Street - right or trite?

Discussion in 'Philosophy of Photography' started by Lightmancer, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
  2. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    right and trite
     
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  3. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Anyone who attempts to establish universal rules about any type of photography are full of excrement. I've seen excellent and terrible examples of shots taken using all of those cliches and none of them. The ONLY thing in that article that I subscribe to is the "get extra points" section, any of which just basically mean 'it's a really good shot'! And any of which can still apply even with any of the cliches. Except for the "get your work selected for our Flickr group", which is nothing more than self-reverential BS.

    -Ray
     
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  4. Pim

    Pim SC Regular

    157
    Apr 21, 2012
    Eindhoven, The Netherlands
    Pim
    Have to agree with this yes. Both for the rules mentioned in this article as for the commonly accepted rules such as the rule of thirds. Unless you take yourself too seriously really it is just about liking the pictures you take, even if they are sometimes (and in my case probably even more often than not) a cliche. If somebody else sees some merit in them that is fine, if not that is just as fine really... It's a hobby for most of us, that's all
     
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  5. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I agree with Ray that rules don't apply. But this one ....... "random people walking across the frame with no connection or theme" seems to represent 90% of what I generally see in street photography and those photos bore me to tears (mostly). If I want to see people walking down the street, I'll go downtown. Random street scenes are useless to me, but some people seem to love them. I wish I knew what people see in random photos of strangers going about their daily routines.
     
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  6. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    I've been guilty of the random people, I even have one or three on flickr, but since I dont regard myself as a street photographer, I'm not really concerned. I tend to agree with Ray: there arent any rules, just do good work.
     
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  7. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    What Luke said.

    Cheers,

    Antonio
     
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  8. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    In fairness, they do identify these cliches as "traps photographers can fall into when starting out in street photography." And that one, in particular happens a LOT with newbies simply because the technical and emotional challenges of shooting strangers on the street can be overwhelming enough at first that just getting technically competent shots of people on the street can feel like an accomplishment for awhile. It's like 'WOW, those people are in the frame and in focus and reasonably exposed!" Is a sort of natural reaction early on when these successes are not terribly common and most shots fail in one or more of those areas. It's like hearing a little kid playing Mary Had A Little Lamb on the violin when they're first learning - it's a terrible little song but it's a hell of an accomplishment when you first get enough technique to play it.

    Once you learn to PLAY the instrument you can branch off in more interesting musical directions and most street shooters start focussing more on the content of their shots once they're more comfortable and automatic with the technique too, and start focussing more on human moments/interactions and/or more interesting compositions. Whether you see any value in it is something else entirely and pretty much just down to taste. I don't get much personally out of the vast majority of bird and butterfly and flower shots, but that no doubt says more about me than the photography. I also don't care much for opera or most modern country music, which OBVIOUSLY is more about me than it.

    -Ray
     
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  9. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Ray, you don't need to defend street photography. You also don't need to denigrate nature photography. There's good and bad shots of all flavors.
     
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  10. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    well, quite.
    One can find dozens - hundreds, thousands maybe - of photographs which contain all the "cliché" elements, and are nevertheless extremely fine photographs.
    And similarly, many which lack any of those elements, and are nevertheless extremely tedious.

    and if we're not careful, we'll have (yet) another "what is art?" thread ... :biggrin:
     
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  11. Gubrz

    Gubrz O.* Gonzo's & Bentley's Dad

    979
    Jun 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Eliot
    I felt as thought he was more just saying "I don't GET nature photography!... And that's okay!" I didn't feel like he was being mean to butterfly chasers! I only don't take any butterfly shots cause I can't catch them! Wily lil buggers! Flittering and fluttering all over my posies as if they own them!!! ;)

    Of course, I was still cracking up about the (OMG they're in focus, it's a great shot!) Thing... I STILL do that... Lol!!! :D
     
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  12. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Jul 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    I certainly break one of the listed clichés in every shot I post, the addition of a border. In my case a narrow simple black border which I believe sets the photograph in space rather than the viewer wondering where the edge is when part of the image blends with the background colour.

    As for street scenes then yes, as indicated by others I find images of unknown people going about their unknown business of little interest. Having said that I posted a street scene (unusual for me) in Silver September for day 21. In that instance I knew a very small part of the gentleman's existence, his drinking habits, having stood at the bar of the King of Prussia with him alongside me ordering his next pint. I felt the accompanying text I was able to add gave a little more context to the image, otherwise I would have been likely to reject it.

    Barrie
     
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  13. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    I don't like to be told what to do.:biggrin:
     
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  14. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    BB, will you please stop posting what you will and won't be told to do!
     
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  15. Gubrz

    Gubrz O.* Gonzo's & Bentley's Dad

    979
    Jun 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Eliot
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  16. snkenai

    snkenai SC All-Pro

    Oct 5, 2010
    kenai, AK
    Stephen Noel
    I don't do "street", so none of it matters to my shooting "style". :smile: But, people , for the sake of people, just don't do it for me. The environment is what captures my attention (or not), and if it captures people also, then that can be even better.
     
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  17. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I didn't think I was defending or denigrating - just saying that its mostly a matter of taste. And, ultimately, as you say, there are good and bad of all flavors. As Oscar Peterson once said about music, 'there's two kinds of music - good music and bad music' - its true of photography and any other art form too...

    -Ray
     
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  18. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    I guess it's their website and their flickr group and their facebook page so they can do what they want. Thankfully they don't appear to have powers that allows them to dictate what does or doesn't define acceptable street photography anywhere else.
     
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  19. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/N7yazIH4rAI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
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  20. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I just checked out their flickr pool. It's too bad in some ways that the easiest way to present their ideas is in the form of a negative (don't do this, don't do that), because even with very little exposure to photography in general, someone should be able to tell the difference between the shots in their pool and the stuff that they don't want to see. There's some very good photography going on there. Here's a link.... http://www.flickr.com/groups/onthestreet/pool/