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Author Topic: The Best Street Photo of 2018  (Read 6375 times)

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The Best Street Photo of 2018
« Reply #60 on: December 10, 2018, 09:44:44 am »

Slobodan, a quick question: What was it about that picture that made you decide it was good street? Even the best street photo of 2018? Just curious.

Russ, gladly. However, I am about to leave for a week-long trip within hours, with no internet access (Cuba, bitches!  :) ). I will try to remember to revisit this thread upon return. I do find a lot of what Oscar said in agreement with my views.

RSL

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Re: The Best Street Photo of 2018
« Reply #61 on: December 10, 2018, 09:49:17 am »

It's not always easy to write down in words what you see in a picture and see and hear on the news, and how that relates, but i'll give it a shot:

She is safely tucked away in her protective sphere, her glass bubble of instant gratification and fastfood fantasies, the connected facebook reality where everything is always fine and dandy. A frail, completely transparent glass divide separates her from the gruesome true reality of the street, the outside world.

Now, this in itself is applicable to our current times, but as far as the french revolts are concerned there is an extra interpretation as well.

A wry smile of the corporate elite in their protective glass cages while looking down upon the have-naughts running havoc outside with nothing but their clothes to protect them from the elements. (Some analysts suggest that the current revolts are possibly a result of purchasing power decrease as a consequence of 20 to 40 years of continued lack of proper inflation correction on wages. The difference is extremely small on a yearly basis, but after 40 years…).

In that sense it doesn't really matter whether she's filming the outside, taking a selfie, or perhaps videoconferencing with friends. It all fits the multilayered and congruently ambiguous narrative. The image has a relation with our times in general and can therefore stand on its own, but it also applies to the events.

Hence, it's both good photojournalism as well as good street.

Thanks, Oscar. That sums it up very well. But you understand what makes street photography street photography.

Slobodan and I know each other reasonably well. We’ve had lunch together twice now, and I hope we’ll have lunch again somewhere in the future. But Slobodan claims ignorance about street, though I suspect most of his ignorance is feigned. There’s a ton of good and bad street out there, and what I want to kinow is why Slobodan chose this particular picture as his choice for best street shot of 2018. It may not be the very best, but it’s certainly in the running for that distinction. I think an honest answer from a professed street agnostic like Slobodan will go a long way toward explaining what makes good street good.
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RSL

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Re: The Best Street Photo of 2018
« Reply #62 on: December 10, 2018, 09:50:55 am »

Russ, gladly. However, I am about to leave for a week-long trip within hours, with no internet access (Cuba, bitches!  :) ). I will try to remember to revisit this thread upon return. I do find a lot of what Oscar said in agreement with my views.

Have a good trip my friend. Be careful down there. And, yes, I'm anxious to know what struck you about this picture. It strikes me the same way.
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jeremyrh

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Re: The Best Street Photo of 2018
« Reply #63 on: December 10, 2018, 10:04:13 am »

Have a good trip my friend. Be careful down there.

Yes - be sure not to drink too much rum!
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32BT

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Re: The Best Street Photo of 2018
« Reply #64 on: December 10, 2018, 10:36:56 am »

... though I suspect most of his ignorance is feigned.

Yes, very likely. He has a tendency towards being provocative at times. Come to think of it: no wonder you two get along so well... Hahaha ;-)
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The Best Street Photo of 2018
« Reply #65 on: December 10, 2018, 10:46:01 am »

One or two hours left for packing. I am still searching, having already spent an hour or two last night, for a body cap and lens mount cap. It is a new and small(ish) apartment, with very few spaces left, if any, to look for it. Damn, it is so annoying.  >:(

faberryman

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Re: The Best Street Photo of 2018
« Reply #66 on: December 10, 2018, 12:56:03 pm »

It's not always easy to write down in words what you see in a picture and see and hear on the news, and how that relates, but i'll give it a shot:

She is safely tucked away in her protective sphere, her glass bubble of instant gratification and fastfood fantasies, the connected facebook reality where everything is always fine and dandy. A frail, completely transparent glass divide separates her from the gruesome true reality of the street, the outside world.

Now, this in itself is applicable to our current times, but as far as the french revolts are concerned there is an extra interpretation as well.

A wry smile of the corporate elite in their protective glass cages while looking down upon the have-naughts running havoc outside with nothing but their clothes to protect them from the elements. (Some analysts suggest that the current revolts are possibly a result of purchasing power decrease as a consequence of 20 to 40 years of continued lack of proper inflation correction on wages. The difference is extremely small on a yearly basis, but after 40 years…).

In that sense it doesn't really matter whether she's filming the outside, taking a selfie, or perhaps videoconferencing with friends. It all fits the multilayered and congruently ambiguous narrative. The image has a relation with our times in general and can therefore stand on its own, but it also applies to the events.

