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Author Topic: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street  (Read 3261 times)

Dave (Isle of Skye)

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This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« on: May 12, 2018, 08:30:22 PM »

Now this is the type of 'Street' photography that I do like, as this type of architectural photography is all about seeing and creating a composition of interconnecting shapes, that the viewers eye enjoys (hopefully) exploring.

Dave
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Two23

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2018, 10:43:56 PM »

Nicely composed.

Kent in SD
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BobDavid

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2018, 01:00:03 AM »

...a pathway out of the shadows.
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Rob C

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2018, 05:24:32 AM »

But it is without emotion, Dave; it just is. Exactly as book after book of similar stuff on the travel shelf of the surviving book shops.

And that said, it describes how I feel about landscape in general, with very few exceptions: all the snapper does is snap.

Scenes like that are all over the Med, in almost every village or small town; they mean zero when you live there. They are perfect examples of what Russ defines as "tourist shots" because that's exactly what they are usually produced to do: create an appetite in the prospective traveller to buy a ticket for a different form of the mundane, different to his own northern one, but mundane nonetheless.

The opposite end of the same, mundane spectrum is the glass and concrete cityscape. We have all seen it and it becomes interchangeable, one big, modern city with another. That's why places like Rome and Paris still have charm: they are capable of encompassing both the brashly new as well as celebrating the ancient.

Don't take this as a personal attack on you or your picture: it is a comment on how I perceive any form of photography where the photographer just happens to be there and contributes nothing but a camera. It's why I rate the professional jewellery photographer, the guy who lights and makes something amazing out of a bottle of whisky, the great portrait photographer or fashion shooter as a true photographer, a creative mind with lots of talent to express what he thinks he can express in an image; a manipulator of what's possible, if you like, somebody who has to deal with the physical and take it to a place beyond that, or not get paid.

Maybe the measure of a good photograph/photographer is this: what added value did the shooter bring to the party?

In other words, I believe in chasing the illusive dream more than I do in dealing with the obvious reality.

You could term that a form of masochism, I suppose.

;-(
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 05:45:37 AM by Rob C »
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Dave (Isle of Skye)

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2018, 08:07:17 AM »

But it is without emotion, Dave; it just is. Exactly as book after book of similar stuff on the travel shelf of the surviving book shops.

And that said, it describes how I feel about landscape in general, with very few exceptions: all the snapper does is snap.

Scenes like that are all over the Med, in almost every village or small town; they mean zero when you live there. They are perfect examples of what Russ defines as "tourist shots" because that's exactly what they are usually produced to do: create an appetite in the prospective traveller to buy a ticket for a different form of the mundane, different to his own northern one, but mundane nonetheless.

The opposite end of the same, mundane spectrum is the glass and concrete cityscape. We have all seen it and it becomes interchangeable, one big, modern city with another. That's why places like Rome and Paris still have charm: they are capable of encompassing both the brashly new as well as celebrating the ancient.

Don't take this as a personal attack on you or your picture: it is a comment on how I perceive any form of photography where the photographer just happens to be there and contributes nothing but a camera. It's why I rate the professional jewellery photographer, the guy who lights and makes something amazing out of a bottle of whisky, the great portrait photographer or fashion shooter as a true photographer, a creative mind with lots of talent to express what he thinks he can express in an image; a manipulator of what's possible, if you like, somebody who has to deal with the physical and take it to a place beyond that, or not get paid.

Maybe the measure of a good photograph/photographer is this: what added value did the shooter bring to the party?

In other words, I believe in chasing the illusive dream more than I do in dealing with the obvious reality.

You could term that a form of masochism, I suppose.

;-(

Hi Rob, of course I will not take your comments as an attack on this image, or this style of photography, or me personally. I was on holiday in an ancient part of Spain and thought I would shoot what I saw and this is what I saw and yes it is nothing more than a holiday snap, albeit a very enjoyable one to see, compose and process.

I do however disagree with you about your statement that "how you perceive any form of photography where the photographer just happens to be there and contributes nothing but a camera", because with any form of photography that is not a setup like studio work etc and therefore completely under the photographers control, but with most other forms of photography the biggest skill and what the photographer brings to the table and is unique to them, is the art of seeing. Yet you make it sound as though images like the one above are obvious and easily observed and could therefore be made by anyone, yet I would contest the complete opposite is true, whereby I might have been the first person to see this composition and yet millions of people (lots of them with cameras looking for just such a scene) have been unable to see it before me. You see after once teaching photography for far too many years, I now believe that the art of seeing is a skill that not everyone can acquire, no matter how hard they try to acquire it or want it. This is the same for all forms of photography, be it street, fashion/studio or landscape and many others genres. So I do think you are entirely wrong in your assumption that scenes like the one above are simply akin to walking through an orchard of obvious photographic opportunities and then choosing which of the low hanging fruit you want to pick and that anyone can do it, because it is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel (oops really mixing my metaphors now aren't I).

