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Frank Jackson on Street Photography I am happy and excited to announce a new RFF forum on Street Photography mentored by Frank Jackson, one of the best producers of analog B/W prints I have ever seen. His shows include the Open Shutter Gallery, Heriard-Cimino Gallery, and Ogden Museum of Southern Art. His images are in the collections of Smithsonian Ogden Museum of Southern Art, California Afro American Museum and Xavier University New Orleans LA. He has worked for or has been featured with Visa Card, Xerox, UCLA, Eric Owen Moss, Architect, Hasselblad Forum (cover),Gordon Parks, Muhammed Ali, Million Man March Wash. DC, Lionel Hampton, jazz legion photographer , 1995-2002, Stevie Wonder, B+W Magazine (British version) twice, Rangefinder Magazine, Dahon Bicycles, Arelli Wheels, Real Product Design, Automobile Club of Southern California. Frank's online images are at fotographz.500px.com and fotographzfrankjackson.tumblr.com . "While on this diverse photographic journey…I have to say during this whole time my love for fine art black and white photography kept growing. I always found time to shoot in different cities and my own personal work…this has sustained me through some very tough times. As of 2012, with the help of a very good friend I maintain a state-of-the-art dream darkroom. The darkroom helps greatly in the on-going practice of understanding “the light”, being able to process film and print drives me to keep my digital photography “organic”. I’m curious visually and shooting what’s, what on the street feeds this curiosity. Everyday I walk out my front door to “see” the world with a digital camera, a film camera, the “cup” and an open mind (mostly).

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Old 11-25-2015   #161
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Some are definitely more lucky than others. But given enough time, it will happen. Don't worry though, it won't ruin anything (certainly hasn't for me).
Well, quite. I must have had, oh, a couple of dozen minor problems in almost 50 years. Smiles help a lot. So do explanations; which very occasionally include firm explanations that I am behaving legally, so any problems are theirs, not mine.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 12-27-2015   #162
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Some of my thoughts:

People do not live on the streets these days, they have Air Conditioning!

Those interesting neighborhoods filled with kids playing hooky are now filled with million dollar condos.

I remember my mother telling me not to talk to strangers. That was maybe 1948, 1949. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

How come street photography is so often haves pointing their expensive cameras at have-nots?

To me people doing things are the most interesting photos of all.

Street photography was more fun when you could still get a five cent beer.
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Old 02-20-2016   #163
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If, as is the assertion of the OP, the world has changed street photography, why can't we, interested parties that we are, change it back?

A few months ago in this very thread I expressed my own personal distaste for the way things seemed to have become, based on the previous few times I'd gone out and shot in the streets. In one particular case, the most recent time, I was actually accused by a security guard outside a dance festival of being a paedophile (never mind that it was strictly an 18-years-and-over gig, and I was interested in photographing "people" not just whatever his perverted little mind imagined etc etc). Can you believe that? Anyway, that was at the end of a long line of similar encounters and mixed up with my having a heart attack a week or so later I'd decided that there were plenty of other things worth photographing, and (at least here in Melbourne) people could cease to be part of that.

Well, you know what? No! Screw you, hysterical a*holes. I like taking pictures of people. More than that, I'm going to take pictures of people when and where (within the law and the letter of the law) I damn well please.

If "the world" has changed so that "society" shuns us taking pictures of people, then "the world" is wrong. If it won't change, then we need to show it that it's wrong by going about our photography openly, respectfully and with good-humour (something I've always done, not that it matters to the hysteria crowd).

I can't believe, in one sense, that this has even evolved to be considered an issue, yet I recognize only too well that it has.

The world has changed for "street" photographers? Fine, then let's change it back.
bumping this thread for this post

couldnt agree more. Let's stop apologizing or submit to having to provide a reason or ask permission for doing what we like (within the law of course).

