What is street photography?

Discussion in 'Street and Documentary' started by Brad_, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. Yeah, that seems to be a big weight to carry, being the arbiter of what is "street photography". In-Public, including Nick Trupin has a lot of cool photography on it, but I always thought it was a bit of an overreach to bill itself as "the home of street photography" only to self-destruct because they don't have a clear consensus of what that is or means. It is kinda funny.
  2. It is not unprecedented, however.

    I've been on P.net for a long time; and in that time, I've learned that some people who do 'street photography'

    have very strong opinions about what it is
    and also are not shy about expressing their opinions.

    and how. :cool:
  3. yeah, but, debates aboot SP on PN haven’t taken the site down unlike the drama queens at I-P
  4. I’m thinking of some of the greats who formed and then left the f64 group, which began with very distinct and restrictive notions of what photography was or should be. Restrictions aren’t necessarily a problem, especially when accompanied by thoughtfulness, passion and talent. And then what so often happens is a bit of contentiousness and people move on. Even the richest groups disband, sometimes with heapfuls of temperament.

    Drama queens? Hmmm ... Van Gogh, Tchaikovsky. Hey, even some of my best friends are. I think I may even have dabbled in it once or twice. No one else here?
  5. only at work and never on Sunday!
    Uhooru likes this.
  6. Not quite following this thread. Is it a comment on street photography or an attempt to flush out drama queens?

  7. Seems like it's both. Kind of like a Certs being a candy mint AND a breath mint. I will say it (I-P, Turpin, etc) has been kind of entertaining over the years.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
    Uhooru likes this.
  8. Maybe a nothingburger ... unless you’re into gossip.

    Like I said, there might be some substantive issues here as well, like looking at all the content and stylistic “rules” or practices photographers often follow even while standing by the cliché that “there are no rules.”

    First, it’s worth noting again that such practices as Turpin and Jorgensen insist on have an important place in photographic history. Why shouldn’t there be a group dedicated to this particular approach to street photography? Our own Monday in Nature group is quite strict about what can qualify as Nature (a Friday thread was added for those who didn’t like the restrictions). At first, I was put off by the Monday rules, until I realized how certain self-imposed restrictions can actually develop a kind of discipline and eye that can inspire and foster creativity. Members of a specific group are free to start another group when the rules or practices of the first group no longer work for them, just like was done in forming the Friday Nature group and just like was done as people left the f64 group.

    Second, what sometimes is said and what photos show can be very different, and it’s always good to be a little more self aware in evolving as a photographer, if evolving is what we want. Why is the author of a given photo often easy to recognize? Because there are particular content and stylistic choices that seem to recur, sometimes with uncanny lack of deviation. Those might not be such overt practices as Turpin and Jorgensen are insisting on. But they can sometimes be more insidious than what Turpin and Jorgensen are doing with more self awareness. In short, the kinds of out-in-the-open and consciously-adhered-to rules being observed by Turpin and Jorgensen seem less of an issue to me than the kinds of unconscious and habitual practices many photographers fall into without ever realizing it ...
  9. WGAF: about street photography, the concept of street photography or drama queens? I certainly GAF about all 3.
  10. This idea has been discussed in previous threads on this forum. See "Does street photography need a street?". Perhaps I fall into the Turpin and Jorgensen camp - I like the idea of deliberate paramenters being put around a genre - otherwise what is the point of having dedicated forums such as this one or labels of portrait, landscape, conceptual etc etc. All forums would merge into one. There are many images that appear in this forum that don't match what I have in my head as meeting the paramenters of street photography but I'm certainly not the arbiter of all things in this space.
  11. Would it bother you if I posted a Blake Andrews type photo in a WNW thread?
  12. I think some photographers create narrow definitions to best serve how and what they like to shoot, and more importantly, what they feel comfortable shooting. Narrow definitions of "candid" come to mind, the meaning of which is different across different people.
  13. Spot on! Visual puns seem to be very popular, though for me they quickly became hackneyed a couple decades ago lacking any depth.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
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  14. the intersection of drama queen and street photography ...
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  15. I think there can be more to it when it’s practiced by someone wanting to explore rather than feel comfort. Limiting oneself, for instance, by shooting with only an iPhone for a period of time, doesn’t have to mean resting in a comfort zone, though it might.

    The f64 group wasn’t formed for comfort, mostly the opposite. It was a reaction to what Weston and other photographers considered the disguise of Pictorialism that photography had been wearing and grown comfortable with. Their self-imposed rules arose out of thoughtfulness, commitment, aesthetics and passion, not the desire for comfort.
  16. Examples, please.
  17. You missed my point regarding comfort, not having anything to do with one's camera choice.
  18. I don’t think I did miss your point. Choice of camera was not my only example, but it’s something to think about when judging others as restricting photographic practices and approaches for themselves to be doing it out of a desire for comfort.

    Why would we arbitrarily exclude restrictive temporary choices of camera from the discussion?

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