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Eric Kim on the pioneering color photographer Stephen Shore

By dpreview staff on Aug 14, 2012 at 00:55 GMT

Popular LA-based street photographer Eric Kim has posted an interesting article on his site, entitled '5 things Stephen Shore can teach you about street photography'. According to Kim, Shore - an American photographer best known for his 1970s color studies of American landscapes - has a lot to teach today's street photographers. Kim suggests five maxims gleaned from his analysis of Shore's work, which he thinks constitute good photographic practise when shooting on the street. These include 'Shoot Color For Visual Accuracy And Realism' and 'Go Against The Grain' as well as more prosiac advice such as 'date your images'.

Do you agree? Would you add any more aphorisms to Kim's list? Let us know in the comments. 

"Ginger show", Tampa, 1977 (photograph by Stephen Shore)

Comments

Total comments: 199
12
camerosity
By camerosity (Aug 20, 2012)

I love Stephen Shore's "Uncommon Places" book. The images are brilliant and they inspire me to go out and photograph, something I don't do often enough.

0 upvotes
bwabl
By bwabl (Aug 19, 2012)

Ho Hum....zzzzzzzz....

2 upvotes
iaredatsun
By iaredatsun (Aug 18, 2012)

Is this thread of comments on Steven Shore evidence of the reactionary nature of most camera owners and users, world-wide? It's astounding. Whether Steven Shore is a good photographer or not, the level of banality in those arguments put forward against his work is saddening. I feel sorry for dpreview in their uphill struggle to make the world of photography interesting beyond discussions of sensors, glass, pixels, 'street photography' and the worship of the mundane concept of 'professionalism'.

2 upvotes
nonuniform
By nonuniform (Aug 19, 2012)

It is a sad comment that the reactions have been largely negative, and completely intolerant of ideas that challenge their own worldview.

The dismissive comments are from people who seem to have lost a sense of fun in their lives. I don't expect everyone to love the work, but the people that can't discuss it and are immediately dismissive seem to allow fear to overcome imagination.

3 upvotes
Ipsofoto
By Ipsofoto (Aug 17, 2012)

The comments on here just reinforce to me that many of the people who come on here are techy geeks who just want to trash the perceived enemy's gear (see Canon v Nikon reviews - ye Gods) and marvel at techy details, but have no appreciation for photography. All the people saying they could take pictures like Shore. Please. I'll take the views of real photography critics who appreciate Shore's art over some idiots who want to talk about why their Nikon D845 has more pixels and faster fps than someone else's Canon 123D or whatever.

6 upvotes
Mike Oo
By Mike Oo (Aug 16, 2012)

Stephen Shore is great but only when Stephen Shore does "Stephen Shore" not when someone else does "Stephen Shore." Ditto William Eggleston. Try something new people, there's way too many people copying this style and it needs to be put to death.

1 upvote
locke_fc
By locke_fc (Aug 17, 2012)

That doesn't mean there aren't any general principles that can be taken from Shore's photography.

1 upvote
nonuniform
By nonuniform (Aug 19, 2012)

Well, we all learn by copying. At some point, we have to find our own story. It doesn't happen for everyone. I like seeing people experiment, it moves the conversation forward.

0 upvotes
Bryan Costin
By Bryan Costin (Aug 22, 2012)

That's silly. Stephen Shore's photos aren't brilliant because they were taken by a guy named "Stephen Shore", they're brilliant because they're exciting and visually striking images. Either the results are aesthetically pleasing or they're not. Whether or not someone else has done something more or less similar already has nothing to do with that at all. That's not a search for artistic quality, just for superficial novelty.

0 upvotes
LiveFromPhilly
By LiveFromPhilly (Aug 16, 2012)

I agree with all of the things Kim got from Shore's photography. They seem like good things to keep in mind, especially the "date your images" and "experiment with different formats" thing. I shot medium format film with a Bronica SQ-A for the first time this year and it was a really good experience.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Aug 17, 2012)

Yes - Kim's advices are generally sound. But - I dont understand what they have to do with Shore. And to be frank - Kim's advices is just a compilation of diverse sound advices. What do they have to do with Kim?

0 upvotes
Smartypants
By Smartypants (Aug 16, 2012)

A photographer’s work often has more to say about the artist behind the lens than the objects in front. Posters to sites like this often decry others, and criticize others work but where is their offerings?
Put-up or shut-up!
Maybe then you’ll have firm grounding for an opinion and some credibility

2 upvotes
MikeDi
By MikeDi (Aug 16, 2012)

Excuse me but you people talk too much. Why can't anybody just say "I don't get it" and leave it at that? "De gustibus non est disputandum" period.

1 upvote
nonuniform
By nonuniform (Aug 19, 2012)

I like it when I don't get something, because it means there's the possibility of learning from the people that do.

The key is in the discourse.

0 upvotes
TN Args
By TN Args (Aug 16, 2012)

Excellent photos. Thanks for the link. Tempted to reach for the book.

1 upvote
elleyyh
By elleyyh (Aug 15, 2012)

the thing about Western art is...boring...while the most lovely and "artistic" never get scholar or media attention. We see news of Mona Lisa getting analyze and studied for years and years. We see news of a piece of art being priced at millions of $. and while the most genius and creative artists never get any recognition.

i can make millions if I put paint on my butt and seat on a canvas, that is if I can be friend with a scholar, reporter, writer, the media

0 upvotes
57even
By 57even (Aug 16, 2012)

Yes the reason you are not a recognised genius is because scholars, reporters, writers and the media don't want to be your friends. Possibly because you are not a genius?

