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  1. #11
    athanasius80's Avatar
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    I find cars a mixed blessing. I remember one day driving my Model T in front of the City Gymn and Pool (a wonderful Edwardian pile,) shooting with a Brownie, and hoping I could pretend it was an original 1920s snapshot.

    So what happened? Everything looked perfectly period except for the street light, and the modern curb, and the traffic paint on the street, and the power lines...

    While I'm bothered that modern elements interfere in my photography of vintage stuff, I wonder what contemporary detail will seem miraculous to the social historians 100 years down the road.

  2. #12

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    I enjoy having forms of transportation in my images, especially when I am specifically asked by a client to photograph automobiles or motorcycles. About the only thing in our modern world that I don't like is those crappy banners some real estate companies and other businesses drape on perfectly nice buildings . . . sort of ruins the ambiance.

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    Gordon Moat
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  3. #13

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    Streets were made for cars --oddly enough that's why one tends to find so many cars there. Complaining about not being able to take a good photo on the street because a car always seems to be in the way is like complaining that you can't take a good photo in a forest because a tree always seems to be in the shot somewhere. Sorry to be so blunt, but there it is.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by robopro View Post
    Streets were made for cars --oddly enough that's why one tends to find so many cars there. Complaining about not being able to take a good photo on the street because a car always seems to be in the way is like complaining that you can't take a good photo in a forest because a tree always seems to be in the shot somewhere. Sorry to be so blunt, but there it is.
    Actually this is not accurate. In older cities, streets existed before cars. They were passageways for wagaons, carriages, carts, horses etc. - few of which were parked on the street.

    Christopher Gray is an architectural historian for the NY Times and has a weekly column called Streetscapes. It compares certain building or streets from say a century ago with today. He has several times commented how it is only around the 19-teens that you begin to see automobiles in any number - and at that time -they were more playthings of the wealthy and generally banned from parking on the streets.

    It is one reason why in some old photos of urban scenes thestreets look broader than they do today. Then the two curbsides were not lined with a row of parked cars as the are nowadays having the effect of narrowing the street scene.

  5. #15

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    I said, streets are built for cars. I didn't say streets were invented for cars. Duh!. So, my statement actually is entirely correct. I live in a 116 year old house. When it was built people rode horses down the street in front. I don't think it was paved to make life easier for horses, pedestrians, or photographers.

  6. #16
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robopro View Post
    I said, streets are built for cars. I didn't say streets were invented for cars. Duh!. So, my statement actually is entirely correct. I live in a 116 year old house. When it was built people rode horses down the street in front. I don't think it was paved to make life easier for horses, pedestrians, or photographers.
    Paved street exist at least since the era of Mohenjo-Daro in Central Asia, and we all know that the Romans had cobblestone ones. So there is paving that was made to make life easier for horses, carriages and pedestrians. Nobody cares about photographers so nothing is made to accomodate them anyway.

    Streets exist by default whenever there is a space between rows of houses that people used for transportation, either by foot, horse, carriage, motorcar, lorry, tramway, omnibus, cable car, or floater.

    Recent streets (less than a hundred years old, such as are common in many suburbs where sidewalks are nonexistent) are built for cars, but the majority of streets in modern cities still existed before motorized transport was common. The avenues of Montreal predate cars. The only real "invented for, and for the exclusive purpose of, cars" type of street is the German autobahn, also known as autoroute, or two-lane highway. Street photography is usually about cities, in which it is an accidental fact that streets were built, invented, designed, wished for before the existence of motorcars.
    Last edited by Michel Hardy-Vallée; 11-30-2006 at 05:09 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by goldie View Post
    But the ugly cars of today will undoubtedly look interesting in 20 years time as people realise how much things have changed.
    I think, in the next 5, 10 years, we'll probably start seeing some house-keeping robots in our photos. More interesting stuff!

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhv View Post
    So, if like me you find them an eyseore, how do you get rid of them? Do you stand on them and take pics from above? Have you find good ways to incorporate in your composition? Do you just look for spots without them? Do you also feel that if it was all pre-80s car, it would be more interesting?
    I've never had any issue with newer cars in general. My car is pretty ugly, too, but it runs well.

    I get really annoyed by some stupid big signs and ads, instead. I know some areas have certain restrictions on that regardless of what country you're in, so there are places to avoid seeing them.

  9. #19
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robopro View Post
    I said, streets are built for cars. I didn't say streets were invented for cars. Duh!. So, my statement actually is entirely correct. I live in a 116 year old house. When it was built people rode horses down the street in front. I don't think it was paved to make life easier for horses, pedestrians, or photographers.
    Actually, if you re-read your post you said "streets WERE made for cars". [emphasis added]

    You used the past tense, Rob. And as such, your statement was inaccurate.

    MHV's comments are totally on point - and it is interesting that Montreal and NYC have similar "vintages".

    Oh, and as to paving. The first paved street in NYC was in lower Manhattan. It was paved in the 17th Century and was, and still is, called "Stone Street".

    Oh, one other thing, please don't use the "duh" put-down thing. It's uncalled for and really insulting.

  10. #20
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firecracker View Post
    I think, in the next 5, 10 years, we'll probably start seeing some house-keeping robots in our photos. More interesting stuff!
    You see, if the cars were finally flying, like they were meant to be by year 2000, I would never have such problems. "OK everyone, just lift your cars for thirty seconds, thank you!"

    Living in the future sucks, man!
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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