Word and Image

Street Photography

My bad


street photography | Definition, History, Types, & Facts …https://www.britannica.com › Visual Arts › Photography
Street photography, a genre of photography that records everyday life in a public place. The very publicness of the setting enables the photographer to take candid pictures of strangers, often without their knowledge.


Is street photography legal?

As a street photographer, the obvious thing in your possession is your camera. … In New South Wales you are not under a legal obligation to explain or justify your photographic activities or to answer any questions, even if the police arrest you.

Perfect spring day. Happy ending in Krazy Cat restaurant. This is the famous March Bank at the DuPont estate Winterthur. March Bank? Henry DuPont created a natural garden that blooms with millions of bulbs in the spring – timed, wave after wave of flowers bloom in the most tranquil setting. Wandering the beauty, we came upon a painter. I got a couple shots. I was speculating whether she was a man or a fat woman. Her sharp glance and admonition were, to “not” take her picture. It’s street photography in a public space. Sorry to say: her painting was not very good. So, I guess, she had good reason to be shy. Nonetheless, we had a standoff. I never argue. I just did not take another.

Now, the March Bank. I shot around 1500 images. Yeah, nuts! The first-round edit was disappointing. Not a single standout shot. I think I may be too harsh a critic of my work. Second glance – it was not so bad. It’s a fine line between average and good. Sometimes a little (time) distance helps.

Street photography – it’s legal. Confrontation is never comfortable. For me, it remains a challenge.


Way back

All the way back in 2011. September. 13th. My cousin Amy suggested I do a blog featuring my photos. It would be an outlet. I could showcase images. Photography was a hobby. It remains so. I would be professional but I had a day job that I did well enough to keep photography as an interest. I had a camera that worked and I knew how to shoot pictures. i had been in the right place a few times. I had seen some nice things. This is the first photo I posted. Why? It was current (at the time). A bit of cheesecake would perk interest? This was in my street photography phase. I attended events around NYC that afforded a street photography opportunity. And, so off we go. This was my first posted picture of three very nice gals who posed at my request. I am shy and not prone to approaching strangers. We sort of just ran into each other and I spontaneously asked them to pose for me. Graciously, they agreed. The rest is history. Would you believe I have been posting for ten years?


Gee! photography… again

“When you see a disposable photo you know it’s real and it wasn’t crafted or put together,” he said. “It just happened and it was captured. That’s what makes it so exciting.”

Gee! WYSIWYG – what you see is what you get. No filters?! Not Instagram? It’s still social media. Better? Who knows? Every time you turn around someone is inventing the wheel and trying to make money from it. Good!? Real photography is work. Huh? Or is it that no one wants to work? Or…. Whatever. It seems to be an excuse to not blame the workman for the poor workmanship. Spontaneity? Freedom? No responsibility? It’s pretty easy to see how spontaneity can slip into “staged.” But, keep to your fantasy. You still have to press a shutter. And, something is better than nothing. Do you need to chase fame? Do you need a million followers to feel fulfilled? Whatever?! Someone is due to make a ton of money on this idea.


Good

What’s good? Photoshop enhanced? Is it good straight out of the camera? Do you allow major or minor manipulation? When is does it cross the line into being art instead of photography? Purist? The algorithm in the camera already dictates so much. Shoot raw? The manipulation you do, is it to recreate the image you saw. Or are you creating the image you imagined? What’s good? I’m glad I don’t have to care about all that. I have never competed in a photo contest. Well, once, and, I lost. Sour grapes? Nope. It was expected on my part. I’m good. But I am not in the same league with award winning photographers. I’m not dedicated to perfection. I could do a good job given the responsibility. Sure, but it was never my day job. So, I am content. I have a catalog with hundreds of thousands of images. Some good. On the whole there are too many good images to possibly ever post. That’s good.


