Luminous Landscape Forum

The Art of Photography => User Critiques => Topic started by: ivan muller on July 04, 2012, 05:03:24 AM

Title: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: ivan muller on July 04, 2012, 05:03:24 AM
..as seen at the 'fete de la musique' in Melville, Johannesburg last Saturday...many more images of this fantastic street party here at...http://www.ivanmuller.co.za/blog-item/street-photographs-fete-de-la-musique-melville-johannesburg

(http://i49.tinypic.com/vzggoi.jpg)
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: Tony Jay on July 04, 2012, 06:10:22 AM
Well Ivan, you sure do get around!

Your photographic diet is somewhat omniverous but this image is definately of your staple - a typically gritty street image.
Melville has likely changed out of all recognition since I was last there but the commercial strip did have a lot of character.

I really think you enjoy this genre of photography and it shows.

Look forward to seeing more.

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: RSL on July 04, 2012, 11:20:40 AM
Sorry, Ivan, afraid I'm going to be the nasty in this thread. I've run through the series you posted on your blog, and I see two that have enough story mixed with ambiguity to make them street photographs. The others are pictures of people on a street. Which is not to say that the series isn't an interesting documentary on the Fete de la Musique.

To try to illustrate what I mean, I'm going to refer you to Seamus's "Galway Street" post. Keep in mind that my evaluation is based strictly on my not-at-all-humble opinion, and, as usual, other opinions may vary.

Seamus included four pictures in his post. Technically, all four are superb. The range of tones fills the expanse available on a well-calibrated LCD monitor, and nothing's left out among the mid tones.

#1 is a fine shot. Here's an interesting looking guy carrying his bike. But that's all I see. It's a great picture, but in my estimation it doesn't make it as a street shot. I don't see a story, and there's no ambiguity. The guy's just carrying a bike. If more of his surroundings were included there might be a story, depending on what's there, but he stands alone -- a guy in the street. This is documentation, but not street photography.

#2 is different. Why is the kid touching the statue's leg? Is he (she?) just checking to see what the material feels like, or is there something on the leg that he's examining. the arrangement of the statues with the kid located a third of the way in from the left and his face a third of the way up from the bottom is classic composition (oh those damned rules again). In my estimation the picture just makes it over the edge into street photography country.

#3 essentially is two guys sitting on a street bench, shooting the breeze. Actually, there are three scenes in this picture. The two kids stage left, the two guys in the middle, and the woman stage right and high. It almost makes it as street photography because of the posture and expression on the guy in the exact middle. It's a very fine shot, but weak as a street photograph.

#4. Bingo! Wow. What's that guy doing? Did he draw the mural? Is he vandalizing the mural? What's the relationship between the guy and the mural? The scene shades into oblivion in the dark left, but the darkness makes the subdued part of the mural seem ominous. This is street photography in spades. As HCB pointed out, it's all luck, but you have to prepare yourself for the luck and be ready.

Hope I haven't insulted anyone, but that's my take. I've loved good street photography since at least the mid fifties, and for anyone really interested in the subject I've posted an annotated bibliography at http://www.russ-lewis.com/Bib/Bib.html. The bibliography isn't confined to street, but street is heavily represented. There also are two articles I wrote last year on street photography. I couldn't find a taker, and finally posted them for links like this: http://www.externalconnections.info/Articles/OnStreetPhotography.html, and http://www.externalconnections.info/Articles/WhyDoStreetPhotography.html.
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: amolitor on July 04, 2012, 12:20:16 PM
I will briefly hijack the thread: That's some fine writing there, Russ.
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: ivan muller on July 04, 2012, 01:21:40 PM
hi Russ,

I briefly looked at Seamus's images and yes I have to agree number #4 is great! I like my 35mm people images to be a bit more gritty and grainy and contrasty...I don't really aim for technical perfection....I will probably get over it at some stage! Semantics aside I don't really know what to call these images but generally I prefer to photograph or rather do portraits of people in and off the street...these were almost cheating a bit because it was a street party and obviously made it a bit easier to stick your camera in someones face, well at least it was the case with me...

