Street or No?

Discussion in 'Street and Documentary' started by mikael_karlsson, May 12, 2009.

  1. Hello folks,
    Would photos like these be considered "street" or not? Shot from public sidewalk. Kansas City Street Narcotics Unit Tactical Team serving a high risk drug related warrant.
  2. Second photo coming here:
  3. As a former press photographer I would say they are damn good news photos. Particularly the second one. You got a face. It would make a usable crop also.
  4. News photography, not street photography.
  5. News photography, not street photography.​
    What would be the difference?
  6. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I agree with Mike.

    There is a great definition in Bystander , which is the most authoritative book out there on street photography:
    They have made candid pictures of everyday life in the street. That, at its core, is what street photography is.​
    This photo looks like some guy was dragged out of his house by the cops. Hardly "everyday life in the street."
  7. So Jeff, in a nutshell, ''street is something that is always there?''
    Makes sense.
  8. Jeff:
    Actually, the guy was sitting on the porch fence when the TAC unit approached and despite being told several time to get on the ground he refused and hence got a helping hand. Inside the house crack, Rx pain killers, and heroin was located.
    While, sadly, this is everyday life in some parts of KC, MO, I understand what you're saying and it cleared it up for me so thanks!
  9. >>> What would be the difference?


    Pick up a newspaper (web and TV is fine too) and look at the photos captured from various "breaking" news events. And then
    compare with images from various "street photographers" found in books and on the web - no need to list them. Do you see a difference?
  10. I agree, spot news not street.Nice photo by the way.
  11. Seriously?
    Pick up a newspaper (web and TV is fine too) and look at the photos captured from various "breaking" news events. And then compare with images from various "street photographers" found in books and on the web - no need to list them. Do you see a difference?​
    Brad, Sorry that I am not as intelligent and as accomplished as you are. You are obviously above my pay grade. If you would have read my short answer to Jeff, I agreed after I gave it some thought. My initial response was yes, because it took place on the street.
  12. Why so snotty?

