And Walter, I don't know where you've been or where you are, but your appraisal is far off the mark and makes it clear you've been influenced heavily by the "oh how bad we are in the U.S." culture of the left.
Getting defensive of your work may cause you to look to outside influences and even bring politics into the equation Russ, but my opinion is formed totally by the evidence presented within the image.
Sorry Walter, but it was your statement, and it was a statement nobody in the U.S. on either side of the political fence in the fifties or early sixties would have made or even thought. It wasn't until the late sixties and early seventies that this kind of sentiment began to raise its head, and it's only been in the last decade or so that it's become a standard sentiment among a large class of people.
The pig-skin briefcase is a starting point - as early as the 70s the pig-skin briefcase was a part of the parody of attempts to dislodge Idi Amin. The picture illustrates the vast chasm of disparity between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots' and goes on to highlight the disinterest of the 'haves' with the plight of the 'have-nots' by the stoic stance and expression of the principal geezer.
You're right about what was happening in the 70's, but in the fifties and early sixties this wasn't the case at all. ". . . vast chasm of disparity between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots'?" I can guarantee that this major, obviously a REMF, bought that briefcase right there in Taegu from a vendor in an open-front shop. I also can guarantee that the briefcase had a peculiar odor because it was tanned in (mostly human) urine. The reason I know that is because I had a similar camera case. The leather was beautiful, but. . .
Pictures DO contain narrative and do convey messages whether you want to think they do or not.
A quote, from reply #35 by RSL: ". . . I'd agree that photojournalism isn't anything without journalism. On the other hand, I'd never agree with Garry or anybody else that no photograph has narrative ability."
One of the people you continually make reference to in your advocacy of 'Street' is Walker Evans — a guy very fond to my own heart and whom I have studied considerably. Thinking and narrative were primary motivations of his when he chose to give up literature and pursue photography. He had been immensely influenced by the rich descriptive style of Baudelaire and Flaubert and wanted to incorporate it into his pictures. It was his huge skill at achieving that which paved his way to prominence.
Nobody working with a view-camera can dispense with thinking in favour of gut reactions. Not Evans, not Adams and not me. In fact, I have long considered that the 35mm camera is reactive and the ground-glass camera is contemplative and meditative. So yes, in 35mm there can be gut reaction (doesn't have to be, though) and, as a rule, the larger camera is not sufficiently facile to allow it (although the guy who shot the Hindenburg explosion didn't make a bad show of it with 6 sheets in 22 seconds.
Now, after all this digression from the original intent of this thread with the addition of photos in place of links to other photographers, may I attempt to make amends by posting this link:
Now you're talking about the guy who's been my favorite photographer since I first ran across him, I think in the late fifties or early sixties. Walker's FSA photographs, and his photographs in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men
are thinking photographs, and most of them were made with a view camera. And yes, I did a bunch of work with a view camera after I read Ansel Adams's books and, for a year or two, tried to do Ansel's kind of work. But its contemplative nature never grabbed me the same way the flexibility and instant response of the small camera grabbed me. Walker did his street photography with at least a Graflex and often with 35mm. These were less thinking photographs and more feeling photographs.
And, as I pointed out in my online annotated bibliography, I have at least 8 books in my library by or about Walker, and American Photographs
is one of them. I've studied Walker and his work for decades.
Okay, Walter, here's the hatchet. Let's bury it.