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Street photography - Dirty and raw.
Posted By: blwnhr, 06-05-2008, 02:14 AM

I got talking to a guy at a pub a few weeks ago. A young guy (18) still at school learning photography with aspirations of making a living from it. His father is a professional photographer, so he is certainly in with a chance.

Monday he rang me and asked if I wanted to go out for some street shooting. I set aside an hour today and we took a stroll round the CBD of the city we live in. I had a bit of a PP play tonight and these are the results. I am reasonably happy with the results for a genre that is not my usual.

I've gone for a dirty, raw feel to the photographs. There are 15 of them so give them a chance to load, review them and please post any comments about the images, the technique, the style or the thoughts they provoke, be it positive or negative.

Adam.































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06-05-2008, 03:02 AM   #2
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They look good! It takes a knack to see the scene and imagine the end result.

I don't know why but the exposure looks a bit off in some of them. Maybe I am different, but when I look at street life I want the images to be at the proper exposure. It doesn't matter to me if they are a bit out of focus or grainy - in fact that sometimes helps - but the exposure needs to be correct. Personally, I am not a fan of the angled shots but many folks are, so that's ok. Also, I like to see lots of people in the street shots; not looking into the lens but going about their business oblivious to the photographer. You are definitely doing that! The photographer is a voyeur.

I think it is a damn fine beginning - the start of something great. My fav's are the guy sitting down with the guitar, the guy drawing and the fountain scene.
06-05-2008, 03:17 AM   #3
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Thankyou for taking the time to write such a detailed response. Which images would you say the exposure is off on? Number 2 is a bit dark and Number 8 (children running down the alley) is too, but if I gave more exposure it would kill the last of the already blown highlights.

Once agin, thankyou and I will definately give some thought to your response before venturing out next.


EDIT: Looking at them more I see you are right. I will have a play with them over the weekend. Lucky I shot RAW.

Last edited by blwnhr; 06-05-2008 at 05:17 AM.
06-05-2008, 03:53 AM   #4
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I good attempt I'd say. Keep at, I'm sure we'd all like to see some more..

I keep wanting to do some life in motion stuff myself perhaps with the DA35mm lens as it's so small... but even with this lens I kinda get nervous aiming at people's faces without asking...

I guess during rush hour in a busy place helps the photographer blend in a little better... hmmm (thinking).

06-05-2008, 03:57 AM   #5
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Nice series of shots. I think my favorite is the man on the bench. Also the second shot has an aluring factor to it with the play on the light and shadows. Well done.
06-05-2008, 04:00 AM   #6
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Thanks. The first 3 shots were taken from the back of my office building. I've been seeing these shots in my mind, but haven't had the time to bring my camrea in to capture them until today.
06-05-2008, 05:16 AM   #7
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Here is the first one with some alternative processing...



06-05-2008, 05:27 AM   #8
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I like the alternative processing on this one you just posted better than the original one.

The second image gave me a very strong emotional lurch and I have no idea why. I want to hang it on my wall and look at it for a very long period of time. I don't know what it is about that one, the empty alley, the lighting, what. But it smacked me hard and I want to keep it. So I say good good good. I like very much.

My other favorites are 10, 11, and 13.

I love this kind of photography. When I was in London I tried to capture just some of the random street scenes, but probably not with the success you have here.

Nice work
06-05-2008, 07:37 AM   #9
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Oh, this takes me back to the 1960s/70s when I was really into B&W photography. A bunch of us at art school used to do a lot of this raw street stuff and it's really exciting to see it still giving someone a buzz. I like the underexposure and the slightly rough edge to some of the shots (and it never bothered Cartier-Bresson, Man Ray and co.) - I think it adds energy and drama to what is, after all, just everyday life.
In the first shot I would prefer to see the Subaru (?) a bit blurred as it whips round the corner. It looks like a robbery getaway car scene and a bit more sense of motion in the car would really bring it off. That same feeling comes up for me in the shot of the man coming down the steps lugging bags of stuff, with the tall columns behind him, almost like he's just robbed the bank. (I need therapy!). The National Theatre shot speaks volumes about the state of the arts in Oz at the moment. (Peter Garrett doesn't seem to be much interested, so what chance have we got?). And the bald-headed geezer with his sketchpad, oblivious to the world, is truly endearing and in the best tradition of street photgraphy.
One of our gang, Gary Baigent, produced a book of his photos in 1967 called "The Unseen City." I wish I could show it to you, because I think you've really captured that same feel, the city people usually don't see because they're in too much of a rush. It's only when an artist like yourself puts it in their faces that they can see the magic, the homeliness, the homelessness, the loneliness and all the other aspects of the human condition that we find in our cities.
I love this collection. Take a bow, mate.
06-05-2008, 04:57 PM   #10
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Wow. Thankyou very very much Wombat. Your comments are both inspiring and flatering. I am going to be sure to set aside some time in the next few weeks to go and take another stroll around Launceston. But this time I will be sure to actually have time. This was a rushed run around the CBD because I had appointments to keep so I didn't think as much about the subject as I would have liked. I also missed some shots because I couldn't spare the time waiting for the perfect moment.

The first shot was literally spur-of-the-moment. I was just showing the guy I was shooting with my gear when the roller-door opened. I was flicking the e-dial back to drop the shutter-speed as I whipped the lens cap off and fired. I barely had the viewfinder up to my eye! There are a lot of traffice movements in that alley so I should have no trouble repeating the shot. Although the light was astounding that yesterday...
06-05-2008, 07:13 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by blwnhr Quote
I am going to be sure to set aside some time in the next few weeks to go and take another stroll around Launceston...The first shot was literally spur-of-the-moment. I was just showing the guy I was shooting with my gear when the roller-door opened. ..
I look forward to seeing some more. And often it's those spur of the moment shots that carry life and drama with them.

You might be interested in checking out this guy - Ciro Totku, Ciro Totku: Abstract Photography. He's a Russian photographer who lives in Cambodia and focuses his work in the back streets of Phnom Pen. He uses a lot of abstraction and observation of patterns to encourage the viewer to see things differently. There's one in particular of a vendor squatting on the pavement wearing one of those round, conical hats, echoed by round patterns in the paving bricks, that's absolutely brilliant.

Go to it, mate. You have a good feel for this genre.
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