I am off to the KNP tomorrow so really haven't had time to really study your reply, which I appreciate greatly, and will do soon, and no I don't think its nasty at all, how can such an honest, elegant well thought out reply be...?

so Tony, thanks, and expect some animal pics next week when I come back from my trip to the KNP!
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: popnfresh on July 04, 2012, 02:47:06 PM
Sorry, Ivan, afraid I'm going to be the nasty in this thread. I've run through the series you posted on your blog, and I see two that have enough story mixed with ambiguity to make them street photographs. The others are pictures of people on a street. Which is not to say that the series isn't an interesting documentary on the Fete de la Musique.


Everyone has their opinions and I have a very different take on both Seamus's and Ivan's photographs. Both are street photographers, but with very different approaches. Seamus's compositions are simple, Ivan's are complex. You can get what's going on right away in Seamus's photographs. A little girl touches a stature. A guy is doing something to a mural. A guy carries his bicycle. All very nice in their way, but I have ask myself "so what?". There's really nothing all that interesting going on in any of them. In one aspect, they are closer to the spirit of a classic street shot, a la Cartier-Bresson, in their directness. But what they lack is interest and composition. By contrast, Ivan's photographs draw you in. I'll take the liberty of posting one of his shots here to use as an example. At first glance it's a mundane photo of a street vendor standing by a column, selling green melons on a table. Looking closer, it becomes evident there's more going on. Behind him to the left is a reflection in a window. It's a green plant in a pot next to a column, framed in the window, inside the frame of the photograph. A frame within a frame containing a similar scene. Suddenly the image becomes interesting. I found much to appreciate in all of Ivan's images. He displayed a sensitivity to composition and light that held my interest. Seamus's, I'm afraid, did not.
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: RSL on July 04, 2012, 03:24:31 PM
As I said, Pop, opinions will vary. The shot of Ivan's you picked out happens to be one of the two I'd have called a street photograph. Yes, the surroundings make it work, especially they guy who looks like a hobo, stage right, who's being ignored by the vendor. The fact that Ivan and his camera are in the picture sort of detracts, but not much, and I'm sure Lee Friedlander wouldn't agree with me on that point.

But I have to confess the fact that Seamus's sensitivity to composition and light didn't hold your interest astonished me, and sent me searching back through earlier threads to find a few of your own pictures that might give me a clue to the source of such a bizarre view. I went back as far as early March and couldn't find any, so I really have no idea what kind of photography you do.

What I see in Ivan's series is some pretty good photojournalism, but photojournalism isn't street photography, though individual street photographs sometimes can be photojournalism.

Bottom line is, everybody has a right to his own opinion.
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: RSL on July 04, 2012, 03:28:36 PM
I will briefly hijack the thread: That's some fine writing there, Russ.


Thanks, Andrew. I do enjoy writing, but I hate marketing. If you're interested, here are four short stories I wrote back in 1975 and never sent out: http://www.russ-lewis.com/asia/Shorts/preface.html.
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: popnfresh on July 04, 2012, 04:29:08 PM
As I said, Pop, opinions will vary. The shot of Ivan's you picked out happens to be one of the two I'd have called a street photograph. Yes, the surroundings make it work, especially they guy who looks like a hobo, stage right, who's being ignored by the vendor. The fact that Ivan and his camera are in the picture sort of detracts, but not much, and I'm sure Lee Friedlander wouldn't agree with me on that point.

But I have to confess the fact that Seamus's sensitivity to composition and light didn't hold your interest astonished me, and sent me searching back through earlier threads to find a few of your own pictures that might give me a clue to the source of such a bizarre view. I went back as far as early March and couldn't find any, so I really have no idea what kind of photography you do.

What I see in Ivan's series is some pretty good photojournalism, but photojournalism isn't street photography, though individual street photographs sometimes can be photojournalism.

Bottom line is, everybody has a right to his own opinion.


Technically, Seamus's photographs cannot be faulted, in my opinion, but they failed to rise above the level of ordinary snapshots in every other way. I should add that I've seen much better work from Seamus than those particular examples.
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: RSL on July 04, 2012, 06:08:02 PM
Well, as you can see, Pop, we don't agree. But your critique? of Seamus's four doesn't turn Ivan's series into street photography.

If you have a web, or if you've posted some of your own photographs somewhere I'd like to be able to take a look at them. Seems to me you've posted here on LuLa, but I can't seem to find an instance. My faith in the value of any photographic criticism depends a lot on what I see in the critic's own work.
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: popnfresh on July 04, 2012, 06:35:00 PM
Well, as you can see, Pop, we don't agree. But your critique? of Seamus's four doesn't turn Ivan's series into street photography.