Russ likes his street photography and thinks that it is the only truly creative form of photography and everything else is pretty much a waste of time and effort, you think fashion and portrait work is the best thing ever and that it is the only truly creative form of photography, whereas I think that landscape is the only truly creative form of photography and I don't suppose we will ever agree, nor should we. But hey it is really enjoyable to constantly chew the fat about and argue who is right and who is wrong with both you guys and which obviously is never going to be me that is wrong, as it is only me and my fellow landscapers that are the truly creative types of photographers and who are able to make something out of nothing jst by the art of seeing, whereas street is just wandering about and shooting random scenes and hoping it might work and intruding on peoples privacy and emotions and fashion/portrait etc is just about setting up lights and reflectors and using a ridiculously expensive camera ;)

Over to you Rob...

Dave
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 08:15:54 AM by Dave (Isle of Skye) »
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RSL

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2018, 08:35:48 AM »

Russ likes his street photography and thinks that it is the only truly creative form of photography and everything else is pretty much a waste of time and effort. . .)

Hi Dave,

What I said is that street photography is the highest and best use of a camera. But that doesn't mean I don't do other (lesser) kinds.

If you've been watching my posts or ever have checked my webs you'll realize I do all sorts of stuff. I do street whenever I can, which nowadays isn't often enough. If anything, I do wabi sabi more often than street because there's more of it out there. I also do stuff like formal portraiture with flash for various groups here in my retirement community. I even do tourist photography, which is what I'd call this picture of yours. I'm not gonna knock it, because I do it often. I just don't post it. I also like landscape, but from a brush instead of from a camera.

As far as street is concerned, here's a quote from my essay "On Street Photography." It's been on LuLa for a fairly long time now:

"Nowadays we can look at the photographs of Eugene Atget and learn something about the people who lived in his time and in his surroundings, but the most effective glimpse of historical human differences comes not from the kind of documentary photography possible with Atget's slow view camera and his posed subjects, but from the kind of street photography that became possible with the introduction of the small hand camera. Oskar Barnack's 1925 Leica finally made it possible for artists like Andre Kertesz and Cartier-Bresson to photograph people as they are, in an uninterrupted state, rather than as they were when posing.

"An historical novelist guesses at the past on the best evidence he can find, but a photograph isn't a guess; it's an artifact that has captured time. And so, a street photograph that has captured not only the visages of its subjects but the story that surrounds their actions can be a more convincing reminder of how things were than any novel or any straight, posed documentary photograph.

"Although good street photography is a powerful art form, it's also a way of recording what people really are like, and, for those after us, a way of learning what we were like. Seems to me that besides the satisfaction it can give you, those two things alone make it worthwhile."

Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2018, 08:45:28 AM »

Scenes like that are all over the Med, in almost every village or small town; they mean zero when you live there. They are perfect examples of what Russ defines as "tourist shots" because that's exactly what they are usually produced to do: create an appetite in the prospective traveller to buy a ticket for a different form of the mundane, different to his own northern one, but mundane nonetheless.

The opposite end of the same, mundane spectrum is the glass and concrete cityscape. We have all seen it and it becomes interchangeable, one big, modern city with another. That's why places like Rome and Paris still have charm: they are capable of encompassing both the brashly new as well as celebrating the ancient.
Rob, your description applies to many of Klein's images of New York. Those of us who live in or near big American cities and frequently spend time in New York feel that way about much of what he captured in that book.
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Dave (Isle of Skye)

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2018, 09:06:39 AM »

I think what I am trying to say and which I will now try to distil into a single easily understood point, is that if I think a certain genre of photography is the only truly creative form of photography and other people think that their chosen genre of photography is the only truly creative form etc, then that is OK and long should this continue. But the problem only begins to arise when a photographer of one genre feels the need to tell photographers of another genre, that theirs is best and so whatever anyone else chooses to do in a different genre is by default only a much lower form of photography and in no way comparative in creativity.

Before posting these few images from my recent holiday and then gauging the response they have received, I would never have dreamed of telling another photographer that the genre that they enjoy doing is below the genre of what I enjoy doing, yet now I have because it finally began to really stick in my craw and I am fed up of hearing about who's chosen genre is the only truly creative type, as well as many others are on here as well I imagine. Sure you can think what you like about other genres and how pointless or uncreative they are, but let's try to keep it to ourselves and if you feel the need to critique an image from another genre, then critique it on its merit of that genre and don't start telling people that no matter how good the image is, that it can never really be any good because it belongs to a genre that you think sucks. It's just not a very nice thing to do is it?

