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Thread: My Brand Of Street Photography

  1. #1
    meltimtiman's Avatar
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    My Brand Of Street Photography

    Please delete if you find this offensive. This is my style of street photography, capturing true colors and emotions of people on the street. In this photo, a family gathers trash and sells them for food.
    Last edited by meltimtiman; 31st January 2011 at 01:04 PM. Reason: I think I hit a nerve somewhere

  2. #2
    Snarkbyte's Avatar
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    Re: My Brand Of Street Photography

    I can't speak for the Admins and Moderators, of course, but I don't personally find this the least bit offensive. It's real life featuring real people doing what they have to do to survive. An interesting shot that speaks volumes. Well done.

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    Re: My Brand Of Street Photography

    I think it is a good street photo - the message is loud and clear. Sometimes street photos can have uncomfortable content but this photo has treated it in an honest and non licencious way so I cannot see an issue with it.

    For the technical part (which is the least important part of it) a slightly shallower DOF would give better isolation of the subject. It is hard to get the DOF right for street photos.
    Last edited by Kentboy; 31st January 2011 at 06:26 AM.

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    Re: My Brand Of Street Photography

    Well, I am sure nobody would find that offensive in any way, as it is not offensive.
    Well I agree with Brian about DoF, but now the shot being taken, I feel adding vignetting to the shot can help eliminate the busy sides...

  5. #5
    rob marshall

    Re: My Brand Of Street Photography

    I might be wrong (and I apologize if I am) but I think I can see genitalia of the child.

    As for the shot - it's very powerful, but the background needs to be much more blurred, and the third leg is a problem (between the woman's legs).

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    Re: My Brand Of Street Photography

    Rob, I am sure you are right. If that was me or my child, would I be offended by having this photo taken / viewed / published without my knowledge, I think the answer would most definitely be yes.

  7. #7
    meltimtiman's Avatar
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    Re: My Brand Of Street Photography

    I just have to delete this as I feel it was offensive. Thanks for those who gave their comments. I appreciate your concern. I hope you will continue to view my photos.

    Mel

  8. #8
    meltimtiman's Avatar
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    Re: My Brand Of Street Photography

    How about this one??

    My Brand Of Street Photography

    A man sleeps in his push cart under a train station.
    Last edited by meltimtiman; 2nd February 2011 at 01:24 AM. Reason: added a description

  9. #9
    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: My Brand Of Street Photography

    Nice shot, Tim. Where is this in Manila? Somewhere along Taft Avenue? I like the way you positioned the lines diagonally. With respect to composition and choice of subject, this is really great. My only nit is the post-processing. It seems that this one is tone-mapped a little bit and the sharpening was a bit much. I maybe wrong so beforehand I stand corrected. I'd probably tone down the highlights a little bit and increase the contrast. This shot would be a good candidate of B&W conversion. Another good work coming from you, Mel. Good Job.

    I hope you don't mind, Mel. I tried to work on your image and this is what I came up with.

    My Brand Of Street Photography

    The highlights was lessened a little bit and the sharpening was backed off by about 23%. Then I did some selective dodging and burning. I hope I did not offend you, Mel. Thanks for being a sport.
    Last edited by jiro; 2nd February 2011 at 02:13 AM.

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    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: My Brand Of Street Photography

    Hi Mel,

    Street photography is something you enjoy and you should persevere with it. Street photography by its nature tends to be raw and edgy. I can see both points of view about the first image but I am pleased you have posted another.

    Having said that I agree with Jiro.

  11. #11
    meltimtiman's Avatar
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    Re: My Brand Of Street Photography

    A great big WOW!!! Thanks Jiro. The colors came out perfect, terrific, fantastic!!! I love it!!! Thanks for the time spent in tweaking it.

    Have you been to Manila, Jiro? This is along Recto Avenue, the center of Manila. I was on my way home from a photowalk when I saw this person sleeping along that busy and noisy avenue. Was just lucky I had the 70-200mm on my camera. I gathered this person collects brown boxes and trash and sell them at a junk shop everyday.

    Yes, Peter, street photography is something I love doing. I little dangerous doing it with a long, white lens, though especially in that area where people get stabbed for a cheap cellphone or a baseball cap. But I enjoy it a lot. Its capturing the true and undilluted emotions and colors of people on the steet.

