Street Photography - Clichés only?

Started Aug 3, 2014 | Discussions
dw2001 Regular Member • Posts: 100
Street Photography - Clichés only?
4

Okay, so I feel this is what I mostly see. Black and white photos of random people without any meaning at all or just poor or homeless people in the streets. B/W to be "artsy" and the poor/homeless ones to make you feel the harsh and cruel world out there. I get it.

So, is there anything else to street photography besides this? Or have I covered everything?

Zubu Barunda Senior Member • Posts: 2,772
Troll alert! (n/t)
1

dw2001 wrote:

Okay, so I feel this is what I mostly see. Black and white photos of random people without any meaning at all or just poor or homeless people in the streets. B/W to be "artsy" and the poor/homeless ones to make you feel the harsh and cruel world out there. I get it.

So, is there anything else to street photography besides this? Or have I covered everything?

OP dw2001 Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: Troll alert! (n/t)

I'm not trolling, have you looked in this forums galley?

TroiD
TroiD Contributing Member • Posts: 823
Re: Street Photography - Clichés only?
4

dw2001 wrote:

Okay, so I feel this is what I mostly see. Black and white photos of random people without any meaning at all or just poor or homeless people in the streets. B/W to be "artsy" and the poor/homeless ones to make you feel the harsh and cruel world out there. I get it.

So, is there anything else to street photography besides this? Or have I covered everything?

I took a look in your gallery, and... there's nothing there! Why don't you go take some photos and show us what street looks like to you?

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Doss Senior Member • Posts: 2,080
Sounds like it's your turn ;)

dw2001 wrote:

Okay, so I feel this is what I mostly see. Black and white photos of random people without any meaning at all or just poor or homeless people in the streets. B/W to be "artsy" and the poor/homeless ones to make you feel the harsh and cruel world out there. I get it.

So, is there anything else to street photography besides this? Or have I covered everything?

Hmmm.... a little provocative (yey, role out the lowbrow troll-hunters!) - But you have a point...albeit one made quite clearly on this forum plenty of times before.

First, I think you are forming a stereotype - perhaps correctly(?) based on the tendency for this sort of easy shooting to dominate this forum.

But bear in mind, many are just here to learn and ask for critique. Many of whom will develop a style based on this stereotype if others (like you) don't contribute to deepen the pool.
Besides, if you look harder you will find there are some good shooters here who don't just take B/W photos of random people.

Solution (in agreement with Troid) = Go out and shoot, be unique, innovate don't imitate. Then you can post some stuff to contribute to the diversity of this forum - show us that everything, indeed, has not yet been covered and there is more to SP than B/W photos of random people!

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Zubu Barunda Senior Member • Posts: 2,772
Re: Troll alert! (n/t)
6

dw2001 wrote:

I'm not trolling, have you looked in this forums galley?

You make an uneducated cliché presumption about the SP, which in its provocative tone is aimed to denigrate the work of people who post on this forum.

In what other words than trolling would you describe your action?

dick
dick Veteran Member • Posts: 5,241
Re: Troll alert! (n/t)
2

Zubu Barunda wrote:

dw2001 wrote:

I'm not trolling, have you looked in this forums galley?

You make an uneducated cliché presumption about the SP, which in its provocative tone is aimed to denigrate the work of people who post on this forum.

In what other words than trolling would you describe your action?

The last time I checked, people over here (U.S.A.) were entitled to express an opinion, good or bad, just as you did. I'll bet most of us will choose to ignore yours.

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TroiD
TroiD Contributing Member • Posts: 823
Re: Troll alert! (n/t)
3

dick wrote:

Zubu Barunda wrote:

dw2001 wrote:

I'm not trolling, have you looked in this forums galley?

You make an uneducated cliché presumption about the SP, which in its provocative tone is aimed to denigrate the work of people who post on this forum.

In what other words than trolling would you describe your action?

The last time I checked, people over here (U.S.A.) were entitled to express an opinion, good or bad, just as you did. I'll bet most of us will choose to ignore yours.

You're wrong, Dick. I agree with Zubu.

