From first effort at street.

Started May 9, 2013 | Discussions
sigala1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,818
Generic street photography advice

1. Learn to idenfity good street photography. If you can't identify other photographers' good street photography, then you can't possibly be a good street photographer yourself.

2. Curation is a key skill here, and goes back to point #1. I am sure that Garry Winogrand and Bresson and those guys took a lot of lousy pictures, but they knew which of their pictures were good enough to show to others, and you never saw the bad ones.

3. Good street photography has generally been done between 24mm and 50mm focal lengths (in 35mm equivalent). Your best bet is 28mm or 35mm if you are starting out.

4. Technical quality of the camera and lens isn't very important, and is much less important than getting a good shot. There are those who feel they need to buy a very expensive camera and lens in order to do street, but in fact you can use an inexpensive compact camera or even an iPhone.

5. There have been street photographers who were in-your-face, and those who tried to take pictures without ever letting the subjects know their photos were taken. If you want to be the latter kind, I recommend small cameras with silent shutters. Remember rule #4 above: you don't need a D800E with an f/2.8 zoom to be a good street photograhper, and a huge camera like that would scare people anyay. I personally really like the Panasonic LX7.

6. Fast shutter speeds are very important. 1/1000 of a sec makes things really easy. Motion blur ruins a street photo more than noise.

7. Know your camera really well. Whatever camera you use, you need to know it inside and out to maximize your success.

8. There is no one who makes a living from doing street photography, so it can never be anything more than a hobby.

GeorgianBay1939
GeorgianBay1939 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,044
Re: From first effort at street.

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.

As a beginning imager, I read this entire thread (so far 80 posts) and have some conclusions.  But first I want to give you my reaction to your first try at this type of photography.

The photograph has some ironic conflict between the obvious intimacy vs the obvious mutual isolation of this couple.   Their legs are in step, their arms are linked but their expressions and their gazes are very askew.

That is about all that I got out of the image.  I enjoyed that and if that is what you wanted to capture I think that you did quite a good job, by selecting a good FL and f/ to give some subject isolation.  But I would suggest, as a few others did, that you crop out all of the stuff that distracts from that ironic conflict.

I followed up on several of the links that your critics suggested and was especially struck by the wiki article which referred to NY School of Photography:

"One of its most notable photographers, Robert Frank, was a part of the beat movement interested in Black-American and counter cultures. Frank rose to fame partly on account of his popular book, The Americans. Raw and often out of focus, his images questioned mainstream photography of the time, such as Ansel Adams's landscapes. The mainstream photography community in America fiercely rejected Frank’s work, but it would later become a stepping stone for fresh photographers looking to break away from the restrictions of the old style.[2]"

You got lots of varied reactions (and responses??) here.  Even some from the "mainstream photographic community" with your first attempt.  Now it seems to be up to you to decide what you want to keep and what is rubbish.

I should also add, that I have never had the gonads to photograph strangers, not being particularly street-wise.  But I enjoy street photography now, just like I enjoyed Kerouac and Frank when I was a lot younger.

I hope that you keep working at it and have lots of fun with it.

t

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panos_m Senior Member • Posts: 1,446
Re: Generic street photography advice

Good advices in general. A thought on number 5 and a number 9 from me :).

sigala1 wrote:

1. Learn to idenfity good street photography. If you can't identify other photographers' good street photography, then you can't possibly be a good street photographer yourself.

2. Curation is a key skill here, and goes back to point #1. I am sure that Garry Winogrand and Bresson and those guys took a lot of lousy pictures, but they knew which of their pictures were good enough to show to others, and you never saw the bad ones.

3. Good street photography has generally been done between 24mm and 50mm focal lengths (in 35mm equivalent). Your best bet is 28mm or 35mm if you are starting out.

4. Technical quality of the camera and lens isn't very important, and is much less important than getting a good shot. There are those who feel they need to buy a very expensive camera and lens in order to do street, but in fact you can use an inexpensive compact camera or even an iPhone.