    Again, thanks for your comments. I appreciate it so much.

  12. #12
    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: My Brand Of Street Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by meltimtiman View Post
    ...Have you been to Manila, Jiro? This is along Recto Avenue, the center of Manila.
    Yes, Mel. Not only have I been, but I was born and raised in Manila. I miss our homeland, but as always... we have to be where our family is. Keep up the good work. I'm now always looking after what you'll post next.

  13. #13
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: My Brand Of Street Photography

    Mel

    I'm sorry you felt it appropriate to withdraw your first image. I didn't see it as exploitative, gratuitous or offensive. I think you were honestly and in good faith, presenting a well-crafted, hard-hitting commentary of life on the street in your part of the world.

    There are, of course, forever issues for us around the issue of consent when we are intending to make and display images of other human beings. But for those taking a photo-journalistic/documentary approach to their work, seeking consent is not always possible nor, indeed, desirable. You are seeking to portray real-life - good, bad or indifferent.

    If you do that with respect and not in a manner that seeks to demean or ridicule, you are serious about what you are doing and act with integrity, then I think that honest approach is evident in the work.

  14. #14
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: My Brand Of Street Photography

    I've just had a very constructive exchange of PMs with another member about my comments, which made me reflect further on the subject.

    I was approaching the issue, obviously, from my child protection perspective as well as from my 'photographer' perspective (for those who don't know, I am a child protection professional working across social services, education, law enforcement and health services in a strategic role planning and developing services).

    The image would not be considered exploitative in a child protection arena under any model currently practiced in 'western' societies (either the Australian/American/UK judicial-focused approach or the Northern and Central European welfare-focused approach to child protection). I feel pretty confident in saying that the purpose of the image made was not for the purposes of providing any stimulus for sexual arousal. It was not an image from which the photographer could have sought to gain by virtue of the fact that a child's genitals were visible.

    I've just finished analysing a major Significant Case Review that was recently published in the UK in relation to a case that attracted a lot of national media attention. This was the case of a nursery worker have been lured into a 'net' online by a paedophile. He persuaded her and two other women who worked in nursery schools to take exploitative photos (on their mobile/cell phones) of the children they were caring for and to post them online for him.

    The sole purpose of the photos was to provide sexual gratficiation to an adult. Now, this was exploitative sexual abuse and all involved are now serving long jail terms.

    Instead, I saw Mel's image more akin to this:
    My Brand Of Street Photography
    Associated Press

    I don't think there is anyone who would deny this was one of the most powerful images of the Vietnam war and contributed significantly to the rise in the movement that grew all over the world for that war to be brought to an end. And I don't think anyone has ever suggested that it's exploitative.

    I saw Mel's image in very much the same way.
    Last edited by Donald; 2nd February 2011 at 09:41 AM.

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    Re: My Brand Of Street Photography

    I was in too minds about it to be honest. It didn't offend me in any way, but on the other hand, I suspect Liz may well be right in saying that "If that was me or my child, would I be offended by having this photo taken / viewed / published without my knowledge". Having just said that however, the laws of most countries would probably allow it's lawful publication.

    So with all things considered - if it were me - I'd probably just apply some pixelation and/or blur to the appropriate area. Not in any way a "CiC directive", just my personal view.

  16. #16
    rob marshall

    Re: My Brand Of Street Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    The image would not be considered exploitative in a child protection arena under any model currently practiced in 'western' societies (either the Australian/American/UK judicial-focused approach or the Northern and Central European welfare-focused approach to child protection). I feel pretty confident in saying that the purpose of the image made was not for the purposes of providing any stimulus for sexual arousal. It was not an image from which the photographer could have sought to gain by virtue of the fact that a child's genitals were visible.
    Very interesting, Donald. I'm glad this has opened up as the thing as I'm interested in is how things are perceived in different countries and cultures in relation to shots such as these. If I were interested in poverty in the UK and wanted to show that pictorially, I might go to a poor, run-down housing estate in the hope of getting a similar shot to that which Mel posted. But instead of Manila, I could go to somewhere in the UK and take a shot (I've never done this BTW) from a public place of an obviously hard-up mother struggling to control a toddler. Let us say the shot I got inadvertently showed the exposed genitalia of the child, and I subsequently posted that image on this forum. In your opinion a) would there be more, less, or about the same level of reaction as there was to Mel's shot? and b) would it still pass the test of the model you mentioned, provided I stated that it was just in the interests of exposing poverty?