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wyeman
wyeman Regular Member • Posts: 484
IMHO

IMHO unless you're an architect or a city engineer, SP is people . . .
and people is B&W

If you shoot people in color what you see is the color . . .
If you shoot people in B&W what you see is the person . . . IMHO

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Peter
Struggling amateur
http://peterclark.zenfolio.com/

Doss Senior Member • Posts: 2,080
My opinion...

wyeman wrote:

IMHO unless you're an architect or a city engineer, SP is people . . .
and people is B&W

There is actually an online forum for C.A.D enthusiasts which is frequented by architects who's designs involve randomly piled bricks on a street with no apparent structure, purpose or skill. But don't tell them that

If you shoot people in color what you see is the color . . .
If you shoot people in B&W what you see is the person . . . IMHO

Careful - start throwing around such clichés and you'll enforce the OP's opinion even more!!

arie s Regular Member • Posts: 121
Re: Street Photography - Clichés only?

dw2001 wrote:

Okay, so I feel this is what I mostly see. Black and white photos of random people without any meaning at all or just poor or homeless people in the streets. B/W to be "artsy" and the poor/homeless ones to make you feel the harsh and cruel world out there. I get it.

So, is there anything else to street photography besides this? Or have I covered everything?

points taken, and since you say that you "feel" that this is what is happening, then that can be taken as an opinion and opinions are ok. you have hit a nerve with some people and the troll alarm has been raised.

granted, the easiest way to get initially quick attention aside from a cohesive, well though out composition, is to show pictures of the homeless, war and misery, little kids doing stuff, pretty colors, and girls butts. all necessary topics for sure, but as minor white said "everything had been photographed before -do it better"

pictures often undergo a b/w conversion to add something that wasn't there in the original vision of the photographer and that is ok too. is it art? maybe yes, maybe no. does the collective agree that it's art? who knows.

so in defense of your blunt post, do you care to share any examples of said work? can you be constructive and offer any needed critique to help these photographers or are you throwing street/social/documentary photography in the trash because it all sucks?

RoelHendrickx
RoelHendrickx Forum Pro • Posts: 25,349
Re: Troll alert! (n/t)
3

TroiD wrote:

dick wrote:

Zubu Barunda wrote:

dw2001 wrote:

I'm not trolling, have you looked in this forums galley?

You make an uneducated cliché presumption about the SP, which in its provocative tone is aimed to denigrate the work of people who post on this forum.

In what other words than trolling would you describe your action?

The last time I checked, people over here (U.S.A.) were entitled to express an opinion, good or bad, just as you did. I'll bet most of us will choose to ignore yours.

You're wrong, Dick. I agree with Zubu.

And I would say that he makes a provocative statement about what he perceives to be the general content of street photography (at least what is shown here).

If that feels denigrating to some, then maybe that is because they recognize themselves in the slightly exaggerated characterization.

I am totally in favour, if it sparks a discussion about how to avoid clichés and the beaten-to-death path in street photography.

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Roel Hendrickx
lots of images: www.roelh.zenfolio.com
my Olympus user field report from Tunisian Sahara: http://www.biofos.com/ukpsg/roel.html

RoelHendrickx
RoelHendrickx Forum Pro • Posts: 25,349
my "definition" and some conclusions
1

Doss wrote:

wyeman wrote:

IMHO unless you're an architect or a city engineer, SP is people . . .
and people is B&W

There is actually an online forum for C.A.D enthusiasts which is frequented by architects who's designs involve randomly piled bricks on a street with no apparent structure, purpose or skill. But don't tell them that

If you shoot people in color what you see is the color . . .
If you shoot people in B&W what you see is the person . . . IMHO

Careful - start throwing around such clichés and you'll enforce the OP's opinion even more!!

I agree.

Street photography can be in B&W if shapes/textures/geometry dictates that.

But B&W is very often just a convenient convention to make images look more artsy.

Street photography (of people) can most definitely be in colour.

Heck, street photography does not even have to be shot on the street, IMHO.

Street photography is in essence the candid photography of unknown persons in public situations and in a dynamic environment, where the scene changes constantly.

I shoot that kind of stuff often in museums.

Most recently here : http://roelh.zenfolio.com/p791678472

It is in colour, and it is not on the streets.

Now here is the question:

- would this qualify to be shown here (why? why not?)

- and does if feel equally, less or more cliché than what the OP laid his finger on?