5. There have been street photographers who were in-your-face, and those who tried to take pictures without ever letting the subjects know their photos were taken. If you want to be the latter kind, I recommend small cameras with silent shutters. Remember rule #4 above: you don't need a D800E with an f/2.8 zoom to be a good street photograhper, and a huge camera like that would scare people anyay. I personally really like the Panasonic LX7.

I don't believe the size or the sound of the camera plays a role. You became "invisible" by your behavior and your attitude when you feel comfortable. Feel uncomfortable and not even the google glasses can hide you :).

6. Fast shutter speeds are very important. 1/1000 of a sec makes things really easy. Motion blur ruins a street photo more than noise.

7. Know your camera really well. Whatever camera you use, you need to know it inside and out to maximize your success.

8. There is no one who makes a living from doing street photography, so it can never be anything more than a hobby.

9. When you have your subject in the frame don't forget to take care of the 4 corners. The subject is the inspiration but the final output is rectangular and every part of it plays a role.

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Panagiotis

sigala1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,818
Re: Generic street photography advice

panos_m wrote:

Good advices in general. A thought on number 5 and a number 9 from me :).

sigala1 wrote:

5. There have been street photographers who were in-your-face, and those who tried to take pictures without ever letting the subjects know their photos were taken. If you want to be the latter kind, I recommend small cameras with silent shutters. Remember rule #4 above: you don't need a D800E with an f/2.8 zoom to be a good street photograhper, and a huge camera like that would scare people anyay. I personally really like the Panasonic LX7.

I don't believe the size or the sound of the camera plays a role. You became "invisible" by your behavior and your attitude when you feel comfortable. Feel uncomfortable and not even the google glasses can hide you :).

Well, firstly, if you feel self-conscious carrying around a huge full frame DSLR and f/2.8 zoom, then it's harder to follow your advice to feel comfortable.

Secondly, believe me, I walk around the city a lot and a guy with a huge DSLR with a huge lens really sticks out like a sore thumb, even in a place where there are lots of tourists taking photos. No matter how confortable those full-frame-DSLR guys feel, you notice them.

On the other hand, practically everyone is twiddling around with an iPhone or similar twice, so they arouse practically zero suspicion.

However, it's not so easy to get fast shutter speeds with an iPhone as compared to better cameras, and a Panasonic LX7 is actually half the price of an iPhone with IQ almost as good as m43 and has loads of manual controls and RAW, so it's why I like that particular camera.

sigala1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,818
about robert frank

GeorgianBay1939 wrote:

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.

As a beginning imager, I read this entire thread (so far 80 posts) and have some conclusions.  But first I want to give you my reaction to your first try at this type of photography.

The photograph has some ironic conflict between the obvious intimacy vs the obvious mutual isolation of this couple.   Their legs are in step, their arms are linked but their expressions and their gazes are very askew.

That is about all that I got out of the image.  I enjoyed that and if that is what you wanted to capture I think that you did quite a good job, by selecting a good FL and f/ to give some subject isolation.  But I would suggest, as a few others did, that you crop out all of the stuff that distracts from that ironic conflict.

I followed up on several of the links that your critics suggested and was especially struck by the wiki article which referred to NY School of Photography:

"One of its most notable photographers, Robert Frank, was a part of the beat movement interested in Black-American and counter cultures. Frank rose to fame partly on account of his popular book, The Americans. Raw and often out of focus, his images questioned mainstream photography of the time, such as Ansel Adams's landscapes. The mainstream photography community in America fiercely rejected Frank’s work, but it would later become a stepping stone for fresh photographers looking to break away from the restrictions of the old style.[2]"

You got lots of varied reactions (and responses??) here.  Even some from the "mainstream photographic community" with your first attempt.  Now it seems to be up to you to decide what you want to keep and what is rubbish.

