Thursday, 14 October 2010

Street Photography Now Project #2

This week's quote is:
"Turn your attention to the four-legged population" - Ying Tang

OK. I've decided to do a little research on each artist who provides the quote each week.  Not extensive, but I found the whole Gilden 'thing' last week a real catalyst as his approach is so extreme, particularly having studied that of Helen Levitt, who was far less 'in your face' than he is.  Perhaps the acceptable level of 'closeness' to the subject has altered since Levitt was in the streets.

Ying Tang, again works predominantly in black and white, which seems to be the favoured format in street photography.  It may tell a stronger story but personally I find it a shame as I love the eye-popping realism of colour. There is an interview by The Invisible Photographer on her work here. I found this quote particularly interesting:
How does it feel to be a female street photographer in Shanghai?

Just like in any kind of career, being female sometimes make it unique. I think especially with photography, people tend to be a bit more relaxed if they are aware that the photographer is female. And if your subject is a female herself, she will feel less hostile against you. My point of view as a street photographer may also be a bit different to a male photographer’s. I am a bit more focused on details, and I have a lot of pictures of dogs and kids. Maybe that is a female instinct. I don’t know, I just like shooting what interests me.
I was drawn on one level to review Helen Levitt's work because of her subject matter being amongst other things children and animals.  And I wonder if there is any truth in this statement from Wing Tang. It isn't something I've thought about before.

I found it considerably easier finding animals and their owners to photograph, although more were with 'consent' than 'candid'.  I have also decided that for this particular genre of photography my Wednesday 'slot' isn't right.  I need to get out at weekends to find the volume of people.  But personally I have all manner of family commitments so it is much harder to find the dedicated time. Alternatively, I may have to take an occasional day out to go to a city where I can work intensively for a day. 

This is the image I chose to submit for this week's quote. I'm slightly less ashamed of this attempt than the previous weeks!!  Still not exactly a decisive moment!! I haven't time this week to edit and post the others. But photographing animals is clearly a 'gentler' opener to street photography than Gilden's!


  1. I'm not doing the street project, but I must admit, Gilden-style may have broken a few people straight away. But on our four legged friends, what about Erwitt and Moriyama?


  2. That's a cool photo Penny... I like it, something about the dogs face that seems to be saying something and he looks sad and almost gentle, a stark contrast to the background and the stereotypical image this breed is associated with. I have to agree with the previous comment - Gilden is a very hard act to try and emulate on a project like this. I should stop reading your blog you know, you're getting me all fired up over photography again... LOL :-0

  3. Ah, the Gilden Effect!!

    Thanks Rob for the suggestions. Moriyama I have heard mentioned before. Erwitt is a new one. I shall take a look.

    Thanks Adey, slightly easier brief this week, thankfully!

    Interestingly the sign up for instruction 2 of the Street Photography project is 955 so far which is just over half that of instruction 1 - so the interest has tailed off very quickly!! I tend to agree about Gilden. Not surprised, having looked at how Gilden operates, he's pretty intrusive and agressive. I couldn't imagine working like he does!!!

    So Adey, how was your first trip back out with your b/w film?? Have you dipped your toe in the water yet??


  4. Oh aye, just pictures of the kids with the animals down at Dalton Wildlife Park, but it's a bit like crack, once you've had another taste you gotta have some more, (not that I would know), and I do fancy submitting some images to this Street Photogrpahy Now... so, my little pocket Lumix (with a Leica lens!) is now residing in my jacket pocket all of the time and I've put some bids on some digital "bridge" cameras on e-bay, nuthin fancy, just a few half decent models from a couple of years ago - it's all your fault you know! Ha Ha.

  5. LOL - what a result!! Yeh, it's pretty addictive in a good way, but you know that already - when its in your blood and all that...

    Lumix are pretty hot cameras aren't they? Should be perfect out and about for this type of thing. And if you've been to SLWAP you'll have loads of 'four legged' pics for instruction #2! You can sign up here, go on you know you want to!

    The streets of West Cumbria don't know what's coming!!

  6. What have you done? Well, I've signed up and got myself a flickr account too. I'm not putting any 4-legged pics in today, but I can't wait to see what the quote will be tomorrow, or the following weeks. I wonder if there'll be a subject for pics of motorbikes or bicycles? I'll have that one nailed ha ha.

  7. Fab! Reveal your flickr screen name and I'll look out for you over there. Mine is *marmalade* - I don't have any images on there, but I am uploading for this SPN project. 50 weeks to go - blimey!!

    PS I will not, completely and absolutely utterly shall not be persuaded to buy a motorbike!! hee,hee

  8. 'MotoFreako' - obvious really. I've uploaded a couple of images to my Photostream just to try it out. I'm quite looking forward to, It's been a while since I had to take any pictures to a brief, not since my days at Art College really when I wanted to be the next George Rodger! I'll let you know if and when I upload a submission for the Street Photography Now project.

  9. Hi Penny, take a look at this link when you can, An Italian blogging friend of mine has put together an online "Streetzine" a digital magazine of his street photography. There's some very inspirational stuff there. Let me know what you think.

  10. A fellow bike enthusiast by any chance? He has an unbelievable portfolio and I love how he has presented it too. Has he put it together himself? I guess if he's professional, he'll have got it made?

    It's a real mix, street photography with a generous helping of fine art and documentary photography in there too by the looks - it's a shame all the blurb is in Italian (except the intro), I'd be interested in what the projects are about - particularly the first one with objects infront of the patterned wallpaper. His portfolio in Beijing is a good examplar for the SPN project as he captures the everyday and makes it interesting - that's quite a knack.

    How are you getting on with instruction #3? Has Workington bus station come back to haunt you? I popped there, but daytime only!!