If you have a web, or if you've posted some of your own photographs somewhere I'd like to be able to take a look at them. Seems to me you've posted here on LuLa, but I can't seem to find an instance. My faith in the value of any photographic criticism depends a lot on what I see in the critic's own work.


Just as your critique means that it isn't. As far as my photographs are concerned, I've posted plenty here. Not that it's in any way relevant. I don't need you to have faith in me, nor do I need to have any faith in you.  My photography doesn't give my opinions any special authority just as your photographs give none to yours.
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: RSL on July 04, 2012, 09:10:48 PM
But you didn't answer my question.
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: amolitor on July 05, 2012, 06:29:10 AM
I recommend against arguing over definitions. This isn't the only point of disagreement here, but it's one of them.

Russ, try sorting the forum by the name of the person who started the thread. Clicking any of the headings should resort the whole thing by the clicked column. Then you can dig through pages for everything started by sound so, which will probably hav ephotograohs, in youthis forum. Getting to those people in the middle of the alphabet is a pain, but do use the Last link to get to the end so you can work backwards, as appropriate.
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on July 05, 2012, 10:05:39 AM
But you didn't answer my question.
I got curious, too, so I clicked on Pop's "profile" button and then the "show recent posts" button, which let me hastily skim through his (at this point) 874 posts looking for photos of his own that he posted. I found about thirteen such posts, some with several images (also a few where he suggested modifications to someone else's image). Here are links to most of the threads that have images by Popinfresh:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=36598.msg300513#msg300513 (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=36598.msg300513#msg300513)
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=38846.msg321139#msg321139] (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=38846.msg321139#msg321139)
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=38857.msg321246#msg321246 (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=38857.msg321246#msg321246)
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=46296.msg387643#msg387643 (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=46296.msg387643#msg387643)
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=51570.msg424365#msg424365 (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=51570.msg424365#msg424365)
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=36142.msg296574#msg296574 (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=36142.msg296574#msg296574)
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=40516.msg336951#msg336951 (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=40516.msg336951#msg336951)
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=67401.msg533164#msg533164 (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=67401.msg533164#msg533164)
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=46403.msg388520#msg388520 (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=46403.msg388520#msg388520)
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=44363.msg416354#msg416354 (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=44363.msg416354#msg416354)
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=49820.msg410730#msg410730 (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=49820.msg410730#msg410730)

Pop's critiques of other's work vastly outnumber his own image posts (that's true for me, too, I'm afraid). His critiques have incuded many incisive comments, IMHO.

Eric
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: RSL on July 05, 2012, 10:57:57 AM
You're right, Andrew. Arguing about definitions doesn't make sense, and usually I steer away from that kind of argument. I guess what made me jump the track is that Pop and I agree far, far more often than we disagree, and his take on #4 in Seamus's post just blew my mind. It's one of the finest examples of street photography I've seen on LuLa.

Thanks, Eric. Andrew's suggestion made sense, but searching by name is an exercise in futility. Once you get to what you're after and finish with one post you're back at the beginning. It's pretty hard to look at a series of posts that way. Eric's list really helps, and I see, and now remember, some excellent work by Pop. I wish he'd put them together on a personal web.

Pop, please accept my apology for getting carried away. But. . .  we just found one more thing we disagree about. In my estimation, one's ability or lack of ability actually to do a particular thing stands very much behind the validity of the person's comments on that thing. What gave HCB's statements on photography in The Decisive Moment so much importance for photographers was the quality of his photographs. The man wrote very well, but his incisive comments on photography would have fallen flat had Henri's photographs not been what they were.

Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: popnfresh on July 05, 2012, 04:10:38 PM
Pop, please accept my apology for getting carried away. But. . .  we just found one more thing we disagree about. In my estimation, one's ability or lack of ability actually to do a particular thing stands very much behind the validity of the person's comments on that thing. What gave HCB's statements on photography in The Decisive Moment so much importance for photographers was the quality of his photographs. The man wrote very well, but his incisive comments on photography would have fallen flat had Henri's photographs not been what they were.