I should also add, that I have never had the gonads to photograph strangers, not being particularly street-wise.  But I enjoy street photography now, just like I enjoyed Kerouac and Frank when I was a lot younger.

I hope that you keep working at it and have lots of fun with it.

Technically, Robert Frank's photos sucked. They were out of focus, blurry, grainy, everything bad you can think of. It's because Frank was a shy person who didn't feel comfortable being in-your-face about what he was doing, and the tools of the day (low ISO film, manual focus) made stealth photography really difficult.

But Frank's photos were liked because of the THEME they presented (which is that working-class America sucks).

The OP does not get the Frank message at all. He thinks that because he has a technically excellent photo taken with an expensive lens and camera, he is a Real Street Photographer.

The modern-day Franks are using iPhones.

PhotoKhan Forum Pro • Posts: 10,696
Re: Thanks for the feed back.

sigala1 wrote:

There's no artistry at all in street photography with a zoom lens.

Street photography is inherently art photography.

Wow!...are you for real?

...or you just read this post of mine and decided to personify what I've outlined there?

(It's almost eerie...)

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51410437

PK

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YouDidntDidYou
YouDidntDidYou Senior Member • Posts: 1,576
Re: drop the pre-conceptions
1

Street photography is about awareness,technique and composition and sometimes about speed and patience.
Street photography does not have to about wide angles and getting in close....
http://www.flickr.com/photos/youdidntdidyou/sets/72157625946618634/
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YouDidntDidYou
YouDidntDidYou Senior Member • Posts: 1,576
Re: Generic street photography advice

sigala1 wrote:

1. Learn to idenfity good street photography. If you can't identify other photographers' good street photography, then you can't possibly be a good street photographer yourself.

2. Curation is a key skill here, and goes back to point #1. I am sure that Garry Winogrand and Bresson and those guys took a lot of lousy pictures, but they knew which of their pictures were good enough to show to others, and you never saw the bad ones.

3. Good street photography has generally been done between 24mm and 50mm focal lengths (in 35mm equivalent). Your best bet is 28mm or 35mm if you are starting out.

4. Technical quality of the camera and lens isn't very important, and is much less important than getting a good shot. There are those who feel they need to buy a very expensive camera and lens in order to do street, but in fact you can use an inexpensive compact camera or even an iPhone.

5. There have been street photographers who were in-your-face, and those who tried to take pictures without ever letting the subjects know their photos were taken. If you want to be the latter kind, I recommend small cameras with silent shutters. Remember rule #4 above: you don't need a D800E with an f/2.8 zoom to be a good street photograhper, and a huge camera like that would scare people anyay. I personally really like the Panasonic LX7.

6. Fast shutter speeds are very important. 1/1000 of a sec makes things really easy. Motion blur ruins a street photo more than noise.

7. Know your camera really well. Whatever camera you use, you need to know it inside and out to maximize your success.

8. There is no one who makes a living from doing street photography, so it can never be anything more than a hobby.

2. I've gone out with the intention of going out for 3-4 hours to shoot street photography and got 2 good pictures out of 2 taken within the first few minutes then went home for the rest of day, so street photography doesn't benefit from the spray and pray method.
3. There has been plenty of good street photography done 7-11mm and 26mm (mft equivalent) focal lengths, the 12-25mm shots are mostly from a different generation ago...
5. No one hears the shutter on street!
6. Motion blur is a valid technique for street photography and sometimes people can look to frozen...
8. Not many not no one....
http://www.flickr.com/photos/youdidntdidyou/sets/72157625946618634/
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Hen3ry
Hen3ry Forum Pro • Posts: 18,218
Re: Agreed +++
1

Lights wrote:

