Sunday, 21 October 2007

Street in the web: Hardcore Street Photography on flickr

I guess that most of the virtual readers of this blog (if there are any) know about the flickr group hardcore street photography that I've been helping to administer for about a month. As an online street photography group is probably one of the biggest and most active that can be found on the net. Many people knew about street on the first place, or learnt to shoot it by reading the threads and looking at the images that make up the pool. This pool grows every day with the addition of an average of five new pictures. This is quite a slow intake if we take in account that the group receives about two hundred submissions and thirty new members a day. The images are sent by all kinds of people: those who give their first steps in street photography and managed to take a good shot and maybe later on manage to make more of a track into it, those who have been shooting street for a while or try ocasionally and even those who have managed to make quite something out of it. In general, a very worthy group to give a look at if you are interested in street photography either for viewing, showing your work or for improving your style. After all, it's an open forum.

Ok, so instead of that much chit chat, lets go to see what the pool looks like. I've selected some shots that came out since I started curating. This is just a personal selection and it's not by any means comprehensive of styles or highlights.

(by james1hour)

Boy, Asilah
(by keith15)

Being a star...
(by Hugo*)

(by buchanear7)

(by | GW |)

(by hinius)

(by shveckle)

(by eyeblink)

(by macskata)

Rio de Janeiro
(by David Solomons)

(by flat5five)

(by rafmad)

(by bennybedlam)

It's nice all that mixture of photographers and formats actually.


Anthony Brockway said...

Afternoon Mr Karanka.

Excuse my ignorance but what exactly is street photography? Looking at these examples the presence of a street is not an essential requirement. Street photography presumably can take place on a beach (James1hour) or indoors (rafmad).

So is street photography just an all embracing generic term for any photography that doesn't take place in a studio?

And what's the difference between ordinary street photography and "hardcore" street photography? What would be the essential ingredient that would get a photo into your pool?

J. Karanka said...

That's a tricky question. Mostly 'street' is all the candid photography that you could take during a normal day. There's a strong artistic component in street photography, so looks usually go before content when compared to more classical documentary photography (although many documentary photographers, in essence, are great street photographers). Basic street photography actually takes part on the street, like most of the work of Winogrand in the middle sixties (his zoo stuff is street, but not on the street) or Cartier Bresson before that. Street photography as it's known today borrows a lot from Winogrand though.

I think that the hardcore is more than anything a name. Street photography probably was taken. Nowadays, if it is related with something, I would point out the hardcore curation of the group and that most admins and members don't like bullshit in the pool.

Anonymous said...

Bullshit to one person is another person's art. In a curated group you get what the "administration" considers good.

J. Karanka said...

Anonymous: yes.

Anonymous said...

"or Cartier Bresson before that"

Cartier-Bresson was not a "street photographer." He was a photojournalist. Many of the images he is famous for were on assignment. Even his early works were not done under the pretension of "Street Photography" but rather as an extension of his interest in painting. He probably would have avoided a group such as Hardcore Street Photography like the plague. While you're at it, perhaps you should read a book about him or watch "The Impassioned Eye" if you ever get a few moments away from your busy Admin duties *cough* I mean "curating" schedule. Which reminds me, I didn't know you could "curate" a group on Flickr. Nice try at lending credibility or an air of importance to the otherwise SQUARE task of administering an online forum.

J. Karanka said...

Or a surrealist. Sure. Many photojournalists have produced work that could somehow fit as street photography. Anyhow, it's a very loose term, and most of the people that have got classified under it never called themselves street photographers. I wouldn't really consider Cartier-Bresson that much of a photojournalist as he founded Magnum as a way to pick his own work and avoid the assingments he was doing for a long time. His interest seems to be more in the image than the story.

In a blog I'll use the word curate as for not confusing people that don't use flickr. I mean, yes, we administer a flickr group, but the main way of doing so is curation. Administration can lead newcomers to think that it's a technical task.

On another hand, I usually prefer my trolls to have a name.