0 upvotes
elleyyh
By elleyyh (Aug 21, 2012)

what does genius and the media have in common? I'm a little dumb, genius? And why are you all over the posts and comments of other posters? You must love Stephen Shore or that you are Stephen's personal media.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Aug 15, 2012)

I have now looked at Stephen Shore's images at 303 gallery. And I find them boring - all of them. You have to say though that he is consistent ... ly boring. Thats a kind of quality most people cannot live up to. There is often some thing of interest in some of the images. But Stephen has very skillfully avoided that.

Regarding Eric's blog - I still dont understand what it has to do with Stephen's images. Mostly unrelated as far as I can see.

I have also looked at Eric's images. Not so bad IMHO. Not my style really ... but not without emotional reaction from my side. And after that I understand even less why Eric refers to Stephen. I see no relation at all.

3 upvotes
Mike Oo
By Mike Oo (Aug 16, 2012)

I don't think you have to shoot similar images to someone to comment on their work. You don't even have to be a photographer. Many of the best photo editors are not photographers. Frankly, you are completely entitled to your opinion, but I don't think it's necessary to critique the writer's work and to try and find some "relation." That would be like hunting down Kathy Ryan's photos the next time see a piece she was working on as a photo editor. "I just don't see how these Afghanistan photos relate to her work" etc.

2 upvotes
57even
By 57even (Aug 16, 2012)

I have now read all of your posts and found them pointless, boring an uninformed. I have to say you are consistently opinionated but not from any particular position of authority.

And your lack of ability to see something, though utterly unsurprising, is not very informative.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Aug 17, 2012)

OK - your choice Fiftyseven - I wonder though if you find your own posts all that inspiring. They more or less say one thing, Those that dont like Shore's images lacks the ability to see his greatness. Quite repetitive.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Aug 17, 2012)

Mike - Kim did not comment on Shore's work. He just wrote a summary of advices how to shoot street photography - and used Shore's images as decoration. Dont know why. Maybe he thought the fame of Shore would enhance his own words. ---- The words did not seem related to the images though.

0 upvotes
iaredatsun
By iaredatsun (Aug 18, 2012)

Roland, it's very difficult to produce work that is apparently consistently boring. That's an art. To paraphrase John Cage's advice you just need to look at it long enough to overcome and see beyond your boredom.

0 upvotes
nonuniform
By nonuniform (Aug 19, 2012)

I respect that you've looked at the work, but can you have something more to say than "boring"? That's just not particularly descriptive.

Are they boring because you find the subjects uninteresting?

I find that they world around us is totally taken for granted, and there is a subtle beauty in the everyday scenes. That's essentially what Uncommon Places is all about.

0 upvotes
lawdog
By lawdog (Aug 15, 2012)

Those are hands down some of the most boring, pedestrian photographs I have ever seen. Reminds me of the artist who puts up a blank canvas and everyone stands around ooh and aah-ing over the esoteric statement about the emptiness our our collective existence.

8 upvotes
HansJN
By HansJN (Aug 16, 2012)

Precisely what I wanted to say. One huge collection of everything you wish people would filter out before they actually show you their photos, and because this man is an "artist" we are suddenly supposed to like it? Or even worse, now it suddenly has meaning?

And we get some great tips like "date your photos". Because, you know, cameras don't already do that by themselves...

Comment edited 49 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Gonzalo Oxenford
By Gonzalo Oxenford (Aug 16, 2012)

You definitely don't know much about art, history of art, etc. Stephen Shore was the first fine art color photographer.
For you to have an idea:
At age fourteen, he had his work purchased by the Moma, NY. At seventeen, Shore was a regular at Andy Warhol factory, producing an important photographic document of the scene, and in 1971 at the age of 23, he became the first living photographer to have a one-man show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

5 upvotes
Canyongazer
By Canyongazer (Aug 15, 2012)

In the 1970s the relatively new Photo Academia represented by the Visual Studies Workshop, Afterimage Magazine, Society for Photographic Education and many relatively new MFA programs--- were struggling to gain Art World Legitimacy. Part of that quest was the embrace of Postmodernism with its snarky cynicism, celebration of the banal, rejection of the beautiful and a compulsion to talk, talk, talk about "images."
It is little wonder that the Pet Rock was popular in that same decade.

2 upvotes
Chuck O
By Chuck O (Aug 15, 2012)

I agree with Stephen_C. It is the work of a certain time.

When I was 20, "New Color Work" was published. It stimulated lots young photographers including me. You see the styles developed by these photographers in all sorts of media today.

Here is the 1981 review of "New Color Work". This provides some context.
http://www.nytimes.com/1981/11/08/arts/photography-view-is-the-new-color-work-so-different-from-the-old.html?pagewanted=all

0 upvotes
Stephen_C
By Stephen_C (Aug 15, 2012)

These photos are a product of the art-world culture of the time. If these images or Andy Warhol's soup cans were released today they would almost certainly be be ignored unless the artist had a great agent or some sort of publicity. They are interesting from an art-history perspective, if not very interesting to look at on their own. That said, some pretty plain photos sell for a lot of money these days as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhein_II

2 upvotes
57even
By 57even (Aug 16, 2012)

If someone started painting in the style of Rubens now, everyone would say "yes very nice but it's been done, old chap". Apply same to Mozart, Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles Dickens.

The historical relevance is part of the point and what adds value to the work. Whether some person "likes" it or not is hardly interesting, since this is NOT Facebook, nor is art a democracy.

