From first effort at street.

Started May 9, 2013 | Discussions
eques Senior Member • Posts: 2,694
Re: drop the zoom

sigala1 wrote:

dave rogers wrote:

sigala1 wrote:

Bassam Guy wrote:

"Not street photography"? I see a street to the left and a sidewalk in the foreground. What could be more "street"? Please explain to us, he who defines the term "street", how the lens type (zoom/wide/tele) is important. It would be best if you gave us a clear definition and a list so that we can comply.

"Street photography" has a more specific meaning than a photograph taken of a street or on a street or where you can see a street in the foreground or background.

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

In the immortal words of The Dude: "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

Abide.

No, it's NOT my opinion, the phrase "street photography" has a generally understood meaning in the fine-art photography community.

It should also be noted that the OP was familiar enough with the existence of the genre to make his photo black and white and name the thread based on the genre, so let's not play dumb here.

What game is this?

sigala1 - thanks for the link to Wikipedia, you provided in your earlier post.

I read this article and found, that according to Wikipedia everyone in the earlier posts here is right but you. Street photography neither presupposes B&W nor WA lenses.

Street photography takes place in a public place and shows people in interesting / telling / revealing situations. And the OP has shown an example of SPh, no doubt.

I know, many excellent street photography is done in B&W and with WA lenses, but this is not a necessary condition.

However, SPh is a form of candid photographyx and thus by definition intrudes upon the privacy of the people photographed.
So the qualms of the OP are easily understandable.

Peter.

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CharlesB58 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,460
Re: From first effort at street.
8

Kelpie wrote:

This is my favourite from my first attempt at street photography. I did not feel comfortable taking pictures of people I don't know but have always wanted to try this genre. I hope that the couple in the picture would see the humor in it that I do.

Ok I'll keep in mind you are just getting started in a genre that has lots of supposed, self-proclaimed experts, but few it seems who really understand the genre. Some think just taking a photo of people in public can fall under the heading of "street photography". No, that falls under the heading of "snapshots". Street photography, as has been mentioned here, must be engaging in some way. 2 main goals are at the heart of good street photography. One is to capture "ordinary", subjects scenes or activities in an out of the ordinary way (something Henri Cartier-Bresson excelled at). The other is to capture out of the ordinary, subjects scenes or activities that are taking place (think Diane Arbus or Eliot Erwitt).

To meet either (or ideally both) of these primary goals takes a lot of practice, observation skills and patience. (I remember reading of one photographer who waited for 2 hours for a woman wearing just the right dress to walk in front of a window display. What this means is that for anyone who just wants to walk around with a camera hoping for the best, the success rate is going to be quite low, and even then the results may be mediocre at best.

To develop any skill at street photography, it's important to start off by asking yourself the question "What is my goal?" The answer will determine your working process and style of image. Gary Winogrand said he takes photos because he is simply interested in how things look as photographs. Diane Arbus wanted to capture the freaks, and absurd or bizarre things in life. Eliot Erwitt looks for the humorous side in much of his best work. Others want to capture a "decisive moment". Some seek to show juxtapositions between the human subjects and their environment, sometimes in vary graphical or even abstract ways.Those who prefer getting close to subjects want to capture the subject as part of the interaction with the photographer.

Unfortunately, many people think that taking decently composed shots of people out on the street makes for successful street photography (i cringe every time I see an image of the backs of people posted as though watching people walking away from the viewer is of interest to anyone other than the photographer).

All that said, think about your example and ask yourself some questions. What was your purpose in capturing this specific couple at this specific time and place? What do you want to convey to the viewer about this couple, the scene, your vision as a photographer? Is this image really of interest to anyone other than yourself? Is so, what makes it of interest? What elements in this photograph support or distract from your goal?

As it stands, it's nothing more than a "practice shot" that simply displays that you kept to some rules regarding composition, and that's about it. But use it, and the crtique on this thread, as a starting point.

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larsbc Forum Pro • Posts: 13,981
Re: drop the zoom
3

eques wrote:

[snip]

Street photography takes place in a public place and shows people in interesting / telling / revealing situations. And the OP has shown an example of SPh, no doubt.

You might have no doubts, but I definitely do.

IMO if the people in the OP's photo fulfill those requirements, then it speaks poorly for street photography as a photographic genre.

Again, I think this is a case of people giving the street photographer a break because they want to reward him for simply overcoming the mental hurdle of photographing strangers.

sigala1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,818
telephoto/zoom, you know what I meant

NZ Scott wrote:

sigala1 wrote:

No, it's NOT my opinion, the phrase "street photography" has a generally understood meaning in the fine-art photography community.