From another thread, I think I'll now be adopting this;

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If a brief cordial reply from me does not diffuse the situation, I simply tell them nicely to "have a nice day" and walk away. No one has ever pursued me.
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Old 03-03-2016   #164
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hate to bump a thread when the last post was made by me, but yesterday was the first time I had someone follow me, over a city block, block my path, and actually threaten me with violence. Thankfully, a 911 call was enough to diffuse the situation, because I really didnt want to have to escalate to other means.

I really dont understand people sometimes.
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Old 03-03-2016   #165
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When shooting out in the street, I have noticed an increase in tension from 3 places.
1. Feel like Police in general are on edge when shooting.
2. Feel like random subjects are less accommodating and sometimes just not accommodating at all.
3. Feel like business owners are more restrictive about photographers.

I have been shooting "the street" for 40 years, so of course, I have seen this before. But it now it seems increased. Recent events over the last 15 years, seems to have changed everything. maybe I am wrong.
There are more rules everywhere and more paranoia. Even our neighbor that's from a tiny town in Poland said the restrictions on what you can and can't do are much more than when she was a child. It's everywhere and isn't going to get any better.
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Old 03-03-2016   #166
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hate to bump a thread when the last post was made by me, but yesterday was the first time I had someone follow me, over a city block, block my path, and actually threaten me with violence. Thankfully, a 911 call was enough to diffuse the situation, because I really didnt want to have to escalate to other means.

I really dont understand people sometimes.
Your experience underscores how sensitive people can be these days. Whether they are justified or not, it's real. The question for each of us street shooters is, how do we respond to that fact.

Declaring it's my right – even if it is – just doesn't work for me. For me personally, the equation must include the sensitivities of others. I'm now trying to sort this issue out for myself. I expect I will make some changes.

John
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Old 03-03-2016   #167
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It's not an easy practice for me, with a quiet-reader/observer-on-the margins temperament, but mostly I try to make that work--easing in, not getting too close, not initiating conversation, especially with loud people. And yet this can still happen--



He was only on my sonar, since he was a noisy presence 20 feet away. But after he thought I was giving him the stink-eye, I got him on my Sonnar.



I had been photographing human interaction with the statue, and the older man with the Bernie banners was glad to have them in the pic. He was explaining how they mount on bikes to me when the guy above yelled 'It'll be great to have a socialist in the White House!' by way of joining in. I turned to him with a quizzical look, I thought, but for him it was stink-eye. And the misunderstanding escalated until I took his picture, when he walked away. Then I was able to make a few more images with unthreatened/nonthreatening people, and enjoy conversations with them--like James W., who was trained (it turns out) as a Marine darkroom technician in Pensacola before being shipped to Vietnam, where his lab was mortared.



He was interested in talking about how photography has changed, too. We've had coffee since then. I'm still more at ease with inanimate objects and animals, and people at a social distance, but the opportunities for observation and engagement haven't fundamentally changed.
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Old 03-03-2016   #168
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Your experience underscores how sensitive people can be these days. Whether they are justified or not, it's real. The question for each of us street shooters is, how do we respond to that fact.

Declaring it's my right – even if it is – just doesn't work for me. For me personally, the equation must include the sensitivities of others. I'm now trying to sort this issue out for myself. I expect I will make some changes.

John
Explaining the legality of the situation or even attempting to explain motive for taking a picture, has never, even remotely, gone part of the way to placating the individual(s) for me. Rather, using this line of discussion invariably increases the tension of the situation as it really sets the tone to either "I'm right and you're wrong" or "I dont care what you think".

I have had some luck with giving compliments to the individual(s), even if they are lies, to aid in diffusal, though last evening, my "Just out enjoying the weather, thought you looked cool" did not work in the least. Certainly neither did my "have a nice day" and continue to walk away.

Unfortunately, I see things getting worse for photography before they get better or even stabilizing. Too much fear mongering in the media these days. And regardless of one's position on organizations like the NRA & the 2nd amendment, I see this as being a very similar scenario. Our 1st amendment rights as photographers are beginning to be infringed upon by the public, whether we think they are or not. It's already happened in the EU from what I understand, but with some legal ruling to support that.

