Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5   Go Down

Author Topic: Street photography & cameras.  (Read 31331 times)

kencameron

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 811
    • Recent Photographs
Re: Street photography & cameras.
« Reply #60 on: July 01, 2013, 01:31:12 AM »

...The subject is reacting to the photographer and the result is an image that's utterly worthless as a street shot...
Worthless as a "street shot" maybe, but not necessarily uninteresting as some other kind of shot (ie, as a photograph).
Logged
Ken Cameron

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 13969
Re: Street photography & cameras.
« Reply #61 on: July 01, 2013, 03:44:33 AM »


(Like The Shadow, I'm sometimes able to cloud men's minds, but I've never been able to cloud women's minds, though there was a time when I used to try very hard.)



That's because you were attempting the impossible: their minds never cloud, they see and understand everything perfectly, have it figured out before you even realise you are going to have the thought, but it becomes their decision whether to accept or reject.

Some chaps use alcohol and Ferrari as aids to conviction, but that's pointless: the objective is the one who already has the Ferrari or the means to its possession. That, then, becomes progress, a step in the right direction.

Isn't theory a wonderful thing?

;-)

Rob C


P.S. You see what you can get away with if you don't use pictures at lunchtime?
« Last Edit: July 01, 2013, 03:46:56 AM by Rob C »
Logged

ripgriffith

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 348
Re: Street photography & cameras.
« Reply #62 on: July 01, 2013, 04:09:42 AM »


That's because you were attempting the impossible: their minds never cloud, they see and understand everything perfectly, have it figured out before you even realise you are going to have the thought, but it becomes their decision whether to accept or reject.

Some chaps use alcohol and Ferrari as aids to conviction, but that's pointless: the objective is the one who already has the Ferrari or the means to its possession. That, then, becomes progress, a step in the right direction.

Isn't theory a wonderful thing?

;-)

Rob C


P.S. You see what you can get away with if you don't use pictures at lunchtime?
I'm sorry, but a Ferrari is but a wannabe's Porsche!
Logged

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 13969
Re: Street photography & cameras.
« Reply #63 on: July 01, 2013, 06:23:51 AM »

I'm sorry, but a Ferrari is but a wannabe's Porsche!


Thanks for explaining why some people buy Leicas!

Rob C

ripgriffith

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 348
Re: Street photography & cameras.
« Reply #64 on: July 01, 2013, 07:14:40 AM »


Thanks for explaining why some people buy Leicas!

Rob C
If a Ferrari is an upscale Fiat, and a Porsche is an upscale Volkswagen, then a Leica is an upscale what?
Logged

petermfiore

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1042
    • Peter Fiore Fine Art
Re: Street photography & cameras.
« Reply #65 on: July 01, 2013, 07:19:00 AM »

If a Ferrari is an upscale Fiat, and a Porsche is an upscale Volkswagen, then a Leica is an upscale what?


Contax, Rollie etc.....?

Peter
Logged
www.peterfiore.com

Canvas Colors Brushes  

A life in Art >  www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRsNaNM0ZeU

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 13969
Re: Street photography & cameras.
« Reply #66 on: July 01, 2013, 11:26:09 AM »

If a Ferrari is an upscale Fiat, and a Porsche is an upscale Volkswagen, then a Leica is an upscale what?


Ferrari/Fiat: that's only a relatively recent commercial event; there are no roots there. Lamborghini just a stripped-out tractor?

Leica upscale what? I suppose, one model is an upscale version of the one before it. Even if it's not.

A road less travelled, perhaps, for good reason?

;-)

Rob C

PhillyPhotographer

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 334
Re: Street photography & cameras.
« Reply #67 on: July 01, 2013, 12:35:33 PM »

The key to good street photography has very little to do with equipment. The key to good street photography is what "The Shadow" used to do: "cloud men's minds." You need to be amongst your subjects, but not in their faces, and you need to make yourself completely irrelevant. If you're irrelevant you're not threatening. Which is one reason most pictures of street people are so meaningless: You're not being irrelevant when you walk boldly up to a street person or persons and shoot a photograph. The subject is reacting to the photographer and the result is an image that's utterly worthless as a street shot.

The photographer doesn't appear at all in a really good street photograph, and by that I don't mean you should be careful to keep your reflection out of the window behind your subject. A really good street photograph is entirely about the person or people in the picture, and that means that if there's any indication at all that the subject even realizes you're there, you've failed.

For children too young to remember The Shadow, here's a reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shadow. (Like The Shadow, I'm sometimes able to cloud men's minds, but I've never been able to cloud women's minds, though there was a time when I used to try very hard.)


This is the only post in this whole thread that comes close to making sense.

RFPhotography

  • Guest
Re: Street photography & cameras.
« Reply #68 on: July 01, 2013, 03:45:34 PM »

This is the only post in this whole thread that comes close to making sense.