Push pull

The Amish are odd because of their habits – no buttons or zippers on their clothes. And they do not use electricity or machine power. The hay baler is not powered, I guess. We all live amonst one another in peace. No pictures please. You know me. There’s never been a rule I didn’t try to break. Sorry. The rule in “Street photography” is that in “public” you are fair game for photography. It doesn’t mean I will photograph if you are in an embarrassing position. But otherwise…. that weaving device was one of the few I did not buy. What is it? Dunno. It would’ve been a good conversation starter.


Rollergirl

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What can I say? Skate around the streets of Manhattan in practically no clothes. It might not stand out on the beach. But, really! Killer outfit!. I was stopped at the traffic light. My camera was on the seat. I lifted it and got off a single shot. Somehow, she sensed I was there. She rolled on past the van and took refuge in the doorway of the next apartment building. She looked warily at my car but my camera was already down on the seat once more. Spooky. Some weird guy shooting you while you exercise (in practically no clothes). How weird?


Folks

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I walk around and observe people. As a physician I would do so and speculate on disease based upon how people walked – Alzheimer’s, alcohol, hydrocephalus, well, you know (or not). Since retirement I still observe people. I keep it to myself, of course. But… fashion. Sometimes you just gotta speculate. Whoa! Does your mother know how you went out? Remember mom’s admonition, “Wear clean underwear.” Trust me, in the ER, there are no secrets. Wear clean underwear. In the dead of winter, I just gotta say this is a fashion statement.

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I noticed this poor man’s wife as we sat drinking coffee. She had the worst case of calf cellulite and calf varicose veins. No, I missed her pic. But his face… must have had some fair reconstruction. Cancer, trauma? Who knows. They did a reasonable job. In the extreme I remember pics of the woman who had the face transplant. Unfortunately, you never look normal.


Cute

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Germs. Tons of germs. Ha ha. Germs are not necessarily harmful. Yeah, I would not be a fan of letting my toddler crawl around the airport rug. But, home is where all your regular germs reside. Sanitizer? I fear we are killing benign germs and allowing resistant bacteria to grow up. Then what? Meanwhile this is a cute kid. Very.


Entertainment

It’s the streets. Anything goes. It’s Scotland. Bag pipes! Statues have been done elsewhere. They are still fun. Harry Who? Owls are there on the street for the public to see and touch. After all it’s Harry Potter land. Fun.


Spooked

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… not Halloween. I took this pic of the kids. It spooked them. I take pics of kids and groups all the time, no harm done and none intended. But it was the moment and the glance that says it all. The girls quickly moved along immediately thereafter. Sorry kids, I did not mean to spook you guys.


Phone home

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In the middle of nowhere, again, here are a couple vintage London phone booths. How they got here, I do not know. They are worn and forlorn. Long ago they were quintessential London. I don’t even have a hard line phone any longer. Cell phone, it’s the only way to go. Video chat?


Ocean City

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We don’t frequent this beach. It’s crowded and touristy. I don’t need to be here. So we stopped on the way through. Just to look. It’s honky. You see neat stuff. Don’t curse. Oh, and you are not allowed to bathe bare chested. Well, that would be if you are a woman.

Don’t get me wrong. I got nothing against bare chests. Some people just shouldn’t…. It was chilly that day. But there are always those who insist that the weather is better than it is.

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This poor guy was playing his guitar sideways. He needed a better speaker. He had no audience. No one who passed, paused. Maybe he was just practicing for the summer crowd to come?


Bridges

Single cable suspension bridges – they are the style. Someday they will be dated. Meanwhile they look like the latest greatest. We come. We go. I try to get a pic as we cross. Sometimes the lighting is sweet. Yes, don’t try this one. I’m shooting through the window as I drive along. I was trying to think of what category to list these pics. I guess it would be ‘ultimate street photography.’


