>>> Street Photography eXchange #85 <<<

Started Feb 12, 2014 | Discussions thread
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The Critic (Weegee)
In reply to Paulmorgan, Feb 16, 2014

Paulmorgan wrote:

Looking at your gallery, you can be a competent photographer. But these shots leave me stone cold, for a number of reasons. If the eyes are invisible, psychological insight is hard to communicate, likewise social connection, and eye contact. The combination of sunglasses and shadows from hats depersonalize these people.

Shooting from the perspective of a flying rat also serves to depersonalize the photographer.

Nil desperandum. The depersonalization creates the ground for humor. That is what destroys these for me artistically. The affluent looking ridiculous is just as much a cliche as the homeless looking pitiful. Not that it can never make a good photo, as Weegee did several generations ago:

So what does this have that yours do not:

Understanding of human nature (almost a form a compassion). The right figure is a helpless drunk, the left figure has had so much plastic surgery that she has lost the ability to change her expression. this is both humorous and on another level, deeply touching. Even if you don't know this about the figures, it is communicated somehow through the photo and we feel it.

Artistic intelligence: He combines not just one, but two interesting things in the frame.

Hard work: He actually set this up and used and assistant, but made it look spontaneous. It's also possible to work at finding interesting shots that are not set up.

A good title: The Critic. It gives us just enough distance to be comfortable with a very uncomfortable picture. Also, it has ironic overtones about the Opera and social conditions.

A nostril shot, such as yours, is what newspapers publish of politicians they disagree with. It is a cheap and tedious joke.

Sal is very generous, but when she posts shots like this there is psychological insight and social intelligence at work. So, in addition to what Chris said about shooting at eye level, I would add that you should be your own critic and ask yourself if, once again, you are being lazy. What could you add to the shot to make it less boring to the rest of us.

I only say this, because I constantly have to ask myself the same question only to find that my mind, alas, is too empty to find it, and my skill to clumsy to capture it if I do.

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shot in downtown Manhattan.
http://sidewalkshadows.com/blog/ (street photos)
Always view all photos in Gallery or Original Size

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