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Monday, October 09, 2006

J. Buhler's Day Off

Every now and then I just have to post a particularly great shot from Water Molotov. Look at this one for a minute—just look at it. That's from life; you can't make stuff like that up. I admit the tones seem all wrong to me, but man, if you don't like this, I don't know how you could still say you like photography.



Blogger Max said...

The poses, the balloon, it's incredible.

7:25 AM  
Blogger Charlie Didrickson said...

Superb shot,

I shoot a bunch on the street.........seems many people are creating very nice images these day's.

I won't mention the site or photogs names but I swear a too large number of "street shots" I see are the result of setting up and waiting for the shot to come together.

While many make me smile and are rather ironic, they seem to lack that immediacy and "moment" that happens when you truly "catch" a shot.

The shot you posted is a great example of the photographer becoming invisible. In other words......I don't feel like I am looking at a photo made by a photographer, I feel I am part of the scene.

Make any sense or do I need more coffee and better writing skills?

Thanks very much for this post.

9:25 AM  
Blogger clive said...

Far too interesting to be real.................clearly all done in photoshop..............

12:05 PM  
Blogger Richard Sintchak said...

I agree in many respects with Charlie. This one is a very good shot and I like it a lot (though agree the tone is sort of weird, almost like a neg that was not fixed enough or something....) Does seem though most "street" shots these days are from too far away or lack soul.

The in-public website for example (, which I think considers itself some kind of exclusive club of torch-bearers of modern street photography, seems to me more to resemble stills from America's Funniest Home Videos or something than strong, soulful street photography of depth. A women sticking her head way into a baby's stroller, a guy grabbing his girl's butt, another ass-crack, or person lined up against a painting or billboard in a humorous way...etc. Too many shots of quirky, funny moments on the street that while a capture of a moment still lack the soul, spirit and depth of classic street photographers of the past like HCB, Brassai, Doisneau, Levitt, Evans and Smith. Or even a more modern master like Meyerowitz.

Somehow there is a severe lack of street photographers these days who are unable to bring themselves into the fold of the atmosphere and the world of their subjects to bring out the real sense and experience of the moment or the street or neighborhood they are capturing. The look and feel are too often from afar or from the outside looking in. Or like I said, quirkiness.

I prefer street shots that make me stop and say: “Whoa, that’s amazing, what a capture, what a moment….”, not shots that make me guffaw and say “Ha! Good one!”.

I'm as guilty in my work as many others and struggle myself to try to make good street photography happen or to find it. Some of this may have to do with today's more suspicious world and the greater prevalence of cameras too, I guess. But to me silly, quirky moments on the street, and waiting for them to happen, are fun, but they are not art.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Eric Hancock said...

The tones are totally crazy, but what a wonderful shot. Like the balloon is erasing the cop.

9:58 PM  
Blogger Charlie Didrickson said...

Hey Richard,

You read my mind............while said website as we both agree has some quirky and humorous images. Actually some downright fantastic ones as well. I can't help but think many loose impact because I think at least a # of them must be set up. (i'd love to be proved wrong) but I have looked at every image on that site many times.

We all write our own story and see things as unique emotional individuals (I hope)

Not trying to start a rant or bad mouth anybody or their work.........just my own observation that you seemed to pick up on.

Thanks for the conversation

10:00 PM  
Blogger Red Dawn said...

Hi Charlie,

Actually, a great proportion of good "street photography" involves setting up and waiting for THE shot to come together, albeit we don't know for sure what THE shot is. Sam Abell, David Alan Harvey, Garry Winogrand and I'm sure, HCB all work that way.

For example, you see the school gate with many pple milling around, you see the sunset falling on the iron gates and the people in a brillant way, you stroll around the area slowly, with camera ready in hand at waist level, waiting for something to happen.

And in a twinkling of an eye, a mother begins to leans forward to kiss her daughter, u lift up the camera to ur eye, and snap, you take the picture. Now maybe the mother is just leaning forward to hug her daughter. We don't know. But that moment of anticipation, when we lift up the camera to our eye, that's when a great moment can potentially be captured if she indeed kisses her daughter.

Actually she hugging her daughter wouldn't be too bad a picture!

The "setting up" and "waiting" was the idea of waiting around the school gate in the setting sun for _something_ to happen.

1:42 AM  
Blogger Charlie Didrickson said...

Red dawn said,

The "setting up" and "waiting" was the idea of waiting around the school gate in the setting sun for _something_ to happen.

Sure..............but that is not my point. In fact I am not sure my point matters.

In the end, if the shot reaches me in some emotional or evocative way and or, just downright appeals to matters little HOW it was captured.

Again, it was more an observation, and I don't hold close any real rules or mantra about what "street photography" is. I certainly don't want to come accross as though I am somehow "right" about any of this.

I should have worded my first comment different. I said:

I won't mention the site or photogs names but I swear a too large number of "street shots" I see are the result of setting up and waiting for the shot to come together.

I mean truely setting up the shot.

If I send my friend......who has a t-shirt that says "cash" on it into a bank, and have him walk out the front door and take a pic of him.......clearly coming out of a "bank" building. Is that a "street shot"?

Again, I want to be proven wrong, and good chance I am, but I think this kind of thing is going on and is being touted as "street"

Hell.......I am probably wrong and maybe I am just envious of these grerat shots.

Who knows?

8:13 AM  
Blogger Albano Garcia said...

Oh, well... Doisneau's famous kiss picture was set up, both kissers are models and the photo is still great. And by the way, Juan doesn't sets up nothing, nor he makes photoshop composites, he simply is a tremenous, excellent street photographer.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Charlie Didrickson said...

Hi Albano,

Pardon my ignorance but who is Jaun?

And by the way, Juan doesn't sets up nothing, nor he makes photoshop composites, he simply is a tremenous, excellent street photographer.


9:50 AM  
Blogger clive said...

I guess you never heard of irony.............

11:24 AM  
Blogger Albano Garcia said...

Juan Buhler, the man who uses the camera and posts the pics on Water Molotov. And Clive, I heard of irony, but so much nonsense is put on the net that sometimes it gets readed "as is" and not as inverse meaning.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Charlie Didrickson said...

clive said: I guess you never heard of irony.............

I assume this is directed to me?

Bad guess........anyway

Go back and read my lousy attempt at making my point.

Irony is what I and many are after in "street" stuff. If I in fact set up the "cash" scenerio I may very well end up with an amazingly IRONIC image.

Personally I'd rather live my life knowing those moments, with any luck, an observant eye and quick thinking are POSSIBLE. If I "pre visualize" the scenario and go out and make it, that strips me of a big chunk of why I like street shooting.

Know what I mean?

2:24 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I love this photo also reality is hard to capture in the moment like this one.

4:13 PM  
Blogger t.henthorn said...

this photo reminded me of the BRASSAI image "the balloon seller" and this image is so close to my heart that i am forever looking for an original print...if anyone has or knows of where i can buy one, please let me know, i will pay almost anything if the quality and condition is good.



11:13 AM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

Keep checking Artnet, or contact Kathleen Ewing at Kathleen Ewing Gallery in Washington, D.C. She's the president of AIPAD, the Association of International Photography Art Dealers, and she might know where in the world one is for sale.

All best, Mike

2:47 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

thanks for the information...contacted her today and await a response.

thanks again


6:18 AM  

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