We need to use new technology, with great simplicity, just like David Hockney.
Looking at the results achieved by this artist, you come to realize that everyone can use new technology, but not everyone can use it "artistically". But that's not what I wanted to talk about ... let's go back to the Street.
As administrator of two groups of Street Photography on Deviantart I've noticed that, lately, sociological images no longer interest people, in fact it seems that photographing harsh realities (dirty and sad) is "annoying". Photographers are rather keen to explore the use of decorative style.
We always talk about wanting to "tell" possible stories but actually we "freeze" only concepts, stylish games: shadows and colours chasing each other.
That's no more Street Photography. That's Graphic Street, Conceptual Street, Shadow Street and not least Ghost Street, with photographers often waiting ages for the ultimate shot, sometimes even creating the premises for it to happen. And then there is the tendency to super colourful (Hipstamatic...). Sometimes shots are fun, often the human element matters little. And anyway, they are beautiful photos.
(There were already such forms at the time of analogue photography perhaps less plastic.)
My approach to street is narrative. I shutter when I think I see something magical in the reality in front of me. Something that I should imagine, but that I would like to communicate to others, too. I am satisfied with one click when it manages to tell a little bit more than what you see at first glance. Sure, the desire to show something more than mere reality it's at the base of street photography. But ... for me it's the “magic”, the “imagination”, that triggers my photography. And this “magic” can be as sad as cheerful ...
Of course then there is photography that represents life. But that's another thing ...
(Shadow Street) - Alphan Yilmazmaden
(Ghost Street) Mirko Arganese
(Conceptual Street) Mary Cimetta
(Graphic Street) Jean-Daniel Beley
(super colourful Street)Alex Reyes
t h e r e . a r e . g r o u p s . a n d . y o u . k n o w . t h a t . s a y . "Don't bother us with beggars, publicity..." an d . t h a t . i s . p a r t . o f . s t r e e t . a n d . i t ' s . s o c i l o g i c a l
i . h a v e . m a d e . a . b o o k . o f . t h e . c o n t r a s t s . o f . p u b l i c i t y . i n . t h e . c i t i e s . g o o d . o r . b a d . b e c a u s e . i . t h i n k . i t . i s . a n . i n t e r e s t i n g . m a t t e r
n o w . i . a m . d o i n g . a n o t h e r . o n e . w i t h . Ghosts in town
a n d . w h y . s t r e e t . c a n ' t . b e . g r a p h i c . i f . a t . s a m e . t i m e . t e l l . a . s t o r y ?
t h e . m o s t . i m p o r t a n t . t h i n g . i s . t o . h a v e . a n d . c a t c h . f e e l i n g . a n d . i m a g i n e . t h e . s t o r y . b e h i n d
Anyway, when I talk about magical photography, I talk about what I feel when in the "reality" I can find something that's not visible unless you look beyond your nose, but it's there at your fingertips.
Something that helps you live your life, giving you lightness, because every moment is filled with these magical visions: as the passing of clouds in the sky and the colored windows on the houses.
These are visions that accompany you in life.
Instead, I don’t like photo that "creates" what is not there, like a third eye. It causes me anxiety, I feel invaded. It's something that takes place through the medium I use, not in reality. I seek the reality that is on the other side ...
But it's my personal vision. It's my poetics
On the other side, you are also pessimistic. If a narrative photo gets 50 or 100 views in one day... that's more than in a gallery!
In fact, if we were to set reasonable personal expectations - for you it is to have found this magic moment - the opinion of others becomes less important.
Anyway, thanks for using my images to illustrate Graphic Street!
in the matter of telling, I'm talking about something that goes beyond clicks. that magical thing that is rarely able to express. not thing that represent life. and I don't pretend to have succeeded!
in the matter of desperate search I read it in almost all the articles, i see around me also in productions. is undeniable, and we are in a time of transition for the humanity!
Therefore what I'm about to share with you all arises merely from what little understanding I've gained over these past few years of doing (what I like to think of as) Street photography.
