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Nov 7, 2023Liked by Mark McGuire

Oh dear... you got political. Sorry, but I don't agree with your pro-Palestine rhetoric.

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Hi, Owen. I realise that not everyone will share my perspective on this issue. Hopefully, we can agree to disagree. It isn't my intention to turn this street photography Substack into a vehicle for my political views.

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Yes, it is a divisive issue, but I think there is one side which has acted with particular lack of morality. I write a blog where vigorous debate is encouraged, but I wouldn’t have thought a photo site was the right place for it. That’s why I was bit surprised.

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I saw this post as a show of compassion for fellow human beings.

And this line at the end is something so many people take for granted: "I am fortunate to live in a safe place where I have access to food, clean water, electricity, medical care, and the Internet."

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Nov 8, 2023Liked by Mark McGuire

I appreciate this post. Neutrality is complicity when crime is happening. I condemn the actions of Hamas, I condemn the historic and ongoing racist actions of the Israeli government being careful to never conflate the Israeli government with Judaism. Re photography I wonder how you see the relationship between street and journalistic photography?

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Nov 8, 2023·edited Nov 8, 2023Author

That's a really good question, Stewart.

There's a scene in the movie, 'McCurry: The Pursuit of Colour' (https://mccurrythemovie.com/) where Steve McCurry is asked about modifying images that appear to be examples of photojournalism or street photography. He explained that he is an artist, not a journalist. In an interview published in TIME Magazine in 2016 (https://time.com/4351725/steve-mccurry-not-photojournalist/), he said “I’ve always let my pictures do the talking, but now I understand that people want me to describe the category into which I would put myself, and so I would say that today I am a visual storyteller”.

Images can be easily moved between Lightroom and Photoshop. Most image processing software invites us to improve, alter, and invent as part of our normal workflow. Does the rubbish bin ruin the shot? Clone it out. Is the sky a bit flat? Replace it. The distinction between categories, and between fact and fiction, have become blurred.

In my opinion, if we want the viewer to believe that a photograph is a true record of what the photographer actually witnessed, then it is best to limit the editing by enhancing the brightness, contrast, saturation, and so on, in ways that remain true to what was actually seen. If, instead, the intention is to tell a good and convincing story (a lie used to tell a greater truth), then it should be clear to the viewer that the image is a work of fiction. Many artists like to dance on the edge of this distinction in order to increase engagement.

To quote a TV ad I remember from some time ago, "Does she...or doesn't she? Only her hairdresser knows for sure" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXkzl2I5CH8&ab_channel=VintageRose).

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Nov 8, 2023Liked by Mark McGuire

Thanks for these thoughts. Journalistic photography would seem to assume, as you say, truth telling relative to what would be commonly observed. And street photography benefits from the liberties of editing that you describe. And I would add it does not involve so much editing that it leads the viewer to focus on the image itself, detracting from the story. I wonder what category would apply to photos that do invite a consciousness of the medium itself...

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Photos that draw attention to the medium itself can be entertaining and thought provoking. I will try to think of some good examples (perhaps for a future post). In general, though, I think a considered work of art contains the rules by which it is to be judged. It should be clear to the viewer what the photographer is trying to do and say.

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Nov 8, 2023Liked by Mark McGuire

Thanks for covering this march Mark, the weather didn't deter anyone and you got some great action pics.

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Thanks Theresa. Everyone got pretty wet but, as you say, no one seemed too bothered by the weather. Once you're wet, you don't have to care anymore. I thought it was a very successful march. Unfortunately, I will be out of town for the rally this Saturday, but I'll attend subsequent ones. We have to make sure people pay attention to what's going on.

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