What do you think?

Discussion in 'Street and Documentary' started by mhc, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. I found Gary, from Philadelphia, an aspiring street photographer, on flickr. He shot all this on an iphone.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/backseatstreet/
     
  2. talent isn't sold with gear a fact that a lot of people seem to neglect.
     
  3. Well Ton that's what I thought when I saw this. I thought he shot it all with a holga or diana. Apparently he doesn't own a camera at all yet. Technical aspects aside, I think he has an amazing feel for composition and subject matter. Can't wait until he gets a camera.
     
  4. We should not forget that talent is not made by lack of gear neither.
     
  5. Holy Negativity ...

    "We should *not* forget that talent is *not* made by *lack* of gear *neither*" -- Andres H

    Could somebody explain the above sentence to me please?
     
  6. Lol Parv, I think it means, all that expensive camera gear doesn't amount to a hill of beans if you don't have any vision lol n'est pas?
     
  7. When I was learning to shoot pool, I befriended a former pro player who was kind enough to take time to teach me how to think before shooting. He shot with a black walnut cue wrapped with pink linen thread. He said it was because he loved the looks on the faces of the people he beat when they had to tell their friends they were 'beat by the guy with the pink cue.' He constantly reminded me - "It's the indian, not the arrow."
     
  8. With no reference to the posted link, it does seem to me that a lack of gear (using old, cheap, or toy gear which creates more abstract shots) can occasionally be mistaken for talent. I think this was Anders's point.
     
  9. "We should *not* forget that talent is *not* made by *lack* of gear *neither*" -- Andres H
    Could somebody explain the above sentence to me please?
    It means talent finds its own way.
    Gear is just a tool to help you to a place... like a river, talent will always find its own way to the sea.
    Does that help?
     
  10. I might add...
    Talent is not dependant on good or bad gear...it is just there.
     
  11. I agree with Allen and D. - that was what I meant, also.
    I find it interesting to observe that because quality, in technical terms, has become accessible for almost anyone by investing in "gear", technical quality of photos seem to have become dubious as mode of expression - or am I wrong ?
    This being said without any intention of giving the message that technical quality alone makes good photography.
     
  12. He is an interesting street photographer. Earnest. I wish he would graduate from a cell phone to a real camera. If you look closely, the resolution is mucky in his shots. These days even a cheap digital camera will deliver acceptable resolution.
     
  13. Blown highlights, blocked shadows, does not really do any justice to the photos.
    "These days even a cheap digital camera will deliver acceptable resolution*
    It's about having some respect for your photography.
     
  14. My point is, he has interesting subject matter and framing, and a sensitivity that lacks in many street shots. Some people spend thousands of dollars on camera gear, photoshop etc.. but they still can't capture the essence, moods and emotions of everyday life that I see in his images. Of course the gear heads will turn noses up at his collection. I too am waiting until he gets a camera but I think he has great vision already.
     
  15. "The best camera is the one you happen to have on you" People will banter that one as it suits the situation. Respect for photography??? I think he had enough respect for photography that he needed to document what he saw with whatever means he happened to have. I shall run out today and buy a 25000 dollar hasselblad then, to prove my respect .. :)
     
  16. Mmm...very good, a lot of strong images. Shot all on an iphone is quite impressive, have they been post processed? I noticed that some of them have like these 'burnt' edges and then a little border as if they were printed straight off a neg or something. Is that an effect that has been added? If thats the case better without those additions, and also there was some vignetting I was a little suspicious of. However I liked them and was interested by the opportunities an unobtrusive camera phone creates rather than the lumbering hulks we all carry around nowadays.
     
