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Saturday, 16 June 2012


Wonderful movie. After this and Andrew's article I ordered my K-01 and I'm off to the street (beach)


I watched this video in hopes of understanding what the appeal for street photography is(after all, it is a Magnum production). I was shown a place I would not want to visit and heard the photographer make fun of some of the people he photographed. I still do not find street photography appealing.

This is GOOD "street" photography -- well edited with a point of view, not haphazzerd shots of masses of people doing nothing of particular interest.

Disabuses you of the need for sharpness, doesn't it?

While on the topic of street photography and Bruce Gilden, Bill Cunningham (the other guy in that picture) is shown in a rather wonderful documentary.
Bill Cunningham New York

It's one of the best films about a photographer I've seen recently. I believe you can see in on Netflix and Amazon.

Alas, that Coney, and that New York, no longer exist. But then incremental and sometimes dynamic change have always been part of the New York landscape. Scorsese's Gangs of New York has a scene at the very end that shows the NYC skyline evolving throughout the decades, it's surprisingly moving and almost makes sitting through that mess of a movie worthwhile. American Experience also has a great documentary on the history, grandeur and gradual decline of what once was Coney Island.


Gilden's book, Coney Island, remains to this day one of the great paean's to: street photography, B&W film, the quintessential New York character- and what once was its most surreal and often maligned piece of real estate.

I also recommend the film "Bill Cunningham New York." It's available from Netflix, both DVD and streaming. Cunningham works in an unusual niche (fashion/street/society) and he says in the film other photographers wouldn't call what he does photography, but he comes across as an eccentric, wonderful, and fascinating person.

As for Coney Island, I much prefer Harold Feinstein's work to Gilden's. (www.haroldfeinstein.com) Harold's book is coming out soon.

Coney Island was killed off by air conditioning. I think that's why you don't see the dense crowds like Weegee photographed during the 1940 heat wave. It's the beach New Yorkers can get to easily by public transportation. If you can close the windows and turn on the air, there's much less incentive to get on the train and commute to the beach.

I'd not seen this work before but I was instantly struck by the parallels between Gilden's work here and Martin Parr covering the English seaside.

I hadn't come across Dave Reichert before (www.davereichertphoto.com) (featured comment). He may have moved on from the "early" work featured on the website, but that stuff certainly resonates with me. For the people who think they have seen it all before, I can only think that they are maybe the sort of people who no longer read books because they've read all the words before.

Made my day

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