Thank you, Russ, but really, no apology was necessary.

But just to get back to the disagreement for a moment....

One does not need to engage in an art form as a prerequisite for being able to offer insightful critiques of that art form. Just as one doesn't need to make movies in order to be a good movie critic or write novels to be a book critic. And certainly one does not need to have a government job before one can thoughtfully criticize government. All anyone really needs in order to critique art is a good aesthetic sensibility and the ability to talk about it intelligently. Some knowledge of the history of the medium usually helps too.
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: RSL on July 05, 2012, 09:20:46 PM
Okay Pop, that's one more thing we can agree on: we agree to disagree.
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: ivan muller on July 10, 2012, 03:03:09 AM
hi Pop, thanks for the kind words! Sorry for the delay in my reply but I have just come back from a weekend in the Kruger park and my smartphone wasn't smart enough to get any reception there...

Of course we all have our own opinions and none are right or wrong...One way I have taught myself 'photographic vision' is just to look at the photographs of the masters over and over...I suppose in a way those visuals 'sink in' somehow and then when I see something those images that I admired 'kick' in and if the scene I am looking at 'fits in' with whats been stored in my mind then I have a positive reaction to it or I perhaps 'recognize it' and that's how I 'see'..sure I must have some original input but looking at great images must also have some sort of a visual impact on how I see...perhaps that's why Pop and I see the same and Russ doesn't....as soon as we step out of a create mode into a record mode (which is how I see myself) then nothing is original anyway...we just happen to see and record things (that others don't)
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: Rob C on July 10, 2012, 03:48:04 AM
I think Ivan's right. In the end, nothing can be totally original anymore because it has all  been done before, for better or for worse.

I agree that we do store up mental pictures of something (images) seen and liked, and that trace memory settles our own future as photographers. This is no bad thing, because at the very least, it allows us to determine what appeals to us, right from the start, and to follow suit along lines that are going to please us. Why do anything else?

There was never any ambiguity in my own choice of subjects - just difficulty in bringing the thing together, i.e. finding a market to support it. Though able to appreciate other genres, obviously enough, that doesn't imply that I feel any internal pressure to play those games myself. In the end, I think we just gravitate towards things that naturally attract us and hope we find the means to do them. Doesn't always happen: I love yachts, but go figure out a way for me to afford one of my own and I'll be grateful for the rest of my days... even if I know better now than to buy one.

Rob C
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: ivan muller on July 10, 2012, 07:31:35 AM
Rob, as usual very well said...!
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: seamus finn on July 10, 2012, 08:11:19 AM
Seeing that my name came up here and at the risk of hijacking Ivanís space,  I feel I should add my tuppence worth. Sorry for the delay but family stuff kept me in Galway for a couple of weeks.

When I got a chance, I ventured out into the streets of that lovely City of the Tribes Ė hence the recent posts which have caused some discussion. I find Russís and Popís constructive and frank comments invaluable. Sincere thanks to you both in your own way for making me re-evaluate my approach to Ďstreetí photography. Time will tell if Iíve learned anything.

My background is a lifetime in print journalism Ė I was a newspaper editor for forty years. Iím a reporter first and last.  Photography is my hobby. What little I know on that score is self-taught and I readily admit that my knowledge at the academic level is a vast abyss of ignorance.

Maybe my journalistic background is why Pop finds some of my stuff so lacking in complexity Ė I think I tend too often towards photojournalism. Pictorial ambiguity seems to go against the grain after a lifetime of telling it as it is. For instance, the picture of the child touching the sculpture is simply that for Pop, whereas for me, itís a story of a kid tentatively exploring the world. They guy with the bike is a piece of whimsy. As for the fellow at the wall mural, it happened so fast I just raised the camera and took the shot instinctively, but donít ask me to explain it.