  17. I did see a book at the library just now: "iPhone Photography for Dummies". No, really!
     
  18. Outrageous posts earlier. I didn't know great photography depended on the tonal range of a photo. My book of Cartier-Bresson work has blown highlights and black blacks. They are still amazing works.
    I think there are a few OK photos in the link. i don't think it's great work but it sounds like early days for them and that they might take some really goods ones in time, it's a good start indeed.
    CW
     
  19. "I think he had enough respect for photography that he needed to document what he saw with whatever means he happened to have. I shall run out today and buy a 25000 dollar hasselblad then, to prove my respect .. :)"
    Excuse me but nobody,including me, said anything about to be a good photographer you need expensive tools Indeed, if you actually read what has been written it is the exact opposite.
    Obviously you have a problem with the word respect. So, I will say instead that most photographers try to present their work in the best possible way. This usually means they try to avoid excessive noise, blown highlights etc. They can detract from an image, unless of course they are wanted as part of the photograph, which is a different story.
    "Outrageous posts earlier. I didn't know great photography depended on the tonal range of a photo. My book of Cartier-Bresson work has blown highlights and black blacks. They are still amazing works"
    The only outrageous post is yours. Who said, other than you, that great photography depends on tonal range or anything else. Great photography is about content it, alway has and always will. However, to present your work to best of your technical ability is a positive.

    Henri Cartier Bresson used the most cutting edge technology of his era. He also used the best possible printer, and often was involved himself in the process .He wanted the best post- processing, editing, to present his work in the best possible way. Nonetheless , a good photograph can stand alone regardless of technical merit, tools used etc.
     
  20. Once up a time there used to be a very nice elderley Gentleman who belonged to a camera club. As the years passed by his eye sight began to fail. It was noticed by the members his photographs become more and more out of focus . He still had a keen eye, and his photos were superbly composed.

    For years nobody mentioned anything about the photos being out of focus they did not want to hurt his feelings. Then one day a new member did. There was a great hush in the club fearful of the old gentleman having hurt feelings.

    He bought an auto focus camera and thanked the new member.
     
  21. Allen, you must of missed the part at the beginning where I said, technical aspects aside.... Of course its done with an iphone and all the vignetting etc..is a gimmicky part of the iphone experience. I was just pointing out that he has an eye for a shot, regardless, yes it could be done better with a 'real' camera. I was poking fun at the word 'respect' My bad. I think he was, however, presenting his shots to the best of his limited means and ability and to his limited photographic knowledge, he was 'respecting' his craft as much he could? There, better said?
     
  22. "Allen, you must of missed the part at the beginning where I said, technical aspects aside"
    I did, my bad. Still, it was worth the chat. It will be really interesting to see how he progresses in the future.
     
  23. Some excellent work. Thanks for posting this.
     
  24. Adrian, I think so too. It caught me after having a first look and stayed on my mind for a long time.
     
  25. Gee guys is it just me or does anyone else think the pictures were just a bit "old men on park benches" cliche'? And from Philly too! A wonderful street town. If you use a degraded image or grunge look to re-state an old (like paleo-street) standard it should at least have some original spark of interest, or depth, sub-text, or whatever. And the titles were simpy photo club.
     
  26. '"Outrageous posts earlier. I didn't know great photography depended on the tonal range of a photo. My book of Cartier-Bresson work has blown highlights and black blacks. They are still amazing works"
    The only outrageous post is yours. Who said, other than you, that great photography depends on tonal range or anything else.'
    'Blown highlights, blocked shadows, does not really do any justice to the photos. "These days even a cheap digital camera will deliver acceptable resolution* It's about having some respect for your photography.'
     
  27. I don't care if he took the photos with an iPhone or the latest dSLR or a shoe-box with a piece of old paper. Do the images stand on their own? I think a lot of them do, but I also think he is only just starting to find his inner 'eye' or whatever you want to call it. Technical mastery is more important than people like to think, when they don't have it. I know, people used to say that about the impressionist painters and a lot of other art 'movements' also. That doesn't make it any less true, and I've seen a lot of really bad impressionist paintings.
     