No, it really isn't.
Logged

RSL

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 7875
    • http://www.russ-lewis.com
Re: Street photography & cameras.
« Reply #69 on: July 01, 2013, 05:41:05 PM »

So all of Bruce Gilden's street work is a failure?

As far as I'm concerned, Bob, the answer is yes for the shots he made parading down the street in a photographer's jacket with a flash in his left hand and a camera in his right. I've seen some fair street photographs by Gilden, but they weren't made when he was trying to copy Klein.

RFPhotography

  • Guest
Re: Street photography & cameras.
« Reply #70 on: July 01, 2013, 06:31:52 PM »

OK, that's fair.  That's your opinion and that's fine.  I don't necessarily think that Gilden or Cohen are particularly good, in terms of the 'guerilla' style of street shooting, but that too is an opinion that may not be, in fact isn't, shared by others.  Not that their form of the guerilla style isn't done well, just that I don't prefer that style of street work.  I tend to lean more toward Winogrand's style who was probably somewhere between, say, Meyerowitz and Gilden.  I'm not familiar with Klein.
Logged

RSL

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 7875
    • http://www.russ-lewis.com
Re: Street photography & cameras.
« Reply #71 on: July 01, 2013, 06:37:06 PM »

Google William Klein and go to "images" in Google. Here's an example: http://londonartreviews.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/web-williamklein_bikini_moscow_1959.jpg

stamper

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4477
Re: Street photography & cameras.
« Reply #72 on: July 02, 2013, 03:41:33 AM »

If someone is an experienced photographer technically speaking then I don't see the point of trying to worship/copy these forgotten "masters" especially when you can't cover the ground they did? Do what suits you and if you are "successful" then you will have achieved something that is different from them.

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 13969
Re: Street photography & cameras.
« Reply #73 on: July 02, 2013, 06:43:00 AM »

If someone is an experienced photographer technically speaking then I don't see the point of trying to worship/copy these forgotten "masters" especially when you can't cover the ground they did? Do what suits you and if you are "successful" then you will have achieved something that is different from them.


Part of the difficulty is that however good one may be, unless one knows something about the past, then one has no measure of where one stands in perspective to the rest of the snappers ploughing the same field.

In fact, one would probably not even be aware that one was in any particular field. And pretty much everyone, unless spaced out, is in a field along with others. Oh that we might be so unique as to have our own field!

Rob C

RFPhotography

  • Guest
Re: Street photography & cameras.
« Reply #74 on: July 02, 2013, 07:02:24 AM »

Google William Klein and go to "images" in Google. Here's an example: http://londonartreviews.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/web-williamklein_bikini_moscow_1959.jpg

I did some Googling yesterday after seeing you mention him and found this article, http://www.dpreview.com/articles/0160296055/eric-kim-10-lessons-william-klein-has-taught-me-about-street-photography. Not really sure what he did can be called 'street' because in many of his shots it seems the subjects knew he was there and were reacting to his presence or the shots were posed. 
Logged

RSL

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 7875
    • http://www.russ-lewis.com
Re: Street photography & cameras.
« Reply #75 on: July 02, 2013, 07:37:32 AM »

Exactly my point.

stamper

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4477
Re: Street photography & cameras.
« Reply #76 on: July 02, 2013, 08:13:23 AM »


Part of the difficulty is that however good one may be, unless one knows something about the past, then one has no measure of where one stands in perspective to the rest of the snappers ploughing the same field.

In fact, one would probably not even be aware that one was in any particular field. And pretty much everyone, unless spaced out, is in a field along with others. Oh that we might be so unique as to have our own field!

Rob C

There have been a lot of famous names mentioned in this thread. No matter how good I will eventually come then I don't see myself ploughing fields among the "elite" mentioned nor will I strive to. If I do show my efforts on here or to other photographers then I think I will be a little peeved that someone would mention their names. Rob if you posted an image with respect to Street then if someone said that wasn't as good as Cartier Bresson how would you react?

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 13969
Re: Street photography & cameras.
« Reply #77 on: July 02, 2013, 12:20:26 PM »

There have been a lot of famous names mentioned in this thread. No matter how good I will eventually come then I don't see myself ploughing fields among the "elite" mentioned nor will I strive to. If I do show my efforts on here or to other photographers then I think I will be a little peeved that someone would mention their names. Rob if you posted an image with respect to Street then if someone said that wasn't as good as Cartier Bresson how would you react?


Well, for a start, I'm terrified of the concept of doing 'street' when it means shooting total strangers face-to-face in possibly dangerous circumstances, such as doon 'n' oots which seems to be the basic idea today, though when HC-B and pals were doing it, it was usually for left-wing magazines and so that was okay, they were all supposedly in it together, the poor, the magazines (really?) and the photographers!

I did it twice: the first time when I was a trainee in the industrial photo unit and we were kidding around at work saying how easy press stuff was compared with industrial, and two of us went into Glasgow one night (separately) to get some pics to prove the point. We both came back with pics of some girls walking around doing nothing much. Safe options? Chicken? Yes!