To quote Russ in his brilliant piece on the subject:

ĎPeople who haven't studied street photography tend to confuse it with photojournalism. It's true that some of the photographs included in a journalism shoot might qualify as street photography, but photojournalism requires a kind of storytelling a single picture can't satisfy. Besides that, mystery isn't normally something an editor is looking for. In most cases the point of the story is to remove the mystery. A good picture story needs a central shot that can grab the viewer, and that's often the one that could qualify as a street photograph, but the story also needs peripheral shots that work to focus the central shot. You can see an example of this in Cartier-Bresson's book, The People of Moscow. If you're familiar with Henri's street photography you'll recognize that though the pictures in the book share his mastery of composition, many of them don't contain the depth that would make them good street photographs.í

Sorting out the blurred lines between candid, street and  reportage photography may be easy enough when viewing an image, but, I find. trying to make that distinction behind the lens is quite a different and much more difficult challenge. Hell, taking pictures of complete strangers in the street without getting dirty looks or worse is a tough job in itself Ė never mind the rest of it (composition, shade, light, lines, mystique etc. etc. Ė all supposedly to be considered in a fraction of a second which is impossible). As for walking up to somebody in the street a la Bruce Gilden, Gary Winogrand et al, well and shooting them in the face, not everybody has the bottle for it.

The reason I take pictures at all is because I enjoy it. There is something wholly satisfying about the physical act of lining up a frame, aligning the elements as best one can, and triggering the shutter.  Itís as simple as that and I intend to keep on doing it as long as my health allows. Iíve learned  a lot here at LuLa since I started posting in 2004 Ė and more specifically, I think you all helped to part a curtain for me on this thread these past few days..

For that, many thanks. And apologies to Ivan for intruding.
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: amolitor on July 10, 2012, 09:25:04 AM
I love yachts, but go figure out a way for me to afford one of my own and I'll be grateful for the rest of my days... even if I know better now than to buy one.

There's a solution here, we call it OPB: Other People's Boats. I love OPB.
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: ivan muller on July 10, 2012, 10:02:49 AM
I actually don't know anyone with a yacht..a friend of mine has a very fancy speedboat and its quite a pleasure to go on it...here's a pic of it made last December...

(http://i48.tinypic.com/24pj82d.jpg)
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: Rob C on July 10, 2012, 10:07:18 AM
Iíve always lacked the courage to stick my camera in the face of a stranger Ė or so I used to believe Ė until I realised that itís nothing overridingly to do with courage (in my case) but an inhibition, a dislike of intrusion, brought about by my own personal dislike of being invaded.

Sometimes I see a shot in the local market, for example, which happens to have people in it, but itís not really about them as individuals, and thatís important; itís about the shape of the thing or because it reminds me of some allegoric else, of something not quite verbalised but nonetheless understood in that instant of recognition. Alas, Iím not a street shooter and I almost always fail to be ready. When I left India, a young Indian girl penned an entry in my autograph book (very popular with some kids in the 50s) that read: the secret of success is to be ready when your opportunity comes (old Indian proverb). In retrospect, perhaps she was telling me something quite else, was being specific and I never knew - was never that smart, as is obvious. But thatís hindsight, and not a lot to do with the streets of the city or even its markets! But it does apply to life and making the best of it.

Okay, I accept that one can make precise distinctions between street, reportage and even social documentation, but does it really matter? Isnít the proof of the pudding (listening, Walter?) in the eating? If the shot does something to you as you do it, work on it and then has the added bonus of pleasing an audience you respect, isnít that really as much as you should ask of it (and of the medium) if youíre doing it for fun?

In a way, I think photographers, as artists, could be somewhat narrow-minded (a huge assumption based on a core sample of one ;-)) when compared with musicians. Having got to know some of the local ones over the past couple of years, far from finding them devoted exclusively to, say, jazz, most of the more talented ones have a very broad range of musical likes that span the range from jazz (both Dixieland and modern) through rockíníroll and Latin American to classical music so alien to me I havenít the patience to listen. For them, music encompasses the whole gamut of spiritual emotions and whether they bring tears to your eyes with the blues or an idiot smile and stomping feet, one is as rewarding an experience as the other. I wish photography worked like that for me.

So, Seamus and Ivan, keep on doing what youíre doing as youíre doing it because it sure is working!

Rob C
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: Rob C on July 10, 2012, 10:19:10 AM
There's a solution here, we call it OPB: Other People's Boats. I love OPB.



Done that, as a brief look into the Sea section of my web site shows.

The experience showed me pretty damned soon that the old joke about 'if you have to ask what it costs, then you can't afford it' isn't any joke at all: it's the raw truth. Worse, after you've cruised in boats over 25 metres you realise, too, that anything smaller is a waste of space, nothing more than an attempt to play near the big boys rather than with them. And, apparently, it never stops: when you have the 25m one you feel uncomfortable about going to marinas where that's a small boat...as with much else, expectations and desires know no lilmits, so no, you can't have too much money and it's always possible to be the poor relation.

