Understanding Street Photography....

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  • Updated 5 years ago
It would be nice if the category for "street scenes" was observed in the proper spirit. Street photography is a genre unto itself, and does not include images akin to post card scenes.

Some of the images are beautiful, well composed and processed nicely... But they have nothing to do with the Street Photography genre...
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Alan Roseman

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  • frustrated

Posted 5 years ago

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Shooting America

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I agree with you but I think Pixoto is not that kind of site where you can expect from its members to follow such a rule. Pixoto is a place for flashy images even if street. Be sure to move the saturation slider all the way to the right and don't forget to oversharpen it! LOL!
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Alan Roseman

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Wow, you nailed it. :-) Hard to believe there is no category for Street, which is actually Street ...

WeeGee and Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander and Joel Meyerowitz would have struggled for notice here..
Somewhat comical, no?
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Garces & Garces

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Don't confuse yourself between "street photography" and "street scene" under City, Street & Park category. Pixoto has no street photography category.
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Alan Roseman

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Hello Garces & Garces....

I would respectfully disagree.

I believe there are plenty of "landscape" categories... A street scene should be defined by the contributors if not the folks who run the web site.

Street shooters know "street" when they see it, the reason it appears there is no actual "street scene" category is that the contributors do not understand the definition of Street...

Looking at a winding river through a town, city or village, or a snow covered parkway.. should be placed in a landscape area..

Street as I mentioned is is own genre...

Taken From "InPublic" (Not that there aren't thousands of words and definitions which say the same thing)

Over the last few decades the phrase ‘Street Photography’ has come to mean a great deal more than simply making exposures in a public place. Photographers like Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander and Joel Meyerowitz have forced a redefinition of the phrase that has many new implications..

Primarily Street Photography is not reportage, it is not a series of images displaying, together, the different facets of a subject or issue. For the Street Photographer there is no specific subject matter and only the issue of ‘life’ in general, he does not leave the house in the morning with an agenda and he doesn’t visualise his photographs in advance of taking them. Street Photography is about seeing and reacting, almost by-passing thought altogether.

For many Street Photographers the process does not need ‘unpacking’, It is, for them, a simple ‘Zen’ like experience, they know what it feels like to take a great shot in the same way that the archer knows he has hit the bullseye before the arrow has fully left the bow. As an archer and Street Photographer myself, I can testify that, in either discipline, if I think about the shot too hard, it is gone.....

If I were pushed to analyse further the characteristics of contemporary Street Photography it would have to include the following: Firstly, a massive emphasis on the careful selection of those elements to include and exclude from the composition and an overwhelming obsession with the moment selected to make the exposure. These two decisions may at first seem obvious and universal to all kinds of photography, but it is with these two tools alone that the Street Photographer finds or creates the meaning in his images. He has no props or lighting, no time for selecting and changing lenses or filters, he has a split second to recognise and react to a happening.
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Garces & Garces

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I fully understood what you mean even without reading all what you've written. The bottom line is, there's a description made by Pixoto under City, Street & Park category. Now try to simply understand the description and not what you think should be the description.
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Alan Roseman

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Perhaps Pixoto should acknowledge this very specific genre...

I would certainly hope they might...
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Garces & Garces

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I hope Pixoto will, but right now it's under two categories: City, Street & Park-Street Scenes and People-Street & Candid.
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Alan Roseman

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Perhaps when they've addressed the whacky challenge issues, they can get around to some photography issues... :-)
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Jasenka, Official Rep

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Hello Alan, thank you for suggestion to make new category.
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Alan Roseman

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Thanks Jasenka, it is a very relevant and expressive form of photography and wish it would be represented here as such.

if I misunderstood your definition of the category... my apologies.

-Alan
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Alan Roseman

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Sorry to restate... but oh how I wish that Street was "Street" not pictures of streets...

This is "Street"

"Over the last few decades the phrase ‘Street Photography’ has come to mean a great deal more than simply making exposures in a public place. Photographers like Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander and Joel Meyerowitz have forced a redefinition of the phrase that has many new implications..

Primarily Street Photography is not reportage, it is not a series of images displaying, together, the different facets of a subject or issue. For the Street Photographer there is no specific subject matter and only the issue of ‘life’ in general, he does not leave the house in the morning with an agenda and he doesn’t visualise his photographs in advance of taking them. Street Photography is about seeing and reacting, almost by-passing thought altogether.
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Alan Roseman

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Bump...
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lou.plummer

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And applause for a type of photography requiring quick thinking, chutzpah and technical skill combined with an eye for artistry, story telling and pathos
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Alan Roseman

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This morning I posted a full set of Street Photography... they have stalled within minutes... Either Street is simply misunderstood here... or I stink.. could be either..
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Shooting America

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Your recent black and white shot of commuters waiting for the train is a great street photo but you categorized it under Transportation which will pit you possibly against over HDR'd shots of fisherman boats and bull races set against sunset. And I learned that pixoto voters tend to like "shiny" things. But it's weird that the said shot was dueled also against People> Street and Candids. While I thought photos are just dueled under the same category. Hmmm. Anyway, good luck!
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Alan Roseman

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Right, I submitted it as Street and it was killed at birth by color portraits, and golden sunset silhouettes... :-) Already moved it once to save it's short little B&W life... no deal. :-)
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Joyce Andersen

