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Author Topic: A full street  (Read 1992 times)

OnlyNorth

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Re: A full street
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2021, 06:11:37 am »

It would be rude if I did not answer RSL.He did me a special honor leaning over my photos.He spent a lot of energy trying to convinced me that some photos do not belong to the ''street photography",although, I did not support this.In the same time, I feel guilty for not answering everyone but it would be a grueling English exercise.
So,about ''that's very virtuous...'' ,it can be easily be proven that in ten years,I have been here,the vast majority are made up of my shots and not discussions about photography.
As for the assumption that ''street showcase'' is not the same thing with ''showcase of a street'',I do not know the subtleties of this language,but, I think that my teacher would have sanctioned me if I had said that these two expressions are not equivalent.That does not mean I want to share the misunderstanding of the language with my teacher,it is only my fault.In fact I do not bother anyone with my photos,but,looking at Yours I am not sure You are following H-C Bresson,which does not upset me at all,I am really glad.
Thank You very much.
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RSL

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Re: A full street
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2021, 10:28:04 am »

To learn the "subtleties," Only, Study the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Andre Kertesz, David Seymour (Chim), Robert Doisneau, Willy Ronis, Brassai, Walker Evans, Elliott Erwitt, Mark Riboud, Garry Winogrand, Helen Levitt and Robert Frank, to name a few of the people who defined street photography. If you pay close attention you'll learn what the badly named genre "street photography" really is about. It isn't what you think it is, and you'll learn the difference between a "Street Showcase," and a "showcase of a street."
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Chris Kern

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Re: A full street
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2021, 12:29:54 pm »

Study the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Andre Kertesz, David Seymour (Chim), Robert Doisneau, Willy Ronis, Brassai, Walker Evans, Elliott Erwitt, Mark Riboud, Garry Winogrand, Helen Levitt and Robert Frank, to name a few of the people who defined street photography. If you pay close attention you'll learn what the badly named genre "street photography" really is about.

It's a very unfortunately deceptive name in that the genre really isn't about "streets" at all, but rather about a particular approach to making images, whatever the locale.  I tried my hand at offering a narrative definition in this forum a while back.

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I think of street photographs as images of people (and perhaps animals or artifacts) interacting with their environment (regardless of the locale) in a way that evokes a narrative (which may vary with different viewers) rather than a literal statement of fact (i.e., "this is exactly and only what happened to be in front of the lens when the shutter was snapped").

In law, and in some other fields, there is the concept of a term of art: a word or phrase that has a non-literal meaning that is specific to the expertise of the practitioners.  "Street photography" doesn't need to depict subjects in a street, or even in an urban setting (although it typically involves some sort of public venue); the term refers to the characteristics of the activity captured by the photographer and the reaction the image provokes in the viewer.

RSL

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Re: A full street
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2021, 03:06:56 pm »

Exactly, Chris. "Term of art" pretty accurately describes how "street photography" is specific to the expertise of its practitioners. As you and I both have pointed out, it has absolutely nothing to do with streets. It has to do with interrelationships between people and between people and their environment. I've long suspected that the name arose from the fact that when Oskar Barnack's Leica first came out and made unposed pictures of people possible both film and lenses were slow enough that you almost had to be on the street to pull it off. It's easy for people to become confused about the photographic genre "street photography" because you actually have to study the work of the people who defined the genre in order to understand what it is, and that takes work.

My beef with the term "Street Showcase" on LuLa is the extent to which it adds to the confusion. I keep coming back to this picture because it illustrates exactly what street photography is about. There's nothing there except the expressions on the principals' faces and the language of their bodies. The result is a kind of ambiguity that forces you, the viewer, to decide what the picture "means." That's what makes street photography powerful.
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Chris Kern

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Re: A full street
« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2021, 08:56:00 am »

I keep coming back to this picture because it illustrates exactly what street photography is about. There's nothing there except the expressions on the principals' faces and the language of their bodies. The result is a kind of ambiguity that forces you, the viewer, to decide what the picture "means." That's what makes street photography powerful.