  28. Alan Zinn, it makes me wonder if you even looked. CWyatt I forgive your attack of copy and paste, rather than formulate your own opinion, follow the herd over the cliff ;) I'm being sarcastic, forgive me.
    Jody, that's my point exactly. From a polaroid, to a top grade dslr, to a leica rangefinder, to a toy camera. Its the image and not the means... The image stands on its own merits. Respect for your photography? Pull out photoshop and fix them up? Is that's showing respect or hiding the flaws? I know an image from a dslr has higher resolution, better sharpness (in some cases) and probably sit higher on the fence with regard to 'respect' because the user, owning a dslr, or rangefinder, or higher end camera, knows 'photography'. I went out with my 8 megapixel cellphone and I found it s different experience. People don't care that your shooting them with a cellphone, but pull out the dslr and the attitude changes. The quality of my htc desire hd in daylight was almost equal to my canon 40d with my tamron 17-50 f2.8, also smaller and lighter and more fun to carry. And I didn't feel I was 'disrespecting' my craft. Actually I was having fun and my back felt good too.

    If you have a good cameraphone, I recommend giving it a try. Join one of the cellphone flickr groups too. Its fun, if not art.
     
  29. picutre with android hd 8 megapixel camera cellphone.
    00Yw6z-372463584.jpg
     
  30. @Jody S
    Interesting as they are I'm not sure these images are quite worth all this attention but the discussion the post has generated is very positive. Given your thoughts on technique and so on I'd be very interested to know your opinion on say Richard Billinghams photos, particularly on his earlier work , the ones that first made him famous.
     
  31. MH I did look. Ask yourself why one of the pictures is special in some small way. The only pic that I enjoyed seeing was the street painter. It was a document with no artful quality. As such it could be a weak member of an intrepid street painter series or sequence. I enjoyed the idea. What is it that you find special in your picture of the woman in the hat?
     
  32. Alan Zinn I was demonstrating image quality of the cellphone for a cellphone image. That is all. I suggest you look here. http://www.flickr.com/groups/530380@N25/pool/with/5857507217/ though for more 'artful' photos.
    I notice you have no photos uploaded to your account, so it is difficult for me to get an idea of your talent; that would be fair, so I could formulate my own idea of your comments with respect to your own work if at all possible. Thanks.
     
  33. Andrew G.
    Billingham's brute-document style is a tough one. It asks the viewer to set aside whatever they know about photography and try and grasp what the pictures are saying. His work is much about the process he uses for doing art and less about the individual photographs. From what was available on the web it appears that achieved his goal of showing his families' sorry existence and not much else. There was little there to encourage any feeling for them as individuals. For that the pictures needed signs of human agency or context besides their personal squalor. The paintings that resulted, if they were done, might give more depth. I haven't seen enough of his work to agree that he is an exemplar of contemporary photography
     
  34. MH,
    nice of you to ask Your street portraits are excellent! I add pictures to some of my photonet posts but don't want to do a gallery yet.
    I have too much stuff on my web page: www.panoramacamera.us most of my work these days goes into Blurb books. http://www.blurb.com/user/store/alzinn
    The cell phone pic sites are fun but time-consuming to peruse. The quality can be top-notch in all ways. I enjoy the photographers' wild abandon and joy apparent in the pictures.
     
  35. "Apparently he doesn't have a camera at all yet." Isn't an iphone a camera? Are we being a little snobbish here? Goo dluck to him, but I wasn't overwhelmed by the images, considering he has more than enough opportunity to view the composition before pressing the button, and essentially no limit to how many photos he can take.
     
  36. " Are we being a little snobbish here"
    Perhaps, but folks are just trying to be helpful.
     
  37. He is using it stealthily and in a few of the pics he is composing it like a camera user would. I like the pictures but in my mind they come a bit too easy and the 'hunger' is reduced to snack. I'm no fan of the iphone camera but I do see it as a device for close-proximity shots where a dslr or RF user might use shooting-from-the-hip or hyperfocal but then we are getting back to the issue of 'stealth'. It could be used as part of a kit but he is using it as his kit and I think his pictures rise above the challenge.
    It doesnt matter what he uses but the images should reflect the benefits of using it rather than the limitations, just the same as someone might use a particular lens.
    Any comparisons in hardware is just a pecking-order. Its the pictures that speak, the cameras just go "beep".
    ɹǝpun uʍop puɐl ǝɥʇ ɯoɹɟ
     

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