Milton

We went to Milton. We went to Milford. They both start with “M” so it’s easy to confuse. Really!? Well, if you are map challenged, and your memory is sort of shot… Milton was a trip to the curmudgeony clock maker. Good, but gruff and no nonsense. He hates amateur clock fixers (like me). We got a watch battery. Great! Then on to Milton. No! Milford. We’ve been to Milford. Ha! Confused? Hey! You got no skin in the game. Anyway, we’ve been to Milford before…. Spring. Red bud. Picturely. Yeah, I know it’s not a word either. Fun?! That translates. We had a long sit in a coffee house (warming). It’s the longest I’ve sat in a month (in one place).


Surprise

A few surprises. The lighthouse is in a traffic circle. It’s a mini not really a true one. Not much traffic this time of year. It’s cold and nasty, too early for beach traffic. I sat in the middle of the circle and took my pictures with nary a car in sight. Nicola? I’ve yet to go. I’ve tried a pizza. Not memorable. And the famous Nico-bo-li? Don’t know and haven’t a clue. The spinners? I’ve got a spot for one on my deck. I should pick one. Yup, it was a surprise three images in a row? Surprise? Three consecutive images – one post.


Don’t Laugh

I’m not neat. That is to say that things accumulate to critical mass and then a wave of energy overtakes me. I clean up. We took days to take stock of everything large and small tucked away in the depths of the kitchen cabinets. It’s amazing how you forget to look behind things. Efficiency? We tossed away lots. The rest was repacked carefully. Oh my….might as well toss that lot too. We won’t look behind and won’t find it till the next “clean up.”Likely it will be the next decade till we get ‘round to cleanin’ up again. Oh my!? …only two years. Ha!


Sanitize

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Whoa! 60 ounces? Nearly half a gallon? Do you really need one? More than one? Bathe in the stuff, and your kids too. I’m laughing…well sort of horrified. Sure, no one wants disease. It will prevent the flu? Hmmm? Here’s something to keep in mind. Staphylococcus bacteria was treatable with penicillin group antibiotics until the bacteria evolved and became resistant. That would be MRSA – methicillin resistant staph aureus. And we are about to run out of our alternative antibiotics that can kill this one. Bacteria adapt. Viruses do too. It’s why colds and flu keep changing and no single vaccine is effective. You might like them to go extinct. But it’s not happening. Sanitizer is something that is a mixed blessing. We are growing resistant microbes as we spread sanitizer around. There’s no simple answer. Sanitize? Sure, no one wants to be sick. Don’t sanitize? A reckoning? We have MRSA. This won’t be the last.

Ah! Just the next day:

The Solution for Skin Ailments Could Be Right Under Your Nose – New York Times By FERRIS JABRJUNE 26, 2017

It touts bacteria and other microbes that live on your skin that are symbiotic to health and skin.


Covered

Well…what a nice segue! (see yesterday).  Back in October I posted the picture of an old building and its old signs that would soon be covered up forever. Now it is/has been… The old signs will not likely be seen again. Maybe a hundred years on, it will be repurposed and we might see beneath the veneer again. It’s another instance where I got a picture that will not be available to be recreated again. Different place, different time. No one spoke up. The signs were covered up without fanfare. It happens all the time. History is lost…but not forgotten.


Subway – Art

This was an eyesore series of buildings seen from the elevated subway by millions. The owner let the abandoned building stand (decades) waiting for the value to be more and then enough to be of value to develop. He just didn’t care about his abandoned buildings enough to maintain any semblance of care. Graffiti covered the buildings and reached legendary status. Then the fight began.

New York Times 2/12/18 – Judge awards 21 graffiti artists $6.7 million judgment for destroyed graffiti art. The owner/developer destroyed their art on his buildings. I can see (pun) the arguments from both sides. Isn’t graffiti unwanted art? As in, we see it on the subway cars and the MTA cleans it off. (I took these images from a subway car.) This stuff has collected upon the buildings over the years. The buildings were abandoned and awaiting development. The art is on someone else’s property and was done without permission. There is an act – VARA – Visual Artists Rights Act. Yup! There is! Oh boy. ‘Nuff said!

