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Craig Swensson
03-09-2010, 08:06 PM
With respect to photography or any art form when I hear the word rules I reach for my luger!

Second that.[Without the luger]

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

marcmarc
03-10-2010, 12:48 AM
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!

clayne
03-10-2010, 02:00 AM
All I have to hear is "telephoto" and I instantly know it's crap.

Engage or get the F out.

naugastyle
03-10-2010, 02:24 AM
he does nice surveillance work.

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 :).

Jarter
03-10-2010, 04:13 AM
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:)

Shaggysk8
03-10-2010, 08:54 AM
You have to grow some I think :D you could buy some but I think they are only spunge and will not help much.

david James lee
03-10-2010, 09:56 AM
i think the paparazzi style should be restricted to certain parts of J.Lo"s anatomy....

Jarter
03-10-2010, 10:36 AM
I could be wrong, but paparazzi nowdays seem to be much bolder using short lenses and utilizing 'right up' your face shot at close distance.

At least thats how it looks to me in some magazine I browsed in K-mart or any supermarket.

bonagva
03-10-2010, 11:20 AM
I could be wrong, but paparazzi nowdays seem to be much bolder using short lenses and utilizing 'right up' your face shot at close distance.

At least thats how it looks to me in some magazine I browsed in K-mart or any supermarket.

Depends if the subject is in his property or in the police car once arrested ...

naugastyle
03-10-2010, 11:30 AM
Thanks, Jarter.

I have a healthy appreciation for beautiful landscape photography, and it took me a while to realize I'm not really any good at it, particularly if there are no people to include somewhere in the frame. I needed some time to get used to the idea that just because I like seeing someone else's landscapes, doesn't mean I need to try to make them too. It's possible that street photography isn't for you, and there's nothing wrong with that :).

marcmarc
03-11-2010, 12:46 AM
Years ago I used to paint Cubism. I loved it but basically sucked at it when compared to the work of Picasso. Eventually, I accepted this and took pride in the fact that my works were original creations entirely my own and if Picasso were alive then, he would not be able to paint like me (nor would he want to lol!)

I bring this up because I see a lot of photographers compare their work to the work of others. I think this is a colossal waste of time. Everyone is different therefore everyone produces work that is different. It's OK to admire the work of others and be inspired by it, but more important is to trust ones own instincts and sensibilities when creating their own work. Having ones work accepted or validated by outside influences may be nice, but it's really not something the creators have any control over. What we do have control over is how we go about creating our own work and making it meaningful to us and making it our own. Everything else should just be left to unfold the way it will. To be concerned about it would be to mis-direct ones efforts into a non-creative direction.

Lars Daniel
04-15-2010, 04:44 PM
Very well spoken Marcmarc!
One thing that always comes back to me is: Of every truth the opposite is equally true. There are rules in photography, but there are also no rules. I understand the people who frown at using a tele. But to categoricly dismiss using one in a street context is beyond me. You might not be "engaged" when using a tele, so no, it is not "that" particular street style. But there are other flavours in life too. This is shot with tele is the street:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2544/4204680086_fde96b75a7.jpg
So call me a spy with a surveillance camera, I donīt care. To me it is poetry. To me, if it feels good it is good.

But to be really high on my horse, I think that the Struelli photos are very boring at best.

lxdude
04-15-2010, 05:08 PM
Strangely, I have yet to find any prostatic balls available online:mad:


The prostate's even harder to find than the balls. ;)

jp498
05-17-2010, 10:56 AM
Lars Daniel. I like that photo and your other street photos.

I checked out the Struelli photos too and wasn't that impressed. It' basically like he was people watching with tunnel vision. He's welcome to do whatever he wants, but here's my beef with them:

There seems to be no consideration of the background. It's like he uses shallow DOF to not have to deal with the background. To me, shooting with a camera is like shooting a real gun with regard to the rule that you should consciously understand what is behind what you are shooting at. It is possible to have some meaningful use of the blur space around the subjects by controlling DOF and thinking about what you want behind them in the photo as Lars has done and that adds a great deal. It's part of the composition. You can't ignore it or bluff it as intended "negative space" afterwards.

Some of the photos were hastily adjusted in terms of levels. Some had sooty whites and others had non-black blacks, such as when shooting into the sun.

benjiboy
05-17-2010, 11:38 AM
Not street photography to me. Using a tele is is akin to snooping. 50mm and wider gets one involved.

Yours,

John I agree, you have to get em where they live.

benjiboy
05-18-2010, 10:22 AM
The main "Rule" of street photography is it isn't for the timid or shy, and not everyone is temperamentally suited to it and if it makes you uncomfortable go and do some other type of photography . P.S Beat Struelli's pictures IMO are very ordinary indeed.

Jeff Kubach
05-20-2010, 01:39 AM
The main "Rule" of street photography is it isn't for the timid or shy, and not everyone is temperamentally suited to it and if it makes you uncomfortable go and do some other type of photography . P.S Beat Struelli's pictures IMO are very ordinary indeed.

I agree with you. Usually I'm not so good with street photography, but one day I got lucky. It was a St. Patrick Festival and the people there 'feeling pretty good' so I got a few good shots.

Jeff

AgentX
05-21-2010, 05:25 PM
Rules? Ironically, "street photography" was born with many people doing work that broke what seemed to be rules. Now it seems to be a self-limiting pigeonhole for a lot of people. I recall an article years back by a former street photog who described a feeling of being a "visual athlete" limited to "making better and better catches" by being stuck in the genre...

Why not use a telephoto if it's what you want to do, so long as you know what you're going for and why you're doing it? Yeah, I had to talk many basic photo students out of buying longer lenses and forcing them to engage with a subject for years. But I'm sure there's very interesting work that could be done on the street by breaking out of the Bill Klein in-your-face treatment, specifically exploiting the aesthetics and characteristics of a long lens. Certainly seems to be a way to do it as a self-conscious exploration of surveillance/anonimity/immersion/identity in an urban environment. Kind of an inverse Friedlander thing, maybe...picking an individual out of the fabric of things rather than integrating him into a complex, layered environment. Dunno; it's not something I'd do, but I can't imagine there's no one out there who could make it work.

Using a long lens as a substitute when you'd really *prefer* to be closer up isn't the way to do it, though. Magnification is no substitute for proximity, if proximity (and intimacy, in the sense of integration/identification with the subject rather than intrusion on it from afar) is what you want.

Edit: And my opinion is that the photos referenced in the original post aren't particularly interesting to me...they do really seem like he wants to be closer, but just isn't.

clayne
05-22-2010, 01:21 AM
The issue with street photography these days is that the "genre" is too self-aware. So begins/continues it's decay.

Dali
05-26-2010, 05:28 PM
I browse the site and foung his pictures pretty boring.

IMO, what is interesting with street photogtaphy is to capture a link between a subject and his environment. There, subject are most of the time inexpressive and you can barely see what surround them.

Not (at all) the kind of picture I appreciate...