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Sad Joe
By Sad Joe (Aug 15, 2012)

Wonder if I can dig up and post some of my old images ? Sorry - not impressed, I don't wish to be critical but is this another case of being famous for being famous - then again I'd never heard of him until now so how famous can he be?

1 upvote
57even
By 57even (Aug 15, 2012)

How many famous photographers do you know?

0 upvotes
cxsparc
By cxsparc (Aug 15, 2012)

Well, I DID take a look at the Abu Dhabi pictures and to say I am underwhelmed would be an understatement.

His pictures from the seventies are sort of interesting in allowing a glance at that time. But then, just about any photos from that period would be similarily interesting.

I do not know for what others consider him to be exceptional in any regard. His Abu Dhabi pictures IMHO lack BOTH esthetics and message.

2 upvotes
Leichhardt
By Leichhardt (Aug 16, 2012)

Luckily there is some aesthetic content

0 upvotes
Jonathan F/2
By Jonathan F/2 (Aug 15, 2012)

I don't mind these articles at all. I don't mind Eric Kim either. What I do mind, is that DPreview has been slacking in the "review" part of this website. There are a ton of cameras that need reviewing. Get to work!

6 upvotes
jj74e
By jj74e (Aug 15, 2012)

I'm shocked that Eric Kim has made it to dpreview. I don't think he is particularly impressive and have no idea how he is so famous.

However, I think people are being overly critical about him. While I don't think his photographic work merits his popularity, people here are criticizing him for sharing ideas that have already been said before or posting photos that aren't particularly good, but what's wrong with that?

A lot of people here aren't that familiar with blogging. But in case you didn't know, ideas are freeform, flexible and transferable. Blogging is all about sharing, and as long as you cite your sources, it's great that there's a whole community of people sharing what they seen, read, heard, experienced, etc

Eric Kim is not a great photographer; maybe he's not even that great a writer. But he's a blogger, someone who's confident, supplies regular material, and shares bits of what he does.

Maybe he's not great, but perhaps his well-done sharing is enough to be famous.

3 upvotes
jj74e
By jj74e (Aug 15, 2012)

Again, I'm not supporting Eric Kim, nor am I trying to defame him. I do not like his work nor his blogging. I am just explaining that to be a great blogger (or video blogger on YouTube for example), you don't necessarily need to have the best work. You just need consistent material, healthy confidence, a good supply of ideas and direction with what you want to share, and not be terrible. Just the art of sharing- sometimes just being who you are and not being afraid to do it publicly is enough to get people to like you.

0 upvotes
PeakAction
By PeakAction (Aug 15, 2012)

This is crap. I don't know who Eric Kim keeps stroking to get reposted, but if he's who DP Review is turning to to get page hits now, then consider me unimpressed. I've never thought much of his work; he's more blogger than photographer, and after his little "I'm going to be a war photographer/go camping" debacle a few weeks back, I'm convinced that he's nothing more than yet another internet hack who likes to fondle new cameras and write blog posts. But hey, if people were willing to throw money and popularity at me for my contrived opinion, who's to say I wouldn't be doing the same thing? Oh, wait, I'm too busy actually shooting...

Sour grapes? You bet. I'm tired of fauxtographers and art donkeys mistaking internet popularity for talent.

6 upvotes
Bryan Costin
By Bryan Costin (Aug 22, 2012)

You're welcome to your opinion. As a general rule, however, I've found that anyone who seriously uses the term "fauxtographers" is swimming in a very shallow pool.

0 upvotes
ulfie
By ulfie (Aug 14, 2012)

Ho-hum images at best.

3 upvotes
Stephen_C
By Stephen_C (Aug 14, 2012)

I wonder how those photos would be received today.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Aug 14, 2012)

Probably not at all. But some here claims they were ground breaking way back then. Surprises me I must say.

4 upvotes
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Aug 14, 2012)

There was a contest to pick the best designs for a T-shirt a couple of years ago. The winners were the designs that had most positive comments AND the ones that had the most negative comments. It's about the emotion, guys, T-shirts or pics.

1 upvote
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Aug 15, 2012)

Actually - this is a rather good post. At first I dismissed it as nonsense. But - it actually has some merit. Stephens images awakens one emotion - what is this for boring cr@p? Thats it. Not easy to make that so good as those images. Most boring pictures are just bad. But those images are not all that bad - just boring. So - a set of relatively good boring pictures. Could anything be more annoying than that? The question that comes to my mind is why he did it. Why take a photo of a platter with food and then insist it is a piece of art that shall hang n a wall. And then do so with some success? Strange!

0 upvotes
jwinberg1
By jwinberg1 (Aug 14, 2012)

Bravo for expanding the scope of DPREVIEW! The art and craft of Photography encompasses far more than equipment reviews, fascinating and valuable though they are. We can only gain depth and comprehension from exposure to articles such as these. I am grateful and gratified to see these areas addressed.

10 upvotes
57even
By 57even (Aug 14, 2012)

I agree, but I think some of the usual audience are finding it a bit challenging.

4 upvotes
Mattwd
By Mattwd (Aug 15, 2012)

I just spent the past four year in art school studying photography and I still find Stephen Shore to be "challenging". I spent my first three years as just about the only photo student to find his photographs utterly worthless, until he came to talk with us; after that day I had a few more allies. After listening to him speak I can fairly confidently say that any meaning gleaned from his pictures is implied by the viewer. Shore simply points his camera at whatever banal crap he wants, and lets the viewer do the rest. Lazy "art" at its worst. Everything is "beautiful" and everything "raises questions". The artist's job should consist of more than just pointing out examples.

