Thursday, February 27, 2014

In Your Face: Photo Complaints- Part III

I love street photography, I love Mark Cohen and Bruce Gilden, love the "in your face" boldness of their work. But following Capa's Law doesn't mean that shoving a camera in someone's face automatically produces a masterwork. There has to be something more than a mere grimace, a look of disgust and disdain. Unfortunately, too many "street" photographers are going for just that these days- and think they have actually achieved the holy grail. They've got their gritty, hard core street look, while in truth- they don't got jack shit. They've hijacked the surface and totally missed out on... the soul! Street photography has always been about capturing the fleeting nuances that somehow coincide and create a sum larger than its parts in public view, for those astute enough to notice. The magic lies in the subtleties, not the obvious; learn to do it right, or move on...

OK, OK... one has to practice to get there- I know. It just seems that the grimacing street close up has come to replace the deadpan, poke me with a stick, Alec Soth brand of portraiture as photography's number one most overused currency of the day. Basta!

Photo: Alec Soth
Addendum via George LeChat
no close up grimace, and low level deadpan, but point... taken.

Photo: Bruce Gilden


2 comments:

TomRS said...

I'm with you all the way with your photo complaints, keep it coming. Getting disillusioned with the way things are at the moment.

Stan B. said...

It's easy to complain, and even easier to just ignore.

Disillusionment can be a good thing in that it strips away the pretense, unfortunately, a lot of the "magic" can also get tossed in the process.