Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2016/09/18

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Subject: [Leica] "I'm gong out to shoot some street."
From: mark at (Mark Rabiner)
Date: Sun, 18 Sep 2016 16:23:12 -0400

Thanks Ted! Yep is all BS.  I think the internet has made it so people are
just having fun messing with words "getting stuff out" trying to make for
new buzzwords and buzz phrases which is innocent enough except I think when
it starts dumbing stuff down. And if that stuff is photo stuff I get pissed.

Imagine if you saw your name somewhere and it said "Ted Grant one of the
great street shooters of the 20th century" I'd love to see your face when
you saw that. I think its more possible than impossible that it will happen.

I'd been shooting decades before I ever heard the phrase "street
photography" and I don't miss much on the photo end of things.
I'm pissed because all these guys being held up as examples of the greet
street shooters its  just not the truth. And I think the truth is important.
It seems to be a roll I'm on.

On 9/18/16 2:44 PM, "Ted Grant" <tedgrant at> wrote:

> Mark my  long long time old buddy! :-)
> You are beginning to sound like a mad old man! :-)
> Now don't turn on the angry words! :-) Your mad enough by the sound of it?
> :-( 
> Quite simply because, "I agree with you whole heartedly!" :-)
> The Photo magazine stories of the day about "STREET PHOTOGRAPHY" and the
> "Street photographers of the past and present of that time?:-) And still 
> do!
> Created a false image in their description about street photographers &
> photography! I didn't have a clue what it meant?
> But the description "Street Photography?" Me, in my "KISS" life? I figured
> it meant? "READY?"
> When those words became the "photog description" of the day for the many
> documentary/fine art photogs whomever? Cartier Bresson etc?
> I thought it meant photos of "NEAT LOOKING SREETS OF EUROPE?" Or other
> street locations about the planet?   SO? Me? Not to bright? :-)
> I was on assignment in Los Angeles, later Seattle. So "street photography"
> came to mind and I began shooting what I thought to be???
> The "interesting streets of both cities" during down time from the paying
> assignments I was there for.
> Truly, after a bit of this "street photography" nonsense. I stopped, as I
> thought it an utter waste of film & money, plus souping time! It truly was
> only because "I was such a dumb-ass!" Not realizing that it was merely a 
> New
> York photo magazine writer's words!
> It's still a stupid description! No I don't have an answer for it? WHY?
> Well, I'm a photographer who has photographed the world from "BIRTH to
> DEATH!"  And almost everything/anything in between! And have done so since
> 17 September 1951, my first ever published news photograph front page,
> OTTAWA CITIZEN newspaper in Canada's capital.
> So if "street photographer" really has a true meaning? "WHAT THE HECK AM 
> I?"
> Where would I fit in as I've taken thousands upon thousands of thousands of
> exposures of human beings on every ground surface/location about the planet
> you could imagine?
> There that feels better! :-) See Mark, I agree with you old buddy! :-) :-)
> Dr. Ted Grant CM. ORDER of CANADA.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: LUG [ at] On 
> Behalf Of
> Mark Rabiner
> Sent: September-18-16 9:21 AM
> To: Leica Users Group
> Subject: [Leica] "I'm gong out to shoot some street."
> I'm been shooting on the streets since 1965 when I got my Voigtl?nder with 
> f
> stops and shutter speeds but perhaps you could count the almost ten years
> before than when I was shooting with Kodak Brownies as some of those shots
> people see. I never said like is said now "I'm going out to shoot street"
> because that annoying hipster term had not been invented yet. It came out a
> decade later and I didn't ever hear it I don't think till well into the 
> 80's
> by the 90's the term was in the titles of published books.
> I'm finding it frustrating as Wiki seems have an ongoing concern to revolve
> everything they write about any photographer  or photographic issue around
> this term.
> I just sent them an angry "edit" which I doubt will ever be seen by the
> people I want to see it.
> I brought this up on the LUG a year ago but its bugging me more now and its
> getting much worse
> I'd written this:
> Ok I fixed it up.
> We need to not have the language of photography be controlled by computer
> programmers.
> The great art or documentary photographers of the human condition, Atget to
> Cartier- Bresson are all being called street photographers now if we look
> them up on Wiki and now other sources.  Wiki being nowadays step two to
> after Binging or Goggling to looking up just about anything for anybody.
> " Street photography" would be  term most of these photographers would find
> quizzical to absurd a term  most of them never once in their lives ever
> heard and would certainly not care to have  applied to them.
> Street and documentary photography are redundant terms whose discrepancies
> are artificial,  conflicting and ever changing.  It depends on who you ask
> and when. They are both the photography of the human condition and it has
> gone on not long after photography was invented 177 years ago.. The term
> "street"  is only 40 years old give or take coming about in the mid to late
> 1970s used by a couple of photographers shooting artsy shots of the
> inhabitants of midtown Manhattan. When asked what it meant they replied 
> "its
> a state of mind". The fact that its taking over Wiki making everything
> revolve around it is an embarrassment.
> Cartier- Bresson did live to 2004 but was known in France as "That Paris
> Match photographer" in Wiki first sentence he is a "master of candid
> photography" which gets hem into him  being the father of street
> photography. Here its more about the art gallery scene.
> Its seeming like you have a few people with an artificial agenda control 
> the
> whole photography  thing on Wikipedia.
> I think much of the issue is that documentary photography and fine art
> photography has a big overlap. And they become one and the same.
> Henri Cartier-Bresson hit deadlines for newspapers and magazines and did
> shows in galleries and made books and started Magnum.
> He was not a "candid photographer" that is absurd.

Mark William Rabiner

Replies: Reply from tedgrant at (Ted Grant) ([Leica] "I'm gong out to shoot some street.")
In reply to: Message from tedgrant at (Ted Grant) ([Leica] "I'm gong out to shoot some street.")