This may be more suitable for the Philosophy of Photography Forum, but I think it can justifiably be part of a Casual forum as well. And, to be honest, I think that some PN members find the POP forum a bit off-putting and might not participate if I placed it there. If does not belong here, well, my mistake. The notion for the discussion arose in another thread which shall remain nameless for now. ;-) Julie H.: I'd love to see a thread where you "urban documentary" photographers discuss your feelings about the place of aesthetics in your work (I'm not being sarcastic; I mean that sincerely). Anders Hingel: I agree with Julie about a thread "where you "urban documentary" photographers discuss..... the place of aesthetics in your work". Maybe someone should start such a threat here or over there.I'm trying to quickly cobble this together during my lunch break, so I can only start with some general notes to give this some direction. I hope Julie or Anders might help channel this in desired direction should I not hit any of the points they were thinking of. "urban documentary" photographers discuss your feelings about the place of aesthetics in your work" "My work". I'd prefer to begin with a rough overview of the historical place of aesthetics in this type of photography. Although there are "urban documentary" photographs and photographers which predate it, I think John Szarkowski's "New Documents" show at MoMA in 1967 was a watershed moment in terms of acknowledging the place of aesthetics in the genre. Yes, an argument can be made that Steiglitz (with the streets of New York), Evans (with clandestine subway photographs long before 1967), and others came long before that, but I am choosing 1967 as a defining moment. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Documents But what are those "aesthetics"? Have they descended into sad parodies in the endless stream of "street photography" we now see all over the internet? What are my feelings about their place in my own work? Real rough because I have to go: I can only speak for myself -- A good deal, though not all, of the aesthetics I find are a kind of "found" aesthetic. Instinct leads one to a particular corner, or a street, to a particular light, or person, and one depresses the shutter button. For me, the aesthetics may be "felt" in the moment, but often do not reveal themselves until the editing process occurs later on. Now comes the real hard part: what, exactly, are those aesthetics? (Damn you, Julie!) How can I even begin to talk about without explaining what the aesthetics are? Again, only for me, it initially comes more from the gut than the mind, and it involves a feeling. A sense of, "Ooh. Wow. This gets to me." This applies to my own work as well as the work of other photographers. Then, on further examination, different signifiers may come into play -- symbolism, social significance, surrealism, beauty of the light or what is revealed and what is hidden. I will attempt to put up some examples, but I really, really do not want to use this as a way of showing my own work. I am comfortable having my work viewed, but not in the circumstance of a thread like this one because this is not about me, this is not an excuse to get exposure or critiques. I'll try to put up photos which, at this point in time (because it changes) have some significance for me. Whether they possess "aesthetic" elements (which I have poorly defined anyway) is another matter. I think they do, but what I call "aesthetic" may not seem so to someone else. Bla, bla, bla. In short, they are examples only, not the objects which are intended to be the sole point of discussion or example in this thread.