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Friday, 09 April 2021


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"if a particular street photo doesn't grab you, it can seem haphazard, lame, even puzzling" Thank you. As a 'Nature guy' some photography is not just off my radar but in the next galaxy and some is just fantastic. Maybe because it's my realm, but I do not feel I have missed the point of most nature and landscape photography although it might...not be very good. (Moi?) I worry about missing the boat when I travel away from nature images. Thank you for 'allowing' my cluelessness while being expert. Oh about 50% of Mr Kochanowski's click with me.

sorry about the SSL I am low-medium tech and cheap

It would be my guess that it's not just street photographers have to shoot an awful lot to unearth that occasional gem that works for them, but it may be relatively more true for street.

Reading about street photography reminds me of something I saw in the Los Angeles Times many moons ago. The food critic was writing about rosé wine, which had recently become all the rage. "Ain't red, ain't white ain't wine."

I see that Gordon Lewis commented. Coincidentally, I posted a link a few days ago to an old article he wrote and that was published here (I had saved the link some years ago):


I also included a link to his book.


Street photography is not my cup of tea, Always felt one shot street photos because they lacked artistic talent. Sorry, but they can be some of the most uninteresting photos I ever see.

[Not to be harsh but..."your loss"! Up to you, though. --Mike]

I believe that it was G.B. Shaw who opined that photography is like the cod which lays a million eggs so that one will reach maturity.

Some comments are a little surprising to me.
Whether taken in the street or out in the wilds, photos are photos.
I love looking at 'found' shots, and I love looking at 'planned' shots.
If they are good, then they are good.

An example maybe of how a “lucky” street photo can hit some and not others is probably the one in the featured portfolio with people on the sidewalk and with the woman being pushed in the wheelchair. As a person who likes to take this kind of photo when traveling alone, sometimes seeking what it was like to be in a place, on the street, wanting to catch people “going about their business,” I’m struck “technically” by this photo. When you are in the zone of seeing people/strangers in the world, and they all line up, don’t obscure each other, have their faces all bathed in varying but good light, each seemingly in a pose and expression that is truly candid, it feels like a magic moment somehow. It’s not really of anything special in particular. But to see it and nab it with a *click*... well, my photographer brain finds that very satisfying.

Its kind of moment is happening all the time. They are the norm, if only someone could be in the right place to happen to catch it. The captures feel like a certain kind of athletic feat, speaking as a photographer, having a photographer’s mindset. But it’s not special. There is nothing striking about the moment other than the arrangement, the timing, the capture itself.

I’ve been listening to and watching a lot of comedy this year because of the pandemic. There are observational comics, comics’ comics, and so forth. You can watch comics interviewing other comics, or comics in roundtables, all talking about comedy, it’s technical form, what it takes to phrase a joke, to make an observation about something that’s normal sound recognizably funny. They all talk about how best they must arrange those words, time them, to reveal some truth about life that strikes them funny. They make it sound like a gift, a curse, that it’s real work, and not fully appreciated by others.They’re right, probably. But I’m tired now of listening to comics talk about comedy. A year in, I’ve had enough. They all are saying the same things, about everyday stuff, trying too hard maybe.

Street photography can work in the same way. Too much of it can be too much, or just not that striking. Why are these folks trying so hard to capture these things, maybe separate themselves from our everyday reality, make a constant (and technically sharp) commentary about us? “What is the deal with these street photographers?” (said in Jerry Seinfeld voice)

I like good street photographs and Kochanowski’s are excellent. But as a person that tries to capture the same I’m suspicious that it is photography for photographers, photographers like me.

There are so many so called “street” photographers today and so much awful to worse examples of “street”photography that you really do need a guide to separate those who actually excel from the torrent of hustlers, wannabes and video clowns. These are sterling examples of what can be achieved... exemplary photography.

Is this street photography?

I don't think so.

The people in this collective (not just the ones you mention) do seem to like reflections more than I do. Even so, I found the occasional reflection photo that was really effective; notably Andrew Kochanowski's photo of the bus with reflections (of the building behind the photographer I presume, which may be a parking ramp) giving the windows a highly unexpected appearance.

Andrew's first photo would have been enough to make me stop looking, if I weren't stubborn; it has flaws I'm intolerant of, and didn't get me to notice anything beyond them. But photographers, like all artists, need to be judged by their best work, not their worst (and that photo probably is well-loved by lots of other people, anyway, not just Andrew). Heaven help me if people judge me by the photo of mine they like least!!!!

I have long admired Don Hudson’s work, especially the photos from around Michigan where I live.

Street photographers are a funny breed. A lot of chest-pumping and declarations, and arguing over what is or isn't street or which ones are good or bad or this or that...Maybe this happens in other types of photography too, I'm not sure. But street photography seems especially prone. Anyway, for contemporary street most of the action is now on IG. I would recommend browsing there to get the lay of the land. Websites are ok too but more static and less relevant IMO. Wherever you browse, caveat emptor. It's a minefield of mixed quality, age, style, and promotion. But if one is patient there is much to see. Andy and Don's photos are among the best.

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