Favorites: Mira Heo

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As I said before, I’m going to start featuring some of my favorite photographers on my blog. Here goes!

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I often look at flickr hoping to be inspired by great, unique photos. Unfortunately, that rarely happens. The nature of the flickr beast is that it consists of a lot of photographers posting the same kinds of photography in order to garner attention from other trend-following photographers. It’s hard to find someone that sets themselves apart from the crowd and knock my socks of with consistently fresh, excellent material.

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One of the people who does achieve this is Mira Heo. She’s a Korean portrait/fashion photographer who is always trying something new. I can look at her entire photostream and genuinely say I like it all.

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Take some time to check her out on flickr and facebook. I think you’ll be happy you did!

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By the way, if you know any great photographers and would like to share, please comment!

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Wild and Crazy Kids

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East Asia and America are different, if you hadn’t heard. One of the differences is each place’s approach to kids. In China and Korea, adults are less protective of their children when it comes to strangers. Why? I could come up with a myriad of brociological explanations, but I’ll spare you for now.

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The upside of this is that kids are more likely to harass you. Take this pair for instance. They called me fat. Then they screamed at me for a little while as I made faces at them. Or a while back at a Korean restaurant. A little boy couldn’t stop pretending to shoot me in the face. The kids are fearless and the parents don’t mind.

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And I don’t either. Actually, I have a confession to make. I was overjoyed when my little cousins got to the age when they wanted to play Legos. Finally it was socially acceptable to do kid things again. That’s how I feel when the neighborhood kids start messing with me. I like to act like a child sometimes.

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In fact, if you ask certain people, I’ve never stopped acting like a child.

 

I’m going to try something new with my blog. You can check out some of my favorite photos and photographers. I’ll be pulling from both famous photographers and flickr friends and updating weekly. Stay tuned!

 

Shanghai Shanghai!

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It’s been nearly four months since I moved to Shanghai. It’s a glitzy-glam kind of place. Plenty of pits to throw money into, plenty of big city boppin’ places where you can get all gussied up and pretend you’re a mover and/or shaker. I’ve been to a few. They’re nice and fancy restaurants and bars. French Concession, The Bund, Pudong. These names probably don’t mean much to you, but they are the places where people spend their nights.

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And you won’t see many pictures from around there in this post. I just haven’t been out on the town much. And when I do get out, I don’t take many photos. When I do shoot, I shoot mainly around my neighborhood, a decidedly less glamorous place. But I like it well enough.

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There are fewer neon lights than in Korea and more of a divide between commercial and residential zones. My old place in Anyang was right next to the sleazmo bar district with its glaring lights, blow up sexy-girl pylons, and red-faced businessmen slamming soju.

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While I miss the crazy Korea life sometimes, I think this new place is nicer.  It’s a lot of families, and they have the decency to turn the lights out at night. My apartment is charming. Out my balcony window I can see the neighboring apartment with vines growing up the side. My doorbell plays a tune when you ring it. More importantly, there’s a dog across the street I’ve named Captain Ahab. He’s a short, skuzzy thing, and he’s always got his head raised, staring vacantly into the distance and looking for his white whale. He hasn’t been very cooperative when I try to take his photo, and he couldn’t be reached for a comment as to why that is. Yesterday he was wearing a dog sweater with an embroidered panda.

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Right now I’m in a rut. I haven’t taken the time to go out and shoot. My job keeps me busy, and my fiancé too. But I’d like to go out more. Before I do, though, I’ve got to reevaluate my shooting. It’s all right, but I need to try new things. I also want to meet new people who are into all kinds of photography. Do you take pictures of buildings? Forests? Naked butts? I’d like to hear what you have to say. I’m going to a photo show today called “Talk to Her”. We’ll see what that’s all about.

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Yesterday broke the city record for smoggiest day. It was over 500 parts per million. 200 is considered bad. I said some things that didn’t make sense, and have a kind of filth hangover now. Lots of my coworkers are complaining, and rightfully so. But I don’t think it’s too crazy. This is a city of 23 million people. It’s bound to get stanky at times. You know, it’s hard for the brain to wrap itself around a number like that. 23 million might as well be 2 million or 200 million. I’d like to see what 23 million people looks like in a photo. It probably looks like a big cloud of smog. Anyhow, I’m sure it will clear up soon, the air and my brain.

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More Shanghai pictures

 

 

Araki

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When I heard that Nobuyoshi Araki was holding an exhibition in Shanghai, two things came to my mind: naked bondage girls and let’s go!