Yes, I think ambiguity is often the key to "street" photography.  A picture of people interacting with each other or their environment can be visually compelling, but if it's obvious exactly what is happening, it might more appropriately be called documentary photography.  For me, the best street photographs make you wonder, "what exactly is going on here?"  They draw the viewer in to try to solve the puzzle of what precisely the image is intended to depict.  Of course, what prompted the photographer to snap the shutter and the viewer's concept of the narrative don't need to match.  Actually, it's often better if they don't.

In my experience, serendipity is almost always involved in making a street photograph; that's what makes the genre so challenging.  By chance, you wind up in the right place at the right time and recognize that it's the right place and the right time so you can position the camera and capture what you are seeing in the instant while it lasts.  I don't know what drew my eye to the mirrors in the scene below, but without them it would be a documentary photograph of an artisan looking at his cellphone.


RSL

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Re: A full street
« Reply #25 on: June 06, 2021, 10:07:56 am »

Right, Chris. But I'll go further and say that serendipity is ALWAYS primary in street photography. The expressions, the situation, usually last for a couple seconds at most. If your camera isn't in your hand and at your face when the "decisive moment" occurs, you're out of luck. That's why HCB made his famous comment about "looking is everything." By the way, the picture you posted is the first real street shot I've seen on here in a long time. The ambiguity is priceless.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2021, 10:23:31 am by RSL »
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: A full street
« Reply #26 on: June 06, 2021, 11:29:43 am »

+1.
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OnlyNorth

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Re: A full street
« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2021, 02:29:44 pm »

I continue to post here what I think fits into my concept of "Street Showcase",..' until the administrators of  this site will tell that the meaning is "street photography".
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Chris Kern

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Re: A full street
« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2021, 03:05:47 pm »

I continue to post here what I think fits into my concept of "Street Showcase",..' until the administrators of  this site will tell that the meaning is "street photography".

Of course.  The more the merrier.

I enjoy the discussions of the origins and meaning of the genre (and its inapposite name), but an interesting image is still an interesting image, whether I or anyone else considers it to be genuine "street photography."

RSL

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Re: A full street
« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2021, 03:22:20 pm »

I agree, Chris. Let's see the photographs. Unfortunately I fail to see the difference between the titles "Street Showcase" and "Street Photography," considering that this is a photography site. But what the hell? My main concern is that with the genre's misleading name more and more people will become confused about what street photography is. You can't really come up with a written definition of "street photography" any more than you can come up with a written definition of "landscape photography." You have to look at the work of the people who defined the genre, and most people with a camera or a cell phone don't bother to do that. They think that if it's on the street, it's street photography. There's even at least one book that makes that mistake: The World Atlas of Street Photography.
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: A full street
« Reply #30 on: September 11, 2021, 03:39:21 pm »

Maybe we should throw out all the old genre labels and start fresh with two new ones. I propose "Other Photography" and "Not Other Photography."    8)
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Chris Kern

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Re: A full street
« Reply #31 on: September 11, 2021, 04:22:35 pm »

I propose "Other Photography" and "Not Other Photography."

That's an inspired taxonomy.

Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: A full street
« Reply #32 on: September 11, 2021, 10:02:42 pm »

Thank you Chris.

Or perhaps: "Genre #1" and "Not Genre #1."

Or even simply "Genre" and "Not Genre."
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degrub

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Re: A full street
« Reply #33 on: September 11, 2021, 10:23:35 pm »

“to be or not to be. That is the question….”
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OnlyNorth

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Re: A full street
« Reply #34 on: September 21, 2021, 02:03:16 pm »

Throughtout of his life,any Great Inquisitor thought he was a specialist in taxonomy. And that is not bad at all for his psyche.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2021, 03:48:40 pm by OnlyNorth »
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RSL

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Re: A full street
« Reply #35 on: September 21, 2021, 03:41:27 pm »

The street photography genre isn't defined by similarity, Only. Anything but.
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