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Wednesday, 04 December 2013


Come on, Mike. As a landscape photographer who aims at creating visual poetry, I really cannot have you high jacking the label poetry for street photography, which very seldom, repeat very, very seldom even approaches a jingle, let alone poetry. I accept that all photographic genres can approach poetry when done by the most gifted photographer. Even surrealism! But street photography is usually just pulp fiction. Just saying..... Goff

Well, that took me two days to figure out. I feel a little silly. Also, I'm really intrigued by how he handled the b&w conversion here.

The [street] photographer Tod Papageorge is also poet (he was an English major in college). He's also written about the parallels between street photography and poetry in his collection of essays Core Curriculum

For example


AS: Was there a definitive point when you swapped poetry for photography?

TP: I think it was then. I recognized in photography a way of making poetry without the terrible agony of putting words together, thinking in my delusion that photography would be easier, and never suspecting that it was harder, or at least as difficult.

But the analogy only goes so far


But where a poet combines, over time (be it minutes or years), the words of a shared language to make a poem, a photographer combines, instantaneously, a jumble of things out- there (which often share little more than their adjacency) to make a picture. Individual photographs, then, are less like poems than unique ideograms, or picture-complexes, that freeze the moment when the objects, air, and dimension framed in a viewfinder are incorporated and fixed together in an unalterable mix by being exposed on film. Because any shift of lens position or subject or light (to say nothing of the camera operator’s concentration) irremediably changes the picture the photographer will make next, his only strategy for clarifying or amending his thinking is to yield it up to making yet another exposure, and, as he does so, to add to an unseen store of images. Unlike the artist or poet, who can revise a given work without accumulating a series of physically distinct versions of that work equal to the number of changes made to it, the photographer builds just such an archive simply by photographing.

>>Street photography is to photography what poetry is to literature.<<
Thanks so much for that,now I don't feel so guilty about being rather non commital in regards to poetry.

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