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Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by RT_Panther, Jan 25, 2014.
#50 for the win!
Not many of those really apply to street photography any more than any other type of photography. I disagree with most anyway. There aren't really many rules to photography, and even if there were I can't think of anything that would screw up my flow when I'm out shooting than trying to remember them. Let alone trying to remember 50 of 'em! The only one I truly fully and totally agree with and try to live by is #40, and that includes him, which makes the rest of the list irrelevant... Which I guess brings #50 directly into play too, so I guess I'm down with two of them...
some of his 50 points are valid...then again with any 50 thoughts on photography some have to be valid!!!
I doubt I would sign up for one of his courses if pictures on his flickr page are examples of his work.
the use of flash says to me he is a Bruce Gilden wannabe... but lacks the appropriately sized plums to carry it off
each to their own
I've seen videos of him working, as well as Gilden. He's a lot nicer than Gilden - he doesn't assault his subjects, but he does talk to them and even have them pose for him. Which is fine if that's what you're after, but it's no part of what I'm after. So add #30 to the list of rules I absolutely never follow - if I did I would never have taken a street photograph.
Then again, I really should live by #14, but I never have, so maybe this is a good time to start...
I agree with #35, but not #16. If someone wants to pay, I'm happy to accept.
i guess one has to define 'street' photography, which imo is entirely separate from 'staged' photography. i'm not 'ranking' them, just 'distinguishing' them.
we've all heard of 'the decisve moment'? well, it doesnt happen in staged events and overwhelmingly doesnt happen when the subject somehow knows he's a subject.
Or #51: Don't take yourself so damned seriously that you have 50 'rules'.
The street photography I like are the shots that get in as close as possible (in front of their face) without the subject knowing. I'm also a big fan of telephoto shooting on the streets...the 75 1.8 being very good for that type of shooting.
I'd say the only ones worth following is 'never leave home without a camera' and 'don't go a whole day without taking a shot'. Everything else is up to you the photographer.
I like reading those kinds of lists. Almost always can get one or two good tips for my own kind of photography but, thanks God, I doubt there would be a complete list written for me, unless I do it myself. That's the beauty of art, infinite possibilities, according to each tastes and personality.
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Why is that one any more universal than any of the others? I personally am not someone who can do good photography incidentally, just because I have a camera with me all the time. When I go out to shoot, I go out to shoot and my mindset and entire approach to looking and "seeing" is very different than when I'm just out and about doing other stuff. There are moments when I'm just out and about when I think "damn, I should have a camera right now", but they're few and far between. And when I HAVE tried the "always have a camera" approach, it just never worked that way. I was either shooting and looking for the shot or I wasn't. I didn't actually get anything good during those times when I just happened to have a camera but wasn't focussed on shooting. But when I concentrate on being out shooting, particularly when I'm doing street work, I tend to be hyper-aware and involved in the process and I usually get a few good shots (and plenty that I just missed in one way or another).
I also go many whole days without taking a shot. I've also tried to make sure I shot every day - doing some sort of PAD project or something. And I suck at it. When I'm motivated to shoot, I shoot. There's nothing that will kill my love of photography faster than getting to 8pm and realizing I HAVE TO take a photograph soon or I'm gonna miss a day. That's just nothing but busy work for me and has never made me a better photographer - just one who starts resenting the activity. Which is something I don't EVER want to have happen. So no more PADs for me. Great if it works for you, but not for everyone...
I'm not saying it's a BAD rule - it probably works for a lot of people and I don't begrudge anyone what works for them. But it also DOESN'T work for some people, quite a lot based on discussions I've had with others. So, yeah, it's a potential rule for some people, but it's no more universally useful than any of the other rules on his list...
Let me first say that this is just my opinion, no matter how strongly I feel about it. And thank you for engaging this subject because I do think its important to share this. The context of this link is from someone trying to teach people how to be better photographers. I have been blessed (and truly grateful for it) to come from a family of artists. Painters, writers, singers, dancers, designers, filmmakers etc., and the one thing they all had in common? Practice, practice, practice. Not casually, but religiously. I'm sure you are a better photographer then you think you are, but I bet you would be even better if you dedicated more time to honing your craft? No one is born a great artist, they become one over time, through experience and a great deal of dedication. Now take our idea of what that is and times it by 10 and you might just scratch the surface of what master artists have done to get where they are. Replace the word artist with anything else, doctor, electrical engineer, insurance salesmen. You cant get better at a skill by not doing it. You wont take a better photograph by not taking one. And trust this, you can learn just as much by taking a bad photograph as taking a good one.
