week 34 | 2011

2011, Photography, Project, weekly project

With my previous post I didn’t meant to attack street photography. I love street photography. I love seeing it in publications, I love practicing it. It is just that geographically I don’t live near a larger city and people in my own hometown seem to live a more fearsome life (probably the result of living in the center of the Dutch bible belt).

I have seen questions popping up on the web whether street photography was a fad or here to stay. Well street photography is not really new. It has been practiced and perfected by some great photographers in the past and will continue to be pushed in the future too. But unlike many other genres I don’t think street photography is there to become utterly popular. The greater purpose of street photography in my opinion is capturing the human conditions in it’s current time space, and not there to become the most respected photographer out there. It doesn’t mean that you can’t be respected, but will likely be respected for the work you have created. So I absolutely don’t think street photography is a fad. It will likely either be more or less popular from time to time. It is hardly the “industry” around street photography that is maybe a fad. Not really bad either, you know. It finally gets some recognition again from galleries and museums. But everything else will certainly come and go.

In the meantime, while the first rumors of a new Ricoh GR Digital 4 started to appear last week, I got my GRD3 back from service and have been enjoying it a lot this week.

The photographs of this ongoing project will also be updated here.

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

10 thoughts on “week 34 | 2011

  1. I certainly didn’t read your previous post as an “attack” on street photography.
    But I think you made some rightly remarks about the current big egos in the “streettog” industry. Hopefully this trend – pictures are more about the guys who shot them, than about the people in the images – is temporary. Because street photography is a great genre.

    Good to see you working the GRD III again.

  2. Maybe it’s something about living in the States, but I have never felt comfortable with street photography. Too many folks here get weirded-out by having their photo taken even if it is a public place.

    1. Feeling uncomfortable is more a personal thing, not restricted to a specific country. But street photography takes a lot more than just guts. It is also interesting locations, memorable moments, and it helps that people are more comfortable. I think your location isn’t much different than mine.

  3. I envy those photographers who live in London, Paris, Berlin and New York, where the streets are full of life and photographic opportunities. The trouble with the Deep South is that people don’t walk, for one thing it is too damned hot in summer.

    Street photography done well is always a joy to view but too many photographers simply take shots of random strangers who just happen to be walking along a street. I wish those people would ask themselves why they are taking the shot? Does it tell a story? Does it convey something of the human condition? Does it contain an interesting or humourous juxtaposition? Does it contain anything of real interest?

    Fortunately, you do ask those questions before pressing the shutter in your street photography, Wouter, as does Cristian Sorega on his One Day, One Picture blog.

    Thanks for the link to my blog on the GRD III and stroll photography.

    1. Hi Calvin, I honestly think I am no good street photographer either. And like you I agree that there are currently not many good street photographers around. In fact, I can only come up with the names Trente Park and Alex Webb. But then, that is just my opinion.

      Nowadays it is too much in the face, too close. I guess I am just no fan of “candid”.

      And thank you too Calvin for mentioning my “stroll photography” blog post.

  4. I enjoy street photography, but there is so much today that is “stealth” street photography. By that I mean shots of people walking away, or barely the subject of the photo because they were shot from the hip. The street photography I do prefer is where someone has made a conscious effort to create a nice photo. I don’t mean staged, but rather where someone takes the time to come up with a unique composition that captures a convergence in time of a situation. To me it has to be unique or a a new twist on an old theme. In a way street is like landscape, how many ways are you going to capture a sunset?

    You may lament that you are not near a populous city to do “real” street photography, but your stroll photography allows you to show off your capabilities. There is always the practice of composition that we can improve no matter where we are.

    Myself I’m in explore mode with my photography. I’ve done a little of a lot of types. I think what I’m most attracted to is social documentary photography with an eye toward places people once gathered, used, or lived in to record some of these places before they are torn down or in some way disappear.

    I stop back here occasionally I always enjoy your work. BTW, another photographer who does the type of street photography I prefer is Nico Chiapperini. Especially the “Moments in Between” series. Not all of the photos are street, only a few are, but they demonstrate what I described above of looking for the right situation. http://www.nictures.com/en/moments-in-between.php

    1. Thank you Ryan. I personally prefer more thoughtfulness too. I think content and form should be in harmony.

      And nice mentioning Nico and his photography. He lives just an hour away from me.

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