It should also be noted that the OP was familiar enough with the existence of the genre to make his photo black and white and name the thread based on the genre, so let's not play dumb here.

And you should be familiar enough with photography to know that the Olympus 75/1.8 is a prime lens - not a zoom lens!

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G1Houston Senior Member • Posts: 2,621
Respect Privacy
3

I wish people can take "street photography" seriously instead of just going outside taking pictures of strangers on the street.  I assume that those who take this seriously will spend more time reading and studying great work of art and work with pro in some way to learn.  This is not the place where you can really learn the trade and be a pro.  We get this kind of post periodically b/c m4/3 is so portable that people begin to act out a fantasy that they too can be a artist  ...

I, for one, do not want to be photographed by someone I don't know with unknown purposes.  It is an invasion of privacy.  In the old days, you can keep your private photos in your closet, and no one else would ever know, and these photos eventually get old and degraded.  In the era of internet, however, this picture of couple is now permanently in the public domain for all to see forever, without the permission of this couple.  Is this ethical?

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sigala1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,818
Re: Respect Privacy
1

G1Houston wrote:

I wish people can take "street photography" seriously instead of just going outside taking pictures of strangers on the street.  I assume that those who take this seriously will spend more time reading and studying great work of art and work with pro in some way to learn.  This is not the place where you can really learn the trade and be a pro.  We get this kind of post periodically b/c m4/3 is so portable that people begin to act out a fantasy that they too can be a artist  ...

I, for one, do not want to be photographed by someone I don't know with unknown purposes.  It is an invasion of privacy.  In the old days, you can keep your private photos in your closet, and no one else would ever know, and these photos eventually get old and degraded.  In the era of internet, however, this picture of couple is now permanently in the public domain for all to see forever, without the permission of this couple.  Is this ethical?

1. It's legal.

2. Newspapers do it all the time (show identifiable pictures of people who are not public figures who never gave them model releases).

BingoCharlie Contributing Member • Posts: 849
Re: Respect Privacy
1

G1Houston wrote:

In the era of internet, however, this picture of couple is now permanently in the public domain for all to see forever, without the permission of this couple.  Is this ethical?

As long as the photographer isn't hiding the fact the he is taking pictures, I believe it's perfectly ethical.  These people are in a public place.  There is no reasonable expectation of privacy.

Taking photos surreptitiously makes me uncomfortable and does seem more ethically suspect.

G1Houston Senior Member • Posts: 2,621
It is legal but is it ethical? Is it welcome?

sigala1 wrote:

G1Houston wrote:

Is this ethical?

1. It's legal.

2. Newspapers do it all the time (show identifiable pictures of people who are not public figures who never gave them model releases).

Newspapers can do it b/c they are entrusted by us to report.  It is a different matter for someone who just start taking pictures of others and post them on the internet for the whole world to see, forever.  You apparently do not mind if someone is secretly taking pictures of you, but I do, and I hope all "street-photographers to be" can keep that in mind.  Again, I do not mind if someone has taken the serious effort in learning how to be a real St-photographers.  People like that will very unlikely coming here asking for advice.

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baggyns Forum Member • Posts: 86
Re: Respect Privacy
1

If it's in a public place there is no 'invasion of privacy'.  Furthermore, you seem to suggest that 'street' photography should only be practiced by 'serious' photographers!  What do you suggest? A licencing system?  I am all for everybody that wants to going out with whatever camera they have and taking all the photos they want.  That's how we learn.

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forpetessake
forpetessake Veteran Member • Posts: 4,892
good crop ...

.. suitable for a funeral service

BingoCharlie wrote:

It's a good shot.  Consider a tighter crop.  The Prius on the left side kind of sucks the grittiness out of the image.

sigala1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,818
Re: drop the zoom
2

eques wrote:

I read this article and found, that according to Wikipedia everyone in the earlier posts here is right but you. Street photography neither presupposes B&W nor WA lenses.

I didn't say that street photography requires black & white, I said that the fact that the OP used black & white is very strong evidence that the OP was aware of a genre called "street photography" and trying to imitate it, because a lot of street photography is black and white. This is overdone a little in my opinion.

I also didn't say that wide angle lenses are the definition of street  photography. What I did say is that zoomed-in (I should have used "telephoto" but you know what I meant) photos lack artistry. This is why there is no large body of admired street photography work done primarily with telephoto lenses.

sigala1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,818
Re: It is legal but is it ethical? Is it welcome?

G1Houston wrote:

sigala1 wrote:

G1Houston wrote:

Is this ethical?

1. It's legal.

2. Newspapers do it all the time (show identifiable pictures of people who are not public figures who never gave them model releases).