While people like Winogrand and Vivian Maier were "in your face" there are plenty who use longer lenses. Lens focal length is no prerequisite for street photography. Sometimes a longer length can help someone also who is shy of taking street shots of people...I am myself, and find that while I do prefer shorter focal lengths... I often shoot at events, where people are more oblivious to being photographed. I mean like HCB painted his camera black and sometimes had it hidden(from some accounts) , and Walker Evans I believe actually hid his camera in his coat for subway shots...etc. So taking a longer distance shot is no insult to street photography...and is certainly part of the genre...being recognized as taking a photo ruins many shots for street photographers...and everyone has their own style. While I'm certainly not an expert on it, but to me that's the "long and short of it"  

In addition, the statement that there should be no interaction between the photographer and the subject is nonsense. There can be and often that interaction "makes" the photograph. Look at Cartier-Bresson's shot of a boy with a cheeky grin at him and a bottle of wine under his arm. Look at many others where the person in the street is playing up to the camera.

The problem we have here is that the hey day of street photography has passed -- probably passed the moment someone "defined" the category. The real definition for a working photographer ought to be something like "photographs taken of people doing whatever they do in public places". We don’t even have to say it has to show interaction or whatever. If it doesn't, we just don’t bother looking at it.

Personally, I find this first attempt by the OP to be a darned good start. It elicited a smile from me as a comment on gender differences. The man looks with interest at the cars on the road (I presume -- the cars could have been shown a bit better; taking the picture a few seconds earlier to cut out the pole and show more of the cars would have helped); the woman marches stolidly on. LOL.

Good try, Kelpie. Now have another go and get ALL those sheep through the gate this time! 

(I would prefer the 45 lens in this situation, I think. But I'm no great street photog myself.)

Cheers, geoff

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tedolf
tedolf Forum Pro • Posts: 26,552
Wow........
1

YouDidntDidYou wrote:

sigala1 wrote:

1. Learn to idenfity good street photography. If you can't identify other photographers' good street photography, then you can't possibly be a good street photographer yourself.

2. Curation is a key skill here, and goes back to point #1. I am sure that Garry Winogrand and Bresson and those guys took a lot of lousy pictures, but they knew which of their pictures were good enough to show to others, and you never saw the bad ones.

3. Good street photography has generally been done between 24mm and 50mm focal lengths (in 35mm equivalent). Your best bet is 28mm or 35mm if you are starting out.

4. Technical quality of the camera and lens isn't very important, and is much less important than getting a good shot. There are those who feel they need to buy a very expensive camera and lens in order to do street, but in fact you can use an inexpensive compact camera or even an iPhone.

5. There have been street photographers who were in-your-face, and those who tried to take pictures without ever letting the subjects know their photos were taken. If you want to be the latter kind, I recommend small cameras with silent shutters. Remember rule #4 above: you don't need a D800E with an f/2.8 zoom to be a good street photograhper, and a huge camera like that would scare people anyay. I personally really like the Panasonic LX7.

6. Fast shutter speeds are very important. 1/1000 of a sec makes things really easy. Motion blur ruins a street photo more than noise.

7. Know your camera really well. Whatever camera you use, you need to know it inside and out to maximize your success.

8. There is no one who makes a living from doing street photography, so it can never be anything more than a hobby.

2. I've gone out with the intention of going out for 3-4 hours to shoot street photography and got 2 good pictures out of 2 taken within the first few minutes then went home for the rest of day, so street photography doesn't benefit from the spray and pray method.

a 100% keeper rate.

Very impressive.

3. There has been plenty of good street photography done 7-11mm and 26mm (mft equivalent) focal lengths, the 12-25mm shots are mostly from a different generation ago...

was there something wrong with the street photography from "a different generation"?

5. No one hears the shutter on street!

You can hear a D4 at 100 paces!

6. Motion blur is a valid technique for street photography and sometimes people can look to frozen...

Show us an example.

8. Not many not no one....
http://www.flickr.com/photos/youdidntdidyou/sets/72157625946618634/
living life to the Four Thirds!
http://www.YouDidntDidYou.com

sigh.