2 upvotes
Mattwd
By Mattwd (Aug 15, 2012)

P.S. - Despite the rant, I actually do commend DPR for infusing a bit more of the "fine art" aspect into their posts. They have every right to, and by all means SHOULD expand the scope of the site. Just...expand in a better direction ;-P

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (Aug 15, 2012)

Even great artists can be unimpressive in person. I don't put Shore in that category, but don't find his inability to express his ideas at all surprising. I went to a first-rate art school and most of my professors could paint/draw/sculpt/etc. much better than they could speak. Visual ideas don't necessarily have verbal equivalents.

I have to smile when I see these photos because they just scream early seventies. Take a look at photorealist painters of the era and you'll see the same blandly suburban, middle class subjects, complete with period cars. Everything old is new again.

0 upvotes
Mattwd
By Mattwd (Aug 15, 2012)

Mark, all of that is very true. Indeed, I'm afflicted with the same "problem" in my own work, as are many of my favorite artists. (If you went to SFAI, you were no doubt exposed to Linda Connor, whose speeches generally consist of "Talking about photography is stupid, so here are my pictures." - a viewpoint I can get behind.) The issue that we had with Shore was not his failure to explain his concepts but his insistence that it could/should be done.

To be sure, I do enjoy the "time capsule" quality of his photographs. But then, I also enjoy the same quality of photos in family albums taken by people who don't expect to be lauded for it.

Ultimately, I find Shore to be one of the most glaring examples of the "emperor's new clothing" aspect of modern art. After four years of stewing, I doubt there's any way to neatly sum up my thoughts within 1,000 characters, so I suppose I'll just leave it with "de gustibus non disputandum est".

0 upvotes
StanRogers
By StanRogers (Aug 15, 2012)

To be completely fair, you really had to be there at the time. I just caught the tail end of it, being a child of the sixties (I was born at the beginning of the decade, and a lot of my early experience was formed by the changes in attitude and generational conflict of the time). I find a lot of the work of that period precious, vain and self-serving, but I do sort of understand it in its context.

It reflects its time, not so much in the sense that the artifacts of the era are well-captured, but it unashamedly takes the view that the audience is the real artist, and the performer/creator is merely providing a channel for the audience to find its own art. A lot of deconstructionist hogwash, if you ask me, but nobody asked me at the time.

We've returned in a large way to the artist as storyteller, and that's a good thing in my opinion. But back then, it was often seen as a sort of fascist attitude if you told people what they should be seeing, or even implied it.

0 upvotes
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (Aug 15, 2012)

I'm Stan's contemporary so also caught the end of this wave. The art world then was rigidly opposed to narrative, replacing it with attitude. The viewer was an equal partipant and process was still idolized. The Establishment was still the enemy, anything middle class, suburban, corporate. I guess that hasn't really changed.

Unfortunately, what started as freedom from rigid academicism had by my college years (early eighties) become just as rigidly conformist. You had to be part of some conceptual movement to matter. Luckily, I was a non-objective artist, essentially an abstract expressionist at heart, so avoided the sharpest jabs. I was just a little out of date and not adequately conceptual, and maybe a bit conservative (a nice bit of irony.)

It was all so boring and pointless and enforced by a growing mob of academic critics publishing unreadable journals. None of the good artists I knew cared about all that and few even tried to read the rubbish, but their careers were made or broken by where they fit.

Things seem a little better now. The academics still squabble, but the gallery owners, collectors, and museum goers pay less attention than they did from the fifties through the eighties. I was a painter, not a photographer so didn't know much about their arguments. The photographers were a small subset who hung out in the basement. Back then photography had yet to achieve recognition as an art form equal to the traditional visual arts, though it was rising rapidly. In part due to people like Shore who made images that in no way resembled commercial photography. I like some of his work but much is just dated in a bad way. The same can be said of many other influential artists.

0 upvotes
Bernard D
By Bernard D (Aug 14, 2012)

Funny, I liked the article, I've been thinking of a project of doing photos of my corner of the planet, as it is today. It would for sure be boring *today*, but I think it might have a value later, I like looking at street photography from another era, of an area that I know of today, seeing buildings that don't exist anymore, or other interesting facts ?

5 upvotes
eliaskyo
By eliaskyo (Aug 14, 2012)

As they say in the gaming world:

"Haters gonna hate."

Thank you for the read, DPR.

9 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Aug 14, 2012)

I see no problems with DPReview posting this article. They do what they want, and the article has some value.

But I do have problems with people that criticizes those having opinions on the article. Calling people "haters" and "stupid" is below the decency mark, and probably against DPReview's rules.

3 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Aug 14, 2012)

Haters haters are always gonna hate the haters.

peace.

3 upvotes
BaconBit
By BaconBit (Aug 14, 2012)

Roland, it isn't stupid to not like something, but it is stupid to act like you are forced to read every single thing DPReview posts and that your opinion of what is interesting and quality speaks for everyone else (not singling you out, speaking in general).

2 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Aug 14, 2012)

@BaconBit. So - its OK to say you like the article, but it is not OK to say you dont like it. And it is seems that it is OK to call those that dont like it stupid and haters. I dont know how good you are at logic. But - dont you see some problems here?

2 upvotes
57even
By 57even (Aug 14, 2012)

@Roland

So it's OK to hate Stephen Shore?

The price of free speech is that everyone knows what you think....and judges you accordingly.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Aug 15, 2012)

@Fiftyseven

Who hates Stephen Shore?