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Old 05-19-2017   #169
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The change is atmosphere is tangible when you get arrested like I once was for street photography, and I was summoned to make excuses to the guy I took a picture of. I spent the rest of the day in a cel.

A tip I learned is to be part of the scene, so that when someone enters, you sort of are the host (a given, existing, part of the scene) and this makes the newcomer accept you. Just like "tourists" are accepted to take pictures. Only works in some instances; and you need non-verbal contact with others.

Something tells me that one can even develop a unique style in the modern rather alienated circumstances.

There is this Belgian guy (Lukitas) who made the crawling up to someone and flashing the picture right in front of them a personal style. Many of his subjects express the same mix of surprise an anger. No one stays blank in front of his camera. [Funnily I have seen selfprtriats where he himself has that same composure of the face.] His work will at one time be fit for a museum, I bet on that.
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Old 05-19-2017   #170
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Photographers are considered the lowest of the low..way down there w/lawyers...in the general publics eye..essentially..pervs..
Well, I think that's due to the paparazzi phenomenon, which constantly produce juicy pictures of people in unfavorable light that fuel the countless tabloid magazines.

I suspect in the older days the picture you would see in news or the LIFE magazine are all nice pictures that tells a story, so its easier to see a photographer is a profession, or even earning some respect at that.
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Old 05-20-2017   #171
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(snip)

There is this Belgian guy (Lukitas) who made the crawling up to someone and flashing the picture right in front of them a personal style. Many of his subjects express the same mix of surprise an anger. No one stays blank in front of his camera. [Funnily I have seen selfprtriats where he himself has that same composure of the face.] His work will at one time be fit for a museum, I bet on that.
What a lovely image! I can see myself slithering along the grimy sidewalks with my camera hidden in an armpit. With a dazed and confused mien. As for my work, the best I can hope for are the walls of a home for memory-impaired pensioners.

That said, it is a delicate subject. Times have changed, the public's relation with photography has changed, and the way people react to each-other has changed. Many photographers have found auto-censure to be the easiest way to deal with the problem of recalcitrant subjects. An attitude that must be respected, if not endorsed. Photographing strangers remains for me the most interesting form of photography, I wont stop trying to practise it. Of course, what we photograph today will always be derivative in some way, a treading in the footsteps of the pioneers; but the portrayal of public life remains fascinating and can even be fresh and new. Times have changed, the streets that formed HCB's and Winogrand's backdrop have changed, dress codes have changed, and the sorts of people that are thrown together on the streets have changed. The same, but different. The different bits are the interesting ones.

Being there; being the host rather than the new arrival, is a most interesting suggestion. It's easiest to do in 'sedentary' situations, where one can sit down and wait for something to happen, but I think it can also work in moving around the street scenarios - to an extent. When I feel confident and at ease, as if I owned the street I am walking along, things go much easier than on those days when I feel unease at provoking ugly reactions. These days, I try to be as open as possible when taking pictures, I approach with the camera leading. I still get refusals, but none that escalate into a row. And sometimes I was fast enough to get the picture before the refusal. When I sit down with a coffee, I can quietly blend in, to the point nobody takes notice when I prepare the camera for a shot. Places where I go often, people know me to be harmless, they are getting used to my always having a camera at the ready - and that is another way of being part of the furniture rather than a visitor.

Yes, photographing on the streets has become more difficult. But seducing girls has become really difficult too. Shouldn't stop us from trying. Maybe see it as a challenge : how far can I go? How much can I show?

cheers!
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Old 05-23-2017   #172
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This past weekend I discovered Phil is absolutely right! “Explaining the legality of the situation” definitely doesn’t work!

I happened upon large groups of folks going to a high school Grad. The wonderful gowns and proud parents got me off my bicycle. I must admit, I was fairly conspicuous, openly standing there in my white helmet. Anyway, I started taking shots until one young woman and her male friend asked if I was a professional photographer, hired for the Grad.

Initially, I tried a tactic that’s worked perfectly when I was confronted about photographing children dancing in the street, and when I was shooting a street evangelist’s hecklers. I said I was taking pictures of people who live in our city. But it didn’t work this time.