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Roel Hendrickx
lots of images: www.roelh.zenfolio.com
my Olympus user field report from Tunisian Sahara: http://www.biofos.com/ukpsg/roel.html

arie s Regular Member • Posts: 121
Re: my "definition" and some conclusions

RoelHendrickx wrote:

Doss wrote:

wyeman wrote:

IMHO unless you're an architect or a city engineer, SP is people . . .
and people is B&W

There is actually an online forum for C.A.D enthusiasts which is frequented by architects who's designs involve randomly piled bricks on a street with no apparent structure, purpose or skill. But don't tell them that

If you shoot people in color what you see is the color . . .
If you shoot people in B&W what you see is the person . . . IMHO

Careful - start throwing around such clichés and you'll enforce the OP's opinion even more!!

I agree.

Street photography can be in B&W if shapes/textures/geometry dictates that.

But B&W is very often just a convenient convention to make images look more artsy.

Street photography (of people) can most definitely be in colour.

Heck, street photography does not even have to be shot on the street, IMHO.

Street photography is in essence the candid photography of unknown persons in public situations and in a dynamic environment, where the scene changes constantly.

I shoot that kind of stuff often in museums.

Most recently here : http://roelh.zenfolio.com/p791678472

It is in colour, and it is not on the streets.

Now here is the question:

- would this qualify to be shown here (why? why not?)

- and does if feel equally, less or more cliché than what the OP laid his finger on?

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Roel Hendrickx
lots of images: www.roelh.zenfolio.com
my Olympus user field report from Tunisian Sahara: http://www.biofos.com/ukpsg/roel.html

i shoot a lot of stuff indoors as well but i don't show it on this forum unfortunately. it features neither street no sky so therefore is decreed "not street" and is ignored. it's in color (mostly) and is neither a long telephoto nor a burst mode grab of pedestrians. i know when to pick my battles.

RoelHendrickx
RoelHendrickx Forum Pro • Posts: 25,349
Re: my "definition" and some conclusions

arie s wrote:

RoelHendrickx wrote:

Doss wrote:

wyeman wrote:

IMHO unless you're an architect or a city engineer, SP is people . . .
and people is B&W

There is actually an online forum for C.A.D enthusiasts which is frequented by architects who's designs involve randomly piled bricks on a street with no apparent structure, purpose or skill. But don't tell them that

If you shoot people in color what you see is the color . . .
If you shoot people in B&W what you see is the person . . . IMHO

Careful - start throwing around such clichés and you'll enforce the OP's opinion even more!!

I agree.

Street photography can be in B&W if shapes/textures/geometry dictates that.

But B&W is very often just a convenient convention to make images look more artsy.

Street photography (of people) can most definitely be in colour.

Heck, street photography does not even have to be shot on the street, IMHO.

Street photography is in essence the candid photography of unknown persons in public situations and in a dynamic environment, where the scene changes constantly.

I shoot that kind of stuff often in museums.

Most recently here : http://roelh.zenfolio.com/p791678472

It is in colour, and it is not on the streets.

Now here is the question:

- would this qualify to be shown here (why? why not?)

- and does if feel equally, less or more cliché than what the OP laid his finger on?

-- hide signature --

Roel Hendrickx
lots of images: www.roelh.zenfolio.com
my Olympus user field report from Tunisian Sahara: http://www.biofos.com/ukpsg/roel.html

i shoot a lot of stuff indoors as well but i don't show it on this forum unfortunately. it features neither street no sky so therefore is decreed "not street" and is ignored. it's in color (mostly) and is neither a long telephoto nor a burst mode grab of pedestrians. i know when to pick my battles.

I think I just braced myself for one here : http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/54145152

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Roel Hendrickx
lots of images: www.roelh.zenfolio.com
my Olympus user field report from Tunisian Sahara: http://www.biofos.com/ukpsg/roel.html

OP dw2001 Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: Troll alert! (n/t)
4

RoelHendrickx wrote:
I am totally in favour, if it sparks a discussion about how to avoid clichés and the beaten-to-death path in street photography.

Agreed. Since SP is not very much about correct exposure, sharpness or overall image quality as it is about showing something interesting it becomes pretty booring watching one candid style photo after another of random people in the streets doing absolutely nothing interesting at all. Watching their phones, wait by the traffic lights or just plain walking. Is it interesting? Well, not really. Have it been seen before? You bet.

