Talk:Street photography

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Reverts[edit]

Can I ask why you mention Adams? Very odd. Why does it mention political conventions, in its place it should read 'Public Events'. Can we assume the Author is American. Street photography is an international occupation, you need to keep it so otherwise it falls into a western definition. Malls are private property so I dont know why they are included, they are a miserable venue for SP anyway.. The places you suggest reinforce the western definition, again I'll stress its an international occupation. The reference to straight photography is vague and incorrect as street include photographers that engage in all the corners of art. History also supports these photographers (eg, Callahan and many current photographers). "the aim of creating images at a decisive or poignant moment." Thats just one aspect and it neglects too much to be representative. The defining period did not end in the 70's, it continues. The world hasn't stopped just yet. The Leica is not the most famous, its for the Leica wiki to suggest such a history but this page is for street photography and its not a hardware page. I'll remind you too that hcb often used friends in images and that history in hindsight is not an accurate depiction of the truth. "John Thomson, a Scotsman, began photographing the street prior to Atget" a syntax error and it also follows the Atget reference. "and had more of a subject aware style in comparison to Atget." and again, How could this suggestion be made when Atget did not use human subjects. "Henri Cartier-Bresson, who has a reputation comparable to Atget" what does this mean ???? There is no connection between street photography and Jazz. The suggestion arose somewhere in literature and it is absurd and has no foundation in fact. Zone focusing is an alternative to manual focusing not AF. History shows that candid is in degrees and includes non-candid, these definitions are so selective and ignore the fact of history borne out by the images. A very sad wiki, has been in this state for many years, choice of photographs has also been its sore point. I'm pleased those last images were removed but the replacements are only marginally better --3hoursmissing (talk) 13:26, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

SchuminWeb, if you're going to revert my input into this article then please have the decency to say what you disagree with and why. This article is very lacking and I'm just embarking on making lots of changes, I don't want to have to fight each one out with you. Lopifalko (talk) 19:55, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

The way it was added previously, it looked promotional, and we've had issues about that on this article in the past. The Flickr pages are removed again, though, since those kinds of sites are generally unsuitable for Wikipedia. SchuminWeb (Talk) 23:42, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for replying SchuminWeb. If you look at the older street photographers I linked to I think all have 'street photographer' in their opening paragraphs; and the contemporary ones I added, I'm trying to add those that are well known. I can understand to some degree why the Flickr groups aren't so suitable, so I'm willing to go with you with regard to the Garry Winogrand group, but the HCSP group is extremely well known group, having featured in many media reports about street photography, so it takes the reader to a place that is one of the most vibrant locations of street photography on the web, which to me seems a worthwhile external site to link to. Lopifalko (talk) 08:43, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

TheMindsEye called my 'contemporary street photographers' section a "catchall for any name someone wants to add" but that seems over paranoid. Without it how are we to add contemporary photographers? if someone self promotes then their promotion can be removed. Lopifalko (talk) 08:43, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Article Photograph Inappropriate[edit]

I think we should change the photograph that goes with this article, it is the most uncharacteristic photograph to demonstrate street photography that I can imagine without it being of some completely differing topic altogether. For example it doesn't depict some emotional moment between two people, it doesn't include some kind of gag; it is instead just a snapshot, something that street photography can resemble but isn't. Lopifalko (talk) 19:25, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

In which case, find a good freely-licensed photo that shows what you're thinking about and be bold. SchuminWeb (Talk) 19:55, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Lopifalko. The photo is a bad example of street photography. I'd be willing to give this photo or any other of my photos for this page for free. I can change the licensing to whatever is required if needed. --Jaredkse (talk) 16:23, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Jaredkse, what you proposed would be a good image for this purpose, I would encourage you to upload it to Wikipedia commons --rogerd (talk) 19:04, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Great. I've uploaded the image to Wikipedia commons with a creative commons license and will change it on the main street photography page. --Jaredkse (talk) 21:33, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
In my opinion Jaredkse's image isn't a good example of street photography as the people are only a minor part of the scene and it doesn't particularly say anything, resulting in an ill thought out snapshot feel that doesn't have any gravitas. Lopifalko (talk) 15:16, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

"Classic practitioners of street photography", and Manuel Rivera-Ortiz[edit]

In this edit, 68.76.227.6 (contributions) adds:

== Notable street photographers ==
Classic practitioners of street photography include Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Robert Frank, Bruce Gilden, Willy Ronis, W. Eugene Smith, Garry Winogrand, Joel Meyerowitz, and Manuel Rivera-Ortiz.

68.76.227.6's edit summary reads:

I agree with having a separate category with street photographers, but I strongly believe the article itself should have a section stating the most important street photographers

I find this extraordinary.

