The following is somewhat of a belated response. My work schedule is sometimes daunting.
> Yes, some do [set up shots], but the best (Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, etc...) don't. Real street photographers tend to look down on anyone who sets up a scene and calls it street photography. The only photographer I know of who escaped that kind of opprobrium was Brassai. He got off more or less free when he shot inside Paris brothels with very slow equipment.
It seems irrational that anyone would look down upon a methodical approach to photography. I’ll take your comment to suggest that most practitioners take great pride in capturing the moment. Which is cool.
> Yes, unless Henri was a liar he never staged anything.
I don't know anything about him. I guess we could split hairs over what is considered “staged” and what is witnessing a “pre-planned event.” Here’s a work attributed to cartier-bresson. Is it “staged” or witnessing a pre-planned event? http://atireiopaunogato.com.br/wp-content/...ier-bresson.jpg
There are other examples.
> Henri was one of the most articulate photographers ever. To understand what he was doing you need to read some of what he wrote. Try The Mind's Eye, which is a collection of excerpts from several of his writings.
It’s always is beneficial to learn from the masters. I’m just finishing one long tomb and have been thinking about the next. Amazon has The Mind's Eye
it in stock. Bresson has an impressive collection of publications!
> Your artnet.com reference, by the way, is to a war zone photograph.
Yes it clearly depicts a war one and the subjects are highly involved with the photographer. So much so that it looks set up.
> [war is] not "decay" in the usual sense.
Decay by war, tragically, has been and is a normal part of life, much the world over. It is a truly horrid reflection upon humanity that war imagery can be included in scenes from everyday life. The only real difference is the flavor of decay but not the substance
>>Cartier-Bresson is said to be the father of modern photojournalism. Does photojournalism determine the rules for street photography? If so, that would explain why most street photographers don’t stage their shots…
> That's a fair question. My answer would be that street photography includes photojournalism but doesn't define it -- unless you call Robert Capa's photographs of the Omaha Beach landing street photography. Check Robert Frank and tell me whether or not you think his work is photojournalism.
Thanks for the reference to R Frank! I like his quote: “When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.” According to a short article I read, Frank frequently came at his subjects in opposition to many standard approaches. His wanderings were far and wide by way of both techniques and subjects, including his film making. He liked to push the boundaries. But in answer to your question, not a lot of what I saw is what I’d expect to see in photojournalism. Reflecting on your previous point, street photography I agree with your suggestion that street photography practitioners don’t restrict themselves to strictly photojournalism based or approved techniques.
> Unfortunately you're not the only one who thinks decay is a prime characteristic of street photography. If you look at the photographs of the truly great street photographers you'll see that that isn't true at all. Sometime decay enters into it, but it's an occasional aside, not a subject.
From the reading I've done, that is a fair assessment.