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Thread: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

  1. #1
    K3N
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    Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    Have a look at this interesting video of Bruce Gilden working his craft on the streets of NYC. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkIWW6vwrvM

    Its amazing, I've never seen anyone photograph like that before.

  2. #2
    Digital Dude
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    Re: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    Great video! His somewhat pretentious demeanor is actually less threatening than I would have imagined. I suppose his comment “I have no ethics” says it all. ~
    Regards,
    Last edited by Digital Dude; 31st May 2008 at 07:25.

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    Re: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    Great video... that guy reeks of NYC. I can't see myself ever getting in people's faces the way he does, especially with a flash, but I guess that's what it takes to be good at this genre.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    Sorry but I don t get it. For the past year i have been looking at every book on street photography that I cold find and these don t measure up. While Bruce s images do put you in the scene , their is no context . The images just look sloppy....bad light, poor cropping ,wicked composition..even the moment looks ..well weird. Just because its a unique style isn t enough. I must be wrong though as he is a member of Magnum.

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    Re: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    I wonder if anyone has ever punched him for getting in their face like that.

  6. #6
    matmcdermott
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    Re: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Sorry but I don t get it. For the past year i have been looking at every book on street photography that I cold find and these don t measure up. While Bruce s images do put you in the scene , their is no context . The images just look sloppy....bad light, poor cropping ,wicked composition..even the moment looks ..well weird. Just because its a unique style isn t enough. I must be wrong though as he is a member of Magnum.
    I agree entirely. I really find his work to be uninspiring. I first saw this video a couple of weeks ago and was astonished at his working method.

  7. #7
    Digital Dude
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    Re: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gowin View Post
    I wonder if anyone has ever punched him for getting in their face like that.
    Did you notice the rather badass balled-headed guy in the video? He had enough sense not to get in his face, so clearly he goes after the less intimidating subjects.
    Regards,

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    Re: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    There is a pretty extensive discussion of this video in the "note to self" thread as well...just in case people are interested.

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    Re: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gowin View Post
    I wonder if anyone has ever punched him for getting in their face like that.
    On this video he takes women and papies, no risk. Personnally I hate this kind of procedure, he would have a hard time doing this in Paris right now.

    And for what kind of result ? For the sake of being different doesn't make you a photographer. Rule number 1 is to respect people if you have a certain tenderness for them, I see only agressivity in here, ear what he said after a man has told him "not in the street" or not here.

    Magnum isn't a certificate for being a good professionnal , here is the proof !

  10. #10
    matmcdermott
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    Re: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    It's actually strange to me that he uses an M. His method goes entirely against what many people choose to use an M to gain: unobtrussiveness. I wonder what HCB thought of his work and methodology? I know he didn't think highly of Martin Parr's work (well, not from personal experience but from quotes). The two seem somewhat connected in that they seem to create alienation in situations where it might not actually exist--which probably says more about the photographer than the world around them...

  11. #11
    Member Hank Graber's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    That poor old lady looked like she was going to have a heart attack. I don't imagine he is as aggressive with subjects that might hurt him.

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    Re: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    I think this thread shows the ignorance of a lot of members. Go to the Magnum site and check out his work and you'll see that he's photographed some of the most bad *** of the bad *** such as yakuza in Tokyo and voodoo rituals in Haiti. I know for a fact he's gone to places very few other photographers would dare tread.

    I know firsthand that being tailed with a video camera while shooting isn't an ideal situation and only represents a slice of what one does.

    Personally, I don't enjoy pictures of flowers so each to his own. I'm glad there are Bruce Gilden's in this world.

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    Workshop Member Joseph Ramos's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    I think you are missing the point Charles. And that is the rude way he was going about getting his shots. I am sure he is a great photographer, but I highly doubt he treated the yakuza in the same rude manner that he treated people on the street.

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    Re: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Ramos View Post
    I think you are missing the point Charles. And that is the rude way he was going about getting his shots. I am sure he is a great photographer, but I highly doubt he treated the yakuza in the same rude manner that he treated people on the street.
    Check out the photos. He approached the yakuza in exactly the same way (and I know this for a fact by a photographer who was based in Tokyo and helped him - and thought for sure Gilden would get killed). The thing about his "rudeness" though is that it is coming from a sincere place (imo) if that makes any sense (ie he is sincere about the art he intends to make - he has a job to do and this is how he gets it done). When challenged he can disarm his subjects with a smile and witty conversation and back up his approach with confidence. It's the opposite of "sneaking" and/or not looking through the camera which a lot of people try and pass off as street photography.

    Personally I find his approach more honest than lurking with a 300mm in the shadows. And if one always goes about politely, then all we end up with is polite photos - posed photographs that don't capture people the way they really are.