I think people are focusing too much on the candid part of their photos instead of trying to find something that actually draws ones attention to it and combining that with good framing and timing for example.

...or maybe it's just me that have been watching too many photos....?!

I just leave the poor and homeless out of this.

xtoph Veteran Member • Posts: 9,871
nonsense.
4

not only is your first assertion not true, you just contradicted yourself in the above post. (which makes you seem like a troll, i.e. someone merely interested in starting an argument for the sake of arguing.)

the objective fact is that very few photos on this forum show bw pictures of homeless people in the street. for a simple cross section, check out the 100+ editions of spx , featuring photos by scores of street photographers. let me know how many other shots you have to go through before you get to one of those 'most of' shots of a homeless person in bw. and if you do eventually manage to find one, i'll wager that either the poster was (hopefully gently) nudged in a different direction, or that the shot is worthy on its own merits.

but now, in your post above, you complain instead about 'one photo after another' of people doing nothing interesting, looking at their phones, etc. fine, but obviously then you know perfectly well that 'most of' the photos you see are not of homeless people.

feel free to look through my gallery of photos here. the vast majority are in color; i think it's safe to say that the majority show people doing something. so what, exactly, is it that you want to see that you don't see there? and if you can describe what that is, why don't you go shoot it and show us instead?

otherwise your thread amounts to nothing but a whiney red herring. which reminds me, it is time for a late lunch.

Blanko00 Regular Member • Posts: 235
Re: Street Photography - Clichés only?

Yep, that's it.

M Charles Joseph
M Charles Joseph Senior Member • Posts: 1,194
Pretty Accurate Assessment
2

Never mind the pathetic, endless attempts to define and bolster a vague definition when no definition is actually required; your assumptions as to most of what's shown here is pretty much right on. Derivative, soulless grunt work.

Doss Senior Member • Posts: 2,080
See sense. See the elephant in this room!

xtoph wrote:

not only is your first assertion not true, you just contradicted yourself in the above post. (which makes you seem like a troll, i.e. someone merely interested in starting an argument for the sake of arguing.)

the objective fact is that very few photos on this forum show bw pictures of homeless people in the street. for a simple cross section, check out the 100+ editions of spx , featuring photos by scores of street photographers. let me know how many other shots you have to go through before you get to one of those 'most of' shots of a homeless person in bw. and if you do eventually manage to find one, i'll wager that either the poster was (hopefully gently) nudged in a different direction, or that the shot is worthy on its own merits.

but now, in your post above, you complain instead about 'one photo after another' of people doing nothing interesting, looking at their phones, etc. fine, but obviously then you know perfectly well that 'most of' the photos you see are not of homeless people.

OK, - as you say this does sound a little contradictory. But I don't think your argument should distract from the very large elephant in this room... Which is the bit about "one photo after another of people doing nothing interesting".

Here's why - This forum will end up marginalizing itself (the last thing Street Photography should be doing as it is, after all, one of the most all-encompassing genres of photography) in presenting this bland staple diet. "No rare steaks or flamboyant deserts here please" is the underlying message to anyone looking to 'join' a forum and show their work. It is creating stagnation in every sense of the word.

Let's forget the private club dress code and embrace beyond the mundane. Open to fair comment, critique - and encourage self-critique so those who are posting boring lifeless shots can learn to master Street Photography for what it is meant to be about - A sense of time, place and emotion.

Don't think I'm being too down on this forum. There is some really good work here. There are some really good photographers - One of the best, imho, even wrote earlier that they welcome "a discussion about how to avoid clichés and the beaten-to-death path in street photography" - and that, I have to agree with 110%. And by being honest, exercising freedom to judge people's images & speak freely without retribution then we can all help one another improve in our aims to produce enticing, well-crafted photos.

feel free to look through my gallery of photos here. the vast majority are in color; i think it's safe to say that the majority show people doing something. so what, exactly, is it that you want to see that you don't see there? and if you can describe what that is, why don't you go shoot it and show us instead?

otherwise your thread amounts to nothing but a whiney red herring.

which reminds me, it is time for a late lunch.

Nothing too bland I hope Bon appetite!

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