Opinion on different rules of street photography.

Discussion in 'Street' started by Jarter, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. Jarter

    Jarter Member

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    Hi guys, just discovered the forum. I don't do street photography and I rarely use my old Kodak film camera. However, I have been interested in Street/documentary photography for a long time and have been reading tons of biography and photo books at the library.

    Recently, I have discovered Beat Struelli website.
    http://www.beatstreuli.com/

    Suprised that his name wasnt on site such as InPublic.
    His photo really intrigues me as he has different mindset from the conventional street photography. He employs telephoto lens to isolate himself from the subject and thus making the viewpoint on the subject itself rather than the enviroment. I would assume that he doesnt intend to include narrative view, but rather to express abstract differences between people based on skin colour, clothing and races. I suspect that there would be alot of eyebrow raised here:rolleyes:.

    I am no photography critic though, and I have mixed feeling about his pictures. BUT, I am glad to see someone who doesnt adher to specific rule and make photo according to personal technique. I would like to see what do you guys think of him.
     
  2. Krzys

    Krzys Member

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    I'm not too impressed with his style or photos but they are interesting enough for a long night like this...

    Thanks for sharing.
     
  3. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Cant seem to find any sort of social message there. Looks as though someone gave him some film to burn, lacks any impact, basically, ho-hum.

    Rick
     
  4. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    The photos are OK, but not great. BTW welcome to APUG! Thanks for the info anyway.

    Jeff
     
  5. John Lawrence

    John Lawrence Member

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    Not my sort of thing, but that doesn't mean others may not like them!

    John
     
  6. Shaggysk8

    Shaggysk8 Member

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    Yeah they are interesting, not sure how much I would look through his picture if I had a book, everything think you want to see and look into is there, the enviroment is something that really adds to street shots, one person reactions to it, there is none of that in the photos, but maybe that is not the point.

    Paul
     
  7. Jarter

    Jarter Member

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    Wow, thanks for the replies.

    I have to agree that not all of his images are 'soul' moving. Perhaps his goal and vision are different from normal street shooters.

    The reason I really connect to him is because I use to employ his technique using my Sony DSLR. I quickly notice that it is hard to focus quickly to your subject and putting the camera viewfinder to your eye for too long might attract attention. I tried with a 35mm lens and soon found out that I wasnt cut out for it. Too much of an introvert and shyness to actually get close to the subject with a camera.

    Beat Strueli does seem to have a knack of picking individuals that I can see. I wonder if any of the muslim he photographes ever caught and confronted him. I personally know the muslim community and they are quite sensitive about being photographed.
     
  8. Jarter

    Jarter Member

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    Actually he had several books published. I have lbrowsed through some of them especially the one which features New York street photos. He does projects in couple of countries like Shang Hai and Paris I think.
     
  9. Bill Harrison

    Bill Harrison Subscriber

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    Beat

    This person puts as many things between himself and his subject, as she/he can.... Both distance and physical barriers. Needs to come out of closet. Probably too threatened and as a result, threatening to others stalking them... If possible, a warm smile and relaxed attitude will break the ice and open up a whole world of possibility, perhaps begin with a med. tele., then normal, yes, then even wide angle. Direct experience mixed with a compassionate attitude. The child in the "big truck" is cute. Bill
     
  10. Jarter

    Jarter Member

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    Does the use of telephoto eliminates the empathy towards the subject or is it the other way around? Strueli's work i suspect was more about potraits of peole on the street rather then documenting street life.

    Anyway, thats why I stick to urban landscape. Set a tripod up and it doesnt matter if someone comes into the frame of the landscape or individual structure. I do take photographs of massess rather than single individual.

    I am lazy and a coward bastard, I know:tongue:
     
  11. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I find that windshield series interesting in a few ways.
     
  12. Shangheye

    Shangheye Member

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    As a once great phorographer said...just cause it was taken on the street, doesn't make it street photography.