The story? Mine? I saw these (buildings/art) long after I rode the subway with any frequency. I got these images on the way back (not going to) from an event in Queens. It was August 2010 and it was with my trusty Nikon D200. My digital files are scattered/organized. The database is lost among backup hard drives. Voila! First, I had to look through my database. The key word – subway. I would not have listed it as “5Pointz.” Then cull the index word. I’ve taken pictures on at least two occasions. Once would do it for my purpose of finding an image. It’s art that’s gone now. I remember the controversy about destroying it. It was fun to see from the train. It was placed illegally upon someone’s wall. It became legendary. The owner repurposed the wall. The art is gone. It’s worth $6.7 million. It was there long enough to be considered valuable art.

Silvercup? This is a bread factory sign overlooking the Queensborough Bridge. As a kid we drove to Manhattan via this bridge. Each time we passed you could inhale the wondrously enticing smells emanating from the plant as fresh bread was baking 24/7. The place is a movie studio now. The sign has been preserved. It’s right next to 5Pointz. Signs are covered/developed/destroyed all the time. The argument here is/was a true conundrum.

Hey! I got an image that’s (art) gone now! I found it in my archive in short order. Sadly, I knew I had the image and it was indexed in a way that only I know. Shortly no one will be able to access this stuff without looking frame by frame. That would be 200, 000 plus (>300k) images. Nope. …it ain’t happening. Hey?! Are my images valuable? Nope. History.


Bulova

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I’ll bet you never heard this story. I was a kid. That would be less than third grade. I rode a bicycle around Elkins. In those days, I could ride unaccompanied and unfettered. At an intersection near home I found the workings of a Bulova watch lying on the pavement. The band and case were gone. I presumed the watch had fallen from a car and shattered. I was amazed that the watch was working. Yup, ticking, second hand sweeping, and the thing was keeping time. All day long I tested that watch by dropping it on the ground. Finally, hours later in the late afternoon the darned thing stopped working. There’s a moral to this story somewhere. But, after all these years I’m still stumped for something smart to say.


Random Luck

One of the things about freestyle travel is that you never know what you are getting next. We ate dinner in a ski resort/brewery. I’ve been skiing enough to know that you avoid places like this (in season or out). We stayed in one Airbnb in a terrible (but up and coming) neighborhood.

We stayed in a lovely place in Lenox. It’s part of the adventure. It’s nice if things are predictable. And I hate it when my guess/choice is not ideal. It always seems to work out. SFSG (so far so good) It helps to have an understanding travel companion….because and up and coming neighborhood looks pretty threatening in the dark of the night. Anything tends to look better with a little daylight.

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TSC – I don’t own a tractor

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I had never been. Now I have. It’s interesting. It’s a milder form of Cabello’s. No guns. But you get about anything else that has to do with hunting and fishing and tractors and …Yes, there is a completely different life out there. I still don’t have a tractor. I don’t figure to ever have one. Maybe I will ride on one someday.

Where have I been? Under a rock?


NY NY

We visited. The plan was to meet up with Jules later. The day was rainy. We walked midtown. Trump and his building were up Fifth Av. I did not care to be near the chaos. He was in town and demonstrators were in abundance. And, in the same walk (across town) was the Sullivan theater – Stephen Colbert, pundit and thorn in the side of POTUS. NY NY, it’s a helluva town!


Show and Tell

Passing through Ocean City… there was a fast car convention. It wasn’t official. It wasn’t sanctioned. The police were out in force. The cars were just revving and zooming around in a circle. It was a social media gathering. Everyone who was in the know was privy to knowing to be there. There were a lot of loud mufflers. Cars were circling and spectators were relaxing by the roadside. I got caught in the middle of the traffic jam. The old family car hardly looked souped up. Look at the tiny flat tires. They are awful on the road. You get a flat tire every time you hit a pot hole. And the rims get bent…. Good luck guys.