>>>> Street Photography eXchange #37a <<< Locked
This is the former Anything Goes section of Weekly Street Photography.
It is the place to post your serious photos and to make thoughtful comments.
>>Always post in threaded view.
(It keeps things organized and makes your photos easier to notice.)
Post photos in threaded view in reply to this post.
http://sidewalkshadows.com/blog/ (street photos)
and sometimes Cupid gets carried away.
there's currently an exhibition at the metropolitan in NYC called 'street' which sounds like quite a show.
you can see a brief overview of it in the times here. worth a read.
and you can view an excerpt from the centerpiece of the show, slow-motion video from new york streets shot with a phantom high-speed camera (i assume based on the copy in the article) mounted on a rolling SUV.
it is beautiful, of course, and i am sure lots of people will be looking forward to the time when they can shoot their street photography this way. (not me--no way i want to be swamped in that kind of data overload!)
Going trhrough my files I found some more dogs . Maybe o.k. to display them in one go here.
Have a nice doggy day !
Dogs are harder to photograph than cats, but usually more interesting when the shot works.
When a dog is carried, the perspective problem is solved, since the animal is much closer to eye level.
Contrary to appearances, I am not a tele fanatic. I keep my zoom set to 35mm to give a preference to WA (and because these shots often have less margin for timing error.) But WA shots are more difficult.
In some of you shots, the money part of the shot is very small because of the distance and focal length. So a longer FL and a lower angle might have helped realize your vision.
The other thing, if we are going to make our doggie shots wag their tails, is to catch a moment where the dog reveals its personality, relationship or provides some kind of absurd comment on modern life.
I like the shot above because of the excellent background and the vertical elements justify the image. And the relationship of dog to master is beautifully expressed. The lack of other people makes us focus on the two, who are absorbed in each other, the doggie-human dance, and oblivious of the stark emptiness of the street. At the risk of actually being pretentious, the Latin word for play, ludus, comes to mind and how ludus can give meaning to even the most banal of every day moments.
Not being of the midcentury modern school (or only of it a little bit), I like photos that make me think about the human comedy, at once tender and absurd.
From a blog, Living the Romantic Comedy, comes this:
Henry Bromell's "Big 5" Questions to Ask of a Scene:
Have we seen this scene before?
Is there a conflict?
Is there a subtext?
Does it go from A to B (have a shape)?
Is the language and tone interesting?
So let's apply this to street photos:
Have we seen this scene before? - My photo of the scene on my block that Berenice Abbott shot is probably better, but uninteresting if you've already seen hers. The odds of yours or my next shot of people ignoring a homeless guy being of interest are about 10,000 to 1.
Is there a relationship? Between the subjects, between the subject and the photographer, between the subject and the background, between the suject and some cultural trope?
Is there a subtext? Hexars jumping dog shot creates a subtext by showing action take place in an empty plaza. The participants are not aware of that particularly. HCB's bride on a swing, has a very funny juxtaposition to a scale, so there is a subtext of the groom weighing his bride in some fashion.
Does it have a story, that goes from A to B? Does the photograph suggest a story and put a twist on what happened?
Are the graphical elements interesting?
I'm just trying these questions on for size. Not committing to them.
agree Frank to most of your words. Most of those doggy shots would not make it into my portofollio that I wouls show to someone as exept 2 of them are below par I must say
Anyhow funny and nice to discuss possible improvements as we do
Frank, what is your drive to get so deep into the intimacy of couples like this ? Would a pic like this not be only of value for those exposed ? What is your point capturing and saving isolated exposures of these couples ? I would feel myself a bit too much voyeur rather than photograper in situations like this . Nothing offending but just curious ?
why we take any photo of anything other than the most banal subjects.
in street photography, one takes photos of what is happening around you. one of the reasons why it is practiced on streets is because so much happens there, and yet everything that does happen is public. every moment has the potential to become decisive, to be transformed into an event through a photograph.
are you seriously suggesting that you cannot see how either of the pics fad posted would have any value to people besides the ones pictured? if so, wouldn't that apply to all street photos? heck, pretty much all photo period?