Newspapers can do it b/c they are entrusted by us to report.  It is a different matter for someone who just start taking pictures of others and post them on the internet for the whole world to see, forever.  You apparently do not mind if someone is secretly taking pictures of you, but I do, and I hope all "street-photographers to be" can keep that in mind.  Again, I do not mind if someone has taken the serious effort in learning how to be a real St-photographers.  People like that will very unlikely coming here asking for advice.

In the United States we have freedom of the press. No one is "entrusted" by anyone to be a journalist. Anyone can do it without a license.

forpetessake
forpetessake Veteran Member • Posts: 4,892
keep shooting
2

You can safely ignore that drivel.

The long lenses are great for shooting strangers. They don't pay attention to you, don't try to pose, or behave unnatural. The long lens also provides a better subject separation, which is also important because you cant control the environment. Very often you see pictures with wide angle lens where there is lots of tiny details and everything in focus, so a viewer has nothing to concentrate on. People just point in the direction of the subject and push the trigger. With a long lens you need to think about framing the image because only small part of the scene fits in, and it's your choice what to show and what to discard.

Kelpie wrote:

Firstly I don't use apple products and don't claim to be  to be an artist.

I don't understand why a shorter focal length with the same field of view would make any difference.

My understanding of street photography is as an attempt to capture  events and people in the street .

If what I have done is unfair then this is I will take on board.

G1Houston Senior Member • Posts: 2,621
Re: Respect Privacy

baggyns wrote:

If it's in a public place there is no 'invasion of privacy'.  Furthermore, you seem to suggest that 'street' photography should only be practiced by 'serious' photographers!  What do you suggest?

Serious enough to know that the m4/3 forum is not where one can learn to be a street photographer.  There is another forum here called "Documentary and Street Photography."

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Bassam Guy Regular Member • Posts: 415
Re: drop the zoom

Sorry, isala, for making my sarcasm & irony too subtle when implying that anything with a street or sidewalk constitutes "street".

I did notice the title of this thread and it says "my first attempt at street...".

I think he/she did an admirable job for a first attempt.

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G1Houston Senior Member • Posts: 2,621
Re: It is legal but is it ethical? Is it welcome?
1

sigala1 wrote:

In the United States we have freedom of the press. No one is "entrusted" by anyone to be a journalist. Anyone can do it without a license.

Journalist is a "licensed" and "regulated" trade, you or me do not have the freedom to just become a journalist and have all the privilege. You and I do not have the freedom to just walk into a press conference and take pictures like the press, and we cannot take pictures in sports in areas that are reserved for the licensed pro photographers.

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Bassam Guy Regular Member • Posts: 415
Re: drop the zoom

Sorry for making my sarcasm & irony too subtle when implying that anything with a street or sidewalk constitutes "street".

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dave rogers Regular Member • Posts: 301
Re: It is legal but is it ethical? Is it welcome?
1

G1Houston wrote:

sigala1 wrote:

In the United States we have freedom of the press. No one is "entrusted" by anyone to be a journalist. Anyone can do it without a license.

Journalist is a "licensed" and "regulated" trade, you or me do not have the freedom to just become a journalist and have all the privilege. You and I do not have the freedom to just walk into a press conference and take pictures like the press, and we cannot take pictures in sports in areas that are reserved for the licensed pro photographers.

Journalism is neither licensed nor regulated in the United States. The most that may be said is that some journalists are credentialed. Credentials are what grant access to restricted areas and venues that may not be open to the general public. But there is no government approval of an application to be "licensed" as a journalist, nor is it regulated.

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sigala1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,818
Re: It is legal but is it ethical? Is it welcome?
1

G1Houston wrote:

sigala1 wrote:

In the United States we have freedom of the press. No one is "entrusted" by anyone to be a journalist. Anyone can do it without a license.

Journalist is a "licensed" and "regulated" trade, you or me do not have the freedom to just become a journalist and have all the privilege.

In the United States, the above is completely false.

You and I do not have the freedom to just walk into a press conference and take pictures like the press, and we cannot take pictures in sports in areas that are reserved for the licensed pro photographers.

That's a different topic not related to the right of anyone to be a journalist if they want to.

And Sports is privately-owned entertainment which has nothing to do with real journalism.

G1Houston Senior Member • Posts: 2,621
Can you imagine when more people are wearing Google glass? :)

dave rogers wrote

Journalism is neither licensed nor regulated in the United States. The most that may be said is that some journalists are credentialed. Credentials are what grant access to restricted areas and venues that may not be open to the general public. But there is no government approval of an application to be "licensed" as a journalist, nor is it regulated.

Just hope we do not encourage more people to become self-procalimed journalists, too many street photographers are bad enough ...  Imagine more people start wearing Google glass ...

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