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Street Photography

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by Geren, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Yes precisely, not creating a DM, but "when I walk out the door, I know what I'm looking for. I know I'm looking for material to fit into one of the projects I'm working on". That's the car numberplate point.
     
  2. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Good plan. If you aren't actively looking for character, characters will pass you by on both sides.
     
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  3. Matthew Kennedy

    Matthew Kennedy New Member

    Not sure what you mean, pass me by as in i will miss them or??
     
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  4. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    I have a project where I'm shooting contiguous numbers. So I find a number in the wild, and if it's the next one I need in sequence, I shoot it. I can't shoot in advance, and I can't go back, etc.

    If I'm *not* thinking about that project when I'm out with the camera, then I don't see numbers on lamp posts, posters, signs, and hundreds of other places they exist. If I go out with that project in mind, I do see them, I find myself finding numbers in places I'd never thought they exist.

    Sure, after 3 years, now I find myself reflexively scanning for numbers even without the camera, but it's super easy not to.

    I think Mike's point is that if you're not looking for a character, you won't see them. There's so much information coming in all the time to our brains that if you are not looking for something, you won't necessarily spot it.

    The converse is true, and I think Mike will support, that when I'm looking for numbers, I rarely noticed anything else. So you kind of have to be careful.
     
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  5. BeyondIthaka

    BeyondIthaka Member

    Tony would I be right in saying that you are concerned about attempts to define SP or categorise specific photos as fitting into one genre or another?

    I can understand this to the extent that anyone is quite capable of producing a good photo without knowing how others will categorise it. Genres are always descriptive and never prescriptive. What I mean by this is that while at school a pupil may be required to produce a sonnet in English or produce a collage in art, actual writers & artists simply get on with doing what they like. However, this doesn’t mean that critics or other writers/artists don’t have the freedom also to describe or categorise their work based on its features & characteristics. In my experience working with poets, however, those who pay least attention to how their work ‘speaks’ to traditions, pushes boundaries, and how a reader is most likely to respond, tend to end up producing the least engaging work. Aristotle argued there is no freedom without restrictions. Historically great artists learnt through discipline about all traditional methods, genres, styles before they innovated and reshaped them in their own way. There is considerable merit artistically in having a clear sense of what a genre means for you. This might be different from how others conceive that genre. The point is that personal definition helps one to reflect on ones work and improve.

    I’d be interested to know what street photography means to you. If you imagine your photography as street photography, then how do you conceive it as such?

    I’ve read one blog where a photographer, who most people would think was doing SP, says he’s just doing photography. Well, that’s his business to say that but then he’s really got no business trying to tell other people what SP is or isn’t or how to do it.


    Paul would it be fair to say you are concerned that photographers should know exactly why they take every shot? And you think that should they wish to, any artist, songwriter etc. could explain why they produced what they produced?
    If this is what you are saying, then at what point back in the process do you expect the rationale for a shot to reach its decisive moment? i.e. a photographer may be out on the street and shoot a picture of two men chatting on a bench. They take the shot because the faces of the people appeal to them. Why? Maybe it’s because one has an expression that reminded them of their own grandfather. It could be that one was dressed in an unusual way. It could be that these two were the only people the photographer found outside on this miserable showery day in Billinge. Are you saying, that they must have been conscious of this before shooting? Could they not just shot and then afterwards post hoc rationalise the reason? Isn’t it also the case that many great songs just arose out of improvisation? Ok. It could be that they had no conscious rationale for the act of initial creativity – photo or song etc. – but to select this, work on it, decide to publish it, then they may have a reason. However, this reason may not be the same as the one that prompted the push of the button or keys in the first place. The photographer may decide to post the two men chatting because filtered in BnW the contrast between the men’s clothing looks cool. Is that meaningful? Is it true? Does anyone really need to know? What will matter is whether the photo or song appeals to the viewer/listener for the way it expresses something meaningful – emotionally or rationally or even spiritually. Attempts to pin that down is surely a big distraction.
     
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  6. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Yes. You will look right past them. Try the car number test, then ask yourself why you never saw them before.
     
  7. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    One of the points I make in talks on compiling a body of work on a subject, particularly a fairly broad one like Tourists in London, Bishopsgate area, Transportation Signage and Iconography etc, is to sub-divide it into topics. I normally only work on max one or two of the topics at a time. If it is a fairly specific one like Autumn in the City, or Seaside out of Season, I don't need to because the mental focus is clear enough.
     
  8. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    Yowza :eek: ... IMVHO, me thinks some of you folks are overthinking 'street photos(graphy)' Of course, my idea of (street) photography (now) might be a
    tad too much of an oversimplification, as I now just shoot "stuff that captures my eye/attention" ;)

    Cheers and, of course, an example, of sorts :D

    Oct24-20-AP-Sat-DSCN8147 copy.jpg

    Jack
     
  9. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Agree. Street photography, to me, is every day life and glimpses and snatches of the things which catchour eye. The unrepeatable moments. The disappearing environment, the peoplle no longer around, the child now grown up. The drunks, the posers, the fashions, the poor and the rich. The future memories to look back on.
     
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  10. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Umm....purpose of this column is.....?
     
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  11. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I've always thought that "street photography" described pictures taken in the street. I was quite surprised when I discovered that some people had a more esoteric definition. I'll stick with the all embracing definition...

    Towrite tractor with trailer at Princesshay Exeter DSC02982.JPG
    Tricyclist in Topsham P1230090.JPG
    Young woman hand on head stepping off pavement Heavitree Road E-PL5 P5130036.JPG
     
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  12. Paul M

    Paul M Well-Known Member

     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2020
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  13. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    ? to overthink street photography?
     
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  14. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I hope that last one didn’t result in the exemplar “an accident waiting to happen”.
     
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  15. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Dunno. I was on the top deck of a passing bus. :D
     
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  16. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    The last time I was on the top of a bus (and the first time in 40+ years) was in London, leaving Euston I think. How the heck bus drivers cope with the stress of people walking out in front of them without looking I don’t know. We sat front seat at the top to enjoy the ride and the number of close misses (not the driver’s fault) was terrifying.
     
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  17. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    The best seat in the house, especially the right hand side! :D
     
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  18. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I agree. On a bendy bus, of which there were many in Brussels, I prefer the back seat. I was in one once where the driver missed a turn on a route diversion. They do take some turning around. Three point turns are out.
     
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  19. RobertCoombes

    RobertCoombes Well-Known Member

    Sometimes difficult to choose between a broom and a camera.
     
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  20. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    Very well stated, Kate :)

    Cheers,
    Jack
     
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