She said she wanted to see my pictures. I didn’t want to, but since I had oodles of inoffensive shots on my card, I scrolled through them. That didn’t work either. Then, I made a mistake.

I told her it’s legal for me to take pictures in the street. At that point, she said she didn’t care what I said. I replied I was getting bored with this – about 15 minutes had passed – and that she should call the cops if she wanted to. Her friend did, and I said I’d wait another 30 minutes for them. Nothing happened, and I peddled away.

So Phil, yes again; “even attempting to explain a motive for taking a picture” is not a solution.

Maybe my other approach would have been better. In the past, I've said: “I’m still figuring out how this camera works, and I’m having problems.” Then, I could have gone into very extensive, extremely technical detail. The questioners just wander off, I suspect with glazed eyes.

But none of that would have been useful in this situation. How could I persuade her that I wasn’t taking pictures of pretty young women for unspeakably nasty reasons?
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Old 05-23-2017   #173
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I think your demeanour is the deciding factor, as people have stated. If you act calm and with purpose of action, not sneaking, people are less bothered. Personally, it's more of a 'me' problem than a society problem. I like taking photos of people, but I also absolutely detest 99% of the population. So it's often difficult for me to engage or act like part of the scene.

Being 6' 3" with a big beard and tattoos really doesn't help either. I imagine street photography is significantly easier if you look "normal". I read through this whole thread and I'll definitely try some of the suggested techniques (for want of a better word).

I've asked permission to photograph people before, and always had a 'no' response. So I've given up on that option. The other day I took a shot of a building and a rough-looking Asian guy shouted "I'M NOT IN THAT PHOTO YEAH?" to which I assured him he wasn't, the precious, delicate snowflake.

I reckon I'll just try and be more open, less sneaky. I've had people eyeball me after shooting them and a smile tends to see them off. I just struggle sometimes to maintain that decorum when really I just want to tell them to stop looking at me, which would of course be hypocritical and counter-productive.

But yeah, I agree that people are more on edge now. Everyone's convinced that anyone acting slightly differently to what they expect must be a personal threat to them. It's pitiful.
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Old 05-24-2017   #174
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I think your demeanour is the deciding factor, as people have stated. If you act calm and with purpose of action, not sneaking, people are less bothered. Personally, it's more of a 'me' problem than a society problem. I like taking photos of people, but I also absolutely detest 99% of the population. So it's often difficult for me to engage or act like part of the scene.

Being 6' 3" with a big beard and tattoos really doesn't help either. I imagine street photography is significantly easier if you look "normal". I read through this whole thread and I'll definitely try some of the suggested techniques (for want of a better word).

I've asked permission to photograph people before, and always had a 'no' response. So I've given up on that option. The other day I took a shot of a building and a rough-looking Asian guy shouted "I'M NOT IN THAT PHOTO YEAH?" to which I assured him he wasn't, the precious, delicate snowflake.

I reckon I'll just try and be more open, less sneaky. I've had people eyeball me after shooting them and a smile tends to see them off. I just struggle sometimes to maintain that decorum when really I just want to tell them to stop looking at me, which would of course be hypocritical and counter-productive.

But yeah, I agree that people are more on edge now. Everyone's convinced that anyone acting slightly differently to what they expect must be a personal threat to them. It's pitiful.
I always found being a rather thick, tattooed and scary looking man allowed me a whole lot of breathing room
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Old 05-24-2017   #175
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I'm a 250 6'2" former Marine and I have some ink but what is normal? I think if you act like you belong there and treat others with respect you should be OK. I only have problems once in a while. And I actually get noticed less now than I did in the 70s and 80s when I was the only one wit ha camera on the streets. Leica Ms also help some especially when everyone else has big DSLRs. They seem to be getting most of the attention.
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Old 05-24-2017   #176
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As the OP from 2 years ago, we all see the problem still exists. It has really dampened my spirits. BTW God forbid, you should accidentally or not, photograph a child. I was once on a trail in a city park with my grandchildren. Of course, I was photographing them for the pure joy of just being with them. While shooting I actually got violent looks and verbal harassment from other hikers because I was photographing children!! Telling them that they were my grandchildren did not calm them. I actually think they did not believe me. What the he&& is the world coming to?
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Old 05-24-2017   #177
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Personally, it's more of a 'me' problem than a society problem...

