When I say "direct descendant" I don't mean "copycat". Frank built upon what HCB accomplished and developed his own unique style. Both HCB and Frank captured fleeting moments of life as it passed by. Very different from what Evans was after. Evans frequently arranged his scenes and posed his subjects to suit his propagandist objectives. Frank and HCB were keen observers who captured life as it streamed by. Frank even more so. He said that the reason so many of his shots are out of focus was that things happened too fast for him to adjust the lens so he just went with it. But the effect worked.
As for my own work, I've posted a number of my shots to this forum over time, but that's completely irrelevant. One does not have to practice a particular art form in order to critique it intelligently and understand the work within the context of the history of the form. Film reviewers are rarely film makers, for example, and yet they seem to be able to critique films very well. A historian doesn't need to have fought in the Peloponnesian War in order to write about it. To suggest that one has to practice an art form in order to critique it is absurd. No one who posts here owes you any credentials, Russ. I'm comfortable with my level of knowledge of and experience with fine art photography and I could care less about demonstrating to you that I'm "worthy" of commenting here. If you don't like that, then it's just too bad.
Sorry to have caused you pain, but I always like to see a critic's own work. What you think about the "absurdity" of that as a credential to the contrary notwithstanding, it helps me judge the validity of the criticism. But you're right, you don't owe me any credentials, and the other side of that coin is that I don't owe your critique serious consideration.
I suggest you find a copy of Looking In
and read it from cover to cover. If you that do you'll discover that Frank was considerably more influenced by Walker Evans than by Cartier-Bresson. You'll also discover that what Frank was after was very much what Evans also was after, and Frank admitted it.
To say that "Evans frequently arranged his scenes and posed his subjects to suit his propagandist objectives" makes it clear you don't know much about Walker Evans. In the first place, the reason Roy Striker fired Walker from the FSA was that Walker refused to carry out the propaganda assignments Roy gave him in accordance with the objectives of the Roosevelt administration. Evidently your knowledge of Evans is confined to his work in books like Let Us Now Praise Famous Men
where he did, in fact, pose subjects in front of his 8 x 10 view camera. But if you don't think Evans was a street photographer, check American Photographs
and Many Are Called
. Those two books are just a start. There's a lot more. For a more wide-ranging picture of Evans's work, check The Hungry Eye
and Walker Evans, The Lost Work
To say that "Frank built upon what HCB accomplished" is a bit like saying Frank is descended from Adam. Everyone from the second half of the twentieth century has been influenced by and has built upon what HCB accomplished. Henri was the most influential photographer of that century. But for most photographers after HCB there were many other influences, and Robert Frank is no exception.