if you cannot see the point of 'capturing and saving' single frames of street life in all its myriad manifestations, then possibly street photography is not for you.
now, as to whether you personally might feel a voyeur looking at these photos, well, that is hardly surprising. many of the most accomplished photographers in history have pointed out that all photographs, to a greater or lesser degree, invoke the spectre of voyeurism. the single most famous and widely recognized theorist and writer on photography in the united states (echoing her teacher roland barthes, possibly the most widely recognized authority on the theory of photography in the world, who concurred, and heidegger, who dubbed the era of the camera the age of the world picture, etc, etc.) made the voyeuristic relation cultivated by the camera the main theme of her book on photography:
"While the others are passive, clearly alarmed spectators, having a camera has transformed one person into something active, a voyeur: only he has mastered the situation. What do these people see? We don't know. And it doesn't matter. It is an Event: something worth seeing--and therefore worth photographing. […] Crushed hopes, youth antics, colonial wars, and winter sports are alike--are equalized by the camera. Taking photographs has set up a chronic voyeuristic relation to the world which levels the meaning of all events."
so one might as well rail against history itself.
of course, no one on these forums has ever suggested, as far as i have seen, that photos with a purely prurient intent, or ones which might potentially be harmful to children or to their subjects generally, or otherwise are clearly beyond the pale of a civil public forum should be displayed here.
but it is disingenuous to imagine that the issue of voyeuristic pictures won't come up in the context of taking photos of strangers, or even taking photos of your friends and family and displaying them in public to strangers. the question is whether or not, and how, to have a critical, engaged, and productive discussion about the issue when it arises.
some of the most beautiful, and occasionally thought provoking, photos i have made (albeit, as is my habit, at 50mm or shorter) involve similar subjects to the ones frank has posted:
there is no denying that questions about photographs such as these arise--indeed that is partly the point--and the recent florescence of questions about the 'ethics' of street photography in this forum only highlight that. following sontag and heidegger, such questions lead towards a more critical understanding of modern society and modernity itself--which, coincidentally, is consonant with classic themes of street photography generally.
Great capture of mood, time place
Show me the way to get out of this world/ That's where everything is
nice pic !
more dogs carried.
Nice composition --- even the blown highlight works....
Show me the way to get out of this world/ That's where everything is
before unworthy me was touched by grace, when my friends, ... well, enough of that. When I was young and naughty, I would enjoy being affectionate in public, like the people in these photos. It is a privilege of youth, mostly. Part of it is the urgency of youthful passion. Part a generous desire to share one's joy with those in a less blissful state of being. Part of it is being romantic. And a big part is also just showing off to strangers.
Sex is a part of life, and if it takes place in the public square, it is fair game. It is public sex. By definition, there is no privacy to invade. The fountain in Washington Square is thronged with all kinds of people and numerous cameras.
Sex is a part of art, and has been since the beginnings of our culture. Brassai, Weegee, HCB, Eisenstaedt, Doisneau and many others have made art of such intimate moments. If you think of yourself as an artist like them, then you would do likewise.
In the above link, someone who teaches writing romantic comedy at UCLA talks about sex (and not just kissing) in his art form. He says that sex is portrayed as either romantic or hot, generally speaking. But that just showing a couple being either romantic or hot is superficial. A good writer should use it to help define their characters, or move the plot along. (This is true of any theme in any genre, if you want to make good art.)
My first shot has ironies galore, in the spirit of SP --his arms are in casts while much of his torso is exposed, they are tenderly entwined while his arms look like Frankenstein, he is hale and hearty, but why are both his arms in casts? It's not great art, but it is art.
The second shot shows a notable delicacy of touch, especially with the hands. Both of these shots would be rated PG, I suspect, in a movie.
If you don't like SP, that's OK. But photographing moments that are either romantic, or hot, or both, has been part of its stock in trade from the very beginning.
If you do a google image search for street photography kiss, you will not be able to reach the end of the search. This is a good one, even if posed: