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This is street photography?
Old 03-15-2013   #1
hlockwood
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This is street photography?

The winner of the International Street Photography contest sponsored by Fotura has just been announced. Results can be seen here:

http://fotoura.com/competitions/inte...m_medium=email

I saw very few shots that I would classify as "street," and the winning photo, a distant shot of a nude man on sand dunes, strikes me as an amateurish snapshot, almost a joke.

Maybe I need to rethink the definition of "street" photography. What do you think?

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Old 03-15-2013   #2
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I agree that there are several winners (runner ups) that do not fit MY definition of street photography.
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Old 03-15-2013   #3
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The winners other photos are quite good, I think.
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Old 03-15-2013   #4
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Well, at least runner up #3 and #8 both photographed a street... :-)
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Old 03-15-2013   #5
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The more important question is are those photos any good, do they make the viewer feel or think or what sort of reaction they produce in the viewer.

In my case, the reaction is complete indifference.
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Old 03-15-2013   #6
John Bragg
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Well they don't look like street photography to me. If that's the best then the others must have been abysmal. I guess these are the cream of the crap !
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Old 03-15-2013   #7
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I always feel that RFF has way too narrow of a definition of what street photography is or can be...
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Old 03-15-2013   #8
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Everyone has their own nuanced definitions for words, based on their own experiences and biases.

For me, street photography has to include at least one person, outside, in a public space.
If there is no person, then the image is architectural, landscape, urban landscape, or still life, etc, etc.
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Old 03-15-2013   #9
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Gustavo Minas (#2) is a really good photographer who consistently produces good material, IMO, at least things that I feel interested in looking at. Unlike the others on that list who leave me completely indifferent, I'm having a lot of trouble understanding this fine art-ish modern conception of "street photography"
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Old 03-15-2013   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankS View Post
If there is no person, then the image is architectural, landscape, urban landscape, or still life, etc, etc.
The book Street Photography Now has a section for Street Still Life. Might be worth checking out.
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Old 03-15-2013   #11
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I avoid unnecessary/unwarranted paradigm shifts.


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Old 03-15-2013   #12
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Heres an invite to all here.
The official invite
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Old 03-15-2013   #13
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To me, a more apt definition of Street Photography is that it has to include a human element but not necessarily a person (though that is very often the case). What I mean by that, is that an insinuation of human presence or a human touch is enough for me to classify it as street photography (even if that is from the photographer him or herself). This is all very vague but here is an example that I would definitely consider street photography from Matt Stuart, who is a fairly well known present day street photographer:

http://www.mattstuart.com/photograph...EW-BOND-STREET

EDIT: I would add that the winner was not my favorite either but, I believe, each entrant was judge on a set of photos. Peter de Krom has others that I find "better" than the man in the dunes photo.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankS View Post
Everyone has their own nuanced definitions for words, based on their own experiences and biases.

For me, street photography has to include at least one person, outside, in a public space.
If there is no person, then the image is architectural, landscape, urban landscape, or still life, etc, etc.
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Old 03-15-2013   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hlockwood View Post
The winner of the International Street Photography contest sponsored by Fotura has just been announced. Results can be seen here:

http://fotoura.com/competitions/inte...m_medium=email

I saw very few shots that I would classify as "street," and the winning photo, a distant shot of a nude man on sand dunes, strikes me as an amateurish snapshot, almost a joke.

Maybe I need to rethink the definition of "street" photography. What do you think?

HFL
I think it was not a winning photo, but a winning gallery. Actually, I like the other photos of this particular gallery quite a bit. The one displayed on the title page is dull though, I agree.
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Old 03-15-2013   #15
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I haven't seen the full list of winners yet as I can't get the page to load, but I have seen the winning photo in the mailout. Until I've been able to see more than a thumbnail I wouldn't like to comment on a person's work, but I can say this:

I entered the first year that the competition ran, (obviously not expecting to win, it was for fun), the shots that won that year were not what I would have expected from a street photo event, and as such (with only a minimum of sulking) I've decided that the event probably just isn't for me
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Old 03-15-2013   #16
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Looks and smells street photography. Yep, in a nutshell.
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Old 03-15-2013   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v_roma View Post
To me, a more apt definition of Street Photography is that it has to include a human element but not necessarily a person (though that is very often the case). What I mean by that, is that an insinuation of human presence or a human touch is enough for me to classify it as street photography (even if that is from the photographer him or herself). This is all very vague but here is an example that I would definitely consider street photography from Matt Stuart, who is a fairly well known present day street photographer:

http://www.mattstuart.com/photograph...EW-BOND-STREET

EDIT: I would add that the winner was not my favorite either but, I believe, each entrant was judge on a set of photos. Peter de Krom has others that I find "better" than the man in the dunes photo.
Or I would say the better work is about visual elements working to support the subject like repeating shapes, leading lines and other elements that contribute to form.

A couple of great quotes from Bresson:

"What reinforces the content of a photograph is the sense of rhythm the relationship between shapes and values." - Henri Cartier-Bresson

"To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event, as well as of a precise organisation of forms which give that event its proper expression."- Henri Cartier-Bresson

"......content cannot be separated from form. By form, I mean the rigorous organisation of the interplay of surfaces, lines and values. It is in this organisation alone that our conceptions and emotions become concrete and communicable. In photography, visual organisation can stem only from a developed instinct." - Henri Cartier-Bresson

"In photography, the smallest thing can become a big subject, an insignificant human detail can become a leitmotiv. We see and we make seen as a witness to the world around us; the event, in its natural activity, generates an organic rhythm of forms." - Henri Cartier-Bresson
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Old 03-15-2013   #18
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I don't really like any of those.
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Old 03-15-2013   #19
segedi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmork View Post
I think it was not a winning photo, but a winning gallery. Actually, I like the other photos of this particular gallery quite a bit. The one displayed on the title page is dull though, I agree.
I think all of the entrants' galleries had better photos than the cover photos the editors chose. And in the Netherlands sand and frozen canals could be street photography : )
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Old 03-15-2013   #20
sevo
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Honestly, I like the pictures. More than I like the term "street". The only objection that I have is that that everyday freak show of banalities as popularized by Martin Parr is beginning to get old - it is a bit too much a thing of a generation that has been into punk first-hand...
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Old 03-15-2013   #21
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Quote:
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The only objection that I have is that that everyday freak show of banalities as popularized by Martin Parr is beginning to get old.
I think William Eggleston did it before him... but I like that type of work and don't find it banal. I can understand why people would though.
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Old 03-15-2013   #22
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The wining photo says it all;
The emperor has no clothes...
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Old 03-15-2013   #23
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Originally Posted by Lauffray View Post
Gustavo Minas (#2) is a really good photographer who consistently produces good material, IMO, at least things that I feel interested in looking at. Unlike the others on that list who leave me completely indifferent, I'm having a lot of trouble understanding this fine art-ish modern conception of "street photography"
Yeah, I follow his flickr stream closely. Gustavo produces a consistent flow of really superb work.
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Old 03-15-2013   #24
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Honestly, I just didn't get it. That may be a reflection on me more than on the winner's work.

My personal take is the two runner ups had more interesting, compelling work but then again I'm not a judge. They had their own opinions and it is what it is. I'm happy there's competitions to work towards and motivate us all.
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Old 03-15-2013   #25
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street photography doesnt need to be taken on the street. Elliot Erwitt had a whole thing on beaches years ago. Krom's full entry all have people in it and they are well framed, bizarre shots. i remember seeing the 4th shot around before too.. great moment captured.

gustavo's shots are pretty good but it kind of reminds me of something alex webb would have shot. not bad but nothing creative imo. david has some great shots but there are a couple in his submission that i just dont get.
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Old 03-15-2013   #26
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I think it's their contest and they can claim whomever they'd like as the winner. But no, in my opinion I don't think a lot of what they're classifying as the winning photos meets the definition nor the aesthetic of Street Photography.
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Old 03-15-2013   #27
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"The" definition and "the" aesthetic, huh?

(Backs away slowly…)
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Old 03-15-2013   #28
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Like I said, we all have our own nuanced definitions for words. I'm sure swoop was referring to his, rather than "the" definition which doesn't exist.
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Old 03-15-2013   #29
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how about 'urban'? instead of street?
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Old 03-15-2013   #30
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I like second prize shot, the first one doesn't do anything for me, although still an interesting shot. naked man surrounded by plants, factories in the background, very deep but just not my style.
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Old 03-15-2013   #31
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Well, most of us older farts like, what I am calling now... "Classic Street Photography" HCB and the like....many modern SP's also can fit here.