So, I never said its a rule, or a must do, just that out of all the Rules he listed, in my opinion, those 2 are the ones really 'worth' following. And no, don't let it become a chore. That is counter-productive. But I stand by what I said because I have seen first hand evidence of it in my own life. I KNOW I would be a better photographer today if I spent more time with it over the years. But kids, career and life happened so here I am today. Still learning, still honing just like every artist does. I never said lug your D3 or 1DS with you everywhere you go. Wip out a good camera phone and frame up a shot. Don't think so much, that's not what its about.
Which brings me to your 'mindset' comment. I used to feel the same way a long time ago until a mentor of mine taught me this.. Thinking is not understanding. And one can only truly understand through experience. And through that experience we must find an intimate connection with our art otherwise it will never amount to what it really can be. If you want to be good at something it has to become apart of you so that it becomes an extension of you, not a result.
Ok so enough preaching, sorry if I overstepped my boundary. I tend to have no filter online and I don't know everything, far from it. Do what feels right for you. Do what makes you happy, but don't underestimate the power of letting go and just doing.
i have sympathy for both philosophies. for me personally, i like to always have a camera with me because it just being around my neck makes it 'natural', like shoes, something i dont 'think' about. i dont wanna get all spiritual, but the art of zen is getting out of your own way, having your task, or the thing you love doing or want to do well, just become a 'part' of you, an extension of you, not something you 'think' about.
for me, i have found that since ive been carrying a camera with me most of the time, i have actually started to 'see' things differently all or much more of the time. seeing like my camera has helped me disassociate 'shooting' it from the life that happens around me--its becoming more and more integral, and not something specific. i think the more natural the process is, the more its integrated into what one does, the less thinking one needs to do, and the more one can get out of ones own way and let the process flow.
and to take that a step further, thats why i personally dont 'manage' scenes or interact with my subject (of course there are exceptions, i just mean in 'street' shooting), because the articiality of that interferes with my wanting to be nothing more than 'in flow': i flow with the scene; camera flows with me.
As far as "practice, practice, practice" goes for photography, that is fine, if you like the practice or if your goal requires it. I'm more in the Allen Iverson camp. And while I may miss shots that I would not miss if I practiced more, the balance between all parts of my life is critical for me. I do not have 10,000 hours for photography.
I do find that since I am pursuing this hobby I see shots with or without a camera in hand. And I do think about how I'd compose a scene, or what settings to use in odd light, or whatever. Sans camera I don't get a result out of that activity to judge my success, but the thought process still takes place.
For those that don't get the Iverson reference, spend two minutes on Youtube. It always makes me laugh a little:
Yes. His photos and advice are so bad, I'm wondering if it's satire. Lists are for blogs who want readers and to create "buzz". Yawn. Not that I'm any street photographer myself, but I'm not impressed in the least. Sounds pretentious even.
Allen Iverson didn't get where he did by playing a pickup game here and there on the weekends. Just sayin'.
And I'm not saying you have to strive to be the Iverson of photography but if I was teaching a photography course and someone came to me and said, "I am really starting to love photography but I want to take it to the next level. What should I do?" Well, I would give him my advice as stated above.
If you shoot photography because it makes you happy and you enjoy it at your own pace then of course, do what works for you. Nothing wrong with that at all.
Some things just never die on the internet. Not wanting to repeat myself, I'll just post a link to this thread: https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=51847&highlight=eric . While I will refrain from commenting on his photography and techniques, I will say that he has fully mastered publishing blog lists.
the list is about "tips", not "rules"
he even says:
I also believe strongly that one should never listen to “rules” of anything in life (especially street photography). However, below is a list of things (which has personally helped me) I avoid in street photography . Pick and choose what resonates with you, and leave the rest
If anyone likes the list, you can pay for Eric Kim to teach it in one of the street photography workshops that he runs around the world.