If you are really poor (normal), then best to avoid spending beyond your comfort zone, better just to have a ski boat if you can find a place to moor it. If. Here, you can't even join the yacht club because of the waiting list; as for berths, dream on!

Rob C
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on July 10, 2012, 11:12:02 AM
For those reading the last few posts that don't understand the concept of "boat," here is the definition:

"A boat is a hole in the water into which you pour money."
                         --- origin unknown (to me).
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: Rob C on July 10, 2012, 03:00:28 PM
For those reading the last few posts that don't understand the concept of "boat," here is the definition:

"A boat is a hole in the water into which you pour money."
                         --- origin unknown (to me).




A hole in the water.

More than that, it is one of the few examples of the combined mathematics of spatial financial mechanics all at work in the same period in time. You also discover that the true purpose of a boat is the consumption, in copious quantities, of diesel.

You can see, too, the strange effects of skipper-input, where the exact moment when you are able to leave for your destination depends entirely on his disposition and interpretation of the several mechanical and electronic options open to such evaluation, not to make mention of the joker in the pack: weather for yesterday, today and most certainly tomorrow.

Eventually, when the right stewardess has been chosen to replace the one who ran away at the last civilized island with an airport, you think youíre going to St-Tropez. You, the sniggering crew and the boat turn up and then the negotiation begins. You didnít know that; you imagined youíd just turn up and drive in and the laughter can be heard right across the Mediterranean as you are on your way to becoming the latest joke in all the crew bars in France. Oh, and cheques are no good. Cash buys gas and space.

Small is probably good. At least, in some cases it might be. I enclose a reason why, though YMMV.

http://youtu.be/uwIGZLjugKA

Alternatively, you could always do like most of the rest of the defeated owners do: stay quietly in your home marina, sit on deck and have a drink before going ashore to a restaurant for a proper meal. Then, if you really, really have to, just to exercise the engines as much as your authority (laugh number two), you can go out into the Bay, drop anchor for a few hours, enjoy a short picnic and a lot of long drinks and then hurry back to the marina before night falls and anything exciting happens.

I used to love the idea at one time.

;-(

Rob C
Title: Re: Street photographs...Joburg...
Post by: RSL on July 10, 2012, 04:42:59 PM
As for the fellow at the wall mural, it happened so fast I just raised the camera and took the shot instinctively, but donít ask me to explain it.

Thanks for the "brilliant piece" plug Seamus. My ego always loves a boost. But what you said about shooting the guy and the wall mural takes me to another point in that same article.

I don't think I've ever seen a planned street shot that really came off as thoroughly believable. BrassaÔ's brothel and cafe pictures come as close to being believable as any planned or posed pictures I've ever seen, and some of Doisneau's stuff, for instance "Le Baiser de l'Hotel de Ville," aren't too far off. But in the end, a good street shot always results from an instinctive response to what's in front of you. Here's the other quote from the article:

". . . there are two things you need to learn to do: First, you need to practice composition to the point where it becomes intuitive. You don't have time to line up all those elements of geometry with, say, the "rule of thirds." You have to see it whole in your viewfinder without stopping to analyze.

"But in many cases to wait for your conscious mind to register both the facts and the geometry is to miss the picture. So, the second thing you need to do is learn not to rely on your conscious mind, but to rely on your unconscious: to react instinctively. There simply isn't time to think about it. In the end, to do good street photography you need to practice and practice and practice. You need to become so familiar with your camera that you don't have to think about it, any more than you have to think about shifting gears when you're driving a stick-shift car, and you have to be able to frame and shoot a properly composed picture without thinking about it -- with your unconscious making the decision."

And as far as explaining it is concerned, if you can explain it it's probably not a really good street shot. Ambiguity is an important part of good street photography.

As far as the idea that a street photograph needs complexity, check http://www.scottnicholsgallery.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/CartierBresson4.jpg, one of HCB's most famous (and most wonderful) street shots. How much complexity is there in that shot? A street shot doesn't need to "draw you in." Drawing you in is what photojournalism is supposed to do.