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I think that the problem lies with basis of Landscape... urban landscapes should be a sub-category,the photographing of vistas, whether they have man-made elements or not challenges the same types of difficulties. Leaving the street,city and park to the street photography you want, which would allow the interaction of people and the scene, the storytelling if you will. individual buildings have their place in Architecture. But so long as you have Street and candids in the general People category you won't have a chance, because the vast majority of voters are not as sophisticated as you need to give a fair chance to 'street photography' as a storytelling medium. The other problem I see with 'street photography' is the one of model releases, almost impossible to get at the time of the photography and totally impossible afterwards. This photo of mine is one of my favorites but I have never entered it because I don't think it fits any of the categories and I do not have a release, it was taken on vacation, I don't know who she is.
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Joyce Andersen

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thankyou... but as you know... it won't go anywhere lol. none of my images are for market. i have one image that sold for a whole 25 cents and that will sit in my account til i am old and grey...oh wait, i am old and grey giggle
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Alan Roseman

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It looks like Street makes you happy, me too. Post them, I love em, so do many others..
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Joyce Andersen

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as I said. 12 duels in ten minutes, even split 6/6 and a whopping 257 score. and lost to two headless people holding a rooster!
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Alan Roseman

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Well... didn't come up while I was voting.. I really believe if enough of us submit "real street" it'll grow as it has in the photography world everywhere... One of my best images dies here overtime I post it.. To some extent, I have discovered what the Pixoto voters appreciate.. But B&W story telling does not seem to be in their top 10...
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Joyce Andersen

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re submitted and boosted to get over that initial crap scoring, again it would have paused with a low score, and it ended up with top ten percent of the day~! from death to top ten on the day by boosting to get over the hump. this is happening consistently. but I refuse to pay into the site with all the problems there are.,
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Shooting America

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If you don't have a release. You can still enter but not available in market.
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Alan Roseman

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Joyce... this is among my lowest scoring images... it's true Street.. Lower East Side of Manhattan... dinner date.. even some incidental eye contact... The story is here in a snap.. it just dies here... :-0

http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...

It lost to this... nice... but how in the world is this "Street Photography" ??

http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
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lou.plummer

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I plan to join you two in submitting street photos as I have the opportunity to take them. I've submitted several this week and managed to squeak out a couple of awards, so I have hope. Some of the ones that did not do well for me were espcially poignant. We must remember, a large part of Pixoto's members enjoy kittens. Cute outscores pathos every time.
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Alan Roseman

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Good stuff Lou... though Joyce sounds like she might be on the edge... :-O

Cute... nice, but after several cute... I reach for the bourbon...

Post em if you got em...
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Joyce Andersen

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would you say that 'Street' needs to be in B&W only? I know that the tendency is there but would it be a requirement?
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Joyce Andersen

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I ask because if that was a requirement then perhaps the easiest solution is to put all 'Street' into the B&W category, at least they would be avoiding the over saturated and sunset cityscapes
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mlast11

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I'm definitely going to get more street photography in my shots. I'm really enjoying your shots in this genre Alan. Yours as well Lou. I say keep posting and screw the scores. At least we know there are some people here who enjoy seeing them.
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Alan Roseman

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There will be a street flood tonight, we'll see if Pixoto is ready ..
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Joyce Andersen

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so to which category are we flooding? I entered 6 into city, streets and parks.. street scenes. all six died lol
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Alan Roseman

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Yup.... they're just orphaned children here on Pixoto... We'll need a million credits to un-pause them all... :-O
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lou.plummer

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I put five B&W into B&W/Street and Candid. I put some color images in People/Street and Candid
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Alan Roseman

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Good stuff Lou... I loaded in a bunch.. they die at birth. Only way to have folks at least see them.. is to unpause them..

I have so many dead street shots, that I may not have enough credits to un- Pause them all :-)
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lou.plummer

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I started a challenge for B&W Street Photography. I think I can be creative enough with this genre to keep a challenge related to it open at all times. This should help keep it in people's minds and possible inspire them to take their own shots. It's a start.
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Alan Roseman

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Street Photography tells a story.... in can be in a market, or at a ball game. Please have a few hours (or a lifetime) of enjoyment and learning.. do a search on Joel Meyerowitz, Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson especially Henri!! That's "Street" You'll know it when you feel it... :-)
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mlast11

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Thanks Alan. Looking forward to learning more. Appreciate the advice. Going to check these guys out for sure.
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Joyce Andersen

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yeh, just looked at the entries so far in the challenge... there are some great images... a few that I wouldn't quite see as 'street photography' but it is going to be a challenge for me to get enough credits to enter any more lol. Maybe if there is a good turnout for the challenge then Jason will admit that the genre needs it's own category. with subs such as colour shots, maybe interior, exterior, what other sub-categories? I live in a rural setting and I don't have a lot of opportunity to get to urban settings to photograph this genre. Any suggestions?
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lou.plummer

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I think it's important to think about street photography in an international context. Whatever we can can pursuade Pixoto to do needs to have a worldwide appeal, beacause that's the audience here. There are urban streets and small-town streets and unpaved village streets. It'sa good question, Joyce and one deserving of some thought.
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Alan Roseman

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Big second here to Lou's answer. This documentation of the photographers relationship to his environs does not not require an urban setting, to be successful, the images are around us by the thousands and thousands, it is our mission to see them... where others do not....

I am so pleased with the entires, this may have been a suppressed genre of our art...
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Alan Roseman

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Here we go...

This image (my homage to Henri Catier-bresson) lost to the Portraits and landscapes shown.. I want to lose to "Street Stuff"...

This:

http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...

Lost to these wonderful, and in no way, street photographs... :-)

http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...

http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
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Alan Roseman

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I want to be defeated by displays of the human condition..
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Joyce Andersen

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alrighty then... street needs human element... not a lot of humans out here at the farm so I guess this doesn't count as 'street' huh? lol

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