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    Re: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    I guess that is the fundamental difference in opinion -- whether the art is more important than the subject. In my view, the ends do not justify the means in this case. And it is certainly possible to do honest street photography, even without permission, without conducting yourself as he appeared to in the video. Yes, many of his pictures are superb, yes, I am sure he is a nice person, and yes, I am sure that he does snap off photos at yakuza and in dangerous situations, but personally, I don't think that is a justification.

  16. #16
    Natasa Stojsic
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    Re: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    Lucky Guy!!!

  17. #17
    matmcdermott
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    Re: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    Quote Originally Posted by charlesphoto View Post
    Personally I find his approach more honest than lurking with a 300mm in the shadows. And if one always goes about politely, then all we end up with is polite photos - posed photographs that don't capture people the way they really are.
    I agree with the first part completely. I abhor long lens "candids" only slightly more than hip shots.

    The second part: one can be polite (IMHO not essentially jumping out in front of your subject and screaming "BOO!!!") and still make images that aren't posed and reveal something about the way people really are. I recind any comments I made about not liking Gilden's work in general. His older images (first page of his portfolio on the Magnum site (http://www.magnumphotos.com/Archive/...Album&SP=Album)) are quite good. What I distinctly don't like both from a methodological and aesthetic perspective is the newer stuff with flash of people essentially looking startled on the street. If he's going for how we all really look when someone has stuck a camera 18-24" from our face and popped the flash then he's certainly succeeded but I think he has failed to capture anything deeper than that.

    Edit: I just checked the image dates on some of the first "in your face" (literally) photos and they go back to the late 1980s. I guess his work that I like is actually even earlier than I thought (late 1970s to early 1980s).
    Last edited by matmcdermott; 4th June 2008 at 07:27.

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    Re: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    Well, at the very least Gilden gets his work talked about!

  19. #19
    matmcdermott
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    Re: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    He certainly has a definite "personal vision"--something which Dave Harvey has been been emphasizing as the uniting factor in Magnum photographers, despute aesthetic and personal differences.

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    "I wonder if anyone has ever punched him for getting in their face like that."

    Gee, I hope so.

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    Re: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    "I wonder if anyone has ever punched him for getting in their face like that."

    Gee, I hope so.
    I really have to say shame on you when you advocate violence against another photographer, no matter how rude or off putting you find their style. Note, he is taking a photograph, not pistol whipping them with the camera. They have every right to challenge him verbally but it's a sad day when other photographers think it should be open season on other photographers. Be careful what you wish for.

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    Re: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    it never fails that when there is good work (imo, but have we all spent time looking at the work itself?) the question inevitably comes up about how it was done, and the ethics of it. While we are at it lets open the discussion to include Weegee, Arbus, Natcheway, Norfolk, Alpern, ...name your own who has run afoul of the propriety/niceness/ethics/ rules that we all are supposed to abide by. When we say, "the ends don't justify the means" that is a double judgement, but if you like the work then you can't really talk about the other.

    of course we can all have opinions about behaviour, but to discount the work because you don't like that the photographer or artist is -insert, drunk, addict, rude, unsavory, mean, naive, etc. is to connect two dots that don't connect.

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    Re: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    I appreciate your argument Robert, but I cannot agree. I did not mean to imply a double judgement by saying the ends don't justify the means. I truly think that art in general is not a license to treat people inhumanly. In the same way that great medical advances might have come through forced human experimentation, that does not justify their use. I certainly don't mean to compare Gilden's method to forced human experimentation, but I think that there is a fundamental link between the art that is made and the way it is made. I feel the same way about Richard Prince...while his idea to blow up the Marlboro man to gargantuan size might have been novel and artistic, for me it does not forgive the fact that he blatantly appropriated another photographer's work and made millions from it without so much as giving him a credit.

    I know it is not a popular opinion, but I would not hold art above all as some are so quick to do. I would put kindness, consideration and humanity above it.

  24. #24
    Workshop Member tollie's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    Quote Originally Posted by charlesphoto View Post
    - posed photographs that don't capture people the way they really are.

    I must say that he does not capture anything about the way people are. He sets people up and assaults them and then captures their look for his own profit. It is quite possible to do great street work which does capture some of both individual character and ones place in the world with a humain attitude towards your subjects.

    His work is not made with an ethical approach nor an illuminating approach, justify it by calling it art if you need to... but it is throughly repulsive.

    Todd

  25. #25
    sirvine
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    Re: Interesting video of Bruce Gilden

    Bruce Gilden is a genius. His 'Fashion Magazine' puts the entire industry to shame. People who don't get New York will never get him. I think it's amusing that people who worship ethically questionable shooters like Nachtwey have an issue with Gilden. Everyone gets their opinion...

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