Colour street photographers?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by earthmanbuck, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. earthmanbuck

    earthmanbuck No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I know very little about the history of photography, and aside from a few very famous names, don't know too many photographers either. Someone here recently mentioned a few photographers that I looked up and really like a lot: Saul Leiter, Ernst Haas, and Fred Herzog. (I've tried searching the forum and can't find this post again, so whoever it was: thank you.) I've been trying to find other photographers I might like, but I'm discovering an awful lot of them shoot (or shot) exclusively in B&W—and while I have absolutely nothing against B&W, I've been feeling colour lately.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for photographers with a similar aesthetic to any of the above three? It doesn't necessarily have to be street photography, but I generally prefer more candid stuff.


     
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  2. thedingo0099

    thedingo0099 TPF Noob!

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    I'm assuming you're looking for living photographers. In a way, that's the best possible state to be in if you want to take photographs - living, that is.
    Martin Parr is still alive and he does some very unusual stuff. He's about my age so we have that in common, not that it's important, but it's hard to relate to the photography of the New when youré over 70.
    Stephen Shore might still be alive. I'm just going from memory at the moment. He's also an old bloke if he is.
    Steve Mc Curry is well known. He's more of a travel photographer than a serious street photographer but he does colour - overdoes it if you ask me (although I noticed you didn't).

    "Feeling" colour, as you put it, is better than feeling ill or small children so I'd stay with that if that's what you want. There's a bit of a tradition with some who feel that they should stay with the old masters in the hope that someone will be awed by their mimicking. That's OK. If you have a digital camera you'll shoot in colour anyway - at least that's the way it usually appears in the thumbnail. You can flip it back and forth from B&W to colour in the editing to see what you 'feel' suits the circumstances. Colour is a design element.That means its used to design the final product. Sometimes colour is everything, like in a flower, and sometimes it's a screen to what lays beneath, such as tones. Pay attention to how the B&W photographers use tone (shades of grey) to create shapes and form.

    Back in my day (I had more sex appeal back then) it was pretty much all shades of grey (more than 50, possibly, although I only counted 10). It was a great way to learn how to put together a photo without the glitz and bling of colour. Its not harder or easier with colour or without; it's different. Be brave. Use each.
     
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  3. SCraig

    SCraig Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Those you mentioned used black and white because that's what they had. They were all three born between 1920 and 1930 whereas color film didn't even get its start until the early 1940's. Their mentors would have used B&W and the knowledge that they passed along would have been based on black and white so they were effectively brought up on it.

    When I started in the mid 60's color was in widespread use however it was not something someone could process in a home darkroom whereas B&W was. We used what we could work with and progressed from there. I personally left B&W behind when it became possible for me to process color in my darkroom at a reasonable cost and never looked back.

    The real question, in my opinion, is: If color processing had been available at their time would many of the so-called "Old Masters" still would have used black and white?
     
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  4. thedingo0099

    thedingo0099 TPF Noob!

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    Keep in mind that the color you see isn't always the color you get or want.
    There's a tendency for over-saturation with those who don't not have a good understanding of how color works on our perception. Start gently. Reduce the intensity of colors that are overpowering. Use colors to connect different parts of the picture. Find out which colors are associated with particular 'feelings'. There's nothing special bout this and it can change with different cultures and 'fashion'. Like the boy/blue-girl/pink thing which used to be the other way around. Like red for danger, fast, evil, warm and blue for cool, sad.
     
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  5. thedingo0099

    thedingo0099 TPF Noob!

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    It doesn't need to be B&W either. All sorts of tones can be added for dramatic or historical effect.
    None of this is new under the sun. We can do it faster and not smell like a toilet in a drug lab (unless you imbibe during your editing, which could be a thing)
    The nice thing is that when you experiment you can revert back to safe ground any time. At the end of the day you'll be the one who looks at it.
     
  6. waday

    waday Do one thing every day that scares you Supporting Member

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    @earthmanbuck , also check out Phil Marion's photography. He's a member (@Philmar) of this forum. Also, search for his Flickr account. Truly amazing work.
     
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  7. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The two styles/technologies/methodologies have different things that work.

    (personal anecdote) When I was "into" B&W, I did it mostly because I could process my own film, and therefore save money over shooting with color film and paying for processing.

    I would look for things that might look good in B&W, so it was more like; form, texture, line, etc. rather than colors.

    I think you could just go on ahead and make your photographs as you see fit, then you will have that body of work.
     
  8. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Garry Winogrand, Joel Meyerowitz, Mary Ellen Mark, Elliott Erwitt. More portrait related, Arnold Newman.

    To go back earlier (and back to more B&W) Robert Doisneau, Weegee, Berenice Abbott, Eugene Atget, Robert Capa, Dorothea Lange. And Bresson of course. Look up Magnum Photos, the agency Bresson started.

    My favorite is Kertesz. One of the best books I got not too long ago was 'Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand' from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (which wasn't a bad price but by now may be out of print). But you could look at the museum's online collection.
     
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  9. earthmanbuck

    earthmanbuck No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks everyone, some good recommendations in here!

    Just to clarify: I like black & white photography just fine, and can understand the historical, practical, and artistic reasons for its use. My reason for making this thread was just that I happened to discover some photographers who used colour in a way I really like, and I was looking for names of other similar photographers, and my experience has been that it's a lot easier to find B&W street photography than colour stuff.
     

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