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Author Topic: Spontaneity in streetphotography?  (Read 5119 times)

GrahamBy

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Re: Spontaneity in streetphotography?
« Reply #40 on: October 18, 2017, 06:12:41 AM »

A selection of images made on and of the streets of Essaouira, Morocco.

Street Photography? Who decides?

Or who cares? In the sense, who cares if we label photos as "street" or not? Those are excellent photos and the "intent" that Rob C discusses manifests in other ways, particularly the careful framing. Have you noticed how few snapshots have the verticals neither vertical, nor deliberately not vertical?

Sometimes, what is interesting is the colour, sometimes it is the geometry and shadows, sometimes it is facial expressions. I find B&W tends to be better for the last two, although there are obviously some forms that just disappear if reduced to B&W. Colour seems to work less well for strong dynamic range, and it often makes a complete mess of faces.

There is the risk that one starts to define "street" as "would HC-B" hve taken it?" Hence the snobbish insistence on short primes, or even on range-finders. Henri lui-même said he would have loved to use a 90mm more, but the dof wasn't sufficient: and if he'd had auto-focus? There are things you can do with a 450mm lens that can't be done with a 50mm... but it was an option that C-B didn't have during the time he was working. Sieff published at least one "street" photo with what might have been a 400mm Nikon...

Of course there are things that you can do with a short prime that you can't do with a long zoom... like being discrete, for example. Although it's an interesting exercise to try to not be noticed while using a big lens, and it's a skill.
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KLaban

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Re: Spontaneity in streetphotography?
« Reply #41 on: October 18, 2017, 07:53:38 AM »

Or who cares? In the sense, who cares if we label photos as "street" or not?

Indeed, and my original draft read "Street Photography? Who decides? Who gives a frigging damn?".

But then the new, softer, caring Keith Laban came to the fore, smacked the back of my hand and advised me to avoid anything that could be deemed inflammatory.

 
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KLaban

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Re: Spontaneity in streetphotography?
« Reply #42 on: October 18, 2017, 08:04:14 AM »

...If there's a growing problem with Internet access, I think it is that it creates so much visibility of pictures that one is driven into being selective or going crazy...

Rob, it's a problem I've largely managed to side-step in the virtual and real worlds. I'm just not that much of a looker ;-)
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hogloff

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Re: Spontaneity in streetphotography?
« Reply #43 on: October 18, 2017, 08:35:50 AM »

A selection of images made on and of the streets of Essaouira, Morocco.

Street Photography? Who decides?

Nice images. One thing I noticed is most of the subjects have their backs to the camera...walking away. Is that your style or is something else at play here?
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RSL

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Re: Spontaneity in streetphotography?
« Reply #44 on: October 18, 2017, 09:17:04 AM »

+1. Wondered the same thing.

KLaban

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Re: Spontaneity in streetphotography?
« Reply #45 on: October 18, 2017, 10:22:39 AM »

Nice images. One thing I noticed is most of the subjects have their backs to the camera...walking away. Is that your style or is something else at play here?

I love Morocco and the people. There is just so much to excite and inspire any image maker. Three hours from London but a world apart.
 
That said it is without exception the most frustrating country I've ever worked in. Most Moroccans I've met are warm and hospitable but have a hatred of cameras and of being photographed. The mere sight of a camera being raised to the eye will cause  offence. Of course there are exceptions, there are people, ethnic groups, tribes who invite tourists into their homes and communities and who will pose for photographs. Many children will pose for baksheesh, but these situations hold little interest for me.

I love shooting in the streets, combining the distinctive architecture and the colourful people. I tend not to capture recognisable faces as I know this causes offence and I'm not there to offend. I do value the ambiguity of the unrecognisable. I realise my desire not to cause offence is at odds with making images surreptitiously, but hey, I'm a hypocrite, I'm weak and cannot help myself.   

There are other countries and cultures that offer equally exciting and inspiring opportunities for the photographer without the same level of risk of causing offence.

Flights booked.
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opgr

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Re: Spontaneity in streetphotography?
« Reply #46 on: October 18, 2017, 12:25:46 PM »

This is a phenomenon that I believe has only come to be since digital, for the simple reason that every shot now offers the possibilty of colour or not. Thus, the snapper is faced with choices he didn't have to face before, which meant that as he almost invariably used b/w film for news, the added layer of artistic intent wasn't strongly there. One could argue whether HC-B's name would have meant much today had he worked in colour all his life.

Actually, ever since the color negative that choice was there, use the colorneg in the enlarger with graded bw paper, even pop a colorfilter in between if desired. In fact, one could argue that this would have been the "correct" way of capture for purposes of archivability in similar fashion that we should all be using raw capture today.
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Regards,
Oscar

Rob C

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Re: Spontaneity in streetphotography?
« Reply #47 on: October 18, 2017, 04:07:15 PM »

Actually, ever since the color negative that choice was there, use the colorneg in the enlarger with graded bw paper, even pop a colorfilter in between if desired. In fact, one could argue that this would have been the "correct" way of capture for purposes of archivability in similar fashion that we should all be using raw capture today.