Let me back up a little. I first heard of Araki from a friend. He recommended I check out some of Araki’s nudes. I did. I saw a garden gnome in a vagina, a watermelon smashed on top of a vagina, half-naked women dangling from the ceiling, and a snail on a penis. They were the kind of photos that burn themselves into your memory. They also cemented my view of Araki as a very famous, very dirty old man. The documentary Arakimentari did little to change that view and branded my brain even further. Araki behind his massive camera, cranking the film advance and saying “oh yeah, oh yeah” as a woman spreads her legs on the floor under the set lights. Araki fluffing pubic hair. Araki doing other Araki stuff.

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Whoa. Hey, I’m not saying I’m a prude or anything. I actually really liked it! He was a celebrity, his models loved him, he had quite a personality, and who can resist that hairdo? Not I, my friends.

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So I got a book. Tokyo Lucky Hole. I got it because the cover is wonderful and it was $25. Start cheap and with a whole lot of sex. I got a disapproving glance from the storeowner, but boy was I a hit at the bar that night when I pulled it out of my shopping bag. It sometimes functions as my coffee table book, the one I show people when they come over for the first time. It takes the edge off (and really rattles the easily-offended… what fun!).

Eventually, the genius of Lucky Hole crept up on me. What it is is a tome, the bible of the 1980s Japanese Shinjuku sex parlor scene. Malcolm Gladwell (of Outliers fame) eat your heart out. Araki clearly put in more than 10,000 hours shooting the amateur prostitutes, theme bars, and seedy sex-shops of Tokyo. There are hundreds of pictures of hundreds of locations. Female sumo wrestling, subway molester bars, crucified naked dancers, and a place where you lie in a casket and a woman sits on your face (what?). He can be seen in a lot of the photos hamming it up with his slick mustache and shades, always smiling.

And he’s not the only one. Everyone seems to be having a good time, clients and girls. They’re all grinning ear-to-ear. The tone of the work is unique. It’s not the sinister, depressing expose of love for sale that one might think. Whether or not it was actually all smiles is up for debate, but you come away from the book feeling like Shinjuku was a cultural enterprise, not the twisted type of sex slavery and exploitation that exists today.

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But I can’t comment much on that. What I know, I learned from the essays in the front of the book. And I’m getting off-track.

Ah yes, back to the beginning. As you’ll recall, I said “When I heard that Nobuyoshi Araki was holding an exhibition in Shanghai, two things came to my mind: naked bondage girls and let’s go!”

What I found at the exhibition couldn’t have been further from what I knew. It shattered my perception of Araki as kooky, pervy genius and elevated him to one of my favorite photographers.

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The exhibition was entitled Sentimental Journey/Decadence in Paradise. It is a personal glimpse into some of the most emotionally-charged moments of Araki’s life: his honeymoon, the death of his wife, Yoko, the death of their cat, and more recently, the impending demolition of their house.

We got started reading Araki’s introductory letter. I found this section of the letter relevant to what I would go on to see that day:

“I cannot stand it anymore. Not because I have chronic diarrhea and a middle ear infection. I know it is just because there is a flood of fashion photography at the moment, but I cannot stand that all the faces, nudes, private lives, landscapes floating to the surface are dishonest. Sentimental Journey is much more than just any other dishonest photography. It is my love and my decision as a photographer. I am not saying that this is honest photography just because I took a photograph of my honeymoon. I take love as my starting point as a photographer…”

It’s a bit long and rambling, and somewhat of an extreme stance, calling most photography dishonest. To be honest, it was a little off-putting. This exhibition better be good, I thought.

And it was. Araki wasn’t bluffing. The honeymoon photos fit the bill of love and sentimentality, but what really gripped me were the saddest of the bunch. This one for example:

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Taken of his cat as it is dying, this illustrates the kind of personal love and loss that Araki sought to capture. Taken side-by-side with what Araki would call the flood of dishonest photography, I think you can see what he’s getting at in his letter. This is the stuff of real life. I’d venture to guess I wouldn’t have the courage to take these photos. When my dog died, I couldn’t even be in the same room with him. You have to have a different kind of connection with both life and photography to go beyond the models, landscapes, still lifes and street photography, and click the shutter on these moments of joy and heartbreak.

