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Author Topic: This 'Street' thing ...  (Read 10929 times)

jjj

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Re: This 'Street' thing ...
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2013, 04:57:15 PM »

True but useless as an explanation; because you've reduced questions of Biology, Sociology, Economics... to a question of Physics the answer misses the point of the question.
No, it's physics [which determines the chemistry and in turn the biology] that is the truth of the matter, not sociology/economics/slow metabolism and so on, which people hide behind to excuse the fact their being overweight is simply due to their eating too much.
So there are no ethics issue to address in my opinion, with doing street/documentary photography which may feature people who simply don't look after themselves. What else shouldn't one document if overweight people are off limits?
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RSL

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Re: This 'Street' thing ...
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2013, 05:54:52 PM »

Don't pay any attention to these guys, Bill. To see where pictures of people, in which genre street shots are tops, fit in as fine art, just pick up any book on the history of photography or walk into any photo gallery. By photo gallery I'm not talking about art stores with a mix of painting and photography that exist to help you "decorate," I'm talking about a gallery that specializes in photography. Sometimes it's hard to find such a thing. I know of four in Santa Fe, where I'm going to go for a couple days next month, and I know of several in San Francisco where nowadays I wouldn't go on a bet. They're out there if you look.

seamus finn

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Re: This 'Street' thing ...
« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2013, 08:12:55 PM »

 
Quote
Here's Little and Large....


That's a cheap shot as is any image setting out to belittle, humiliate, sneer....I could go on but I'm too annoyed. Have you nothing better to do with your camera?
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Tonysx

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Re: This 'Street' thing ...
« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2013, 08:36:38 PM »

Well said, Seamus.

jjj, I'm afraid you're incorrect. This is "Little and Large"

Yours is an image of 2 people sitting on a bench. Would you have bothered to take the shot on film, needing to develop and print it? I doubt it. Merely a nondescript immaterial image.  I see your profile describes you as being 12 years old. Time to grow up?
« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 08:43:51 PM by Tonysx »
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: This 'Street' thing ...
« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2013, 11:56:20 PM »

That's a cheap shot as is any image setting out to belittle, humiliate, sneer....I could go on but I'm too annoyed. Have you nothing better to do with your camera?

Now, that is an interesting concept. A photographer should be embarrassed to take a picture in public of someone who is not embarrassed to appear in public?

There was a time, not so long ago, even after Rob's Golden Era, where people would rather be dead than caught in public outside accepted norms. People put their Sunday's best when flying. Men shaved (gasp!) before going out. Freaks and weirdos had their gathering holes well outside public path. Today, all that is on display. We even organize parades for it. Today, college girls come to lectures in pajamas, with signs of a monthly event still quite visible (and I am not making this up). Today, morbidly obese wear leggings and thongs. But, of course, it is us, public and photographers who should be embarrassed?

kencameron

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Re: This 'Street' thing ...
« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2013, 12:19:56 AM »

Now, that is an interesting concept. A photographer should be embarrassed to take a picture in public of someone who is not embarrassed to appear in public?
What he wrote was that a photographer shouldn't set out to humiliate, belittle or sneer. A different idea, surely. I don't think anyone should set out to humiliate, belittle or sneer. These are hardly worthwhile objectives. The interesting question is whether it is possible to take a photograph of a fat (or otherwise abnormal looking) person with a less objectionable intention. Anyone who believes that fat people should be embarrassed to appear in public will probably think not. I am not sure if you believe that - your post could be read that way, nor not. I would be more optimistic and a Google Image Search on "Photography Fat People" gives me comfort, as many of those shots affectionately celebrate the humanity of their subjects.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: This 'Street' thing ...
« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2013, 01:19:34 AM »

What he wrote was that a photographer shouldn't set out to humiliate, belittle or sneer...

And who is to say that the photographer intended to do that!? On what grounds, other than that he documented reality?

kencameron

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Re: This 'Street' thing ...
« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2013, 03:05:50 AM »

And who is to say that the photographer intended to do that!? On what grounds, other than that he documented reality?
The only possible grounds would be in the photograph itself, based on the particular aspect of reality the photographer chose to document. I don't personally find the image in question demeaning, but I don't much care for the balloon. I think of Diane Arbus's images of freaks, which some people find exploitative.  I don't see them that way. To me her unsparing gaze includes real human sympathy. But I think it is possible for photographers to exploit and demean their subjects, and when they do, I don't see that "documenting reality" is any excuse.
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Ken Cameron

jjj

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Re: This 'Street' thing ...
« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2013, 04:01:42 AM »

That's a cheap shot as is any image setting out to belittle, humiliate, sneer....I could go on but I'm too annoyed. Have you nothing better to do with your camera?
Dear me, we are an over sensitive lot aren't we. Read post in context. Someone commented that he thought all Brits were pale and skinny, someone else referenced [fat] Americans visiting. I pointed out we are sadly the fattest nation in Europe and I happened to have an image that showed both aspects. Hence the little and large caption in the post. The image isn't captioned thus otherwise.
As it happens, the fact someone in shot is overweight is not the slightest bit relevant to the series of images that the picture belongs to and had zero to do with why image was shot. 
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Chairman Bill

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Re: This 'Street' thing ...
« Reply #30 on: August 30, 2013, 04:30:27 AM »

The issue is one of context, and interpretation. One of the images I took was of a very over-weight woman, using a crutch to get around. I actually saw someone who looked quite magisterial & imposing, and steadfastly refusing to be cowed by her physicality. But then I decided not to post it, because I expected that someone, somewhere, would see it in a very different light - maybe as exploitative, as poking fun, presenting a person for ridicule, or all manner of otherwise negative things.

