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Author Topic: An Early Start  (Read 147 times)

RSL

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An Early Start
« on: December 01, 2021, 03:08:53 pm »

Hi all. Today's going to be the last day I post three street shots. I've finally exhausted the shots I'd posted on PhotoPXL before I came back and started posting here. From now on it'll be one a day until I come to the end of what I'm willing to show.

If you're at all interested in street photography you might like an article of mine that PXL put up yesterday. You can reach it here: https://photopxl.com/shooting-street/.
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: An Early Start
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2021, 05:03:32 pm »

You are my favorite contemporary Street shooter, Russ.
(Yes, some of those old guys were pretty good too.)
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Chris Kern

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Re: An Early Start
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2021, 06:43:17 pm »

If you're at all interested in street photography you might like an article of mine that PXL put up yesterday. You can reach it here: https://photopxl.com/shooting-street/.

Although this essay recapitulates themes Russ has expressed and points he has made in posts here, it's definitely worth reading if you're seriously interested in "Street."

As lagniappe, it also includes a link to an excellent 2018 New Yorker review by Richard Brody of a U.S. Public Broadcasting documentary that is well worth reading if you're a Winogrand aficionado:

Quote
. . . Winogrand was immersive among strangers, who were his involuntary and accidental subjects. He devised an extraordinary technique to create a degree of invisibility, but only a degree of it. One of the revelatory delights of “All Things Are Photographable” is its inclusion of a film clip of Winogrand at work on the street, in which that method is wondrously on display. This precious and extraordinary footage, amplified by discussions with photographers who were longtime friends and associates, emphasizes Winogrand’s singular way of handling a camera and makes clear its decisive effect on his images. Working in a crowd, he brought the Leica to his eye—and dropped it away from his eye—so rapidly that, as the photographer Tod Papageorge says, people didn’t know whether they were being photographed or not, whether he even took the picture. . . .

Winogrand’s contact-averse and conflict-averse strategy was more than a way of getting the pictures, however; it was a built-in aesthetic. It didn’t entirely prevent him from being noticed but, rather, greatly reduced the probability of it. His images often brought together many people unaware of being photographed, caught in a state of public privacy, and only one or two in a crowd who were aware of the camera’s presence and looked into the lens, not so much interacting with him as reacting to him, already too late. He was, in effect, stinging his subjects with the camera, and their gaze back was as an expression of their surprise—a surprise that performed, on camera, his own surprise in the presence of his subjects and the wondrous, shocking, horrifying, astonishing, absurd realities in which he found them.

Winogrand didn’t take time tweaking and twiddling the camera’s rings and dials, and, above all, he didn’t take time to compose his images. When he flung his Leica to his eye, he didn’t study framing through the lens but composed instantaneously, impulsively, improvisationally, as if he were making a kind of pictorial jazz, or what Jean-Luc Godard called “the definitive by chance.”

Not an easy photographic genre to master.

RSL

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Re: An Early Start
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2021, 08:42:58 am »

Great, Chris. Thanks for finding that. The most important point in it is what if said about Garry's framing. In street photography, if you can't frame instinctively you're lost. I think it's one reason HCB almost never would crop. I agree with him. I crop when I have to, but I hate having to do it. Sometimes it means I couldn't get close enough to my subject, but other times it means I blew it. Bad feeling.
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