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I was just looking at the winners of The Society of International Travel and Tourism Photographers "Street Photography" competition. The top three are all of down-and-outs. I think this gives Street a bad name and is a very blinkered view of what Street photography is. It's also very predictable and boring.
What do you think?
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I guess its no different to mainstream press where a sad story sells more than a feel-good story. Given they organisers of the competition I am slightly surprised at those three because none of the three top awards give a sense of place and in that respect are more photojournalism than travel photographs.
I think they are all voyeuristic and exploitative. Did the photographers buy their subjects a decent meal? Certainly not a subject which fills me with inspiration.
I agree. There are many in the street photography community who have a very low regard for pictures of the homeless taken because they are homeless, for many reasons but essentially because it is lazy and unchallenging, exploitative and something of a 'fish in a barrel'. These wouldn't make it into some online galleries I'm familiar with, let alone win competitions.
I'm also intrigued as to why 'The Society of International Travel and Tourism' award the top 3 places to such depressing images.
Quote: because it is lazy and unchallenging,
I would agree with that.
I agree Chris - indeed that was my first reaction on seeing the epz news item. I've seen some much better examples of street photography posted here.
I agree with the comments above regarding the voyeuristic and exploitative nature of photographing the homeless and looking at the three images there is no doubt that the photographers have certainly photographed the homeless in the 2nd & 3rd placed images. However, the winning image shows a gentleman holding a broom and large dust pan, which suggests to me that he is street cleaner and has dressed accordingly for his days work. Not a homeless person at all.
I see what you mean Paul, but to me he looks a bit too dishevelled and, dare I say, a bit posed? I may be wrong but it doesn't ring true.
Check out the winner's web site... some incredibly good photography to be found Aga Furtak
Quote: dare I say, a bit posed?
It wouldn't surprise me, nor would it be a surprise to find out it was a model.
Some OK images on his website but not keen on the constant shuffling of pictures so not hanging around. I did notice some really good stuff before I jumped ship though.
I think it is a she! Agnieszka Furtak
What is happening on the Street?
As someone who has had an interest in photography for more years than I care to remember, I think it is fair to say that photography feeds off the images that fellow photgraphers see.
Through the years we have had many trends, be it Venice festival masks, motor-x in the mud, historical re-enactment groups, Whitby Goths, derelict cottages in Ireland and Eastern Europe, 1940's theme days in places such as Pickering, and I know there are many more.
All these themes are seen and spark the feeling in fellow photographers of 'I could do that'.
Street photography is merely one of those trends.
If you see photographic club competitions on a regular basis you can reach the conclusion that 'Pretty' does not do as well as 'Grungy' hence the image of a down and out comes to the front but a pretty nice scene is forgotten.
So we are merely in the current trend of 'Grungy'. Another theme that seems to be getting attention is the over manipulated 'Pink Floyd and Flying Pigs LP cover ' themed picture.
We will always have these trends as now we know that nothing is truly new, it is a case of either starting a new trend or feeding on the current one.
I don't personally see the problem. All street photography is exploitation in some way
Quote: All street photography is exploitation in some way
Really ? I suppose that would depend on your definition of Street photography.
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