Brassaï, Cartier-Bresson, Doisneau, Eisenstaedt, Frank, Gilden, Ronis, Smith, Winogrand, Meyerowitz: yes, they're all notable and arguably important. ("Classic" seems a bizarre description for the street photography of Gilden, but we'll let that pass for a moment.) But Rivera-Ortiz? I'd never heard of him until I started to see his name popping up on Wikipedia.

Of course, I'm just a simple Wikipedia editor and make no claim to being an expert. For that, I defer to books. The first promising book that comes to hand is The Oxford Companion to the Photograph (2005). Let's look through it:

  • Brassaï: There's an article on him on page 85.
  • Cartier-Bresson: There's an article on him on pages 107–109. (Not as long as the numbers suggest, as it's interrupted by a full-page photograph.)
  • Doisneau: There's an article on him on page 180.
  • Eisenstaedt: There's an article on him on page 191.
  • Frank: There's an article on him on page 237.
  • Gilden: There's no article on him, and his name doesn't appear within the long "Index of People and Companies".
  • Ronis: There's an article on him on page 543–545. (Not as long as the numbers suggest, as it's interrupted by a full-page photograph.)
  • Smith: There's an article on him on page 582.
  • Winogrand: There's an article on him on page 686.
  • Meyerowitz: There's an article on him on page 405.
  • Rivera-Ortiz: There's no article on him, and his name doesn't appear within the long "Index of People and Companies".

The omission of Gilden is rather surprising. The noteworthiness of his perceived deficits won him a dismissive essay ("Bruce Gilden: A Penny to See the Peepshow") by Gerry Badger, published in Creative Camera back in 1986 (and republished in Turner and Badger's Photo Texts, 1988). His perceived merits led him to become a full member of Magnum Photos.

So whatever his degree of "classicism", Gilden's inclusion isn't absurd.

The Oxford Companion to the Photograph seems pretty up to date to me: for example, it is illustrated with photographs from the latest Iraq war. But five years might be a long time in photography, and during the last five the perceived importance of photobooks seems to have shot up, fueled in part by Parr and Badger's two-volume The Photobook: A History. Let's see what these have to say about our street photographers:

  • Brassaï: Paris du nuit is written up in vol. 1.
  • Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment and The Europeans are written up in vol. 1.
  • Doisneau: La Banlieu de Paris is written up in vol. 1.
  • Frank: The Americans and The Lines of My Hand are written up in vol. 1.
  • Gilden: Go is written up in vol. 2.
  • Winogrand: The Animals is written up in vol. 1, Public Relations in vol. 2.

Eisenstaedt, Ronis, Smith, Meyerowitz, and Rivera-Ortiz don't make it. (NB these volumes do not purport to introduce the best of photography, merely the best of photobooks.)

Of course it could be that Manuel Rivera-Ortiz is young (well, his forties) and that his talent in street photography has recently emerged to become a new or an instant classic. So what's new in street photography? Howarth and McLaren's Street Photography Now (2010) is the most promising of one-volume guides. This page conveniently lists its contributors. Here they are, blue/redlinked:

Christophe Agou, Gary Alexander, Arif Asci, Narelle Autio, Bang Byoung-Sang, Polly Braden, Maciej Dakowicz, Carolyn Drake, Melanie Einzig, Peter Funch, George Georgiou, David Gibson, Bruce Gilden, Thierry Girard, Andrew Glickman, Siegfried Hansen, Cristóbal Hara, Markus Hartel, Nils Jorgensen, Richard Kalvar, Osamu Kanemura, Martin Kollar, Jens Olof Lasthein, Frederic Lezmi, Stephen McLaren, Jesse Marlow, Mirko Martin, Jeff Mermelstein, Joel Meyerowitz, Mimi Mollica, Trent Parke, Martin Parr, Gus Powell, Mark Alor Powell, Bruno Quinquet, Raghu Rai, Paul Russell, Boris Savelev, Otto Snoek, Matt Stuart, Ying Tang, Alexey Titarenko, Nick Turpin, Lars Tunbjörk, Jeff Wall, Munem Wasif, Alex Webb, Richard Wentworth, Amani Willett, Michael Wolf, Artem Zhitenev, Wolfgang Zurborn

Gilden and Meyerowitz are there, Rivera-Ortiz is not.

Now, this strikes me as an odd list in some ways. (Notably, the Japanese representation: Kanemura certainly photographs in streets, but he's hardly what I think of as a street photographer: I'd have chosen one or other of Michio Yamauchi and Jun Abe.)

So what does Rivera-Ortiz have going for him as a street photographer? I turn to the article on him. This says:

In 2010, Rivera-Ortiz visited Dharavi and Baiganwadi and took pictures of daily life in these two Mumbai slums.

(Which is unsourced, but let's believe it.) Good. It's too early to expect publication, but have they been exhibited?

We're given a list of exhibitions, but none since 2008.

