Customer Review

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a read., 30 Aug 2011
This review is from: Street Photography Now (Hardcover)
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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