The other day I took a shot of a building and a rough-looking Asian guy shouted "I'M NOT IN THAT PHOTO YEAH?" to which I assured him he wasn't, the precious, delicate snowflake.
Asian guy? Snowflake? I think you are right. It is a 'me' problem.
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Old 05-24-2017   #178
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While shooting I actually got violent looks and verbal harassment from other hikers because I was photographing children!! Telling them that they were my grandchildren did not calm them. I actually think they did not believe me. What the he&& is the world coming to?
Yeah, that's crazy. I've heard a similar situation about an older gentleman photographing his grandkid's swimming lesson and the other parents had him barred from the pool. He swore that he was only photographing his own grandchildren and none of the other kids.
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Old 05-24-2017   #179
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I imagine the best street photography tool would be a smartphone with a selfie stick. People will think you're a tourist or just a run-of-the-mill post modern narcissist. Either way, it's like having an invisibility cloak!
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Old 05-24-2017   #180
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I imagine the best street photography tool would be a smartphone with a selfie stick. People will think you're a tourist or just a run-of-the-mill post modern narcissist. Either way, it's like having an invisibility cloak!
Great idea. To maintain its supremacy in street shooting, Leica should develop a selfie stick for its M series.
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Old 05-24-2017   #181
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....I only have problems once in a while....
Maybe because you're a 6'2" 250 lb. Marine with ink?
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Old 05-24-2017   #182
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Great idea. To maintain its supremacy in street shooting, Leica should develop a selfie stick for its M series.

Excellent idea. Could be the new K series ("Klebest" for sticks like glue). Or have a Leica code name: the OMG
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Old 05-24-2017   #183
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If people are so full of suspicion, fear and concern for privacy, why not make your street photography about that. Maybe it's more of an opportunity than a problem.


Glad someone is thinking. All I hear from everyone else is poor excuses for using other people's children as subjects for the most banal photographs possibly ever taken.
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Old 05-24-2017   #184
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Not surprisingly, you have missed the point. There are also far more important things in life than satisfying a desire to as a hobby, obtain photographs of people that one does not know in a manner of approach and thinking that is clearly becoming outdated. I wrote what I did because without those procedures, there is no way in hell I would engage in "Street" photography, my gut tells me it is just not right anymore, especially children.

The world, the whole of it has changed. And because of the onslaught of a "Social Moore's Law" of sorts, it will change even faster.
My opinion, based on the how's and whys of why or how I engage with people I don't know with my camera is wholly unique to me, what I have seen arrive and what I think is coming....and going.

Until laws are more rigorously enforced, if at all, I feel that it is the reasoning of the individual with the camera who will make or break his or her ability to successfully obtain the desired photograph on the streets, not just a press pass or letter of assignment. But in my experience, combined with a deep sense of always putting my subjects or potential subjects first, those credentials sure do help and I feel they will help even more into the future as more people refuse to allow the image maker to have a say in the recording and possible publication of their likeness. In this day and age, people have a right to know why and how a photo of them is to be used, you are engaging in a fool's errand to think otherwise.

Let's always remember that when regarded in it's most evocative result, street photography often contains the likeness of people. Put the people in your photographs first, because it is not about you anymore, it is about them and *clearly* the world is showing us that more and more each day.

To more and more people, telling them you want to or did take their photograph for "fun" is not a good enough reason for doing so, hence the backlash. It's not snobbery on my part, it is what I witness, what I hear from the people **I** photograph. I'm in the minority here and I always will be and that is fine by me, go ahead and beat the crap out of me, hate me, piss on my grave, what ever makes you feel good.

But crapping all over me and my insight does not and will not change the increase in challenges or reaction those with a camera will experience if they can not give a damn good reason for photographing people they do not know. You can count on it getting harder to do because clearly, that is where it is headed.


