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The Street

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by Streetshooter, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Who is doing the street and what are you using out there.
    For me it's the Pen 1 with the 20mm. I use the 17mm with the finder sometimes but the 20 is doing the job.

    What say you street shooters?
  2. deckitout

    deckitout Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2010
    Essex UK
    I am hoping to hit the street this weekend with the EP2 and 20/1.7, nice lightweight combo

  3. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    It must be nice being in a larger town/city. If I hit the street to take photos, there would be nobody on it, especially on the weekend.
  4. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    It must be nice to be able to walk the streets and be alone....I'd have to be a Ghost for that to happen....
  5. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Don, I kept thinking of you this afternoon while I was walking in NYC. Unfortunately, I was there only for a few hours and for a specific reason that could not allow photography but boy, oh boy - what a world of images!

    I would really like to go down this street and will do my best to find a way.
  6. F1L1P

    F1L1P Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 2, 2010
    What do you think makes a good street photo?
  7. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Interesting question...

    For me in my work, it's about being in the here and now.
    As I walk the street, my mind is working like jazz....thoughts come and go...visually I am waiting for the elements of life to equal what I am thinking or responding to. When that happens, then I release....

    At processing, I sometimes rediscover that moment in time. If the resultant image equals or surpasses that moment...it's a good image for me.

    Then there are times that I walk and something happens like MAGIC...it's just all there, all happening and the energy and thoughts come together as if I am a part of the image being made....this image I never question for it's always the one that works, my role is the photographer.

    Bresson called it the decisive moment...Stieglitz called it the Equivalent.... I just get blown away....

    Hope that starts to answer for you....
    • Like Like x 1
  8. F1L1P

    F1L1P Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 2, 2010
    may I just add that beeing street photographer is not just photographing street, it is much more...it is a way of living, it is lifestyle.
  9. alessandro

    alessandro Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 29, 2010
    I used Olys (E1, E520, E3), mainly with the 14-54 or the 25mm pancake.
    Then moved to Pentax (K20) cause I wanted to go back to primes. It's 15, 35 and 70mm, more or less equivalent to the 24, 50, 100mm I used many years ago on an OM1.

    Just got a used EP1 with the 20mm, I will give it a try. Nice to always have it in a tiny purse; the 17mm VF is perfect with the 20mm lens, BTW, but I miss the dslr ovf I'm so used to.
    I'd love a useful implementation of hyperfocal in these little machines. It doesn't seem so difficult, can't understand why there's not any control.

  10. Bullfrog

    Bullfrog Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I'm tempted to say "practice"...and lots of it :smile:
  11. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Amen to that brother!
  12. matmcdermott

    matmcdermott Mu-43 Regular

    I've used different systems over the years and frankly haven't done much pure street photography with micro four-thirds gear yet. Preferred gear being more than anything a single focal length lens in the 24-50mm range, depending on how crowded things are and how close I can be to the subject. For the past couple of years that's been a Leica M8 + 28 Summicron, sometimes the 18 Super-Elmar.

    Right now it's the GF1 + 20 pancake + EVF. Anxious for the 14 pancake to give me some options in tighter spaces + I find myself liking to be closer to people these days when I'm shooting.

    As far as what makes a good street photo (beyond of course good composition, which is just a matter of recognition of form in space): There's of course HCB's decisive moment, but there's also what I call (for lack of a better term) the non-decisive moment. That's when everything comes together and stops. No one is apparently doing anything out of the ordinary and that's the point.

    I find that a harder composition and in many ways more interesting and revealing than the decisive moment of action. Decisive moment is easy. Getting the moment of pause, when that pause is meaningful and revealing, means more to me.

    In either case, for me, it's a form of meditation (which I use literally, as I also happen to sit in meditation most days)--you are in the midst of movement, calm, poised, aware, not holding on to anything but the changing circumstances around you. An entirely solitary activity.
  13. F1L1P

    F1L1P Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 2, 2010
  14. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Perhaps because most people tend towards narcissism, or there's the expression "there's no accounting for taste" and then add in a large helping of the ubiquitous nature of the Internet and digital film.

    I'm not really joking, well maybe just a little... But let's face it with software being so much more user friendly, a proliferation of personal websites and photo related galleries there's so much bandwidth for for all. The good thing is that as viewers we can close out a window and move on...while we can stumble upon a masterpiece.
  15. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    1%, yes maybe true to a certain extent.
    But then you discount 99% of the shooters that would be walking around in drudgery and despair without any form of release.

    I think what matters is that a shooter is AWARE of his place in the common reality of the here and now. To view his images with an eye of a streetshooter, whatever that may mean to the viewer, and to get a sense of the shooters presence in the here and now, that's what's important.

    So, where does one draw the line? Does the 1% form an eletist society that considers themselves, the "Masters", of an art for that was in it's very nature, designed to be a poetic view of one's life in the here and now.

    Does that society then say to it's eletist core, let's filter out the best of the best, and so on and so on...

    I guess that sorta thing runs rampant thu any art form, but on my watch, in the worlds that I come across, with the shooters that I come across, Masters and deciples alike
    I will pay homage and respect to that shooters life.

    I'm not stating that there's not some really good work out there, that's probably an understatement. What I'm saying is that there's many poets walking around with a camera that I enjoy seeing, what is going on in their life and their sense of the here and now.

    Street shooting is about 1 thing. It is about Humanity. Whatever that means to the shooter, it's still about Humanity.
    Take that element away and what you have left certainly will not be a "Master" but a lost soul with a camera that forgot that there is more to life than photographing it....
    there is LIVING it....

    Living it and appreciating the gift of sight is what the "Masters" sought and so shall they teach.......

    I stand firm on my conviction to my LIFE and my ART, for they are intertwined and one and the same....
    View my images, they are what I have going on...
    Let me view yours, so I can see what you have going on....

    • Like Like x 1
  16. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Well put, Don.
  17. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I'd put the number higher than that. Depends on where you look. On a given Flickr stream, someone may be uploading every single photograph they made without any selection for the better ones. In that case, the number worth seeing may be well less than 1%. In a forum thread, people usually select their best several pictures from an outing, a project, or a year. In that setting, I think the percentage worth seeing is much higher.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Things have moved from edit -> publish (through conventional media, with full time editors) to publish -> edit... we see everything, and are left with the task of filtering the wheat from the chaff.

    The problem isn't how much dross is posted, it's how you locate the good stuff.


  19. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Brian, the good stuff is easy to find.

    Just open your mind and your heart....it'll be right in front of you.....
  20. matmcdermott

    matmcdermott Mu-43 Regular

    Actually, no. I see lots of great images on the web all the time.

    In fact I've been thinking lately that what flickr has made me realize is that there are a lot of really good photographers out there. There are plenty of mediocre and plenty of lazy too, but there are lots of people making great images that are more or less entirely unknown.

    If the figure was 5% I might tend to agree.

    The remaining stuff is there because it's easy to present, the photographer may well be at a different place in their progression and is less critical than they perhaps should be, because let's face we all make plenty of mediocre images--we hopefully just get better at editing the good from the bad as we gain experience.

    Story about that last point: A couple weeks back I saw Alex Webb and his wife give a slideshow of their past work and some unpublished stuff they're working on. Afterwards Alex was asked how many shots he takes before getting one that makes it in the book (paraphrased...). The immediate response was something similar to a chuckle meaning you've got no idea and tons.
    • Like Like x 1
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