PM »
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It's a fun shot, Tom, but the two vertical lines sort of break it up.

And yes, no reason not to do documentation the way HCB did it. Maybe we can start a documentation thread.
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tom b
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« Reply #235 on: February 13, 2013, 04:42:34 PM »
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What was she selling? Looks a bit like the wings from baby birds. Those Italians will eat anything.
Where is she now? In her prime, as I see it these days.

It may not be "street" on the ambiguity-based definition, but if Cartier-Bresson often does documentary on the streets, why not the rest of us?

She is selling snails which are escaping everywhere…

Cheers,
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #236 on: February 13, 2013, 05:11:39 PM »
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Not too sure if I agree with Russ's narrow view of street.

One from Rome, 1978…



Cheers,

The photograph is expressive and compelling in what the young girl is allowing you to see of her. Not what an adult can express, but not childish either, and that's what makes the photograph command some attention. It is capturing something of the photographer through the subject, and that's not accomplished in many photographs as well as it is in this one. It's an obvious example of an artist behind the lens instead of a photographer checking off his rule book and wondering what the photo is going to be about. The setting and surrounding are captured well and support the subject, although I think about 1/3 of the bottom is not particularly supporting the subject in a strong way. I think the photo would be improved by touching up the over-exposure issue at the top of the photo. It captures the life and energy and human conditions of every day life as seen in the street.  I really enjoy it.

EDIT: I was back looking at many other photographs in this thread when it hit me that what makes this photograph in the thread exceptional is authenticity. It isn't a practiced gimmick, or a stale gag learned from some, "tips on real street photography" blog, nor papered over with gobs of software lip-gloss. It's genuine, revealing, and truthful to the bone, and nothing makes a photograph more compelling than that.  Far and away the heavy weight photograph in this thread.  I hope this photographer has more photographs to share here.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 12:19:27 AM by RedwoodGuy » Logged
RSL
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« Reply #237 on: February 14, 2013, 09:33:49 AM »
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You may argue whether Cartier-Bresson's definition of what he thought "street photography" ought to be is something other photographers should care about, but at the end of the day it's just an empty academic exercise.

Hi Doug, I shouldn't have let this one float by back there.

Henri didn't call his photographs anything, and if he'd given them a name it almost certainly wouldn't have been "rue photographie" or anything like that. He identified himself as a surrealist, but that's not the same thing as calling yourself a street photographer. I don't know when the name "street photography" got attached to HCB's early work, plus most of the work of Andre Kertesz, and Robert Doisneau, but it did. And later it got hung onto some of the work of Willy Ronis, Brassaï, Walker Evans, Elliott Erwitt, Marc Riboud, Helen Levitt, and even later, Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander, and recently Vivian Maier.

But as I've said, it's an unfortunate name because it gives people who aren't familiar with the history the idea that any photograph taken on the street is a street photograph.

Whether or not a photograph falls into a particular generic category has absolutely nothing to do with the value of the photograph, but gathering certain types of art into arbitrarily defined genres is more than "just an empty academic exercise." When you say that a particular painting is impressionistic it helps anyone familiar with art history visualize what you're talking about. And the same thing applies to any art genre. Categories can make communication more efficient in any situation, but unless the people trying to communicate understand the categories the categories can add confusion.

But in the end there's no way to define an art genre with words. In order to say that a particular work falls within a genre requires that you become familiar with the actual work that defines the genre. And, of course, that's something lazy people refuse to do. What the hell, we already know what that means. The name says it all. Street photography is photography shot on the street. Why go look at stuff shot by those old, dead guys?

But take a look at Street Photography Now, edited by Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren. The book's copyrighted in 2010, so it's recent enough to show what current street photographers are shooting. Most of the pictures in that book fall squarely within the genre. So there are people out there who know the difference, and when you set out to do something like publish a book called "Street Photography Now," you'd better know the difference.
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #238 on: February 14, 2013, 09:46:08 AM »
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But take a look at Street Photography Now, edited by Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren. The book's copyrighted in 2010, so it's recent enough to show what current street photographers are shooting. Most of the pictures in that book fall squarely within the genre. So there are people out there who know the difference, and when you set out to do something like publish a book called "Street Photography Now," you'd better know the difference.

How about the photos on say, page 26, 33 or 35? Do they fall "squarely within the genre?"
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stamper
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« Reply #239 on: February 14, 2013, 10:06:05 AM »
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26 .... no

33 .... yes 

35 .... yes

This is of course my opinion.  Smiley

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