Do you hate all photographers that make photos you dont like?

0 upvotes
nonuniform
By nonuniform (Aug 19, 2012)

@Roland - I think your point is to raise the quality of the conversation above the schoolyard maturity level.

Whether we agree about the work is not the point, it's whether we add anything useful to the discussion.

0 upvotes
Jan Kritzinger
By Jan Kritzinger (Aug 14, 2012)

What I learnt from DPR comments: People are stupid.

6 upvotes
57even
By 57even (Aug 14, 2012)

Took you till now to figure that out??? ;)

2 upvotes
RDCollins
By RDCollins (Aug 14, 2012)

I find it difficult to believe that anyone would bother to copyright those photos.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Aug 14, 2012)

You dont choose. Copyright is automatic. Thats the biggest problem with Copyright.

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
57even
By 57even (Aug 14, 2012)

I guess you also find it hard to believe that these same photos are hanging in art galleries and are highly regarded by a lot of people. At the very least you may ask if there could be a reason for that...

1 upvote
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Aug 14, 2012)

I assume you are replying to Collins. But ill bite nevertheless. No - I dont find that surprising. Some things get cult status and then lots of people gathers around it. Happens all the time.

1 upvote
57even
By 57even (Aug 15, 2012)

So, if YOU don't "get" something it's a cult?

There are other explanations. Stephen Shore has, in your terminology, been a "cult" for around 50 years and is still exhibited worldwide. Clearly, according to you, that's because some people are stupid, and you know better?

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Aug 15, 2012)

You are drawing totally wrong conclusions, again and again.

I only say I dont like his images.

I assume you can read something I never have said or meant from that single line also. Be my guest!

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Aug 15, 2012)

EDIT - I tried to edit the above post - but it failed. Here it is instead.

Of course there is a cult. There is always a cult around famous people. That is a fundamental property for human beings. I dont know if you like sports or religion or writers or whatever ... Cults everywhere.

Just to make sure I done miss anything here, I have now looked at all his photos at 303 gallery. And ... I still find them boring. I am never going to be a part of the cult around him.

You claim that I simply dont get it. Maybe. How would I know? If I dont get it I can probably not get that either.

But I have another theory. Right or wrong. Its the emperors new clothes. And you cant admit that, because then you dont get it either. :)

Have a nice day!

0 upvotes
Model Mike
By Model Mike (Aug 14, 2012)

I enjoyed this article and applaud DPR for bringing it to the attention of its readers. More like this please!

7 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Aug 14, 2012)

Hmmmm ... seeing the posts here I wondered ... what shall I write?

I didnt want to write yet another "depressing post", but ... I cannot say I appreciate the photos. And I dont understand what Eric Kim's text had to do with the photos.

A short summary: I have read it. Now, I shall read something else. Take care!

2 upvotes
Tom Goodman
By Tom Goodman (Aug 14, 2012)

Stephen Shore is not a street photographer by any known working definition.

3 upvotes
BabylonPhotos
By BabylonPhotos (Aug 14, 2012)

Agree, he is a photographer of the nothingness. And Eric Kim looks like a smart amateur rather ignorant. Sorry.

0 upvotes
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (Aug 15, 2012)

And that matters? He was taking these pictures long before the current definitions were in place. Kim admits right up front that they don't fit neatly into contemporary categories. I'd hate to think that there are photographers out there foolish enough to cut their work to the latest faddish definitions. Unfortunately, I know there are.

0 upvotes
Tom Goodman
By Tom Goodman (Aug 15, 2012)

MarkInSF, you know absolutely nothing about street photography. "long before"? One could argue Andre Kertesz was among the first street photographers as were Cartier-Bresson and Brassai. Following them, but far earlier than Shore were Gary Winogrand and Lee Friedlander. Try and do a little homework before demonstrating a complete lack of knowledge.

0 upvotes
Mattwd
By Mattwd (Aug 15, 2012)

Tom: Mark didn't say "long before street photography existed", he said "long before the current definitions were in place". Great artists generally make their work years before historians and critics decide what it's supposed to mean and how we're supposed to categorize it. Your comment does not reveal Mark's lack of knowledge, just your lack of contextual understanding.

P.S. Feel free to take a look at my other comments. I certainly wouldn't defend that Shore is even worth a mention among greats like Cartier-Bresson and Brassai. But unfounded accusations of ignorance are for meanies.

1 upvote
Tom Goodman
By Tom Goodman (Aug 15, 2012)

current definitions apply to those cited. no retraction here.

0 upvotes
Bryan Costin
By Bryan Costin (Aug 22, 2012)

I don't see where Kim ever said that Stephen Shore was a street photographer. He simply suggested five things that street photographers might learn from Shore's work. Photographers are allowed to experiment with different genres. Sometimes they even learn stuff.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Aug 14, 2012)

This is fine. Even in Japan, people take vacations and with Photokina coming up there isn't much news. I personally think Joel Sternfeld blows the doors off Stephen Shore for this type of photography but Shore has been around much longer, and to each his own.

2 upvotes
Dennis
By Dennis (Aug 14, 2012)

And now I've learned something from the comments :) Thanks for the reference - the photos turned up by google show that he's definitely worth a deeper look.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Aug 14, 2012)

2 weeks from the last "kind of review", 3 weeks from the last real review. It is getting really boring here. Are you on vacations all at once?

3 upvotes
MareNostrum
By MareNostrum (Aug 14, 2012)

One of my favorite photographers of all time. His most well known work is "Uncommon places":
http://vimeo.com/35837480

4 upvotes
Dazed and Confused
By Dazed and Confused (Aug 14, 2012)

I'm finding the majority of comments really rather depressing.