We are all grown up here and probably have over a hundred years of experience in our chosen genres between the three of us, so let us enjoy it and the genre that gets the hairs on the back of our necks standing on end and let others also enjoy their chosen genres as well and stop trying to win an unwinnable argument, or post put downs about who's genre is the best and most creative, because they are all the best and most creative to each one of us in completely different ways.

Dave
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 09:22:03 AM by Dave (Isle of Skye) »
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Rob C

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2018, 09:21:01 AM »

Hi Rob, of course I will not take your comments as an attack on this image, or this style of photography, or me personally. I was on holiday in an ancient part of Spain and thought I would shoot what I saw and this is what I saw and yes it is nothing more than a holiday snap, albeit a very enjoyable one to see, compose and process.

I do however disagree with you about your statement that

1.  "how you perceive any form of photography where the photographer just happens to be there and contributes nothing but a camera",

because with any form of photography that is not a setup like studio work etc and therefore completely under the photographers control, but with most other forms of photography the biggest skill and what the photographer brings to the table and is unique to them, is the art of seeing.

2.  Yet you make it sound as though images like the one above are obvious and easily observed and could therefore be made by anyone, yet I would contest the complete opposite is true, whereby I might have been the first person to see this composition and yet millions of people (lots of them with cameras looking for just such a scene) have been unable to see it before me.

3.  You see after once teaching photography for far too many years, I now believe that the art of seeing is a skill that not everyone can acquire, no matter how hard they try to acquire it or want it. This is the same for all forms of photography, be it street, fashion/studio or landscape and many others genres.

4.  So I do think you are entirely wrong in your assumption that scenes like the one above are simply akin to walking through an orchard of obvious photographic opportunities and then choosing which of the low hanging fruit you want to pick and that anyone can do it, because it is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel (oops really mixing my metaphors now aren't I).

5. Russ likes his street photography and thinks that it is the only truly creative form of photography and everything else is pretty much a waste of time and effort, you think fashion and portrait work is the best thing ever and that it is the only truly creative form of photography, whereas I think that landscape is the only truly creative form of photography and I don't suppose we will ever agree, nor should we. But hey it is really enjoyable to constantly chew the fat about and argue who is right and who is wrong with both you guys and which obviously is never going to be me that is wrong, as it is only me and my fellow landscapers that are the truly creative types of photographers and who are able to make something out of nothing jst by the art of seeing, whereas street is just wandering about and shooting random scenes and hoping it might work and intruding on peoples privacy and emotions and fashion/portrait etc is just about setting up lights and reflectors and using a ridiculously expensive camera ;)

Over to you Rob...

Dave

(Please excuse the chopping of your post into this numerated form that makes reply easier!)


1.   But that's not the entirety of my written line of thought in that post.

To complete that line of thought, mine, it is essential to include the subsequent qualifier that I made:

"Maybe the measure of a good photograph/photographer is this: what added value did the shooter bring to the party?"

2.   But they are exactly as you stated; and the reason they are seldom made is that they say nothing new, if they say anything at all, and one of the best reasons for the use of captions - as I know perfectly well in my own case, is to lend a faux validity.

3.  That has been my unpopular mantra since I came to LuLa.

4.  Again, it is exactly as you describe but deny: one could do the very same thing in any piazza, place or plaza in Italy, France, Spain and Portugal, and probably anywhere else with palms. Especially in tourist areas, nobody even looks at other people with cameras.

5.  Street is hardly the most creative form of photograhy, but good street, along with combat photography, is certainly one where the quickest reflexes are needed, as well as a sense of surrealism and the absurd. Without those factors, steet pictures are pretty meaningless.

Fashion and portraiture are both simple and extremely difficult, for the reasons you explain in (3). Additionally, they require that you can be best friends with people you sometimes don't even know or like the look of, and wish were somebody else. So a form of people-skill is needed on top of everything else. Complex lighting is, in my book (and that of Sante d'Orazio too) always a bad sign.

My first reasonable fashion snaps were with a cheap, second-hand Rollei T and an Exakta Varex lla. Buying into Hasselblad and Nikon didn't make me any the better a snapper, but did make life easier and more reliable, plus lending my operation a gravitas the cheap stuff could not. Gravitas is very important in business.

But yes, debating photography is an endless source of joy, frustration, anger and release! Wouldn't miss it for what's left of the world!

Rob

Dave (Isle of Skye)

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2018, 09:27:06 AM »


But yes, debating photography is an endless source of joy, frustration, anger and release! Wouldn't miss it for what's left of the world!

Rob

Exactly Rob and so may it continue, but let's try to be a little more respectful towards other genres that we find less than our own, because even though we might not understand why someone gets a buzz out of photographing in a certain genre, if we think of the buzz we get from ours and then realise it is the same buzz for them, then we can at least begin to understand what is going on for them, even if we do not understand why the hell they would ever want to work in that genre or style..