TEdolph

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YouDidntDidYou
YouDidntDidYou Senior Member • Posts: 1,576
Re: Wow........
3

a. just happened the once, on  a street shooting session my keeper rate is usually between 20-45% but sometimes I'm on the way to somewhere, have camera with me, see something, take 1-2 shots and continue my journey...
example one shot on my way


b. nope they either did or do artificially and needlessly limited themselves by shooting everything in black and white and/or  at certain focal lengths and/or certain shutter speeds all the time...
example: shot at 228mm (35mm equivalent) through 4 lanes of traffic no cropping either


c. oops forget DSLRs are still around my bad...
example: no crop, moving towards camera at fastish speed towards camera, 48mm


d. deliberate slow shutter speed
2 examples:

one attempt only below


street photography set http://www.flickr.com/photos/youdidntdidyou/sets/72157625946618634/with/4777703657/

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s_grins
s_grins Forum Pro • Posts: 12,230
Re: Not good......

tedolf wrote:

s_grins wrote:

tedolf wrote:

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.

boring subject, distracting elements on left side, crooked horizon, no theme.

Well, at least you followed the Rule of Thirds!

TEdolph

Dear TE,

Distracting direction sign is the only reason OP posted the photo. And I agree with the rest of your comment.

the inference isn't graphically strong enough to make the theme obvious.

Tedolph

Right! That is why this shot is boring. But now, when you know , this shot gains a little bit of sense.

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GeorgianBay1939
GeorgianBay1939 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,044
Re: about robert frank

sigala1 wrote:

GeorgianBay1939 wrote:

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.

As a beginning imager, I read this entire thread (so far 80 posts) and have some conclusions.  But first I want to give you my reaction to your first try at this type of photography.

The photograph has some ironic conflict between the obvious intimacy vs the obvious mutual isolation of this couple.   Their legs are in step, their arms are linked but their expressions and their gazes are very askew.

That is about all that I got out of the image.  I enjoyed that and if that is what you wanted to capture I think that you did quite a good job, by selecting a good FL and f/ to give some subject isolation.  But I would suggest, as a few others did, that you crop out all of the stuff that distracts from that ironic conflict.

I followed up on several of the links that your critics suggested and was especially struck by the wiki article which referred to NY School of Photography:

"One of its most notable photographers, Robert Frank, was a part of the beat movement interested in Black-American and counter cultures. Frank rose to fame partly on account of his popular book, The Americans. Raw and often out of focus, his images questioned mainstream photography of the time, such as Ansel Adams's landscapes. The mainstream photography community in America fiercely rejected Frank’s work, but it would later become a stepping stone for fresh photographers looking to break away from the restrictions of the old style.[2]"

You got lots of varied reactions (and responses??) here.  Even some from the "mainstream photographic community" with your first attempt.  Now it seems to be up to you to decide what you want to keep and what is rubbish.

I should also add, that I have never had the gonads to photograph strangers, not being particularly street-wise.  But I enjoy street photography now, just like I enjoyed Kerouac and Frank when I was a lot younger.

I hope that you keep working at it and have lots of fun with it.

Technically, Robert Frank's photos sucked. They were out of focus, blurry, grainy, everything bad you can think of. It's because Frank was a shy person who didn't feel comfortable being in-your-face about what he was doing, and the tools of the day (low ISO film, manual focus) made stealth photography really difficult.

My recollections of Frank, albeit tarnished by many years of neglect, give a different valuation of his work.  Being an old f@rt I decided to check his stuff HERE .   After re-looking at his stuff, I, (admittedly) a non-expert, disagree with your evaluation.

But Frank's photos were liked because of the THEME they presented (which is that working-class America sucks).

That might be a factor.

Here is another: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100688154

Some Americans, like some other nationalities, have some aversion to having their culture held up to a mirror by other nationalities. OTOH, some, the more secure element of the population, welcome the "outside" reflection.

Frank's themes remind me of another chronicler of life in America, this time an American.  Next time you are out in Salinas CA, stop in to the National Steinbeck Center to check out Travels With Charley.