Hence, it's both good photojournalism as well as good street.
Wow. You sure bring a lot of baggage to an image.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The Best Street Photo of 2018
« Reply #67 on: December 10, 2018, 01:08:08 pm »

Wow. You sure bring a lot of baggage to an image.

Wait till you see my write up ;)

faberryman

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Re: The Best Street Photo of 2018
« Reply #68 on: December 10, 2018, 01:31:20 pm »

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32BT

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Re: The Best Street Photo of 2018
« Reply #69 on: December 10, 2018, 02:09:02 pm »

Wow. You sure bring a lot of baggage to an image.

Possibly, but an interesting question though is this: is it staged? And if so, is it still considered good street?

Why staged? Why would anyone walk around decorated in that situation? Military or civilian? From where to where? Crossing the street diagonally at that point? For what reason? Looks like he's walking straight into a trafficlightpole.
What's with the light inside? Is that his girlfriend posing as if? The photographer is just a couple of feet distanced from her. Is the BK even open? The xmas lights and the BK sign should then be lit? Does she really feel safe and happy when something other than rain has apparently hit the windowpane?
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RSL

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Re: The Best Street Photo of 2018
« Reply #70 on: December 10, 2018, 03:54:16 pm »

Wow. You sure bring a lot of baggage to an image.

"Baggage" isn't the right word, Fab. The right words are "experience" and "knowledge."
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faberryman

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Re: The Best Street Photo of 2018
« Reply #71 on: December 10, 2018, 04:58:44 pm »

"Baggage" isn't the right word, Fab. The right words are "experience" and "knowledge."
You pick your words, I'll pick mine.
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degrub

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Re: The Best Street Photo of 2018
« Reply #72 on: December 10, 2018, 09:55:06 pm »

It's not always easy to write down in words what you see in a picture and see and hear on the news, and how that relates, but i'll give it a shot:

She is safely tucked away in her protective sphere, her glass bubble of instant gratification and fastfood fantasies, the connected facebook reality where everything is always fine and dandy. A frail, completely transparent glass divide separates her from the gruesome true reality of the street, the outside world.

Now, this in itself is applicable to our current times, but as far as the french revolts are concerned there is an extra interpretation as well.

A wry smile of the corporate elite in their protective glass cages while looking down upon the have-naughts running havoc outside with nothing but their clothes to protect them from the elements. (Some analysts suggest that the current revolts are possibly a result of purchasing power decrease as a consequence of 20 to 40 years of continued lack of proper inflation correction on wages. The difference is extremely small on a yearly basis, but after 40 years…).

In that sense it doesn't really matter whether she's filming the outside, taking a selfie, or perhaps videoconferencing with friends. It all fits the multilayered and congruently ambiguous narrative. The image has a relation with our times in general and can therefore stand on its own, but it also applies to the events.

Hence, it's both good photojournalism as well as good street.

Oscar got exactly what i was intending, in a more eloquent way,  in my abbreviated reaction to the image.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The Best Street Photo of 2018
« Reply #73 on: December 29, 2018, 07:28:15 pm »

Slobodan, a quick question: What was it about that picture that made you decide it was good street? Even the best street photo of 2018? Just curious.

Hi Russ!

I have finally found the time to answer this. The "best" Street is a hyperbole, good enough to grab attention in a headline. I do not have sufficient exposure to the current crop of street photography to be able to make an educated selection. Maybe it is, maybe not. However, given the historic significance of the violence in Paris, I think it would be ranked pretty high anyway.

As for "is it Street"... but of course, the street is rather prominent in it ;)

Now, what do I see in this photograph?

Art is a dialog. A special kind of dialog, like a silent movie, without words. A dialog between the artist and the viewer. With no words on the artist's side, the viewer can only engage in a quiet guessing game. Not unlike trying to understand what a woman wants. Truth to be told, in my personal experience, I have a better track record understanding the former.

In that quiet guessing game, one thing that can help in better understanding is what some refer to as "baggage" and others as 'knowledge." The more one knows about the subject, the better (up to a point, of course).

There are five elements in this picture:

- girl
- phone
- burger joint
- soldier
- protests

Each of these elements tells a story in itself, but taken together, they create a tension.

A grinning girl, even without the phone, is a highly bizarre, paradoxical, contrasting element to the events outside. Is it really possible to be so blissfully happy and unaware of the events unfolding just meters in front of her? Or is she laughing at the events? I guess that is the ambiguity you like to underscore as essential for a good Street.

But it doesn't stop there. Enter the phone. A symbol of social media, of the faux world of happiness, where we present our best self, always smiling and happy, for friends to be jealous about. Is she doing a selfie, facetiming, or videotaping the events outside? Another layer of ambiguity.