First off, I don't believe that Street photography is struggling. With more and more people now having easy access to readily available online research data and affordable photographic equipment and courses, coupled with a newfound interest in capturing and documenting life on the streets partly thanks to high quality camera equipped mobile devices that are now becoming standard; Street photography is not only growing, but it is flourishing! The only people who often end up struggling in this genre are the Street photographers themselves. All artists/writers go through a period of creative block every now and then; a dark phase that occurs at least once in every Creative's life. So either we learn to deal with it, or we wait it out till that next "Aha!" moment of inspiration comes along.
Sometimes the idea (or stories) that we've captured on camera may be perspicuous to our eyes and brains, but when we try to convey the idea via our pictures to the viewer, we fail, and it can be very frustrating indeed.
As artists/storytellers, we must learn to accept the fact that sometimes our stories will end up getting lost in translation.
I totally agree with Noah (who is a phenomenal photographer, btw - but you didn't hear this from me ) that there are photos that have been taken before, and will continue to be taken time and time again. And I too don't see anything wrong with someone taking inspiration from other artists, unless of course that someone blatantly steals an original idea and then tries to insult our intelligence when confronted.
As for me, I'm still relatively new to photography, therefore I will continue to look at this wondrous world around me through my viewfinder like I'm experiencing it for the first time.
I might even try to shoot Conceptual Street, Shadow Street, Ghosts Street, Geometric Street, or Whatever Street, and I'm going to have super great fun doing it.
My fingers are hurting. I'm going to stop typing now.
And agreed main idea is "to tell stories" by means with these categries as well.
Excellent journal entry (through I'm still hurt you ditched me during my visit in Berlin ).
I agree with what you say and try very hard to personally find what's next in my photographic adventure. But like you say, everything has been done, at some level... except that people still want and like stories. Stories never ever get old!
With respect to Street, stories mean projects. Snapshots, regardless of how well they fit the "street photography" category will not be as emotionally powerful or meaningful as a collection of photos that tell a story.
I have come to this realization quite a while back and have failed personally to transition to a story teller with my images. I feel I am still stuck with producing disconnected and seemingly disorganized single images. At times, I feel like I have a story to tell but I must be honest with myself and admit I have failed. I have no stories, just disconnected images. This, I feel, is not the way to proceed anyway. That is, get images that fit a made-up post-hoc story is backwards. Some can pull it off, but not me. I feel that I need a project, a story and then go support or collect the evidence. I often hear great ideas about projects from friends. I just fail to execute but it is my fantasy to be able to do that some day!
So, to conclude, I agree with you and I think that the creative insight that is required to get out of this rut you are identifying in your essay is to tell a story with pictures.
This, by the way, is in no way an original idea, just my response to your post (nothing is truly original, I guess)...
Hello Patrick, (forgive me )
thanks a lot for your comment. I decided to express my thoughts, my doubts... and to find people with whom dialogue is fundamental.
I understand very well what you mean, but I personally believe that it is not “a project “ that helps us to tell a story, but our interior disposition.
“projects” often influence us instead of helping us, they become easy loopholes.
I think we should learn to listen and to be guided by our feelings... develop them
(your style is recognizable, and your photos always communicate something and in their own way your photos tell the world)
Yes, there are photos that have been taken before and they're re-taken again and again but i don't see anything wrong about that unless someone does it intentionally all the time but surely everybody sees that
People should not compare masters and times where only few people could afford to buy a camera with 21st century and its opportunities. Equipment is more available and almost everybody can make art, even with phone camera. There is a lot of crap all over the net, but there are still artists that stand out and it's great that even though people think everything was already taken, made etc. these artists can always re-make it to the actual times or even bring something extraordinary
love and peace
But how do you teach that????
It's just my opinion, I think less is sometimes more but everybody can do however they want, it's a free world.. I just wanted to point at some facts after reading Batsceba's journal about "struggling street photography". There is no struggle, only too much wastage
This is our new world, where few actually have an opinion, can spell or indeed want for nothing more than an instant image and instant response, it's sad, but every now and then a new young talented deviant submits a piece of work that is so mind blowing different'i almost weep for joy that there still is hope.
Non of what I have said is that relevant, I have accepted technology, and equally understand change, and if in a moment of despair, simply Google the great street photographers, breathe in and admire, and return to my own thoughts on life the universe and everything...