9 upvotes
BradJudy
By BradJudy (Aug 14, 2012)

While the quality of the article isn't the greatest, I applaud the fact that DPR has spent some more time on the process of photography and the results these days and not just on equipment reviews. Unless you are a serial equipment buyer, you likely spend far more time behind the viewfinder than buying equipment.

I think there's still some tuning to do on the selection of articles, but I'm glad an effort is being made.

If you only want reviews, just click the "Filter News" option on the front page and choose "Reviews and previews".

8 upvotes
Dennis
By Dennis (Aug 14, 2012)

Wow - I hope you guys at dpr are making good money off this site, because based on the thankless comments, it can't be worth it otherwise.

I might find some of these more recent posts trivial, but others less so. I love being exposed to photographers I've never heard of. (In this case, I'm slightly familiar with Stephen Shore - I've even signed up to hear him speak at Photoplus Expo in October). Point is, there are lots of dpr readers out there and if a blurb about an article on Stephen Shore isn't interesting to some, don't assume it's not interesting to others.

12 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Aug 14, 2012)

Glad you like it! Also, some people seem unable to grasp the distinction, but posts like this are more in the order of 'look! Something interesting on the Internet!' We didn't commission or edit Eric Kim's article, which is on his own site ;)

5 upvotes
increments
By increments (Aug 14, 2012)

@Barney: Why not write a short piece for the front page to that effect? Maybe help stem the vitriol.

1 upvote
Dan4321
By Dan4321 (Aug 14, 2012)

Know your audience, users/customers typically go to this site for a few reasons, or expect a few things out of this site. And following links to someone else's commentary isn't one of them.

4 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Aug 14, 2012)

Which is why we have a news filtering option, so people like you, who only want one thing from the site, don't have to be troubled when we post other things.

5 upvotes
ZeevK
By ZeevK (Aug 14, 2012)

Barney,

The people like me that do not enthusiastically apploud you for this article, in my understanding are not "troubled when you post other things", they are bothered for DPR not posting the things that it is supposed to, and which are the main reason for us / me to be there at the first place...

0 upvotes
anacondaB
By anacondaB (Aug 14, 2012)

Eric Kim is like the Kardashians- he's famous for absolutely nothing. He's not a pro, just some guy that can talk himself up a lot and has some disposable income from somewhere to masquerade as a pro photographer

17 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Aug 14, 2012)

Shore aside, who is this Eric Kim guy?!

If there is no photography news, I'll give you one:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2185996/Never-seen-lacewing-discovered-photographer-posts-pictures-Flickr.html

THIS!

3 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Aug 14, 2012)

I looked at Kurt's blog, and just WOW!
He is a sensational photographer, mastering the skills of larger than life size macro photography!
All taken using not so pro nor expensive gear along with a getto diy diffuser!
Not to mention he discovered a new species, and the reason his name wasn't used to name the new species is probably because he's a nice guy, letting the scientist to name it.

1 upvote
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Aug 14, 2012)

With the high performance cameras of today, even down to the tiny P&S pocket rocket... taking a picture is not that hard anymore.

The important thing is YOU ARE THERE.

Just click it!

.

6 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Aug 14, 2012)

Mind boggling that people are attending street photography workshops...
just get out there and snap........with your heart

2 upvotes
Scott Everett
By Scott Everett (Aug 14, 2012)

This is not the first photography forum to feature a comment fueled series of debates about the merits of Erik Kim, it will not be the last. But like him and his photography or not, he is getting people engaged, out shooting, exploring techniques. I can only hope that anyone interested in learning photography is willing to explore more than a currently popular photoblog, whether it be Eric Kim, Zack Arias, or Natsumi Hayashi.

But our choice to share the thoughts of Eric Kim is purely driven by our interest in seeing photography where it is today. Reading the comments is actually a fascinating look into the passonate and personal investment we all make into this artform, and we'd be disappointed if our site was not a platform for that reality to be put on display.

8 upvotes
Scott Everett
By Scott Everett (Aug 14, 2012)

Lastly, we do listen, so keep the comments coming. We try out different content to see what sticks, and we adjust as we go along. The technical reviews that made the site what it is have never left. And as has been noted quite a bit recently, we're on our way to launching even more technical content, namely, revamped lens reviews and more video coverage of products as well.

3 upvotes
Joe Pineapples
By Joe Pineapples (Aug 14, 2012)

I think it's great to mix-up the technical review stuff with discussions about the work of influential photographers. I love Stephen Shore's photographs, because they are so personal a view of a certain time and place - what photography is all about...

4 upvotes
BartyLobethal
By BartyLobethal (Aug 14, 2012)

Thanks for publishing this article and recent ones like it.

In common with most of these articles the actual photography I can take or leave, but the insights into the methods and thoughts of the photographers is useful and interesting.

Gear reviews brought me to dpreview. Articles like this one make it a more interesting place to re-visit.

1 upvote
Eugene343
By Eugene343 (Aug 14, 2012)

The word 'snapshot' is utterly redundant. Even more so when shooting a 10x8 view camera!

Shore and Eggleston pioneered the use of colour film as a serious art form. Up until then it had mainly been used in an exaggerated way by advertisers.

The lack of a 'core' or clear message is exactly why I find Shores work interesting. If you have trouble with his work please don't look at his recent Abu Dhabi project shot on a D3x...you'll most likely have a fit and die.

