Call me a sandbagger....

Started Jul 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
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mschf
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Call me a sandbagger....
Jul 14, 2012

I just finished voting in the Bresson Spontaneous Streets challenge at http://www.dpreview.com/challenges/Challenge.aspx?ID=7073&View=All&Rows=25 and this is how I voted:

89 x 0.5 stars
1 x 1 star
3 x 2.5 stars
3 x 3 stars
1 x 3.5 stars
1 x 4.5 stars
2 x 5 stars

The "skill" to capture the "decisive moment" ala Bresson is "required", according to the challenge hosts. I see nothing of the sort in the entries here, save for a few great photos taken by people who clearly get what this type of photography is about. It's not about standing at a bloody intersection and just snapping away at people crossing a street, or about some bum on a park bench, or a group snap of happy tourists, it's not about wildlife photography where a bird in flight or whatever is captured just at the right time (it's a decisive moment, yes, but it's not a Bresson decisive moment).

The more often one sees photos described as "decisive moment", the more one will completely misunderstand what this is about. It's bad enough that "street photography" is already watered down, in definition, to random shots of (at best) people in the city doing nothing special in particular.

Does my voting make me a sandbagger? Hope not, I've never done such a thing. In my opinion the low and high votes are well deserved and the hosts either 1) were too lax to disqualify these pointless entries and/or 2) themselves don't have any idea what Bresson's decisive moment actually is. For anyone viewing these challenges for educational purposes, nothing was learned, and that's unfortunate because the more the term "street photography" is abused in concept, the quicker the entire genre will sink into irrelevance, if it's not already at this stage.
--
~ Martin

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