I couldn't agree with you more. Wise words. Individuals have a reasonable expectation to the use of their visage which precludes whatever a douchebag "streetog" wants as a trophy for their artless "documents". Why photographers want to make images under such circumstances is beyond me. Angled wide views of bankers marching past a Starbucks in stark light, or a zoomed in invasion of some poor chap in Hanoi trying to make a living selling banh mi - these aren't revelatory images fit for the ceiling of a cathedral in Assisi. Get a life. Or, more to the point, get to grips with the difference between SUBJECT and CONTENT, for when it comes to the latter the apologists in this thread are exactly like Ken Wheeler: ye doth protest too much as compensation for lives defined by narrow, self- involved interests.
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Old 05-24-2017   #185
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"But crapping all over me and my insight does not and will not change the increase in challenges or reaction those with a camera will experience if they can not give a damn good reason for photographing people they do not know"

seems like sound logic
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Old 05-24-2017   #186
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Why photographers want to make images under such circumstances is beyond me. Angled wide views of bankers marching past a Starbucks in stark light, or a zoomed in invasion of some poor chap in Hanoi trying to make a living selling banh mi - these aren't revelatory images fit for the ceiling of a cathedral in Assisi. Get a life. Or, more to the point, get to grips with the difference between SUBJECT and CONTENT, for when it comes to the latter the apologists in this thread are exactly like Ken Wheeler: ye doth protest too much as compensation for lives defined by narrow, self- involved interests.
Please show us the way to photographic salvation sir... preferably in images.
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Old 05-24-2017   #187
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Please show us the way to photographic salvation sir... preferably in images.


What makes you think I'm a photographer? This is a discussion concerning ethics, not some competitive I'll show you mine if you show me yours trap. But alas, you photo boys never do understand the fact that non photographers might have views more valid than yours.
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Old 05-24-2017   #188
PunkFunkDunk
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What makes you think I'm a photographer? This is a discussion concerning ethics, not some competitive I'll show you mine if you show me yours trap. But alas, you photo boys never do understand the fact that non photographers might have views more valid than yours.


OK, OK, here's a photo of a wall. No one's feelings we hurt.
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Old 05-25-2017   #189
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Sometimes we should just listen to our gut feeling that a photo will not be appreciated

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Old 05-25-2017   #190
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Originally Posted by PunkFunkDunk View Post
What makes you think I'm a photographer? This is a discussion concerning ethics, not some competitive I'll show you mine if you show me yours trap. But alas, you photo boys never do understand the fact that non photographers might have views more valid than yours.
I guess my point is that it is easy to be critical, but hard to make something meaningful.
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Old 05-26-2017   #191
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I couldn't agree with you more. Wise words. Individuals have a reasonable expectation to the use of their visage which precludes whatever a douchebag "streetog" wants as a trophy for their artless "documents". Why photographers want to make images under such circumstances is beyond me. Angled wide views of bankers marching past a Starbucks in stark light, or a zoomed in invasion of some poor chap in Hanoi trying to make a living selling banh mi - these aren't revelatory images fit for the ceiling of a cathedral in Assisi. Get a life. Or, more to the point, get to grips with the difference between SUBJECT and CONTENT, for when it comes to the latter the apologists in this thread are exactly like Ken Wheeler: ye doth protest too much as compensation for lives defined by narrow, self- involved interests.
Yep with this mentality there would be no The Americans by Robert Frank, none of Winogrands wonderful images. Diane Arbus, forget about a lot of her work. Bresson is another. No Subway by Bruce Davidson. Glad none of those were in agreement with your ethics.

I always think it's better just not to participate if you don't like something instead of pushing ones morals or ethics on others.
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Old 05-26-2017   #192
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A few years ago in The Netherlands it was forbidden to take pictures in shopping malls. Now that everyone makes selfies with an iPhone this prohibition seems to be forgotten.

Leica I model A, Elmar 50mm f/3.5, 400-2TMY.

Erik.