Oh well, let's turn to his books of street photography. Street photography done anywhere, at any time.

There aren't any.

I've no reason to believe that Manuel Rivera-Ortiz is a notable street photographer. Just what is it that I fail to perceive about his work?

I propose to replace Rivera-Ortiz and (less urgently) Gilden with the following three people:

  • Ihei Kimura: as an undisputed great in Japanese street photography and a pioneer of colour. He merits an article in The Oxford Companion to the Photograph; and his Pari is written up in The Photobook: A History, vol. 1.
  • Helen Levitt: as a master of street photography and an innovator in the portrayal of children. She merits an article in The Oxford Companion to the Photograph; and her A Way of Seeing is written up in The Photobook: A History, vol. 1.
  • Raghu Rai: as a master of work in India: no quick visitor, but instead somebody who has been there for years, and has fine books to show for it. He merits an article in The Oxford Companion to the Photograph; and is included in Street Photography Now.

I would replace Gilden not because his work is unimportant (like it or not, it's significant) but because he's unrepresentative. I'd replace Rivera-Ortiz not because his work isn't good enough (I really don't know) but because I have no reason to think that he has more than minor significance. -- Hoary (talk) 02:11, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

I would suggest to also include William Klein (who has an article in The Oxford Companion to the Photograph) and Arthur Leipzig. I wouldn't hold the fact that Manuel Rivera-Ortiz has not (yet?) an article in The Oxford Companion to the Photograph against him; he only started his photographic career in 2000. Rivera-Ortiz is predominantly a social documentary photographer, but he can also be categorised as a street photographer. I agree, however, that he has not (yet) reached the same level of significance as Brassaï, Cartier-Bresson, Doisneau, Eisenstaedt, Frank, Gilden, Ronis, Smith or Winogrand. -- ConcernedPhotographer (talk) 17:39, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
This is an interesting point. Ortiz's article really didn't clearly state that he's only been photographing since 2000. I've now edited his article to make that point clearer and to better conform the info in the article to the (limited) information provided by the citation. Since he's only been working for 10 years, in what way could he be considered a "classic" street photographer? TheMindsEye (talk) 21:04, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Maybe we need to distinguish "classic practitioners of street photography" from "classic street photographers". The term "classic" may have a different meaning in the former and in the latter expression. In the former the meaning seems to be "serving as the established model or standard" (i.e. a classic example of a street photographer, meaning a person belonging into the street photographer category) while in the latter "classic" would seem to mean "belonging to the highest rank or class" of street photographers (which would not apply to Manuel Rivera-Ortiz).
Also, thanks for clarifying the article with regard to the fact that Rivera-Ortiz only started photographing professionally on or about 2000. I believe I had read this in an article somewhere and will look for it. -- ConcernedPhotographer (talk) 23:04, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Here is the article: [1]. Actually, started photographing professionally in 2001. I will add/link this article as a reference in the Rivera-Ortiz article. -- ConcernedPhotographer (talk) 01:01, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Thank you both for your input. Right then, if we do have a list of prime/classic exponents (and I'm not convinced either that this is a good idea), then

Classic practitioners of street photography include Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Robert Frank, Ihei Kimura, William Klein, Arthur Leipzig, Helen Levitt, Joel Meyerowitz, Raghu Rai, Willy Ronis, W. Eugene Smith, and Garry Winogrand.

would be an improvement on the version that I quoted at the top of this thread. But I still have worries about it. For example, while Eisenstaedt certainly took one of the best-known street photos of all time, I know little about his work in general and wonder if there was all that much "street photography" within it. Or again, while it's undeniable that work in New York (and Chicago?) and Paris was very important and influential (and plain enjoyable), these particular cities may be overrepresented in such a short list. -- Hoary (talk) 00:47, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

I agree completely, including your concerns. -- ConcernedPhotographer (talk) 01:01, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Link farm[edit]

I've just removed the following from "External links":

"Street photography for the purist" combines pretty good photography with interminable text.

In short paragraphs.

Like this.

It gets tiring.

After a time.

The "tutorial" is not a tutorial. Of the five other websites, at least two are excellent, but no particular reason is given for them to be listed here. (Indeed, recent edits have removed (mis?) information about the sites.)

Among my own favorite tutorials is one by John Brownlow that's mostly, but not exclusively, about overcoming shyness. It has long vanished from pinkheadedbug.com (taken over by a domain name squatter) and from the "pink headed bug" area within the later johnbrownlow.com (abandoned). But Wayback has it: here (white text on white!), the following page (same color scheme), and the following page (light gray on white). Using Firefox, I can read it by pressing Ctrl-A ("select all"): merely selecting the text makes it legible. However, there may be more eligible web pages.

One or two of the links I've removed should perhaps be readded. Well, let's see arguments for this. -- Hoary (talk) 03:22, 8 March 2013 (UTC)