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Author Topic: Tuck on 'Street Photography'  (Read 762 times)

Chris Kern

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Tuck on 'Street Photography'
« on: February 06, 2019, 12:55:43 pm »

Kirk Tuck recently posted this thoughtful recollection and rumination about street photography on his weblog (actually it's a repost of a piece he wrote in 2010), which I thought might be of interest here.

Rob C

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Re: Tuck on 'Street Photography'
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2019, 01:53:27 pm »

Kirk Tuck recently posted this thoughtful recollection and rumination about street photography on his weblog (actually it's a repost of a piece he wrote in 2010), which I thought might be of interest here.


That was a beautiful account of not making an exposure; he did the right thing.

Rob

OmerV

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Re: Tuck on 'Street Photography'
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2019, 07:29:47 am »


That was a beautiful account of not making an exposure; he did the right thing.

Rob

I will assume that Kirk was referring only to himself when he decided it would be exploitative to photograph the poor man. But not making a photogaraph may in fact have been a mistake. 

So here’s the thing: Why is writing about suffering okay to do, but photographing it is not?

petermfiore

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Re: Tuck on 'Street Photography'
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2019, 07:45:07 am »

I will assume that Kirk was referring only to himself when he decided it would be exploitative to photograph the poor man. But not making a photogaraph may in fact have been a mistake. 

So here’s the thing: Why is writing about suffering okay to do, but photographing it is not?


Interesting point...But words in this case are learning lesson, and anonymous for the subject at hand.

Peter

OmerV

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Re: Tuck on 'Street Photography'
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2019, 09:47:29 am »


Interesting point...But words in this case are learning lesson, and anonymous for the subject at hand.

Peter

If Kirk Tuck was implying a moral point to be learned by his readers, then he was suggesting a kind of photography censorship. Anonymity seems more of a desire than a fact because memory, in all its variations, is a bind that facilitates a society. Those of us who've read the description of the man would, I think, easily recognize him were we to see him(unfortunately the TARDIS is broken and Dr. Who is...nowhere.)

As far as we know, perhaps another photographer did make a picture equal to Kirk's empathic, written account.

Rob C

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Re: Tuck on 'Street Photography'
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2019, 10:06:08 am »

I will assume that Kirk was referring only to himself when he decided it would be exploitative to photograph the poor man. But not making a photogaraph may in fact have been a mistake. 

So here’s the thing: Why is writing about suffering okay to do, but photographing it is not?

That's easy: writing, if you use no name, protects identity. Photography throws the full glare of the rapacious eye upon the subject.

Of course, there are times when that glare can be used to raise funds and perhaps aid those in the unfortunate circumstancs in which they find themselves. Usually, that requires a planned approach by some charity or NGO.

Rob

OmerV

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Re: Tuck on 'Street Photography'
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2019, 10:42:29 am »

That's easy: writing, if you use no name, protects identity. Photography throws the full glare of the rapacious eye upon the subject.

Of course, there are times when that glare can be used to raise funds and perhaps aid those in the unfortunate circumstancs in which they find themselves. Usually, that requires a planned approach by some charity or NGO.

Rob

Not using a name only hides the person from strangers who are more than likely uninterested. Within an intimate group, not only is a description enough to identify someone, but circumstances too will out someone.

Kirk's description would easily identify the man, but it was Kirk's notion of respect that prevented him from photographing. Respect, like individual vision, has different forms.

Chris Kern

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Re: Tuck on 'Street Photography'
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2019, 06:41:36 pm »

If Kirk Tuck was implying a moral point to be learned by his readers, then he was suggesting a kind of photography censorship.

I think the term "censorship" should be reserved for situations where free expression is suppressed after-the-fact, or prevented from occurring in the first place by someone or some entity in authority.  ("In Germany, advertisements for Nazi memorabilia are censored.")

Nor do I think what Kirk Tuck did was "self-censorship," a term I believe typically is used to describe a decision not to engage in free expression because to do so would incur an adverse authoritative response.  ("The Chinese student decided not to post the altered photograph of the government official because he feared that to do so would incur the wrath of the police.")

Tuck was describing a voluntary decision he made not to make a photograph.  I don't think it should be considered either censorship or self-censorship.  You can disagree with his decision, but it was his decision.

Actually, I'm a bit surprised that the discussion here has focused on that particular incident rather than his more general observations about the nature of street photography, which I thought we were rather interesting.
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