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Street Photography

olafphoto

Administrator
Staff member
Back to "street" (allthough it also could go into the architecture/structures thread)

Belliard Street, Brussels


A850 + Helios 35/2.8 (M42)
Great idea but my eyes have hard time to navigate the image. What is your subject here? Graphics, two people walking or the building?
 

pegelli

Well-known member
Hi Olaf, thanks for the comment, My idea was really the two walking people dwarfed by the building and reflection and at the same time mimicked by the people painted on the glass. The fact I need so many words explaining why I took and posted this photo proves your point that it's a very busy image.

It all just happened when I was walking along the street with a 35 prime lens, if I would have had a zoom or longer lens on the camera I would also have tried to take just the walkers (and a limited set of painted people)
 

jsf

Active member
Some of my street work involves finding a stage and waiting. Most of my street work involves just hunting in target-rich environments. This is the former. I used to work with two full-frame Nikons and two prime lenses. Now I work with two Fujis, one with a prime and one with a zoom. Any modern camera is fine to work with. But I have found the Fuji system to be very adept at candid work.
 

Attachments

olafphoto

Administrator
Staff member
Some of my street work involves finding a stage and waiting. Most of my street work involves just hunting in target-rich environments. This is the former. I used to work with two full-frame Nikons and two prime lenses. Now I work with two Fujis, one with a prime and one with a zoom. Any modern camera is fine to work with. But I have found the Fuji system to be very adept at candid work.
Indeed, finding the stage and waiting is one of the best street photography techniques. You had a great idea here but I am not that thrilled about your placement of the subject. Having said that, from your focal point it would be difficult to make it work unless your position is elevated. Let me think about it more.
 

jsf

Active member
Often we just have to work with the exigencies of the place. Most of the people who looked at this exhibit had their backs to me. Sort of in-between interesting and not as interesting. But I knew I got it when this young man posed for a picture that his friend took of him. These situations happen so quickly and any sudden movement on my part interferes with the situation. I would have preferred being a bit more elevated, as I would have preferred being in a position looking at the young man a bit more from the front. But I am happy with the image. Street work is replete with small 'I wish it was a bit different.' But, I really appreciate any and all comments. I agree that it might be a bit more dramatic with a small elevation.
 

Attachments

jsf

Active member
Hi Olaf, thanks for the comment, My idea was really the two walking people dwarfed by the building and reflection and at the same time mimicked by the people painted on the glass. The fact I need so many words explaining why I took and posted this photo proves your point that it's a very busy image.

It all just happened when I was walking along the street with a 35 prime lens, if I would have had a zoom or longer lens on the camera I would also have tried to take just the walkers (and a limited set of painted people)
I think that the image as a whole is the statement, not the people or the building, but the entirety of the scene. I think we get fixated on 'what is the hero' of the image and forget that often the context is also important. Sometimes we minimize context and other times it is equal in value to the ostensible subject. I believe we have created an erroneous culture of " Where are my eyes supposed to look at?" in the picture and often minimize that the entire picture is where your eyes are supposed to look at.
 

olafphoto

Administrator
Staff member
I think that the image as a whole is the statement, not the people or the building, but the entirety of the scene. I think we get fixated on 'what is the hero' of the image and forget that often the context is also important. Sometimes we minimize context and other times it is equal in value to the ostensible subject. I believe we have created an erroneous culture of " Where are my eyes supposed to look at?" in the picture and often minimize that the entire picture is where your eyes are supposed to look at.
I have to respectfully disagree with you here. Every image has its rhythm, a visual map. Every element should be there to lead a viewer carefully to a great finale. When you study great photography a careful placement of elements within the frame is as much important as its context and the story itself. You can put together a book with a great story but if our writing and narrative is poorly done we won't keep our reader interested. Therefore many great writers have editors to make sure the flow of language is right. The same with imagery. It pays off to study great imagery. There is a strong reason why Michael Kenna, Andre Kertesz or Charlie Waite are able to produce such a strong work - all the time. They pay attention to the frame. They are able to identify their subject early in the seeing stage.
 

