What do you think?

Started Feb 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
Pimpleportrait
Senior MemberPosts: 1,097
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Re: What is "Street" then?
In reply to fad, Feb 18, 2013

"Street combines beauty and humour and social life in public places, symbols great and small, written words, society and history, crystallization of time, and a poetic soul. Someone too hung up on the definition of SP may not have the proper soul for being a street photographer. There is something zen about it that resists characterization."

Thanks Fad.  This sums things up quite clearly.  And cheers Xtoph and Apaflo for pointing me in the right direction with your links.

Street Photography to me has always been my meditation. I do not go out seeking to create or capture art but rather go out allowing myself to be captivated by life.  Throw away our attempts to define or contain it, and street photograph becomes a whole lot of fun.

Often I would attend exhibitions just to see the offerings of photographers, students and professionals alike, not to ignore those wanna be celebrity folk in the know.  Some would rather be identified as Artists.  I go in and come out thinking, where has reality, realism or the purity of Street and Documentary gone. Or is there such an ideal at all?

As you say Xtoph, in Street, things have got to be random, unplanned to a certain degree, spontaneous at the very least.  No staging involved, no lighting set up and your subjects should not be posed.

Yet when I leave these exhibitions, I wonder what the function of the camera is if all I see is forms of abstraction and some staged minimalism where the exhibitor is more interested in "processing" rather than "capturing".  To put it simply:

"Put too much spice to your meat and it will taste like spice, not meat."

Here, in Melboune at least where the Arts is worshiped as much as a good coffee, this seems to be the case.  I go to a Street Photography show and all I see are heavily processed images, cut and pasted to mesmerising collages of some sort, hard to decipher, deliberately allegorical to confuse so we the audience/viewer can adjourn to a lane way cafe and chat to sort out the true meaning of the show and the hidden intent of the Artist.

Can we call this Street Photography if the image displayed is so far transformed from the original one captured by the camera?  Can we call this Street Photography if the focus is on the champagne sipping Artist there in the spotlight and his/her allegorical collages hanging on display rather than plain images of Street Life?

And I thought that Street Photography should be just that, Street!; images captured by the camera, processed to a certain degree but leaving the content intact, no hidden messages, just displaying, presenting and documenting life, plain and simple.  Leave the messages to the viewer.

Or as you say Jack; it's a bit like the bible, always open to interpretation.

Cheers folks,

Ben

See more of my images at:

http://www.benizisantamaria.com

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