There's a problem with that idea: the use of colour neg as dual purpose was something few pros that I knew ever did. We were too interested in making colour transparencies and/or black and white prints. I think surprisingly few commercial photographers used colour negative material at all. Almost all magazine work, stuff intended for publication and not a sideboard or mantlepiece, meant tranny or b/w film. This is not to knock the purveyors of wedding and baby colour snaps - some made big bucks - but just to illustrate that pro photography was most definitely split into two quite different worlds: the high street; the commercial operators.

I did producer 40"x 60" colour prints (printing farmed out) for clothing manufacturers' fashion shows around the world, but that produced three big problems: I shot on tranny so the client could see his product in its best colours and with least grain, and I prayed he didn't insist on projecting it; then the printers were supposed to make large internegs and prints from those, creating new opporunities for cock-ups; the third problem being that as whenever a process has to be farmed out, you end up losing ultimate control. And colour printing is an art: I know; I used to do a lot of it when I was an employee. The great difficulty one faced when farming stuff out was this: every printing lab has a built-in cost factor which dictates how much the printer will charge. If you insist on more than the number of filtration changes he has guessed will produce a "commercially acceptable" print when he drew up his print price list, you either overrun your own budget or he throws your work back in your face.

As for longevity: I think colour neg never enjoyed a good reputation for that! All film had its problems: Kodachrome was reputed to be the most stable both before and after pocessing, with the colours lasting much longer than any others if you stored the film properly and didn't expose it to a light box too often. Apparently, Ektachrome worked the other way: it didn't last as long, but it did survive light boxes better. However, all film needed great care before you even used it, and certainly after you processed it if you wanted it to last.

Of course, I'm writing about a world that has changed beyond belief since my time in the industry. I really don't know which films have survived digital - I still have a freezer drawer full of stuff that I shall never use... and I know the Kodachromes I have can't be processed...

That said, I still have original film negatives and trannies that seem to have survived well enough over the decades.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 04:31:18 AM by Rob C »
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RSL

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Re: Spontaneity in streetphotography?
« Reply #48 on: October 18, 2017, 04:28:40 PM »

I have too, Rob. I scanned some of my Kodachromes from 1953 and 54 about five years ago, and they'd survived fairly well. The Ektachromes from that period are just plain gone.

Telecaster

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Re: Spontaneity in streetphotography?
« Reply #49 on: October 18, 2017, 05:23:30 PM »

Certainly has the look of Kodachrome and North Africa. Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt?

Israel. Jerusalem, at one of the entrances (“gates”) to the Arab quarter. We often bought breakfast baguettes from a vendor there.  :)

-Dave-
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Telecaster

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Re: Spontaneity in streetphotography?
« Reply #50 on: October 18, 2017, 05:30:03 PM »

My dad’s Kodachromes, from c. 1956 forward, are all in great shape. The ‘60s & ‘70s Ektachromes: blecchh!

-Dave-
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GrahamBy

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Re: Spontaneity in streetphotography?
« Reply #51 on: October 19, 2017, 03:25:04 AM »

Actually, ever since the color negative that choice was there, use the colorneg in the enlarger with graded bw paper, even pop a colorfilter in between if desired. In fact, one could argue that this would have been the "correct" way of capture for purposes of archivability in similar fashion that we should all be using raw capture today.

Is that true? The sensitivity of multigrade paper was still concentrated at the blue end of the spectrum, given that we still used greenish-orange safe-lights. Properly printing B&W from colour negs would have required panchro paper, no?

On the other hand, during the transition period where I was shooting film and scanning the negs, I discovered that regular colour neg was just as good to scan to colour as the chromogenic Ilford XP2... for which the developer kits were getting difficult to obtain.
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Rob C

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Re: Spontaneity in streetphotography?
« Reply #52 on: October 19, 2017, 04:35:49 AM »

Is that true? The sensitivity of multigrade paper was still concentrated at the blue end of the spectrum, given that we still used greenish-orange safe-lights. Properly printing B&W from colour negs would have required panchro paper, no?

On the other hand, during the transition period where I was shooting film and scanning the negs, I discovered that regular colour neg was just as good to scan to colour as the chromogenic Ilford XP2... for which the developer kits were getting difficult to obtain.

http://wwwca.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/g27/g27.pdf

Rob

GrahamBy

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Re: Spontaneity in streetphotography?
« Reply #53 on: October 19, 2017, 06:28:04 AM »

regular colour neg was just as good to scan to colour

Ouups, should have been "just as good to scan to B&W"
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