4 upvotes
aardvark7
By aardvark7 (Aug 14, 2012)

Pretentious nonsense and most likely you'd get arrested and put on the sex offenders register for the one shown here...

2 upvotes
BartyLobethal
By BartyLobethal (Aug 14, 2012)

If you live in the sort of place where a photographer might actually be placed on a sexual offenders list on account of any of the photographs in the linked article, I feel bad for you.

However, if you actually think Shore *should* be placed on such a list on the basis of any of the linked images - you're the sort of hysterical moralist making life increasingly difficult for any photographer that doesn't want to stay at home shooting setups on their coffee table. Thanks for nothing.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
11 upvotes
aardvark7
By aardvark7 (Aug 14, 2012)

Truly the oddest and most pointless reply.

If you had sense you would have realised that:

1. I think the work is pretentious nonsense
2. I was making an oblique observation that taking pictures of girls in swimsuits at pools is the sort of thing that gets 'hysterical moralists' attacking photographers without any justification.
It's outrageous that it happens, but it does; far too often.

But you'd have realised that, wouldn't you...?

2 upvotes
MareNostrum
By MareNostrum (Aug 14, 2012)

OMG! A girl in a swimsuit! That´s really shocking!
Dude relax, the girl in this picture is Stephen Shores wife

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
aardvark7
By aardvark7 (Aug 14, 2012)

Do you guys do it deliberately????

I'm entirely relaxed about it, but unless you hadn't noticed, lift a camera in the direction of a young person in swimwear these days and you are looked on as some kind of pervert.

We need every parent to give permission for pictures to be taken of a school play, or sports day. Not so long ago a national newsreader was reported to the police because she had some prints done of her children in the bath.

Of course, if some of you still don't understand this elementary point, no amount of hammering on your thick skulls will change it...

1 upvote
Mark Smith
By Mark Smith (Aug 14, 2012)

The woman in the photo is his wife. If we have reached a level where to take a picture of your wife from the back in a swim suit is perverted then the loonies really have taken over.
The point about kids is just stupid.

If you can't get your head around this elementary point...
Oh nevermind-its his wife, go get one of your own!

1 upvote
aardvark7
By aardvark7 (Aug 15, 2012)

See if you can sign up with your local primary school.

I believe they do classes in reading and comprehension, as you are in serious need of a refresher course...

0 upvotes
Mark Smith
By Mark Smith (Aug 15, 2012)

Don't be an idiot. How is your local primary school anything to do with someone taking a picture of his wife?
Seriously
Basically stupid reasoning, born of lack of basic understanding-you're being deliberately obtuse not very clever!

0 upvotes
Stewart Pinkerton
By Stewart Pinkerton (Aug 14, 2012)

Without falling into the 'I'm just as good as him' trap that a previous poster did, I too am the same age as Shore, born in 1947. Pioneering color photographer? I don't think so, given that Kodachrome came out in 1935, 12 years before either of us was born! Influential certainly, but hardly pioneering...

4 upvotes
michaelrz
By michaelrz (Aug 14, 2012)

Shore was one of the first of the great photographers to use color photography as an art form. Color photography was considered inferior even during the sixties. It was mainly Shore, Eggleston, Meyerowitz and Leiter who have changed the public's perception of color photography and the new opportunities it opened up.

10 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Aug 14, 2012)

^^what he said^^

1 upvote
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Aug 14, 2012)

The publics perception of color photography? Hmmmm ... its my absolutely belief that color photography would have prospered just as nicely among the public without any color photography art forms whatsoever. It was a given winner as soon as it was a practical and economical alternative. Not many of the public have even heard of any of those guys.

BTW - if you want a pioneer. Take a look at that Russian guy who made color photos long before color film existed.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
57even
By 57even (Aug 14, 2012)

@michaelrz

Well said. In the 60s "Art Photography" was black and white, colour was for family snaps and advertising and other "low brow" stuff. It took a lot to challenge that perception.

OK some people dismiss "art photography" all together, but then they probably don't like art much either.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Aug 14, 2012)

The importance of "the first ones" are almost always overrated. They simply are the first ones. If they never existed some other will be the first ones instead. Its just coincidence. Except in some exceptional exceptions. But color art photography is not that exceptional. Its a natural evolution.

0 upvotes
Juck
By Juck (Aug 14, 2012)

DPREVIEW - If you cut out the COMMENTS section completely you might lose 10% of the traffic from this site,,, tops. It would be SO WORTH IT.

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Aug 14, 2012)

It wouldn't ;)

1 upvote
ZeevK
By ZeevK (Aug 14, 2012)

Complete Wais of Time.

For me DPR is loosing it's value and interest by not doing what it supposed to be doing - Digital Photography equipment Review, which was the main reason for me to have DPR listed in my "Favorites" for several years.

Late or skipped reviews, abandoned "lens Review"... by the time DPR publishes something that might be interesting - I already got the information long ago from several other sites.

Some tested current models that got significant firmware updates - are still tested, evaluated and show sample photos which are... irrelevant and missleading.

As an active contributor of several technical forums in my country, currently I rarely reference DPR anymore. As a co-editor (not payed but volunteraly) of "Technical News" forums - I do not remember whaen was the last time that my source for "news" was DPR. They are either late or insufficient in details.

The onli point of interest left for me here - are the forums. Sad...

8 upvotes
Juck
By Juck (Aug 14, 2012)

Bye then. You won't be missed.

13 upvotes
ZeevK
By ZeevK (Aug 14, 2012)

@Juck

Very inteligent reply. Bravooo!