    There are incosnistent standards applied to these things. Not on this forum, but in our western culture. Why is quite OK to shoot/film badly injured people in an Afghanistan or Iraq hospital after a suicide bomber, yet the same level of image intrusion would not (and is not) tolerated in the UK or the US?

    Why is that every time I go to a cmera club exhibition I see the ubiquitous shots of poor peasant girls on donkey-carts in Indonesia (or wherever) but I never see any of poor kids playing in run-down streets of Newcastle (there goes the Newcastle members) We used to have shots like that from Picture Post etc, but not now, yet it's quite OK to have them from abroad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    The sole purpose of the photos was to provide sexual gratficiation to an adult. Now, this was exploitative sexual abuse and all involved are now serving long jail terms.
    I think some people get sexual gratification from things that are not obviously sexual?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    I don't think there is anyone who would deny this was one of the most powerful images of the Vietnam war and contributed significantly to the rise in the movement that grew all over the world for that war to be brought to an end. And I don't think anyone has ever suggested that it's exploitative.
    Interesting one that. Kim Phuc is still alive and living in Canada, I think. I wonder what she does think about it all. I don't think it's one of the most powerful images, I think it's the most powerful image, and it's no doubt why it won Nick Ut a Pulitzer prize.

  17. #17
    rob marshall

    Re: My Brand Of Street Photography

    Mel

    You could do as Colin suggested and pixelate or black out the part of the shot that might be offensive, then repost it?

  18. #18
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: My Brand Of Street Photography

    Rob

    I agree with your views re the way we process and develop our attitudes. As you suggest, it's perfectly okay for 'nasty' photos to be shown of 'them', but not of 'us'. We operate huge double standards.

    I was suggesting how I think it would be perceived within the professional environs of the child protection community. Public and media reaction might be (and very often is) very, very different. And what a 'reasonable person' (which is another staple of Scots and English law) would think about the appropriateness of child's genitalia being exposed in the image (notwithstanding the making of the image was not an abusive act), is yet another dimension.

    From a child protection perspective, in the jurisdictions of the UK (and it is broadly the same in the countries and continents referred to in my post above), the test is whether the activity is causing or could cause significant harm (of course, the law being the law, doesn't precisely define 'significant harm' and the debate still rages on). So, irrespective of whether or not a person might be breaking any statute, the test is whether the child is being or is likely to be, caused significant harm.

    Regarding Kim Phuc, Denise Chong's book; 'The Girl in the Picture ...' is still in publication.
    Last edited by Donald; 2nd February 2011 at 02:37 PM.

  19. #19
    meltimtiman's Avatar
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    Mel Timtiman

    Re: My Brand Of Street Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by meltimtiman View Post
    Please delete if you find this offensive. This is my style of street photography, capturing true colors and emotions of people on the street. In this photo, a family gathers trash and sells them for food.
    Thank you very much for viewing that photo. The same photo created a stir when I posted it in a Manila based photo forum and just like here, there was a healthy discussion on the rights of the child and the message of the photo. It was not my objective to expose the child's genitalia but to tell a story how a family tries everything to survive. In that Manila based photo forum, I asked the moderators to delete my post if they find it offensive. They didn't want to because just like Al said and I quote, "It's real life featuring real people doing what they have to do to survive. An interesting shot that speaks volumes. Well done."

    @Rob: I am a newbie in both photography and post processing. I still dont know how to pixelate or blur a part of a photo. Please bear with me as I am still learing how to do that. I just learned how to make frames yesterday after reading Jiro's suggestion to put frames on my photos

    @Donald: Comparing my photo to the Vietnam War photo humbled me so much. If I remember right, the girl had to remove her clothes after her village was hit with napalm. A very powerful photo indeed that it won the Pulitzer Prize and The World Press Photo of the Year for 1972.

    My apologies if my photo brought you discomfort. That was never my intention. Time for us to move forward, besides, I have a lot of more interesting street photos waiting to be posted. Not as controversial but a lot more interesting.

    Thank you so much for your time and your comments. As usual, I appreciate it a lot.

    Mel

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