Opinion on different rules of street photography.

Discussion in 'Street' started by Jarter, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. lensworker

    lensworker Member

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    Here's one outlook

    Here's Eric Kim's take on it -
    Link: http://erickimphotography.com/blog/...s-vs-street-photography-whats-the-difference/

    I think he's on the right track.
     
  2. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I'd have to disagree with this statement. I'm not a big fan of "street", but think Paul Strand created an amazing image, which certainly isn't mundane, although shot from a "safe" distance:
    http://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/wall-street-by-paul-strand/
     
  3. lensworker

    lensworker Member

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    You are right about Strand's Wall Street image - it is a great image with visual impact - and it was indeed made at a "safe" distance, although there is no commentary on the lens used or his distance from the subject matter when he made the image..

    This image just goes to show that there are no rules in street photography.
     
  4. sdotkling

    sdotkling Member

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    I think the whole genre is nonsensical. In my mind there is no such thing as 'street photography'. It is simply photography Out In The World, and if you live with people, they will naturally appear in your photographs of your world. Is it 'street' to photograph a farmer on his tractor? Or is it only 'street' when the same farmer goes to the feed store in town? What if the store is in the city? These are all artificial categories where none need exist at all.
     
  5. CGW

    CGW Member

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    What would you prefer? "Public?" "Civic?" "Environmental?" "Candid?" "Urban?" Your "out in the world" doesn't exactly bring clarity or specificity to street photography. Not liking it is cool but don't trash it in the process. Try checking out the recently-discovered work of Vivian Maier and see what you think:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWEDOnBfDUI
     
  6. lensworker

    lensworker Member

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    Just do it

    If the photographs are made on a street or sidewalk, it's "street photography."
    If the hypothetical farmer is on his tractor on his farm, it's "documentary photography."
    If the hypothetical farmer is at the feed store, it's also "documentary photography."
    If the hypothetical farmer is driving his tractor down the street, it's "street photography."
    That's how I think of it.

    The name tag you put on this type of photography is not that important; what is important is that we get out there with our cameras and make those street/documentary/sidewalk/parking lot/city park/farmer's market/county fair/whatever photographs and not sit in front of our computers for hours/days/weeks/months arguing about the name of it
    (hence my low post count). :laugh:

    Moral of the story: Call it whatever you want - just get out and do it.
     
  7. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I like two things about his work:

    1. He's not taking pictrues of the back of peoples heads like many street photographers seem to do
    2. He dares to not use wide-angle and include everything under the sun in his imagery... his images clearly have a subject.

    I didn't find too much interesting, however, and gave it a glance but wouldn't go back for more. Most of the images have a totally "detached" and lifeless appearance.
     
  8. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

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    And if the hypothetical farmer driving his tractor down the street knocks someone over.....is it Press photography?

    Agree with the general drift, it's a bit silly trying to categorise every form of photography...I'm sure the greatest "street photographer" of them all. HCB, would have slated the term as being nonsensical.
     
  9. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    As I am sure has already been said somewhere above, the most important rule is that there are no rules.

    And the next thing to bear in mind is that if there were rules/formulas then everybody would follow then in an attempt to be successful. The results would then become so predictable that those rules would quickly be replaced by "anti-rules" - people deliberately violating the rules just to stand out.

    Carry on, have fun, do what you think pushes your creative limits :smile:
     
  10. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    What are the rules for pickpockets ? :smile:
     
  11. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Don't pick an empty pocket.
     
  12. drumminor2nd

    drumminor2nd Member

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    Street photography is taking pictures of people in public with little or no planning or in-depth story to tell. Documentary photography is taking photos with a set plan for a specific purpose -- to inform. These categories are helpful because the two systems are not the same thing.

    Don't get caught.
     
  13. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Precisely.
     
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  15. derek andrews

    derek andrews Member

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    What do all you street photographers do with the pictures besides showing them to other photographers?
     
  16. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    Using a wide to normal instead of a telephoto doesn't mean your work isn't boring. I'd put most of what passes for street photography - and there is a lot of it being bandied about on the web - as about as interesting as an Instagram of what you had for lunch, and that includes the images linked to in the original post. Good street photographers are rare, just like good photographers of any other genre.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
  17. dasBlute

    dasBlute Subscriber

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    the antidote: Bruce Gilden

    Listen to one of his interviews, or video of him working. A little in your face,
    but he succeeds, in my opinion, because he's actually fascinated by people,
    he's trying to be alive in-the-moment, and very, very human. Watch how he
    interacts when he gets 'caught', it's the wrong word because he doesn't see it
    like that...

    same with Winogrand, watch video of him working... he walks in peoples path a bit,
    he wants a reaction, all this is, IMHO,

    -Tim
     
  18. skorpiius

    skorpiius Member

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    That's exactly it, they remind me of crops of the kinds of photos you see in crime movies where the police have snapped surveillance photos of gangsters.
     
  19. skorpiius

    skorpiius Member

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    This is great. The difference here is the beautiful lighting, contrast, the background blurred enough to not be distracting, but clear enough that after you a bit you do wonder what it might be, and of course the snow flakes.

    The Struelli photos in general have none of that. Mostly uninteresting headshots with flat lighting.
     
  20. Kevin Ekstrom

    Kevin Ekstrom Member

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    There are no rules to what size lens you use- PERIOD! A good photo including good street photography can be capture in a hundered different ways.
     
  21. jtk

    jtk Subscriber

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    ..
    Seems to me that Struelli respects people, sees us as individuals....hasn't reduced us to abstractions, unhappiness, or alienation. Therefore it's wrong to see him as "street."

    Read the "about".
     
  22. jtk

    jtk Subscriber

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    ..

    .
     
  23. Ko.Fe.

    Ko.Fe. Member

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    I checked and photog in OP link is still active. I don't know how bad he was in 2010, but later work stands out from regular tele on the street dross dumped regularly on Flickr. Where is also super wide street faces dross as well.
    I think photog in the OP link has something more in his pictures.
    One of the Magnum contributors also used tele in addition to super wide for street photography in Italy, I forgot his name. I used 90mm lens on the street few times, it gives interesting results, but I'm finding it difficult to work with.
    I'd rather plow it with 21mm or so.

    EOS300EF22-55_K50D_R_18Aug (2).jpg
     
  24. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i really enjoy his time based images.
     
  25. slackercrurster

    slackercrurster Member

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    Sometimes you can't get close. If so, the tele comes to the rescue. No rules set in concrete. Just get the photo!

    [​IMG]
     
  26. CMoore

    CMoore Subscriber

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    Wiser words.
    You know how, in a "Big City" playing chess, outside, has been pretty popular for quite some time.?
    Not all of those Guys/Gals like to have a 24mm in their face. Like with All People.....SOME do not mind at all, others feel like you are bothering them.
    You have to TRY to be appropriate and get the frame.
    Sometimes i let the shot go, nobody likes an "asshole photographer" butting into their business.:unsure:
     
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