2 upvotes
michaelrz
By michaelrz (Aug 14, 2012)

@Zeev

DPR would be a much duller site if it concentrated solely on equipment. As you say, there are other technical-only sites. DPR is unique in referencing various aspects of photography and IMHO it's great.

2 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (Aug 14, 2012)

@michaelrz: I disagree. DPR's strength is technical reviews. Abandon your strengths in pursuit of cheap clicks at your peril. DPR should take that to heart.

4 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Aug 14, 2012)

@onlooker - you really haven't been paying attention. We're not 'abandoning' anything, we're still doing reviews. I should just have a macro set up to automatically reply to comments like yours...

1 upvote
intensity studios
By intensity studios (Aug 14, 2012)

Please learn how to spell.

0 upvotes
ZeevK
By ZeevK (Aug 14, 2012)

@Juck
Seriously, I do not care if you or any of your cheer-leaders miss me or not. I am her not because of you nor for them. I was here because of what DPR used to be, and the work that Phill A. used to do. This is what I am missing and this is the only thing that I care.

@ michaeliz
No problem when all the new and interesting camera, firmware upgrade and lense reviews are done... really, no problem, but first...

@ Barney B.
Sarcasm - definitely will not improve DPR. Hard work - maybe. Don't write reply macros - better write reviews...

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
roblarosa
By roblarosa (Aug 14, 2012)

Wais = Waste
loosing = losing
I already got = I've already got OR I already have
that got = that have
volunteraly = voluntarily
whaen = when
onli = only

But, pretty good for a non-native English speaker.

0 upvotes
amicus70
By amicus70 (Aug 14, 2012)

Art lays in the eye of the viewer.

I think it's out of discussion, that some of the pictures are a good handwork: right exposure etc (like the one shown here on dpr).

But I miss something special about the photography, too. Especially the pictures of streets - if they where mine I would have deleted them, because I couldn't find a trigger in them. They are just pics from the street, to much things in them to look at. You don't know where the core of the picture is, what he want to tell us with it. A picture of a half eaten burger with fries? The pics look like snapshots, just taken without thinking.

I don't like them, but if you... why not?

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Aug 14, 2012)

Yeah, there are many styles, and we should not too focused on styles alone.

I have seen some other photos I like more than others, but if everyone agrees on one style, then why so many artists with different schools of thought?

2 upvotes
michaelrz
By michaelrz (Aug 14, 2012)

@amicus70

Shore's photography demands a lengthy gaze.
His photographs are much more than snapshots.
If all you see is snapshots, you have missed all the magic.

3 upvotes
amicus70
By amicus70 (Aug 14, 2012)

@michaelrz

You diddn't get what I meant!

I think these pics look like snapshots without a special content.
And so I don't miss magic that I think isn't there.

I will repeat what I said:
Art lays in the eye of the viewer.

If you like them, good. But I'm not that kind of person who will find something interesting or good just because a whole lot of people have this opinion.

1 upvote
thubleau7
By thubleau7 (Aug 14, 2012)

From looking at his sample photographs there is nothing he can teach me about street photography .
the samples are just C**P.
I just think DPR should spend more time on getting out reviews then endless no sensical articles on the front web page.
most here dont care about this stuff we just want honest reviews and tests of equipment and then most if not all head straight to the forums to see whats happening.

total waste of web space.

12 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Aug 14, 2012)

Nice to see that the millions of DPR visitors have elected someone to represent their views (or at least the views of 'most' here). The editor responsible has promised to make up the time it took to post a link to this article (which we neither wrote, published or hosted) by coming in 5 minutes early tomorrow.

18 upvotes
DamenS
By DamenS (Aug 14, 2012)

No. He can't make up the time of your readership (who HAVE taken the time to read this little snippet), and some who may have been fooled into believing this was a DPR "endorsement" of the site in question may have even "clicked through". Of all the worthwhile and informative sites on the web worthy of promotion, you have chosen Eric Kim's poorly written, (self) promotional blog ? Really ?? Therein lies the real problem.

12 upvotes
BaconBit
By BaconBit (Aug 14, 2012)

People around here act like they're forced to read every single thing that gets posted.

2 upvotes
DamenS
By DamenS (Aug 14, 2012)

People around here act like there will be a certain level of merit or "quality standard" in every thing DPR chooses to post.

4 upvotes
sedentary_male
By sedentary_male (Aug 14, 2012)

Does kinda look like though this is an endorsement of Eric Kim's site by DPR. Like me!! :)) :((

3 upvotes
BaconBit
By BaconBit (Aug 14, 2012)

DamenS, the merit or quality of a post is very often subjective. Just because it isn't to your taste doesn't mean that someone here won't find it useful or interesting. If you don't like it, then don't click on it, but you cannot decide for everyone what is interesting or useful and what is not.

7 upvotes
57even
By 57even (Aug 15, 2012)

Dear thubleau7

"From looking at his sample photographs there is nothing he can teach me about street photography."

You know, you are absolutely right. I think it would be pretty hard to teach you anything since you already pretty much have it down pat.

0 upvotes
lucigrapher
By lucigrapher (Aug 15, 2012)

57even, your avatar accurately depicts your projection to other DPR readers: in-your-face crabbiness.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
stany buyle
By stany buyle (Aug 14, 2012)

I really don't see anything special in the pictures of that article, not even average...

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
13 upvotes
57even
By 57even (Aug 14, 2012)

Does it strike you as odd that other people do? Perhaps you are the person who is missing something?

1 upvote
Total comments: 199
12