Let’s not beat about the bush. Let’s be crystal clear about this. There are many, many people in this world for whom daily life is a constant struggle, an epic battle. Just getting through the day is a gargantuan achievement in itself. The measure of us as human beings and as a civilised society must surely be how we treat and look after those who do not take those things that we do, for granted ? Things like walking, standing up and even breathing and so much more. Never miss out on an opportunity to show kindness.
A Twitter feed I’m following asked the question today; Should Street Photography be made illegal ? The answer my friends is an emphatic NO !
Here’s another image ( above ) I keep coming back to. I just saw him in front of me, lifted the camera up to my eyes and made the image. Chesterfield High St is now pedestrian only but I can remember as a kid cars and buses travelling down this road. Further back beyond my memory were trams and further back still were horses and carts. Sometimes I’d love to travel back in time to see how things really were.
News just out is a new publication from Cafe Royal Books of Chris Killip work from 1982. Killip’s book In Flagrante is much sought after and I’d love a copy.
14cm x 20cm
Edition of 500
I’ve been into town today. Thursdays is usually busy. There’s a flea market where things to be bought are in the last chance saloon. I keep hoping that I’ll find that rare copy of The Americans by Robert Frank or as the title will be ‘Les Americains’ the French version, the version before the American version was published. You can often pickup ‘carte’ photographs for a few quid or old family photograph albums which have come from house clearances. The occasional decent film camera. I was given an Olympus Trip the other week by the way.
I’m trying to be more measured in my street photography. A bit less shotgun and a bit more carefully considered and observed. I took eleven images which is nothing like my normal rate. If Gary Winogrand was still around imagine how many he’d shoot with a digital camera ?
I often pop into Oxfam as well. Check see if there’s any photography books. Got a Thames and Hudson Photofile book on Magnum Photographers for £1.99 which was nice.
“Look” I said to my learners on the taster morning “I’m not knocking that kind of photography, if someone wants to photograph a host of golden daffodils on a hillside then that’s fine. If they want to photograph beautiful sunsets or a herd of wildebeest rushing majestically over the horizon then I’m ok with that and I’ll help them do that but let me tell you, photography can be just so much more than that and after over thirty years of using a camera and studying this thing then It’s just not what I personally do. And I’m not here to tell you what a great photographer I think I am because to be perfectly honest with you I don’t think I am. I compare myself with the very best, the Masters of photography which most people have never heard of and in that respect I’m quite average.”
“well what do you do?” asked one of the punters
So I showed them some of my work. I’m not sure they got it ?
As regular readers of this Blog will know I spend a lot of time documenting my home town. It has a Crooked Church Spire so occasionally we get tourists visiting the town to see this wonder of church architecture and craftsmanship gone wrong. The bloke ( man ) in the above image took umbrage to me having just taken this picture. He was taking a photograph of his wife with the Crooked Spire in the background. From his accent he sounded American but I won’t hold that against him. First he asked me why I had taken the image and then asked me to delete it. When I refused he told me he’d report me to the police. I replied something like “yeah ok would you like me to escort you to the police station to discuss the matter further?” suffices to say he didn’t take me up on the offer. What vexed me at the time was this man thought he could railroad me into doing as he bid. Who the hell this American tourist thought he was and where he was trying to order me about in my hometown was intensely irritating.
So ! make sure you know your rights as a photographer in the place you are operating and don’t let anyone bully you into doing something you don’t have to. Wherever possible stand your ground making sure of course it’s safe to do so.