    It was a straightforward answer.
  13. More "photojournalism" as opposed to "street." That said, I really like the image, it's excellent!
    Sometimes, a photo can be both. I don't think they're necessarily hard and fast categories. Were the lighting or perspective different, you'd get the opposite answer.
  14. Thanks to everyone for the comments. So, let's throw a few more pics in where things are actually happening in the "street".
  15. And one more:
  16. First two were definitely better from an aesthetic and technical standpoint. I see why you posted those first....
  17. Peter:
    Indeed, the later two are from old scans. Both have sold multiple times though. Gotta love textbooks for Criminal Justice, and a surprisingly large amount of kiddie books - "My Dad's a Police Officer" type of books.
  18. It's photo journalism, not street photography, though the first couple are pretty good. It's designed to inform about a particular event.
  19. Do the cops ever hassle you when you are taking photos like these?
  20. Justin,
    I was just about to ask that question myself....!
    I would imagine they might not be so friendly if they think you're trying to document police misconduct...
  21. Man, you either live in a bad 'hood or hang around in one.
  22. Justin, Peter and Mohir:
    Heck no, I live in a small, rural Nebraska town where the crime rate is pretty darn close to zip, nada, nothing. But, I do editorial stock photography for a living and specialize in law enforcement, prisons and related topics. Hence, I go on a large amount of "ride-alongs" with various departments and agencies. I also do forensic photography for local law enforcement when they need a hand. Having staff ID's from the Sheriff's Office, local PDs and the state Department of Corrections never hurt either.
    Almost all my images come from pre-arranged (and approved) ride-alongs but even if something happens and I'm passing by and whip out the camera I have never been hassled nor harassed by cops.
  23. Well that certainly explains it. Out here if you did that, the LAPD would be all over your case. But to be fair, there are certain neighborhoods where I wouldn't even dream of toting thousands of dollars' worth of camera gear.
  24. Out here if you did that, the LAPD would be all over your case.​
    Sometimes. Cops that I've been around in LA are used to cameras, and ignore them.
  25. "Everyday life in the street" doesn't exclude all extraordinary events happening on the street nor does it condemn street photography to the boring and mundane. Having said that I believe police activity does fit into the category of "everyday life in the street". That kind of search is performed all the time, daily in fact, in every state in this country. What is extraordinary is the photograph capturing this commonplace event. Usually these warrants are executed so early in the morning that no photographer is around. Further, as Peter Wang points out , photographs can fit into more than one caregory. These photographs are photojournalism, documentary, street, and spot news.
  26. more doc than street. also there's more detachment than engagement as far as what the camera is showing.
    my favorite is snu-tac three, wherere you've almost got iwo jima-esque poses, but as a whole, this style of photography isnt super-artistic. kinda looks like stills from an episode of "cops." but, hey, if it keeps food on your table, more power to you.
  27. Eric:
    You hit it right on the head. I've never claimed to be an artist by any sort. I started out as a photographer way back in the day when I was covering the war in Beirut as a journalist. I wanted to go a certain valley where several organizations held "training camps". For the life of me I couldn't find a photographer to go with me, so with some help from some friends in AFP I got a camera and snapped the pics for the article myself. After that the photography part has overtaken the writing and right now I'm at 95% photography and 5% writing.
    This is indeed my full-time job. Often 12 hours plus a day. That is one of the things few people that decide to turn their hobby into their main way of creating income is that you have to work long and hard hours.
    Thanks to everyone for all the comments, I really appreciate them and I've learned a lot.
    Oh, and John, sadly these warrants take place pretty much from 10 a.m to 10 p.m in KC these days. The two Squads work very, very hard just to keep up with the number of search warrants they have to serve every day. I've been riding with them for roughly 9 years and today is different than back then. Much more dangerous with people taking potshots at the cops. Loaded weapons, most often pistols with one round already in the chamber, are found on a routine basis.
  28. That is some nice PJ work. Talk about catching the decisive moment.
  29. Mikael, as I said earliar I realy like your photos. You are lucky to have the access to and the trust of the police. I suggest you look at Leornard Freed's work who also photographed the police and had a book devoted exclusively to law enforcement entitled " Police Work" Also Freed has alot of cop shots in his retrospective " Leonard Freed". Take a look, it might help to get a different look from another photog.
  30. Thanks John, will absolutely do that!
  31. Note: Ifr you were standing on the street when you took it then yes it is a street photo and consider yourself lucky that they didn't ask you what you were doing there--great shots by the way.
  32. Marta:
    Thanks. I work with the cops. I ride with them in their van. I'm literally three feet behind them all the way up to the door. Then I wait until the premises are secured before I go inside. In other words, they know exactly what I'm doing and approve of it. Largely I think because I've been riding with these units for right about 9 years now ( 2 to 25 ride alongs per year) but I also do everything in my power to get them a copy of whatever any of the photos of them is published in.
  33. Note: Ifr you were standing on the street when you took it then yes it is a street photo
    No, standing on the street (or sidewalk) when you take a shot does not make it a street photo. This is not a street photo; neither is this .
  34. No...its News/Doco. Street is unnoticed or at least discreet.
  35. Thanks everyone for their comments. I think I finally get it now. Street is documenting the everyday occasions on the streets of our/your nation. Would that be correct?
    I've always figured I'm more of a documentary/PJ kind of photographers since I shoot Law Enforcement and Prisons as well as forensics. Hopefully people that have suffered a violent death isn't all that common on the streets where you're at and I understand that's not really street either.
    Yet, I really want to thank everyone for participating and adding their two cents. I really appreciate it!
  36. It's a bit difficult to really give a definition to street stuff. Some of the points here I think are wrong. This is what I think:
    In no way does a street shot need to be unnoticed or discreet. That's just a popular technique.
    Because it shows something of news value doesn't suddenly mean it's not street photography.
    Street does not have to be a mundane, everyday moment. It can be a very unusual moment.
    A shot being taken in the street is not necessarily a 'street' photo. It may well be a landscape or similar. Also, 'street' photos don't have to be taken literally on the street, just in some sort of public place or a place accessible to the public (like a cafe).
    Street photography and photojournalism are very closely linked and both forms of documentary photography in their own way. I don't think categorising into one thing only is that useful. To me, it's both a street shot and a photojournalism shot. Nice one too!
  37. (Note: I assumed you got this when you were wandering about taking photos, not a attached to the police or sent from a newspaper etc?)

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