The next time, I was in Rome visiting distant relatives and was at a birthday party. It was just at the time of Federico Felliniís La Dolce Vita and paparazzo hadnít yet made it into the English language. However, Italian magazines had been full of gossip column stuff for years - it was nothing new there. Anyway, after the party a bunch of us walked down the Via Veneto (celebrated in the movie) and as I had my camera and a flash with me, we decided to have a giggle. We walked down the street toward the US Embassy and Excelsior Hotel, down in front of the bars, and one of the girls pretended to be Ďsomeoneí and covered her face, waving at me yelling no pictures! no pictures! It was amusing enough at the time. However, as I wasnít a good drinker then, I was certainly on a controlled high, and so I extended my attentions to several other ladies sitting at pavement tables here and there along the Via, and not a single table objected: every girl primped and posed as if she were about to audition for something. Amazing thing, a camera at night, and at the right time and place.

Of course, I had no idea who any of them was.

Many things really were possible in the 60s, and often just a matter of asking.

Even starlets/models were fair game there, and one day I happened upon something being filmed across from the Trevi and took a fancy to the wench being shot; at a break she walked over to a bar for a drink and I followed and asked her to let me shoot Ė she did, not a question, nothing. She Ďplayedí with one of those wall-telephone units and I got my exposures. Those were indeed the days, regardless of what the young turks tell us now.

But, how would I feel in the situation you quoted, where other snappers got mentioned? Honestly, thatís not a difficult thing to handle: if anything, itís nice to think your work brings stars to their minds.

I used to do a lot of fashion work for House of Fraser. On my first visit to meet the head honcho I took along my book (we used to call them portfolios) and discovered that the guy was new to Glasgow. Heíd been a top manager in Harrods but had been sent up to Scotland to resolve some problems in the groupís northern stores. Anyway, he used to commission photography for Harrods and his first few words to me were never forgotten: this is just as good as the stuff I can buy in London! So yeah, it can be nice as well as the opposite. Trouble was, after he resolved the store problems in Scotland he was sent to do the same in Ireland, and the next manager never commissioned anything, from anyone. A, effiní, men! For me, Buchanan Street died.

But personal trumpet tuning aside, I donít think it matters at all what others think of your work unless you are pro and in a pro situation. (Compliments are ever nice, of course, and one enjoys them if and when they come.) And even there, it all comes down to personal likes and dislikes, which is why not all clients use the same snapper. Cost also counts with some, and probably more so today than in my era.

Rob C


RSL

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 7875
    • http://www.russ-lewis.com
Re: Street photography & cameras.
« Reply #78 on: July 02, 2013, 04:33:48 PM »

There have been a lot of famous names mentioned in this thread. No matter how good I will eventually come then I don't see myself ploughing fields among the "elite" mentioned nor will I strive to.

Ah yes. Brings back memories. . . of the ten years my wife had her gallery. Almost every day there'd be at least one callow youth coming in with some absolutely uninteresting crap, spouting the idea that you don't need to know anything about art to make art.

Now, I'm not suggesting you need to go to school and get a degree in art. In fact, if you really are an artist that's probably about the worst idea you could come up with. But you need to learn technique and results. As far as technique goes, in photography, if you can read the manual that came with your camera, then, as Elliott Erwitt said, "there's nothing to teach." But results come from "the 'elite' mentioned," and you need to spend days (and nights) reaping the fields sown and ploughed by those "elites." You need to know what went before -- partly to avoid trying to re-invent the wheel, but more importantly to absorb the essence of what it is that makes you react transcendentally to a particular image. Once you've absorbed that, you know what to look for when you try to create your own art. There are no shortcuts in learning to produce art.

Jim Kasson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1388
    • The Last Word
Re: Street photography & cameras.
« Reply #79 on: July 02, 2013, 08:15:33 PM »

If someone is an experienced photographer technically speaking then I don't see the point of trying to worship/copy these forgotten "masters" especially when you can't cover the ground they did? Do what suits you and if you are "successful" then you will have achieved something that is different from them.

I agree about worshiping and copying, but I'd make an exception for attempting to copy someone's work as an exercise to get inside their head.  Try it sometime; for me. it's nowhere near as easy as it seems it should be.

That doesn't mean that you should ignore those who went before. The old saw about standing on the shoulders of those who preceded us only works if we look around to find shoulders to stand on, and if we don't think that we canít learn anything from the work of others.

Even if you think that you can learn faster following your own muse and having your artistic sensibilities unsullied by contact with the work of others, you canít expect that your audience will enjoy such splendid isolation. People have been making photographs for more than a century and a half. Photography is the most common form of flat art. Every art director, gallery owner, museum curator, book publisher, and magazine editor you encounter will have experience with the art photography canon that varies from moderate to encyclopedic. Most of your potential customers will be at least somewhat informed (interior decorators possibly excepted). They will all compare your work to that of others. If youíve done that yourself, you can avoid some really awkward conversations.

Jim
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5   Go Up