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Why So Few "Today" Pictures?

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by filmlover, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. filmlover

    filmlover Well-Known Member

    The last two photo exhibitions I've been to have displayed plenty of editorial pictures from the 1940's, 50's 60's & 70's, even material from Victorian times. However, it was noticable there was very little depicting the last decade or more...

    Why is this?.....Are there no longer any "great" photographers around?.....does digital mean that prints are seldom made anymore?.....or does the media world's growing obsession with "celebrity" mean that little of any worth is being photographed these days?

    Where is today's "street" documentary photography?
  2. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    It's out there, I just think that the curatorial decisions are not currently 'street' biased. Dull portraiture and 'fine art' (ie overenlarged) seems to rule these days. :(
  3. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Perhaps the curators/organisers don't like digital...[​IMG]
  4. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    As Zou says, it's out there. The best of today's street photography is not the same as in the heyday of Cartier-Bresson, Frank, Winogrand etc (all of whom were different to each other of course).

    Have a look at:
    Birgit Krippner
    Otto Schulze
    Edmond Terakopian (some of this is "press", some personal)
  5. filmlover

    filmlover Well-Known Member

    I was actually referring to gallery exhibitions rather than displays on the net. Perhaps photographers displaying their pictures is such a way, is replacing the whole concept of the gallery exhibition?
  6. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Must be a consideration as that was one of the reasons the AoP cited when they recently announced the closure of their gallery - most of their membership having an online presence means potential customers can visit their electronic gallery rather than going to a real space with real prints.

    Could spread wider I guess...:(
  7. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    Out of fashion, maybe because of the blanket coverage of "reality" TV programmes.
  8. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    Well, Foto8 do their best to promote photojournalism and documentary photography and the London Street Photography Festival is just coming to a close.

    As Zou says, "its out there", most of the exhibitions I go to or am aware of I tend to hear about from the non-photographic press or simply by registering for email updates from the local galleries or lurking on a few street photography forums.
  9. gollum

    gollum Well-Known Member

    It's there in abundance, in fact the markets flooded with it, getting recognition for it is quite another matter, ask the likes of Nick Turpin, http://www.flickr.com/photos/nickturpin/ The market has shifted once upon a time documentary photographers had the likes of Time Magazine and Life and a plethora of Sunday supplements to fill, alas no more, hence the shift towards contemporary art based photography. :)
  10. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    They still might if advertisers didn't wield so much influence. :(
  11. gollum

    gollum Well-Known Member

    Indeed :(
  12. filmlover

    filmlover Well-Known Member

    Couldn't agree more...The weekend colour supplements of the broadsheet Press, were a showcase for the best in photojournalism...no more. They're all full of the same celebrity/lifestyle garbage that is instantly forgettable.
    Don't even bother to buy them anymore.
  13. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    You do occasionally get something worthwhile. A few years back the Telegraph Weekend magazine ran a series (of four parts IIRC) comparing the rise of China with the seemingly terminal decline of some regions of the USA. Some great pictures in there, but sadly such things are few and far between these days.
  14. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    As we are still suffering economic woes, is it that 'nostalgia' becomes more comforting territory than 'here and now'?
  15. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    On my todo list for next week : World Press 2011 Exhibition at the Scottish Parliament, this is the 4th year running that's its been shown here during the Festival.
  16. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    Speaking of things Scottish, thought I'd share this great shot of industrial Glasgow by Edmond Terakopian (Leica M9 and 90mm f/2.5 I think)
  17. GlennH

    GlennH Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that link, Tim. Lead to several pleasurable minutes of browsing his pictures. I imagine a Leica Noctilux f/0.95 costs a few bob - in fact curiosity got the better of me. £7000.
  18. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    Yes indeed. There's a year-long waiting list on the lens though, which shows just how damnably good it is (the old f/1 version used to sell a steady amount each year which was comfortably within production). The old Nocti was really a single aperture lens and obviously inferior to the slower lenses at more normal apertures. This one is top quality all through the range.

    Good to see you about here Glenn. :)
  19. filmlover

    filmlover Well-Known Member

    That "Industrial Glasgow" pic. is a cracker (a victory for the power of black & white over colour).......it looks more like a pic taken in the 1950's/60's. .......We don't see enough of this "thought provoking" photography today. I recall a conversation a while ago with a then professional colleague who bemoaned the fact that the "photojournalistic" images he was renowned for, only got seen in photomags or gallery exhibitions.

    Our newspapers (where you would have thought these pictures would have their natural home) are nowdays dis-interested in such material. Apparently their readers don't have the capacity to interpret anything deeper than Posh Spice out shopping........The one or two broadsheets that might (and it's a big "might" these days) use, pay peanuts.
  20. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    Yes it's certainly a fantastic image, but to play devil's advocate, shouldn't pictures of 'today' look like 'today'? As various photographers have mentioned before, black & white film (or a greyscale conversion as in this case) has the seeds of nostalgia built-in, which is fine if that's part of the photogaphers intension. But is it a 'true' representation of 'today', well yes it is in one way, I've stood on the hill at the Glasgow Necropolis a looked out over the city at the same view. But 'true'? If see to remember the chimney on the right to be spewing out white steam. Its still a great image and one that follows the photgraphers own agenda but then that's the way it is with street/documentary/photojournalism, all photography in fact, its all 'propaganda' as Martin Parr noted.

    Markets change, professional photographers have to adapt to survive. What's so wrong about photomags and gallery exhibitions? That's were all the great photojournalists end up!

    Everyone's a photographer these days, you can thank digital for that, competition pushes down the price plus its no secret that circulation figures for most newspapers is falling so its hardly a surprise they pay peanuts . . . . something that's discussed endlessly on professional photography forums! The good old days are never coming back, move on!

    Right, its stopped raining, I'm away out to take in the Edinburgh Fringe and might even head down to the Parliament to see the World Press 2011 Exhibition :rolleyes:

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