Over on Google+, there are a lot of photographers. I mean, really a lot. And not just nerd-with-an-OK-camera dabblers like me; we’re talking pros, big-name pros some of them. Organized in circles, of course; go have a look.

Now, I’ve noticed that some of these people identify themselves as “street photographers”. Says so right there in the titles they put on the pictures. I’m a city boy and I like pictures of city streets, too. Here’s one I took today.

Cambie street, looking south from 18th

But this isn’t like what the real photographers over on G+ call “Street”. They mean low-contrast B&W captures of people usually against unremarkable backgrounds. There’s an art to it and occasionally one will snatch at your heart. But most of them are boring to my eye. Which doesn’t bother me that much; tastes vary. It does bother me that apparently “street photography” implies “grey on grey”.

My pictures of streets would be better with people in them; there’s a challenge for me. But anyhow, maybe we need another word for urban photography with a conscious aversion to low-contrast monochrome.



Contributions

Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Hub (Jan 28 2012, at 22:41)

Street photography does not have to be black & white. It is just "easier" that way.

Case in point: Fred Herzog.

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From: Arthur Clune (Jan 29 2012, at 05:14)

Look up the HSCP group on Flickr. Lots of modern, colour, street. That group includes pros and is very heavily curated.

The quality of the street stuff I've seen on G+ so far is, as you say, uninspiring

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From: Bud Gibson (Jan 29 2012, at 07:32)

You have to remember that Google+ is really just a sample of enthusiasts talking to enthusiasts. Fads like "street photography is black and white" sort of arise on their own from the dynamic. Of course it doesn't have to be that way.

I think the real test of any art is whether the non-enthusiast finds any beauty in it.

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From: jjdaley (Jan 29 2012, at 15:07)

Street photography is just a genre and not everyone working in that genre agrees on what the rules are and not everyone is necessarily very good at it. But there are some great 'street photographers' to be seen on G+ if you look. Here's one: https://plus.google.com/104166717181118994586/posts

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