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Old 05-26-2017   #193
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I always found being a rather thick, tattooed and scary looking man allowed me a whole lot of breathing room
I was visiting some business friends after business hours. I buy my pelican cases from these folks. A good client called asking to come in after hours. A big Lincoln pulled up and the guy was let in. He's dressed in expensive athletic clothing. So, they are talking and the customer turns a little and I see the butt of a H&K poke out of his pants waste band.

That works too.

Turns out he was buying cases for 3 sniper rifles. The guy was head of security for a very rich hedge fund trader.
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Old 05-26-2017   #194
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I reckon I'll just try and be more open, less sneaky. I've had people eyeball me after shooting them and a smile tends to see them off. I just struggle sometimes to maintain that decorum when really I just want to tell them to stop looking at me, which would of course be hypocritical and counter-productive.
It's okay for you to photograph them, but it's NOT okay for them to "look at you" afterward?
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Old 05-26-2017   #195
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Originally Posted by airfrogusmc View Post
Yep with this mentality there would be no The Americans by Robert Frank, none of Winogrands wonderful images. Diane Arbus, forget about a lot of her work. Bresson is another. No Subway by Bruce Davidson. Glad none of those were in agreement with your ethics.
Robert Frank's The Americans was published in 1958; Henri Cartier-Bresson abandoned photography in 1966; Diane Arbus died in 1971, and Bruce Davidson's Subway was published in 1980. The examples you cite are all from at least 35 years ago. The question is not whether their historical works are extrordinary, but whether society's attitude toward street photography has changed in the intervening years so as to jeopardize the vitality of the genre.
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Old 05-26-2017   #196
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Robert Frank's The Americans was published in 1958; Henri Cartier-Bresson abandoned photography in 1966; Diane Arbus died in 1971, and Bruce Davidson's Subway was published in 1980. The examples you cite are all from at least 35 years ago. The question is not whether their historical works are extrordinary, but whether society's attitude toward street photography has changed in the intervening years so as to jeopardize the vitality of the genre.

Why would their times be in more important than ours?

My point is if they had followed someone else's ideas of what should be photographed or not the work might not exist.

No one has the right to dictate how others should see and record the world around them. Is landscape photography less valid than when Weston and Adam captured it? Is portraiture no longer valid because Newman did it a half century ago?
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Old 05-26-2017   #197
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Why would their times be in more important than ours?

My point is if they had followed someone else's ideas of what should be photographed or not the work might not exist.

No one has the right to dictate how others should see and record the world around them. Is landscape photography less valid than when Weston and Adam captured it? Is portraiture no longer valid because Newman did it a half century ago?
The issue in the thread was not the validity of the genre but the changing attitudes of society and individuals toward having their photographs taken in public places. Landscapes do not object when you take their photograph and portraiture is by its nature consensual.
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Old 05-26-2017   #198
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Read the post I was responding to #191

If folks like Frank would have listened to that advice The Americans would not exist.

When I first started working on the streets in the early 1980s I was always being hassled and I stuck out because i was the only one shooting on the streets then. Now I can't walk a block in Chicago and not see several other photographers. People really pay little attention because cameras are everywhere. 35 years ago everyone was aware when they saw me and my camera because there weren't many out there doing it. Things have changed a lot but I find it a lot easier today than I did 30+ years ago. I also feel today's times and all the moments in it are no more or less valid than those times and moments of the past and should be open to record just as they were in the past. I think the challenge as it was then is to find a way to say something about it in an individual way.
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Old 05-26-2017   #199
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Why would their times be in more important than ours?

My point is if they had followed someone else's ideas of what should be photographed or not the work might not exist.

No one has the right to dictate how others should see and record the world around them. Is landscape photography less valid than when Weston and Adam captured it? Is portraiture no longer valid because Newman did it a half century ago?
Ask yourself: are we dealing with rational people here?

Cheers,

R.
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Old 05-26-2017   #200
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.. . portraiture is by its nature consensual.
Really? Why?

And even if it were, exactly how is that consent given or withheld?

Cheers,

R.
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