jsf

Active member
I have to respectfully disagree with you here. Every image has its rhythm, a visual map. Every element should be there to lead a viewer carefully to a great finale. When you study great photography a careful placement of elements within the frame is as much important as its context and the story itself. You can put together a book with a great story but if our writing and narrative is poorly done we won't keep our reader interested. Therefore many great writers have editors to make sure the flow of language is right. The same with imagery. It pays off to study great imagery. There is a strong reason why Michael Kenna, Andre Kertesz or Charlie Waite are able to produce such a strong work - all the time. They pay attention to the frame. They are able to identify their subject early in the seeing stage.
Actually, in many ways we do not disagree at all. I can see the intention that the artist did in this image and I agree that the place has equal if not more weight than the people in the subject. The people are the weakest element in the image. They are just walking. Had they also had either story significance or graphic interest the overall image would have been much stronger. The lighting is weak the color and tone separation of people from the background is weak. On the other hand, I think that the artist saw potential in the overall image and I want to encourage that.
Do I think that not only the story has to be strong but also how we tell the story also needs to be strong? YOU BET! I am totally in agreement with you about that. The problems in critique are myriad. We often (and I am so guilty of this) leave out the strengths that an artist brings to the image and we concentrate on the weaknesses. Personally I am only interested in the weaknesses in my own work. In this artist's image, I wanted to emphasize the strengths. Mostly as a counter-point to the critique of the weaknesses in the image.

I think overall you bring a good critique to the table. If nothing else it will make me step up my rusty skills, so I thank you.
 

pegelli

Well-known member
Thanks for the continued discussion and critique. Probably next time I'll take it without the two walking people, they are the weakest element of the composition (I think). I find the building/graphic/reflection go well together but then it's hardly street anymore (imo). Another small step on my never ending learning curve.
 

jsf

Active member
In the spirit of sharing for critique, this is more of an exploration for direction than finished work for critique, it's just an idea that I like and so starting to see if it works. I don't even really think it's street photography in the traditional sense, it just happens to be views from the street, I don't know.

For a little context, I know nothing of street style photography, apart from Baghdad and Mosul, I haven't been in a city for a very long time. I absolutely love the gritty, hard images portrayed by people like airfrogusmc on here, start contrast, light and shade and the quality of the observations. I am only starting out with this environment and haven't got the eye for those sorts of shots yet, if I ever will, so I'm just wandering about looking for different things.

I have been looking at images for quite a while, scenes from the US mainly, shot on Portra, that sort of stylised pastel colours, bright, lifted shadows kind of feel, I love that other worldly effect. As I'm wandering about this city, the contrasts of new architecture and old, the post pandemic apocalypse type of feel with roads closed for no apparent reason, hardly anyone on the streets, I can't help but feel that there's something in portraying these scenes in an otherworldly kind of way. It's easy to find scenes either completely empty or just 1 or 2 people in them and it really appeals to me.


Anyway, the start of an idea or an excellent place to leave off and start photographing something else less rubbish? Let's find out. Observations and little scenes that caught my eye, processed to flatten them out and remove them a little from reality, maybe, possibly, who knows. Thoughts?











Content Protected by Owner prevents us from critiquing the image.
 

jsf

Active member
I hardly ever do 'street photography' because I do not live close to city buildings. But I have been working on a project about the other side of America's tropical paradise - the decaying Florida seaside towns I live not too far from. You know the kind of place, where you may have went on a family vacation as a child or with your children, stayed in a hotel, tanned on the beach, rode amusement rides, and ate local fish dishes, etc. I travel to these towns when I feel like adding to the project. Here is an image I am currently working on. It is titled "SOS" ( ...---... ). I want the image to project a call for help as a byproduct of paradise overspent. The area photographed is walking distance from a popular beach, and once placed in context with other images from the area, the viewer will see the connection. Image was made with a Mamiya 6 and 120 film. Thank you in advance for taking the time to share constructive criticism.

Excellent execution of your stated intention. For my taste, I like a bit more snap (just a tad) in the lower range of mid-tones. (The clarity slider, just a small bit) I don't do it that way but the result is similar. This is an example of a good eye and a refined sense of story.
 

olafphoto

Administrator
Staff member
Thank you for sharing your image for critique. What was your subject when you were framing the image? I like how you used building to create a frame within a frame. This is a great start. Unfortunately, there is no direction for my eyes, I am wondering around and loosing interest very quickly. I would define your subject better. Also, I have to admit that I would prefer a more traditional way of post-processing this image. This HDR-like processing doesn't work well for street photography, for example colour-bleeding is quite visible all over the image.
 
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