The Burger King. Just the mere presence of this symbol of the American cultural imperialism and corporate hegemony (as often perceived by the rest of the world) is enough for tension. Coupled with the street protests and violence, it tells its own story. It wasn't long ago that France was violently against the presence of McDonald's and its burger-joint brethren. Seen as a complete antithesis to the French way of life and the art of enjoying food, seeing it on the streets of France is sufficient to create a tension of its own. Not to mention that in the current Parisian violence, the western symbols of corporatism, the Starbucks and McDonald's of the world, are among the first to have windows smashed and be set of fire. If I were in her shoes, I wouldn't be so care-free in an establishment so likely to be attacked itself next. Especially in such a vulnerable glass enclosure.

The soldier. Ah, the poor soldier! Back from a deployment, returning home, with medals for bravery, wondering what the hell happened to his world? He just survived a real war somewhere, was looking forward to coming home, to mom's ratatouille, only to find himself once again in the war-like zone, in his own home city. He stoically leans forward, covers his face with his collar, and soldiers on. What goes through his head, we can only imagine. Is he cursing the government or the protesters? Or just wants to get out of there? Another ambiguity.

We often argue that an image should stand by itself, not needing a verbal explanation. This isn't always the case. A simple title, like "Paris Street Violence, 2018" would provide a necessary context to connect all these elements into a story.

So, there you go, Russ. A picture that has a physical street in it, ambiguity, a story, or multiple ones, surely must fit even your narrow definition of Street?



« Last Edit: December 30, 2018, 09:58:27 am by Slobodan Blagojevic »
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RSL

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Re: The Best Street Photo of 2018
« Reply #74 on: December 30, 2018, 10:31:35 am »

Wow, Slobodan. You really ought to be writing for an art magazine, or better yet, writing the explanations that hang next to paintings in modern art museums and galleries.

As far as the title for this picture is concerned, how about “Hilarity?” If we need to tell someone that it’s street violence, that person’s never going to get it no matter what we tell him. And I don’t think we need a title that’ll connect all the elements into a story. The “story” is right there in front of your eyes. If you can’t see it, better just move on to the nearest tavern.

With respect to the French resisting McDonald’s and its bretheren, I’d be willing to join in that resistance, but I suspect most of the European resistance comes from being pissed off that they didn’t think of it first. If they’re so dead-set against those joints, how did it come about that they got into place and thrived?

But as far as my “narrow” definition of street is concerned, check reply #1. If you really were to spend some time studying the work of the great street photographers you’d realize their work and my definiton both cover an awful lot of ground.
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faberryman

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Re: The Best Street Photo of 2018
« Reply #75 on: December 30, 2018, 10:39:38 am »

If you really were to spend some time studying the work of the great street photographers you’d realize their work and my definiton both cover an awful lot of ground.
You have repeatedly said you have no definition of street, so I am not sure how it can cover a lot of ground, unless you mean your ad hoc judgments cover a lot of ground, in which case I would agree. Please note that covering a lot of ground and being comprehensible do not necessarily align.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The Best Street Photo of 2018
« Reply #76 on: December 30, 2018, 10:40:07 am »

... As far as the title for this picture is concerned, how about “Hilarity?” ...

The only Serbian Nobel Prize winner for literature, Ivo Andric, once gave this advice to a young writer: "Do not tell your readers 'I am going to tell you a funny story... let them decide if it is funny.'"

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Re: The Best Street Photo of 2018
« Reply #77 on: December 30, 2018, 10:41:57 am »

You have repeatedly said you have no definition of street, so I am not sure how it can cover a lot of ground, unless you mean your ad hoc judgments cover a lot of ground, in which case I would agree. Please note that covering a lot of ground and being comprehensible do not necessarily align.

As I explained to Slobodan, don't worry about it Fab. You'll just get wrinkles.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The Best Street Photo of 2018
« Reply #78 on: December 30, 2018, 10:50:36 am »

... If they’re so dead-set against those joints, how did it come about that they got into place and thrived?...

Yes, Russ, one of the great mysteries of the mankind, especially when the French are concerned. Paradoxically, France is the most profitable country for McDonald's outside of the USA. Doesn't stop some from burning them down the first chance they get.

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Re: The Best Street Photo of 2018
« Reply #79 on: December 30, 2018, 10:57:12 am »

Yes, Russ, one of the great mysteries of the mankind, especially when the French are concerned. Paradoxically, France is the most profitable country for McDonald's outside of the USA. Doesn't stop some from burning them down the first chance they get.

I took a year of French in college, and I realize the French always are a mystery. I like 'em though. They're able to grasp the transcendental significance of something like Pavarotti's performance at Natale a Notre Dame cathedral in 1978 Montreal. But when they're not pigging out at McDonald's, they're breaking windows at McDonald's. As you say, they're a mystery.
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