Because still there are photographers who give time to time, who take a breath before shooting, who still compose albeit all the calls (including mine) for raw / core photography.
Because still there are photographers who are paying, constantly and subconsciously, tribute to their ingenuous compatriots (Jeffrey to Magritte), to their idols (Nuno to Kudelka), to their cult objects and fetiches (Dragos to Agfa film).
Becasue of all the above and because "The line between the reality that is photographed because it seems beautiful to us and the reality that seems beautiful because it has been photographed is very narrow." Italo Calvino
LINK BACK TO FB (photo nr 1.Jeffrey - photo nr 2.Nuno - photo nr 3.Dragos)
1. Drones and bird's eye
We are presenting here a picture made with the POV "bird's eye" very dear to me. Many great photographers were "suckers" for this kind of POV.
The present pic is oversaturated but this can easily get corrected as long as there is compositional power.
But here came the drones to replace the impossible to reach high buildings for a "diving" shot. Dunno how these pics are made. Photograms taken out of continuous video? Or the photographer still sees, decides and triggers?
The fact is that my dear Kertesz would have been definitely out of business.
2. The reflex
Why do we call (D)SLRs reflex cameras? Reflex lies with the photographer. As does obsession. And perseverence.
Would you stop your car climbing out of a garage to immortalize a fluxing motion and would you have the reflex to shoot in a fraction of a second? Andreas did and he had it!
3. The Pulitzer prize
I have many times repeated that it is a thin line between "cheap cheat" and genuine expression.
"In order to see a picture thoughtfully we have to be able to communicate with the same language. Usually we connect if we understand the message or if the picture is appealing to our memories. Pictures of human suffering have an immediate impact because we all have experienced pain. Photographers that are aware of this are often trying in an aggressive or more subtle way to boost such feelings."
This year's Pulitzer prizes and other prestigious awards were given to pictures "conveying" the Syrian refugees suffering.
Up to you to judge whether those pictures are more powerful than Stela's continuous revisiting of a hard reality "au quotidien". Let's give our award to a struggling father day in-day out, wherever he is found himself, way longer than a couple of months.
Link back to FB (David Mar Quinto, Andreas Neophytou, Stela Patrulescu)
The other day I had a fruitful discussion with some great audience during a short presentation of the Masters of Photography. The questions which popped out in my mind were: we know where street photography came from, but where is it going?
We have talked about flea market surrealism, about ubiquitous symbolism, disturbing abstraction but still what hit some of the fellow photographers was something rather anecdotal. "Next time Michail I will bring you some pictures with half-bodies and bodiless heads"
I have mentioned that the human eye tends to complete a frame if there are incomplete shapes in it, and as an example I have showed some Winogrand pictures with mutilated objects/subjects.
I had not warned them about the cheap cheat of the recipe for a "fast-food" street photography: Using ingredients like wide-angle lens, B&W, high grain, lots of junk objects in the background, a mutilated body in the foreground.
"Go beyond these "recipes" and try not to just capture the world parading in front of us! But try to put your obsessions in a frame. Like an instant straightjacket to your dreams. Otherwise the emotions and the intensity we would like to convey will not be visible." is my answer to that.
As for the present/future of street photography, I am presenting here 3 extremely different pictures that could possibly each one represent the next steps. Or not! Only time will tell what is perishable, but let's acknowledge for the time being the mastering of their art (obsession) to the authors of a mystic, an eye-burning sharp, and a dreamily abstract image.
Link back to FB (Titti Dufva, Steven Jensen, Nuno Luz)
Some would say … so much negative space, no information, frame space taken uselessly. That would be so wrong. Try to take out the upper part and you are changing the whole story.
Because the empty sky, waiting to be populated, is the only escape of the struggling existence masterfully rendered by Rafael. The slight head turning of the subject reveals his young age only to accentuate this path to nowhere.
An image full of symbolism (the absolute truth of the unfairness of life, of the omnipresence of children of a lesser god, can only be described indirectly in a metaphoric and suggestive way.) And here the opening on the wall is not promising or bright at all.
And the last shelter is the sky, rightfully occupying half of the frame. Are you still protesting for the non-respect of the "rules" (horizon not at the two thirds and tilted)? I guess there is no need to praise the great use of the greys and the powerful gesture. No need either to mention or to draw the attention to the leading lines obsessively guiding us somewhere we'd prefer to just turn around.
Link back to FB
A photograph has, among other, "a conventional “aesthetic-historical” moment, less definable in its boundaries, in which the viewer’s argumentativeness cedes to the organismic pleasure afforded by the aesthetic “rightness” or well-formedness (not necessarily formal) of the image." - Rosler Martha
I am opting for a more plain discourse … I am sorry to admit I do not understand the above verbose lines even if the bottom line is always the same. Our perception of the world is as complex as our biological code.
We do not have to confuse the actual subject of the photograph (both when shooting it and durng the evaluation of the result), with its aesthetic meaning.
Here today, Guy is providing an instant reference to the cruelty of the metropolitan life. Why National Geographic should limit itself to the wilderness when wild life is among us!
Link back to FB