The OP does not get the Frank message at all.

I have no idea what the OP gets or doesn't get.  How do YOU get that insight?

He thinks that because he has a technically excellent photo taken with an expensive lens and camera, he is a Real Street Photographer.

"technically excellent"???  How DO you get that insight?

The modern-day Franks are using iPhones.

I use an iPhone to chat with my grandkids and to keep track where I am going on my boat, etc.  Does that make me a potential modern-day Frank?  I wish!!!  

I am trying to assist the OP, with the VERY little bit of experience and skill that I have, to be a better photographer.  What are YOU trying to do?

t

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BHPhotog Contributing Member • Posts: 812
Re: drop the affectation

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.

Nonsense, but then I suspect you know that.

And as for "fine-art photography community?"  That term describes more marketing than method.

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Lights
Lights Veteran Member • Posts: 3,583
Re: about robert frank

sigala1 wrote:

GeorgianBay1939 wrote:

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.

As a beginning imager, I read this entire thread (so far 80 posts) and have some conclusions.  But first I want to give you my reaction to your first try at this type of photography.

The photograph has some ironic conflict between the obvious intimacy vs the obvious mutual isolation of this couple.   Their legs are in step, their arms are linked but their expressions and their gazes are very askew.

That is about all that I got out of the image.  I enjoyed that and if that is what you wanted to capture I think that you did quite a good job, by selecting a good FL and f/ to give some subject isolation.  But I would suggest, as a few others did, that you crop out all of the stuff that distracts from that ironic conflict.

I followed up on several of the links that your critics suggested and was especially struck by the wiki article which referred to NY School of Photography:

"One of its most notable photographers, Robert Frank, was a part of the beat movement interested in Black-American and counter cultures. Frank rose to fame partly on account of his popular book, The Americans. Raw and often out of focus, his images questioned mainstream photography of the time, such as Ansel Adams's landscapes. The mainstream photography community in America fiercely rejected Frank’s work, but it would later become a stepping stone for fresh photographers looking to break away from the restrictions of the old style.[2]"

You got lots of varied reactions (and responses??) here.  Even some from the "mainstream photographic community" with your first attempt.  Now it seems to be up to you to decide what you want to keep and what is rubbish.

I should also add, that I have never had the gonads to photograph strangers, not being particularly street-wise.  But I enjoy street photography now, just like I enjoyed Kerouac and Frank when I was a lot younger.

I hope that you keep working at it and have lots of fun with it.

Technically, Robert Frank's photos sucked. They were out of focus, blurry, grainy, everything bad you can think of. It's because Frank was a shy person who didn't feel comfortable being in-your-face about what he was doing, and the tools of the day (low ISO film, manual focus) made stealth photography really difficult.

But Frank's photos were liked because of the THEME they presented (which is that working-class America sucks).

The OP does not get the Frank message at all. He thinks that because he has a technically excellent photo taken with an expensive lens and camera, he is a Real Street Photographer.

The modern-day Franks are using iPhones.

I don't think Frank's photos were dark, or out of focus because of ineptitude or shyness. Nor do I believe that his style was unintentional...but rather a purposeful challenge to the way things 'had' been looked at...any more than I'd believe Picasso painted two eyes on one side of a head because he didn't know how to paint. Here's an interesting read:

http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2013/01/timeless-lessons-street-photographers-can-learn-from-robert-franks-the-americans/

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Lights
Lights Veteran Member • Posts: 3,583
Re: Wow........

YouDidntDidYou wrote:

a. just happened the once, on  a street shooting session my keeper rate is usually between 20-45% but sometimes I'm on the way to somewhere, have camera with me, see something, take 1-2 shots and continue my journey...
example one shot on my way


b. nope they either did or do artificially and needlessly limited themselves by shooting everything in black and white and/or  at certain focal lengths and/or certain shutter speeds all the time...
example: shot at 228mm (35mm equivalent) through 4 lanes of traffic no cropping either


c. oops forget DSLRs are still around my bad...
example: no crop, moving towards camera at fastish speed towards camera, 48mm


d. deliberate slow shutter speed
2 examples:

one attempt only below


street photography set http://www.flickr.com/photos/youdidntdidyou/sets/72157625946618634/with/4777703657/

These are really very successful shots...a memorable story in each. I'm really in awe of the fourth one, what an excellently panned shot using motion blur (it was panned following the movement? A difficult but very effective tool) Wonderful all.

