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Author Topic: A Lecture on Street Photography  (Read 1785 times)

32BT

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Re: A Lecture on Street Photography
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2018, 05:52:18 am »

Yeah, photography can sometimes be art, but given the talent, I would rather have been a painter, but not a "weekend" one: very good, or not at all.

Photography is just too easy; perhaps a great painter feels the same about painting, a musician about music. But a difference is that you don't have to be a great photographer to be able to make technically great photographs, and this is an accelerating phenomenon which, I fear, can only devalue photography more every day.

Perhaps, with analogue, apart from the look of a good wet print, it's the small tech. challenge of the entire medium that allows one a greater sense of achievement when its magic is learned.

I linked a new - to me - video of Sally Mann in the "Styles" section; I just fell in temporary love with her, listening to her cite her emotions at the moment of making what she feels might have been a lovely shot: nothing else I have done either has given me the same charge. The sense of shared kinship within that experience is so binding! It's also a bit reassuring to realise that it doesn't mean you're nuts, or at least, if you are, others have - and enjoy - the same syndrome too!

;-)

But it all reads so self-centered, if you forgive me using that charged word. I mean, some artists have an innate desire to express themselves because they have a message to relay. The medium might not be as important except for maybe their comfortlevel with the tools of the trade. Clearly, whenever the tools are coupled with actual skill (10.000+ hour rule of thumb), then the medium, the expression, and the audience can be moved to entirely new levels.

Or maybe more rhetorically rephrased: Just the fact that some other person, however well known or respected, experiences the same jolt, doesn't mean existential justification? I think...
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Rob C

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Re: A Lecture on Street Photography
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2018, 06:21:38 am »

But it all reads so self-centered, if you forgive me using that charged word. I mean, some artists have an innate desire to express themselves because they have a message to relay. The medium might not be as important except for maybe their comfortlevel with the tools of the trade. Clearly, whenever the tools are coupled with actual skill (10.000+ hour rule of thumb), then the medium, the expression, and the audience can be moved to entirely new levels.

Or maybe more rhetorically rephrased: Just the fact that some other person, however well known or respected, experiences the same jolt, doesn't mean existential justification? I think...


But of course it is, Oscar; it has to be or it's just commerce. There can be no-one more self-centred than the person who is drawn to being any kind of full-time artist. It instantly means that you eschew any form of conventional, relatively secure way of living a formal, structured life. For a start, you accept that you will be vulnerable to a million different opinions at every stage of your work, and that to survive, you have to believe only one voice: the positive one in your own head. All of the others inside it (and they are legion) have to be smothered, cut off the moment they begin to whisper so close to your ear. What, other than absolutely self-centered, can an artist be?

That's the huge problem that they have that so easily destroys personal relationships such as marriage. It takes a very special kind of partner both to handle and accept the nature of the creature beside whom they may hope to spend the rest of their life.

Message to relay? Only when working for business clients. And that can be a huge internal conflict too.

All that aside, I can't really say that I have a desire to relay much message: I just want to be able to fulfil some visual objectives, and the challenge is to see if I can pull it off to my own satisfaction.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 09:19:56 am by Rob C »
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RSL

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Re: A Lecture on Street Photography
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2018, 09:15:40 am »

I mentioned Todd Papageorge earlier. The memory got me out of my chair and over to my bookcase to find his book: Core Curriculum. I started to flip through it, then sat down and started re-reading it, which I'll now do -- from cover to cover.

If you're even remotely interested in the history of photography, especially street photography you should find this book fascinating. Todd covers Atget, Cartier-Bresson, Brassai, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, and Winogrand, with whom he used to walk the streets of New York and shoot street, along with asides on several others.

I just checked Amazon to see if the book's still available. You can get it for $1,227.10 (only 3 left in stock), or for $23.98 (23 used & new).
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 10:24:36 am by RSL »
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