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Author Topic: A suitcase full of photographic wonder - 1930's onward  (Read 600 times)

RSL

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Re: A suitcase full of photographic wonder - 1930's onward
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2018, 11:46:33 AM »

There's some damned fine street in that collection, Nick. "Passing in the Street, 1956" tops the list. John Turner deserves a prize for that one. That's street at its best; the kind of thing upon which you can hang a reputation.

drmike

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Re: A suitcase full of photographic wonder - 1930's onward
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2018, 02:18:00 PM »

Some of them are very well composed and pretty much all are interesting from a social history point of view.

As a teenager I recall making the stock tyro comment to the teacher who ran the school photo club - 'but I don't know what to take' - and one his colleagues who was nearby said to take photographs anywhere and everywhere in the town and in 50 years they'll have real worth and interest (with the sub-text art be damned).

I think this collection proved him right and I know for a fact that it's hard to find any photographs of the working men's houses near the railways in Royal Windsor as no-one bothered. All swept away I believe in the 80's, I haven't been back since 1975 I guess although I grew up there.

But some of those shots from the suitcase are above just record shots, they are well composed thoughtful captures of life then.

Mike
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Rob C

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Re: A suitcase full of photographic wonder - 1930's onward
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2018, 02:53:46 PM »

Some of them are very well composed and pretty much all are interesting from a social history point of view.

As a teenager I recall making the stock tyro comment to the teacher who ran the school photo club - 'but I don't know what to take' - and one his colleagues who was nearby said to take photographs anywhere and everywhere in the town and in 50 years they'll have real worth and interest (with the sub-text art be damned).

I think this collection proved him right and I know for a fact that it's hard to find any photographs of the working men's houses near the railways in Royal Windsor as no-one bothered. All swept away I believe in the 80's, I haven't been back since 1975 I guess although I grew up there.

But some of those shots from the suitcase are above just record shots, they are well composed thoughtful captures of life then.

Mike

Yes, familiarity breeds, if not contempt, indifference.

Do I sense a touch of the Viv M exploitation genre about to take wing?

:-)

JNB_Rare

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Re: A suitcase full of photographic wonder - 1930's onward
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2018, 04:03:15 PM »

Do I sense a touch of the Viv M exploitation genre about to take wing?

Or Disfarmer. (Google)

Alan Klein

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Re: A suitcase full of photographic wonder - 1930's onward
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2018, 10:47:28 PM »

Street shots become better the older they get  The street and people all look different than currently so it adds to the mystique. Also, if they're shot in a foreign land it becomes even more interesting.

Nick Walker

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Re: A suitcase full of photographic wonder - 1930's onward
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2018, 02:18:33 AM »

Street shots become better the older they get  The street and people all look different than currently so it adds to the mystique.

Concur!
« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 09:06:57 AM by Nick Walker »
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athegn

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Re: A suitcase full of photographic wonder - 1930's onward
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2018, 03:30:56 AM »

Quote from: Alan Klein link=topic=125062.msg1047172#msg1047172 date=1527734848 Also, if they're shot in a foreign land it becomes even more interesting.
[/quote

In this case I am the opposite. The East End of London is where my family came from. One photo, of two ladies sorting clothes with fags in their mouths, reminds me of my paternal grandmother; smoking led to her early death. Many of those street scenes remind me of family visits, in my early years; my great grandmother lived in Canning Town.
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Alan Klein

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Re: A suitcase full of photographic wonder - 1930's onward
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2018, 09:08:13 AM »

Street shots become better the older they get  The street and people all look different than currently so it adds to the mystique. Also, if they're shot in a foreign land it becomes even more interesting.
If my point is true, and I think it is for me anyway, that raises an interesting question.  Is art and creativity not so much in the hands of the artist but in the mind of the viewer?  That all the artist is doing is finding and expressing something that seems new but is already hidden in the aesthetic mind of the viewer?  Which may account for why so-called "new" art genres like cubism, HDR, or whatever becomes exiting and different.   

drmike

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Re: A suitcase full of photographic wonder - 1930's onward
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2018, 09:21:08 AM »

It may be more accurate to say that street shots hold more interest the older they are. A beautiful photograph that happens to be street will probably remain beautiful while a shot tending towards documentary will probably hold more interest in 50 years time. Then again I may well be wrong and one does have current styles and fads to contend with which the viewer brings with them.

Mike
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JNB_Rare

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Re: A suitcase full of photographic wonder - 1930's onward
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2018, 10:10:21 AM »

There's some damned fine street in that collection, Nick. "Passing in the Street, 1956" tops the list. John Turner deserves a prize for that one. That's street at its best; the kind of thing upon which you can hang a reputation.

I have to say that one brought to mind this;D

Rob C

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Re: A suitcase full of photographic wonder - 1930's onward
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2018, 10:38:07 AM »

It may be more accurate to say that street shots hold more interest the older they are. A beautiful photograph that happens to be street will probably remain beautiful while a shot tending towards documentary will probably hold more interest in 50 years time. Then again I may well be wrong and one does have current styles and fads to contend with which the viewer brings with them.

Mike


Yep, I'd go with that.

OmerV

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Re: A suitcase full of photographic wonder - 1930's onward
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2018, 02:18:31 PM »

These are basic day-in-the-life pictures a house photojournalist of that time would make on an uneventful news day. Of these, only the first has an emotional impact. There is a bit of humor in a few but not much else.

Itís clear he was competent, but not an artist. Both Vivian Maier and Mike Disfarmer were artists.

The pictures are curios of the past, good for reminiscing but are not art.

RSL

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Re: A suitcase full of photographic wonder - 1930's onward
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2018, 02:47:06 PM »

It may be more accurate to say that street shots hold more interest the older they are. A beautiful photograph that happens to be street will probably remain beautiful while a shot tending towards documentary will probably hold more interest in 50 years time. Then again I may well be wrong and one does have current styles and fads to contend with which the viewer brings with them.

Mike

Depends on what you mean by "interest," Mike. It also depends on what you mean by "beautiful." In my own understanding of the term, street rarely is "beautiful," but it's always "significant." Which is a point people miss unless they're familiar with the genre. Here are the last two paragraphs from my essay "On Street Photography," which is here on LuLa at https://luminous-landscape.com/on-street-photography/.

"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."
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