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GeorgianBay1939
GeorgianBay1939 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,044
Re: about robert frank

Lights wrote:

sigala1 wrote:

GeorgianBay1939 wrote:

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.

As a beginning imager, I read this entire thread (so far 80 posts) and have some conclusions.  But first I want to give you my reaction to your first try at this type of photography.

The photograph has some ironic conflict between the obvious intimacy vs the obvious mutual isolation of this couple.   Their legs are in step, their arms are linked but their expressions and their gazes are very askew.

That is about all that I got out of the image.  I enjoyed that and if that is what you wanted to capture I think that you did quite a good job, by selecting a good FL and f/ to give some subject isolation.  But I would suggest, as a few others did, that you crop out all of the stuff that distracts from that ironic conflict.

I followed up on several of the links that your critics suggested and was especially struck by the wiki article which referred to NY School of Photography:

"One of its most notable photographers, Robert Frank, was a part of the beat movement interested in Black-American and counter cultures. Frank rose to fame partly on account of his popular book, The Americans. Raw and often out of focus, his images questioned mainstream photography of the time, such as Ansel Adams's landscapes. The mainstream photography community in America fiercely rejected Frank’s work, but it would later become a stepping stone for fresh photographers looking to break away from the restrictions of the old style.[2]"

You got lots of varied reactions (and responses??) here.  Even some from the "mainstream photographic community" with your first attempt.  Now it seems to be up to you to decide what you want to keep and what is rubbish.

I should also add, that I have never had the gonads to photograph strangers, not being particularly street-wise.  But I enjoy street photography now, just like I enjoyed Kerouac and Frank when I was a lot younger.

I hope that you keep working at it and have lots of fun with it.

Technically, Robert Frank's photos sucked. They were out of focus, blurry, grainy, everything bad you can think of. It's because Frank was a shy person who didn't feel comfortable being in-your-face about what he was doing, and the tools of the day (low ISO film, manual focus) made stealth photography really difficult.

But Frank's photos were liked because of the THEME they presented (which is that working-class America sucks).

The OP does not get the Frank message at all. He thinks that because he has a technically excellent photo taken with an expensive lens and camera, he is a Real Street Photographer.

The modern-day Franks are using iPhones.

I don't think Frank's photos were dark, or out of focus because of ineptitude or shyness. Nor do I believe that his style was unintentional...but rather a purposeful challenge to the way things 'had' been looked at...any more than I'd believe Picasso painted two eyes on one side of a head because he didn't know how to paint. Here's an interesting read:

http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2013/01/timeless-lessons-street-photographers-can-learn-from-robert-franks-the-americans/

Agree.  Very instructive URL.  A must-read for anyone interested in the evolution of "street photography" in the US.  Thank you.  I would suggest that Frank was instrumental in developing a sense of narrative with his imagery  ..... as opposed to the single-shot, stand-alone work of visual art, which was common at the time.

Good contribution to the OP's quest .... (and MY education too!)  

t

PS   As a beginner, I found this: http://www.pbase.com/madlights/flowers_in_monotone  very motivational.  I am gonna try some of that!!!!!

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Lights
Lights Veteran Member • Posts: 3,583
Re: about robert frank

GeorgianBay1939 wrote:

Lights wrote:

sigala1 wrote:

GeorgianBay1939 wrote:

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.

As a beginning imager, I read this entire thread (so far 80 posts) and have some conclusions.  But first I want to give you my reaction to your first try at this type of photography.

