To me, the recent use of the term street photographer is similar to calling oneself artist or art photographer with an intention to add artificial value. I don’t think any respectable practitioner worth their salt would proclaim themselves with this title in this day and age. Nonetheless it appears that it is often banded around, especially on the social interwebs, with an intention to gain credibility or cool the same way teenagers would display branded clothes or gear to gain attention from peers or lowly outsiders.
Photographing strangers in public is neither new, nor does it deserve our increased attention or respect, especially when it is obvious that the photographer has no real interest in the subject except as a means to get the next best 15 seconds of fame and bizarrely unreal looking decisive moment. What Shinya Arimoto is presenting here could not be more different. The photos show that an interaction between photographer and subject must have taken place before and during which the photographs were made. Arimoto does not steal the moment while passing a subject and never shall the two meet again; instead he engages on a fair exchange, respectful and sustainable so that an ensuing photographic encounter would not appear unreasonable to either side.
Please also see this interview with the photographer by photographer John Sypal.
“Shinya Arimoto Gallery” http://t.co/qMtUvg8CNl
Shinya Arimoto Gallery http://t.co/LxoHmXaBYq
RT @Level20EastGuy: Profile of Japanese photographer Shinya Arimoto, with curious remarks about the vacuity of “street photographers” http:…
great street photographer….john sypal, good work.
I regret to say that you do not have a clue as to what street photography means. You are most likely very young, late twenties or early thirties and do not know the history of this very well known and respected genre. People who practice and enjoy street photographer do not consider the subject as the end all. It is also not a crime to consider yourself an artist. Street shooters are not overly concerned with the subject’s feelings about being filmed. What we look for is the humor and visual magic that occurs at these visual junctions – the observer and the observed. For someone to tattoo themselves from neck to feet and then get angry for receiving attention is a bit silly. Exhibitionists and street photographers thrive on each other. I began filming life on the streets on New York in 1980 and have been doing it for over 33 years in over 29 countries. In many parts of the world, everything there is to see and enjoy happens on the street and not in the private confines of a studio or home. And there are enough NY, LA, Paris and Berlin galleries that consider good street work – art. I care little for titles. Just make pictures that are worth looking at.