    His work is as close to that often mentioned word "candid" photography as you can get, and in my opinion since the thesorus describes an alternative word for candid is "straight forward"...it probably describes the ease with which pictures like that are to take.

    That in no way means I am judging your enjoyment of his work, art is in the eye of the beholder, but close up street imagery....now that is something to behold.

    K
     
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    he does nice surveillance work.
     
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  15. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    I'm in that same boat, I just cannot bring myself to point a camera at strangers on the street.
     
  16. Tony Egan

    Tony Egan Subscriber

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    With respect to photography or any art form when I hear the word rules I reach for my luger!
     
  17. JohnRB

    JohnRB Member

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    Not street photography to me. Using a tele is is akin to snooping. 50mm and wider gets one involved.

    Yours,

    John
     
  18. bonagva

    bonagva Member

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  19. Jarter

    Jarter Member

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    It seems that many people are against Strueli's method here. I was out shooting today and my telephoto lens got lots of starry eyed attention, so I quickly store it back. I ended up shooting landscape only.

    Later that day while on the train back home, I tried using shutter cable release and resting the camera on my lap

    It was disastorous as my DSLR shutter was heard by people near me. No one got up to confront me, but it sure was embarassing. I was no Walker Evans alright:tongue:

    Makes me wonder if I should invest on a Leica or a TLR instead:rolleyes:
     
  20. Shaggysk8

    Shaggysk8 Member

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    Don't get any other Camera just grow some balls!
     
  21. Jarter

    Jarter Member

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    This 'ball' your talking about, can I purchase them online?:tongue:
     
  22. Craig Swensson

    Craig Swensson Member

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    Second that.[Without the luger]

    Can anyone point me to the `street photography' rulebook?
     
  23. marcmarc

    marcmarc Member

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    While there certainly aren't "rules" for street photography, there also isn't any shortcuts either. The use of telephoto lenses in the street is generally frowned upon for a couple of reasons. One is that the resulting photographs taken with long lenses just don't seem to be as esthetically pleasing as those taken with normal to wide lenses. Case in point the link you provided. I also didn't care for Struellis work. Telephoto lenses can also result in the kind of negative attention that shy photographs are trying to avoid by using them in the first place.

    So stick with wide to normal lenes. I shoot both 35mm and 6x7 film in the streets. I use a 35mm lens for my Nikon F2 and a 50mm and 110mm (wide and standard) with my RZ67. Doing so puts you in the mix of things which is where you want to be when shooting street. If you still find yourself uncomfortable then perhaps street just isn't for you. Nothing wrong with that; street isn't easy and many people try it only to discover it just isn't a good match for them. Good luck and most of all have fun! If it's not fun, it's not worth doing!
     
  24. clayne

    clayne Member

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    All I have to hear is "telephoto" and I instantly know it's crap.

    Engage or get the F out.
     
  25. naugastyle

    naugastyle Member

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    That's exactly what this is, John. Spying, with all the skill involved in being a stationary camera mount.

    Jarter, I mean no offense as you're certainly welcome to enjoy his photos, but to me these are absolutely terrible. Even if they weren't shot with telephoto there just seems to be no thought at all behind them, no attempt at composition. The car series is even worse than the Cape Town series. Gussied-up iPhone commute photos.

    Telephoto street photos are pretty annoying in and of themselves, though. He needs to order some internet balls more than you do :smile:.
     
  26. Jarter

    Jarter Member

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    Strangely, I have yet to find any prostatic balls available online:mad:

    I take it that the post by Shaggy was intended as a piece of advice and sarcastic humor.

    Concerning Strueli's work, I did say that I had 'mixed' feeling about them. When you view them as a whole slideshow or thumbnails, there are quite interesting indeed as it shows variation between individuals.

    The problem comes when people view those pictures individually, there's nothing........extraordinary so to speak.

    marcmarc's post made me question my own interest in street photography. Perhaps it isn't for me at all. It's just that I get this instant jeaulosy when viewing someone's street photos.Oh well.

    P/s: naugastyle, I really love your photos. I am definitely bookmarking it:smile: