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4.4 out of 5 stars64
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 15 September 2010
A really thought provoking and inspirational book.

This careful (yet massively diverse and comprehensive) selection really helps to show the art and poetry that can be found in everyday situations on everyday streets. For any budding photographers it is a call to arms to load up and hit the streets.

I particularly like the 10 in depth stories told by the photographers on how one of their special photos came about.

100% inspirational and great value for money. Lovely quality print too.

Highly recommended.
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on 13 September 2010
A beautifully produced book showing the world's best street photography. It also explains what motivates and fascinates these 46 men and women contributors.

You close the book and still feel intrigued to understand more about the situations you've seen. Some are very amusing and uplifting, others leave you questioning and thoughtful. The pictures show you that wherever people are in the world they are consistently unaware of themselves and their actions.

I thought the interviews were very good and editorially perceptive. So much better than the usual assembly of disparate submissions. They give a real insight into the photographers and were suitably down to earth as is appropriate for street photography.

This is the most comprehensive book I've read on the subject to-date and it cleverly captures what makes street photographers tick.
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Street photography can include a variety of subject types including, but not limited to, portraits, landscapes, 'news events', and the unusual, out-of-place or just plain weird. Examples of all of these groups are in the book which contains examples by some reasonably well-known photographers and others less well-known (at least to me). There are some whose photographic activity is wholly of the 'street' variety and others whose interests are wider.

Many of the photographs are of the "I could have taken that" variety but being in the right place at the right time and having the ability to recognise the possibilities of the situation are very important and many would not be so aware. Having a camera at the ready for such eventualities is not something all would do although it is an often-repeated suggestion seen in photographic magazines and in books. It does not need to be an expensive, near top-of-the-range DSLR but could be a mid-priced compact with a modest zoom, although some situations may need a wide-aperture lens rather than one with a range of focal lengths, but probably pocket-sized and carried almost constantly.

The book title suggests that its content is principally fairly modern, which it is, but the idiom is considerably older and it would have been interesting to contrast the styles of some of the images with those of photographers of the late 20s and 30s including such proponents as Cartier-Bresson, Brassai and possibly Dorothea Lange whose styles and work could barely be more different. There are many others from the post-WW2 period, and especially of the 60s and 70s when the idiom was possibly most practised, without whose ground-breaking efforts many of today's photographers would not have had the ideas or inspiration. It is considerably more likely that the older works of some of these past masters will be remembered when many of the modern images in this book will be long forgotten. However, it is possible that some images will gain a certain 'historical importance' as have some of the images of the past and thus be better remembered than others.

I do not believe that this is the best possible collection, or necessarily the worst. It is certainly a representative collection but some of the images could be stronger or more memorable. I cannot know how the images were chosen and why others were rejected and, at the end of the day, it is the authors' and photo editors' choices. I respect their decisions although I may not necessarily concur. Although I do not believe that a full 5-star rating is justified, it would be churlish to offer fewer.

A good offering if not an excellent one. Recommended.
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on 22 February 2011
Superbly edited and well produced book that fills a definite gap in the market. The many earlier books on the subject concentrate mainly on the past, but this book is bang up to date with inspiring work from international photographers. In view of the many high quality photos it is excellent value for money.
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on 12 April 2011
This is a really top quality book. I could not believe how heavy it is.There is lots of general writing about street photography and also short articles on some well known photographers to accompany a small selection of their pictures.
Every page has photos in colour or black and white, I love this type of photography and practice it myself. The pictures really are inspirational.
I find there are times when I feel like I am the only person doing it. " You will get in to trouble one day" my wife keeps telling me. Now I can show her the book and she can see what other people do and the social importance (historically) of doing it.
The exhibition was well worth going to see.
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on 15 November 2010
I first saw this book in the Tate Modern and put of buying it until I got back home, knowing Amazon was cheaper. I then put off buying it again and it was soon sold out at Amazon! I finally got the last copy at the Tate Modern and hence my first lesson learnt is buy books from Amazon when you see them, not later.

To the book ...

It is a truly fantastic collection of todays very best street photographers, displaying there greatest work and with some insights into their thoughts and techniques. I cannot fail to be inspired when I flick through it and it is one of the few photograph books I have bought this year which also contacts a number of excellent articles. Yes, it might pull together thoughts from blogs and other articles but it always points you in the direction to get more information and really encourages you to dig deeper in this amazing art.

If you get the chance, buy this book. You will not regret it.
0Comment|15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I really did enjoy this book as it opened my eyes to certain aspects of street photography I hadn't considered. Posed shots. Now you can say I am naive but I did seem to think that street photographers did walk around all day looking for compositions. However, its the Santa syndrome. That does always happen. There is a great chapter at the rear of the book which confirms that there are some street photographers pose their shots. And yes I did know of the controversy over those shots taking in Times square and eveb Capa's famous shot during the Spaniah Civil War. Saying that I now believe that some of those Cartier-Bresson images are staged, well the early ones. makes you look at street photography with new eyes.

I can't say that I liked all the contributions. Some images were like snap shots of nothing in particular. However some did warrant a second and third look as sometimes it is quite easy to miss the point of the image or some small intricate part of the image.

Over the years my taste has changed and from Cartier-Bresson (who doesn't like his style?) to Martin Parr who I really didn't get for years. The book looks at a number of world wide photographers with small biographies of their thoughts of their work. It works ok.... until the conservation at the rear of the book. This is a worldwide conversation with 6 or so street photographers discussing their art. All of a sudden their egos become apparent and what is cheap easy snaps (I am not saying they are not skilful) becomes something more when the photographers talk. I regret that leaves me cold. Yes this is an art form, not unlike street art by Banksy, but its really nothing to massage your ego with. I cant recall either Cartier-Bresson or Martin Parr praising their own work, but rather discussing the why and wherefores.

If you like street photography this is a good book to have. not just to study the images, but to read the chapters and the comments.

I see that there is alleged plagiarism. Thats regretful because of thats correct, as highlighted bt another reviewer, then that cheapens this book somewhat.

Its a 4 from me. If you want to see 5's get Henri- Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Martin Parr, Eugene Smith, et al to get a better reflection on the art.
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on 12 February 2012
I just wanted a serious selection of modern street photographs and I got it. The book is about a presentation of a set of street photographers, some known to me, some not. The selection is very heterogeneous, both between the photographers and within their selected portfolio. I like a lot of the pictures proposed and use the book for viewing and maybe inspiration.
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on 4 November 2010
I was disappointed to see the stuff about plagiarism, but am in no position to comment. However as a photographer specialising in Street Work I feel I can comment on the images used in this book. They are great, about as good a set of the finest quality street work you will get anywhere, a true celebration of humanity and the art photographer. Some of the pictures are laugh out loud, some very sad, some deeply affecting and profound. I'm really sorry if the text has been plagiarised, it's very good. I note one of the reviewers said that the book had been withdrawn from the UK which is odd as i bought the book in Waterstones in Brighton yesterday (4/11/10), my daughter tells me they also have it in her local Waterstones in North London. Also, for once, it was a lot cheaper than on Amazon, £29.95 to be exact.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 28 October 2013
Street photography is clearly not easy. The shifting composition of the street, the difficulty of getting close enough (but maybe not too close), and the modern suspicion of photography in public places all combine to make it a challenge.

This rather good book looks at the work of a number of street photographers, who all meet these, and other challenges, in a variety of ways to produce a body of varied and interesting work.

There are a number of longer chapter that explore the "philosophy" of street photography, as well as shorter accounts of the specific works of each photographer. So far so good.

Many of the pictures are really interesting - full of great composition, found humor and visual puns. And even on repeat viewing (and reading) I found things I had not noticed before. Still so good so far.

But I can help wonder about some of the images here. Some of the pictures seem to be about the power of the photographer to show people in as ugly a light as possible; the awkward looks on peoples faces, the distortion caused by short focal length lenses, the broken clothes. Here the power rests with the photographer who seems to be saying -"look at these" and of course, "don't look at me, because I am not like that".

I am not suggesting that street photography should be all about cute dogs and bunches of flowers, but the ethic of ugliness seems to go unchallenged.

This is an interesting book that I would recommend - but I think some sections would benefit from a more critical eye.
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