There is a "New Style" emerging over the last 10 or so years, and does not have much in common with the old traditional styles... this is less "art" and more documentary IMO...It may or may not have an emotional connection in the composition. It is easier to have more keepers also. Since IMO, it is just above a Snapshot, but not quite Classic Street Photography in my terms.

And perhaps if we look these as more Street Documentary, we will see a different meaning?...
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Old 03-15-2013   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hlockwood View Post
The winner of the International Street Photography contest sponsored by Fotura has just been announced. Results can be seen here:

http://fotoura.com/competitions/inte...m_medium=email

I saw very few shots that I would classify as "street," and the winning photo, a distant shot of a nude man on sand dunes, strikes me as an amateurish snapshot, almost a joke.

Maybe I need to rethink the definition of "street" photography. What do you think?

HFL

Wow! I agree. Those are poor examples of street shooting.

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Old 03-15-2013   #33
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I find the winner's picture boring, with rather weak technical parameters and not so pleasant composition too - a snapshot really with washed out colors
That said I see how little I know about the "new" street photography

Congratulation to the winner.

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Old 03-15-2013   #34
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Quote:
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I like second prize shot, the first one doesn't do anything for me, although still an interesting shot. naked man surrounded by plants, factories in the background, very deep but just not my style.
The 2nd place entry is a classic triangular composition with the boy on the left side of the frame forming one side of the triangle and that beautiful implied diagonal line that runs from the reflection to the lady smoking to his eyes. THe heavy line created by him at the edge of the frame keeps the eye from leaving thus forming the left side of the triangle and the curved words on the bottom of the tee forming a line that leads back to the woman in the reflection. Nicely seen and captured I'd say.
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Old 03-15-2013   #35
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I find the winner's picture boring, with rather weak technical parameters and not so pleasant composition too - a snapshot really with washed out colors
That said I see how little I know about the "new" street photography

Congratulation to the winner.

Regards,

Boris
A good photograph is a good photograph old, new the same language and elements that made up a good image 30 years ago are still the same things that make up a good image now. There is good work still being produced and I to do not like the label street but have been guilty of using it...
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Old 03-15-2013   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airfrogusmc View Post
A good photograph is a good photograph old, new the same language and elements that made up a good image 30 years ago are still the same things that make up a good image now. There is good work still being produced and I to do not like the label street but have been guilty of using it...
Forget the "street" photography label. Maybe you could put your thoughts on what possibly have made this particular photograph a winner then? Just curious cause I don't get it

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Old 03-15-2013   #37
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IMHO, all one has to do is go through the gallery here at RFF and pick much better photos than I saw on the link. Call it what you willl, it doesn't matter if the images are...not so good. YMMV...but that is how I see it.
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Old 03-15-2013   #38
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Forget the "street" photography label. Maybe you could put your thoughts on what possibly have made this particular photograph a winner then? Just curious cause I don't get it

Regards,

Boris
I didn't care much for the winning photo. Thought #2 was much stronger. See post #35 for my thoughts on the second place image.
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Old 03-15-2013   #39
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I think just photography. I think its the left brained world that needs the labels. I don't go out and say I'm going to make ________ photographs today. I just go out and take photographs the way I am seeing at that moment in time.

If ya need the label urban is better that street.
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Old 03-15-2013   #40
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BTW, airfrogusmc - I loved that poster you posted a bit back in this thread. Great lead image, it looks like a fun show and I wish I could take it in.

I'm not going to trash talk the winner - I hope what I post here is not any different than what I'd say verbally, even with the person in question in the room. I think the 1st place photos were a bit, err...artier than what I expected. They'd be perfectly in place, IMHO, in an exhibition, fine-art setting...for something as exciting, reasonably well-defined and evolving a category as 'street', well -- I don't think it's as much of a fit.

There was one entry, that didn't make it into the runner ups, but I believe it was a finalist -- I'd have to go back and check on the name, so forgive me for speaking off the top of my head -- but it was startlingly original and super eye-catching. They were colour images taken (seemingly) with a fisheye from the vantage point of a cab in chaotic India.
They were, well, weird frankly but not like any other entry I'd seen. I was really blown away by them, and yet it never cracked the top 3. So, as I said -- shows you how much **I** know.
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