Out on the Streets

Posted 9/29/2009 by fotoloka in Labels: , , , ,

Street photography's been going on since cameras got small enough to carry instead of lug. Historically and traditionally, after color film was invented, most streetshooting was done in black and white ...it's the way it is...gritty, immediate, "decisive moment" stuff. A long linage of shooters, such as Atget, Stieglitz, Strand, Cartier-Bresson, Brassai, Kertesz, Evans, Levitt, Frank, Arbus, Winogrand, paved the way for what now has become a glut of everyone snapping everything every moment of the day in every way on everything electronic and digital. The new world culture is here, and it's pretty much in color. Color photography was presented to the art world when John Szarkowski curator of photography at MOMA put up the first exhibit of color prints by William Eggleston 1976. So much for the outrage that ensued over that breach of tradition...and here we are now.

The problem I myself am having with the color or black and white dilemma of street shooting is that in the "old" days of film, I'd put black and white film in the camera and would go immediately into the zone of seeing in tones....not so anymore with digital; even if you set the camera to black and white, when it's downloaded, those pesky pixels show up as color....you are forced, or at least, seduced into looking at your stuff in color. At bottom of this back and forthing, is that I've been noticing I've begun multi-seeing, or maybe it's multi-level-tasking when I'm shooting on the fly now, and it's annoying and confusing the intentions of being one pointed and focused. It's like parallel universes going on simultaneously as I intuitively shift back and forth between seeing in color and translating into black and white tones...or not, at any given time out there.....(confused and dazed yet?)

Last week I was in NYC and of course went through all this weirdness once again. In sorting through images I converted many that seemed to ask to be black and white, and that was that, and left many that were obviously only color images to remain where they belonged...that left a group that worked both ways, to my eye and inclination, so I put the two versions of each image together and will let you decide which works for you.....any feedback would be interesting for me to hear about. Ok?

1 comment(s) to... “Out on the Streets”


WHayes said...

These look great! I think you could play with the contrast levels a little in the b/w ones. I wonder how the experiment would look had you done it with a toy camera in b/w, to get more of a grain?

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