Sunday, 2 November 2014

Stephen Dupont: Portraits of tribal life in Papua New Guinea Not much to say about this really. It reflects my view that "true" documentary requires genuine time and engagement with the subject.

On the back of this I can't help questioning if "street photography" as currently defined/practised is documentary at all. What is it documenting? As far as I can see it is, often as not, simply collecting random stuff, with no programme or purpose other than to photograph on the street - which  captures a thought Szarkowski attributed to Eggleston in the preface to the latter's Guide, "...that the nominal subjects of his pictures were no more than a pretext for making colour photographs." Szarkowski notes that he did not believe him and proceeds to explain why - in a nutshell " is a matter of intelligence, imagination, intensity, precision and coherence." If Szarkowski's insight is valid - how does much modern street photography, or alleged documentary in general, measure up? 

No comments:

Post a Comment