Have a great Day Rob and Russ and go out and do what is that you love doing and try to find something that gives you that buzz  ;)

Dave
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Rob C

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2018, 09:58:31 AM »

Exactly Rob and so may it continue, but let's try to be a little more respectful towards other genres that we find less than our own, because even though we might not understand why someone gets a buzz out of photographing in a certain genre, if we think of the buzz we get from ours and then realise it is the same buzz for them, then we can at least begin to understand what is going on for them, even if we do not understand why the hell they would ever want to work in that genre or style..

Have a great Day Rob and Russ and go out and do what is that you love doing and try to find something that gives you that buzz  ;)

Dave


This is already varishing season: I looked at the weather forecast a couple of days ago and was promised sunshine and a few clouds, so yesterday I varnished the inside face of a set of bedroom shutters. Later, during the night, all hell broke loose and it rained. Wet varnish and humidity do not make for good chemistry.

Photographs are the last things on my programme; the next "creative" thing is getting the outer face done with some guarantee that it will be able to dry without further rain!

I gives me a rather different buzz... an annual one I would rather not have to experience, though the gasses bring with them a sort of high. On the other hand, it saves a lot of money, gets done with more care than if handed over to a painter, and I am using the best marine varnish I can find, which I doubt a painter would do, though he would charge for it.

But respect for other photographic genres isn't something achieved from a sense of kindness to fellow human beings. It, along with all respect, has to be earned to be genuine. Quite some trick you want me to do!

;-)

Ivo_B

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2018, 12:49:03 PM »



What I said is that street photography is the highest and best use of a camera. But that doesn't mean I don't do other (lesser) kinds.


Russ.... You are making fun, ...., You are, aren't you?
 :-X
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Dave (Isle of Skye)

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2018, 02:59:52 PM »

Russ.... You are making fun, ...., You are, aren't you?
 :-X

Mmm, you haven't been on this forum very long have you Ivo  :)

This is the 'Critique' section of Lula remember and is where genres often clash through opinionated and yet always unwinnable arguments, about which is the ONLY truly creative style of photography, so welcome aboard Ivo and mind how you go ;D ;D ;D

Oh and if you dare to say anything derogatory about the merits of landscape photography, then I might just have to send the boys round, OK..!

But no it is all good fun really and very enjoyable, so you are more than welcome to throw in your own opinions -JUST DON'T BE DISSING LANDSCAPE..

Dave
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 03:07:36 PM by Dave (Isle of Skye) »
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RSL

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2018, 03:22:46 PM »

Russ.... You are making fun, ...., You are, aren't you?
 :-X

Actually, Ivo, no. I think there's interesting work out there that's not street. Wabi sabi comes to mind. But I think street tops 'em all. Ever since Oscar Barnak revolutionized photography, and for that matter, fine art, and people like Kertesz and Cartier-Bresson turned photography into a way to grab life in passing.

Rob C

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2018, 05:37:14 PM »

Perhaps the point might be made that photography is a human activity, and most strong in impact where it deals with us humans.

A horse may show mild interest - curiosity, even, in a zebra - but would it want to take it home to meet Mother?

Rob

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2018, 06:44:53 PM »

But it is without emotion, Dave; it just is...

But of course.

How else? It is an inanimate object and can not possibly have emotions.

Emotions are the prerogative  of the viewer.

If a picture is “without emotion,” most likely the blame is with the blase, empty (or oversaturated, desensitized) viewer.

Two23

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2018, 06:45:28 PM »



To complete that line of thought, mine, it is essential to include the subsequent qualifier that I made:

"Maybe the measure of a good photograph/photographer is this: what added value did the shooter bring to the party?"



Composition?  (The active part of "seeing.")


Kent in SD
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2018, 06:55:27 PM »

Just so that you guys don’t think you can freely gang up on Dave, I have his back. 😊

John R

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2018, 10:22:43 PM »

Love the golden glow and the overall composition. It has ambiance and invites viewer through the portal.

JR
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Rob C

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2018, 09:23:00 AM »

But of course.

How else? It is an inanimate object and can not possibly have emotions.

Emotions are the prerogative  of the viewer.

If a picture is “without emotion,” most likely the blame is with the blase, empty (or oversaturated, desensitized) viewer.

Simplistic reasoning, as you well know!

Place holds emotion (ambience) too, or it does not. The photographer's job is to do two things: record the place; show its emotional quality through his/her photography. If the place is sterile, why waste time with it other than for an I-was-there-too memento which doesn't warrant further notice?

As for the viewer, it depends on the state of development of his own graphic abilities, his sensitivity to mood and ambience. It's all part of what having an eye is all about. Without that personal asset much of the world is lost to one. That's the reason people prefer praise from their peers to praise from a relative or friend who knows nothing about the art form one is working within.
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