The photograph has some ironic conflict between the obvious intimacy vs the obvious mutual isolation of this couple.   Their legs are in step, their arms are linked but their expressions and their gazes are very askew.

That is about all that I got out of the image.  I enjoyed that and if that is what you wanted to capture I think that you did quite a good job, by selecting a good FL and f/ to give some subject isolation.  But I would suggest, as a few others did, that you crop out all of the stuff that distracts from that ironic conflict.

I followed up on several of the links that your critics suggested and was especially struck by the wiki article which referred to NY School of Photography:

"One of its most notable photographers, Robert Frank, was a part of the beat movement interested in Black-American and counter cultures. Frank rose to fame partly on account of his popular book, The Americans. Raw and often out of focus, his images questioned mainstream photography of the time, such as Ansel Adams's landscapes. The mainstream photography community in America fiercely rejected Frank’s work, but it would later become a stepping stone for fresh photographers looking to break away from the restrictions of the old style.[2]"

You got lots of varied reactions (and responses??) here.  Even some from the "mainstream photographic community" with your first attempt.  Now it seems to be up to you to decide what you want to keep and what is rubbish.

I should also add, that I have never had the gonads to photograph strangers, not being particularly street-wise.  But I enjoy street photography now, just like I enjoyed Kerouac and Frank when I was a lot younger.

I hope that you keep working at it and have lots of fun with it.

Technically, Robert Frank's photos sucked. They were out of focus, blurry, grainy, everything bad you can think of. It's because Frank was a shy person who didn't feel comfortable being in-your-face about what he was doing, and the tools of the day (low ISO film, manual focus) made stealth photography really difficult.

But Frank's photos were liked because of the THEME they presented (which is that working-class America sucks).

The OP does not get the Frank message at all. He thinks that because he has a technically excellent photo taken with an expensive lens and camera, he is a Real Street Photographer.

The modern-day Franks are using iPhones.

I don't think Frank's photos were dark, or out of focus because of ineptitude or shyness. Nor do I believe that his style was unintentional...but rather a purposeful challenge to the way things 'had' been looked at...any more than I'd believe Picasso painted two eyes on one side of a head because he didn't know how to paint. Here's an interesting read:

http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2013/01/timeless-lessons-street-photographers-can-learn-from-robert-franks-the-americans/

Agree.  Very instructive URL.  A must-read for anyone interested in the evolution of "street photography" in the US.  Thank you.  I would suggest that Frank was instrumental in developing a sense of narrative with his imagery  ..... as opposed to the single-shot, stand-alone work of visual art, which was common at the time.

Good contribution to the OP's quest .... (and MY education too!)  

t

PS   As a beginner, I found this: http://www.pbase.com/madlights/flowers_in_monotone  very motivational.  I am gonna try some of that!!!!!

Yep, I found it pretty educational too. I'd seen his photos (especially some of "The Americans"), and read some about..but when I read your reply, did a google and found the article. Interesting guy.

Yeah I did that gallery a while back, partly because I liked B&W a lot, and partly just to try something different (I don't 'normally' do floral shots, just sometimes). It helps to use some filters in post processing to get the dark backgrounds and lighter flowers. Thanks...and think you'll find it fun.

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Why so serious? :The Joker

Regan M Forum Member • Posts: 75
Never use a long focal length, ever!
1

Successful street photography can't be done with anything but a wide angle.

My turf

Shadow talk

Blind love

Alone in the jungle

Yup, it's impossible.  Can't be done.

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n3eg
n3eg Senior Member • Posts: 2,275
Re: From first effort at street.

As a newbie, I'm probably not qualified to comment, but I will anyway...

The couple's expressions  have a sort of "American Gothic" look, but where's the church?  It seems more like a novelty photo than a "street" photo, where the couple and their expressions should be featured, and the background is completely irrelevant.  Not "street", not a portrait, what is it?

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It ain't easy being me, but someone's gotta do it.

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