The reality though, is that humanity is made up of of all sorts of people, who come in all manner of shapes & sizes, and if we exclude certain people from public discourse (including that which accompanies photography), we fail to be inclusive, fail to represent society as it is, and effectively conspire to silence & make invisible certain elements of that society.

And somewhere between all that lot, we make decisions about what we photograph, and what we share, and live with the consequences.

jjj

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Re: This 'Street' thing ...
« Reply #31 on: August 30, 2013, 04:31:57 AM »

Well said, Seamus.

jjj, I'm afraid you're incorrect. This is "Little and Large"
To whom I was referencing, duh! Try not being so literal.


Quote
Yours is an image of 2 people sitting on a bench. Would you have bothered to take the shot on film, needing to develop and print it? I doubt it. Merely a nondescript immaterial image.  I see your profile describes you as being 12 years old. Time to grow up?
Once again with being a bit too literal. I'm guessing 12 years must be how long I've been using forum, not my age as I do not tend to give out my correct birthdate online. And guess what, I used to take such shots on film too. Why don't you have a go at Michael Reichman then, whilst you are at it? As he does a lot of shots of people going about their quotidian business too as do many others such as Magnum photographer Martin Parr.
Now should all photographers who take pictures you don't like give up then, as that's what you are arrogantly saying. And quelle surprise, you have no links to any of your work like most armchair critics.
BTW - other people have liked the shot. So who's right, them or you? No-one, as it's just personal opinion reflecting people's individual taste.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 04:40:42 AM by jjj »
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jjj

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Re: This 'Street' thing ...
« Reply #32 on: August 30, 2013, 04:40:16 AM »

The issue is one of context, and interpretation. One of the images I took was of a very over-weight woman, using a crutch to get around. I actually saw someone who looked quite magisterial & imposing, and steadfastly refusing to be cowed by her physicality. But then I decided not to post it, because I expected that someone, somewhere, would see it in a very different light - maybe as exploitative, as poking fun, presenting a person for ridicule, or all manner of otherwise negative things.
Usually people are saying things that are more about themselves and how they view the world when they make judgemental decisions about say in this case photographs. Thus revealing how they see the world which may have nothing to do with the photographer's views or intentions.
You shouldn't let other's misinterpretations prevent you from showing your work.

Quote
The reality though, is that humanity is made up of of all sorts of people, who come in all manner of shapes & sizes, and if we exclude certain people from public discourse (including that which accompanies photography), we fail to be inclusive, fail to represent society as it is, and effectively conspire to silence & make invisible certain elements of that society.
Nail, head, hit.
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Rob C

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Re: This 'Street' thing ...
« Reply #34 on: August 30, 2013, 04:44:36 AM »

Well, I'm a bit sorry that I commented on the picture; as I implied, ethics is not a theme that's going to be resolved through any rational, dispassionate conversation - look at today's political news about the UK vis--vis Syria: I'm against interference but equally so against what's being done there. What's the right thing to do or not to do? Shakespeare, we need you now.

But cutting one another up here solves nothing in the broader sense: it simply creates bad feelings where we really don't need them. The actual image isn't offensive enough - to me at least - to warrant that, just a straight image of what exists; as I also indicated and jjj comments, the motivational reasons for the shot are not ours to know. In this sort of territory, where I do take strong exception is towards Mr Martin P. and his use of photography of parts of British society where, for me at least, there can be no doubt about his motivation: self-promotion and profit, admirable qualities in other fields, but unpleasant where all I sense is mockery.

Rob C

jjj

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Re: This 'Street' thing ...
« Reply #35 on: August 30, 2013, 05:18:57 AM »

In the UK television shows fat people walking in the streets. The shots are from the shoulders down showing only their bodies where the fat is. Should photographers do the same? I can't make up my mind. :-[
Absolutely not. Two different mediums and completely different contexts. On TV when then anonymise overweight people, it's usually in context of a news item or documentary on obesity or similar. Faces are not shown so as not to spotlight any individuals, but still show the issue being discussed. Similar tactics are used when covering other topics too.
Photographs taken in the street which include overweight people is not the same at all.
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jjj

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Re: This 'Street' thing ...
« Reply #36 on: August 30, 2013, 05:24:19 AM »

In this sort of territory, where I do take strong exception is towards Mr Martin P. and his use of photography of parts of British society where, for me at least, there can be no doubt about his motivation: self-promotion and profit, admirable qualities in other fields, but unpleasant where all I sense is mockery.
Not a big fan of Parr's later work myself [I like his early B+W though], but not sure it's mockery. It's more a revealing 'mirror' to how people really are.
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seamus finn

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Re: This 'Street' thing ...
« Reply #37 on: August 30, 2013, 06:50:12 AM »

What makes the thing objectionable to me is its judgemental title - Little and Large. Call it, for instance, 'Day at the Seaside' or something similar and it's in different territory.
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Chairman Bill

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Re: This 'Street' thing ...
« Reply #38 on: August 30, 2013, 07:11:38 AM »

What makes the thing objectionable to me is its judgemental title - Little and Large. Call it, for instance, 'Day at the Seaside' or something similar and it's in different territory.

Indeed it does. Sometimes a title works to the photo's advantage, but as with my original offerings in this thread, sometimes a title closes down interpretations. I wish now I'd posted them without.

seamus finn

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Re: This 'Street' thing ...
« Reply #39 on: August 30, 2013, 08:11:08 AM »

Quote
And who is to say that the photographer intended to do that!? On what grounds, other than that he documented reality?

So, what was the purpose of your bubble other than to get a cheap laugh at the expense of the lady? I'm surprised at you, honestly.

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