Another series of photos takes place during the last stages of his wife’s illness. You walk down the aisle of the gallery watching as Yoko gets sick and dies.  Towards the end you see a man wheeling a gurney down the hallway of a hospital. The next photos are of a park, a ferris wheel, and an apartment block. These seemingly innocuous photos are suffused with sadness only an honest, deep personal loss can bestow.

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I’ve never been so emotionally rocked by a series of photos.

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I bought the book. This time I wasn’t showing it to my friends and snickering. It’s great, and for a reason so divorced from the greatness of Tokyo Lucky Hole that you might wonder if the works were produced by different people.

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I now have a different perspective on Araki. The hype surrounding his controversial nudes is well-deserved, but the bondage and the sex are only the tip of the iceberg.

Sentimental Journey made me reconsider the how and why of my approach to photography. Why do I post mainly pictures of places I stumble upon? People I don’t know? Why do I not take more photos of the people and things that are important to me? Am I trying too much to fit into a mold to catch an audience? I have a lot to consider post-Sentimental Journey.

In the meantime, I recommend you Araki, provocateur, genius, most human of photographers. These last two paragraphs from the exhibition say it better than I can.

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Jeju Island

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(About time I shut up and post some photos, eh?)

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I took a trip to Jeju Island two weeks ago. I knew it would be a shame if I left Korea without seeing the place, but I still felt as if I’d be let down. A lot of people talk the place up, and I didn’t want to get there and realize it wasn’t as good as I’d been led to believe.

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I don’t know why I felt that way, but I was dead wrong. Jeju was a wonderful place. Jing and I went together, but she had to work on Monday, so I carried on alone.

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I must have taken over a thousand photos. I think I got a few keepers, though you can be the judge of that.

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The trip, the change of scenery, the getting out of the city was just what I needed. I felt bogged down in Anyang.

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I met an old man sitting by the riverside drinking a beer. He introduced himself and we had a good long talk. He was from Busan and said he often escaped to Jeju on “business”. His main reason for jetting though was to take a break from city life and all of its crowded emptiness. I agreed that it was good to get away from the sardine can apartments and streets packed with people trying too hard to catch eyes. We went on to talk about breeds of dogs. It turns out he’s a Jack Russell man. It was a good conversation.

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Since I’ve come back, I’ve tried to keep this man’s kindness in mind when I’m out being bludgeoned by the city life. There are lots of advantages to living in cities, but I’ll be damned if I can’t get out from under its shadow once in a while.

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Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and ’70s (Eikoh Hosoe, Yukio Mishima, and Butoh) Part 1

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The free time still abounds, and so here is another exploration of Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and ’70s. This one will be in three parts (please don’t be confused!) and will throw some other media into the mix. Part one will be about the photographer Eikoh Hosoe. Part two, the writer Yukio Mishima. And part three, butoh, a shocking genre of Japanese dance.

 

I’ve been aware of Mishima and butoh for a while, but have only come to explore and appreciate Hosoe very recently. 

 

Hosoe’s style is more legible compared to that of the PROVOKE photographers. You’re not left wondering exactly what it is you’re looking at. For example, Man and Woman, the work on display in Japanese Photobooks, is just that, pictures, often nudes, of men and women unobscured by camera movement or missed focus. Hosoe’s provocative punch is delivered in a different way, with extreme subject juxtapositions , intensely stark close-up portraiture, and models arranged in a “here it is” fashion. The photos don’t require a “hard looking” like many of Moriyama’s do. You can grasp right away what the strange thing is that you’re looking at.

 

Hosoe is often grouped together with the PROVOKE era photographers. He did not contribute directly to the magazines and he never takes his photography to the same extremes as Nakahira and company. On the other hand, his work really broke the ground upon which PROVOKE would be built, or unbuilt if you prefer. Hosoe drew a lot of criticism from his contemporaries. Ken Domon, an established photographer planted very firmly in the soil of conventional photojournalism, criticized Man and Woman saying, “it is different from a bowl of ramen. It doesn’t give you that momentary feeling of filling your belly.” 

 

In addition to ruffling the photographic establishment’s feathers, he served as a mentor to Daido Moriyama, who worked under him as an assistant. Though Moriyama related more to the work of Hosoe’s contemporary Shomei Tomatsu, his time with Hosoe couldn’t have failed to leave its mark.

 

In the next two parts I’ll discuss two of Hosoe’s works in-depth and provide a bit of cultural background. Next time I’ll cover Ordeal by Roses and its model, the writer Yukio Mishima. After that we’ll get into Butoh and Hosoe’s Kamaitachi. In the meantime, check out some of my other favorite Hosoe, Hana Dorobou (photographs of handmade dolls) and Man and Woman (the nudes I mentioned earlier). 

Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and ’70s (Takuma Nakahira, Daido Moriyama, PROVOKE)

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This will be the first in short series of posts about Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and ’70s. I got it off Amazon a few months back, and it is my favorite photobook. My photo bible, I return to it often because it is a constant source of inspiration. It’s the variety of styles and formats that really gets me excited. Open to a random page and you’ll get documentary photography about a snowy rural village in a northern prefecture (Hiroshi Hamaya’s Snow Land). Flip a few pages and you’ll find grotesque images of the aftermath of the atomic bomb (Kikuji Kawada’s The Map). These next few posts will be about the books, people, styles, and themes in Japanese photography that have left the biggest impressions in my mind. I’ll use the book as a jumping off point and move on to other photographers, performers, or artists as the connections come to me. The whole affair will be more of an introduction/opinion piece than anything, as I’m not up to the standard of academic writing on these subjects and am just too damn lazy to do extensive research! Enjoy!

Takuma Nakahira, Daido Moriyama, PROVOKE

If you are a self-styled street photographer like myself, or have more than a passing interest in the history of photography, you probably don’t need to be introduced to Daido Moriyama. If you do need an introduction, go go go!

I started to hear a lot about this guy about two years ago. I looked at his photos, bought the book, and went through my own Daido phase. Then I dug a bit further. Turned out that Daido’s style, while striking, wasn’t so much revolutionary as evolutionary. As all artists, he built on what preceded him, hung out with contemporaries whose work resembled his own, and was later a source of inspiration to those who took his style further.

One of his compatriots was Takuma Nakahira. Unlike Daido, who spent much of his early career walking the streets taking pictures, Nakahira was more of an essayist, constructing the critical supports that would eventually become the PROVOKE era. His ’60s and ’70s photographs, like Moriyama’s, are ominous city scenes punctuated by blurry male and female subjects, often partially nude.

In fact, this style was the bread and butter of PROVOKE, the subject of the final introduction paragraph I’ll write. PROVOKE was a short-lived photography magazine whose goal, according to Nakahira, was to challenge, rebel against, and ultimately break conventional photography. A photography that could transcend the written word, something utterly different from photojournalism. It featured Nakahira, Moriyama, as well as Yutaka Takanashi, Takahiko Okada, and Kōji Taki. The mag, which published only three issues, was hugely influential, which I suppose is why people can say “the PROVOKE era” unironically. Three other books connected with the style came later. They are Moriyama’s Farewell Photography, Nakahira’s For a Language to Come, and Yutaka Takanashi’s Towards the City. All of them are featured in Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and ’70s.

The style of this convention-defying photography came to be known as “are, bure, boke”, or rough, blurred, and out of focus. As this new, provocative way of taking photos came to be more defined it must have seemed to Nakahira, the most radical, academic, and vocal of the PROVOKE contributors, that the jaws of convention were closing around it. He left the high-key, striking images behind, never to return. Not so with Daido Moriyama, whose modern work, while different from his older work, still exhibits the characteristics of “are bure boke”.

The style of “are, bure, boke” is said to mirror the shock and alienation of the Japanese post-war transition. I won’t delve too deeply into that, as other bloggers have covered it better than I ever could. Do your own research, bah!

Instead, let’s talk about the offspring of “are, bure, boke”. As I said before, I went through a Daido phase, taking high-key pictures on black and white film. Billboards, ominous people shots, toys, blurred faces, creepy signs, dead fish, you name it. I think a lot of people have. Some never leave.

The way I see it though, PROVOKE is a tried and true style now. It doesn’t have the revolutionary connotations it used to, and doesn’t really fit so well into a historical narrative.

I take that back. Maybe it does. The increasing alienation of American life, the lurking, empty dark side of the flora and fauna of city streets and department stores, technological detachment, whatever. All good and relevant. But the problem is that it’s been done before. Taking high-key, grainy, blurry, and dark shots all the time is less of a shocking statement and more just another dress you can put on in post-processing. Which is just fine. I like wearing that dress (I’m a lumberjack and I’m okay).

But these days I’m getting tired of it. It’s played out in my mind. My new digital camera even has an art filter that mimics the style. I see a lot of good photos dressed up in “are bure boke”, but many more that are banal and say nothing if it weren’t for the rugged, rough look of a Daido-filter. Good modern “are bure boke” can be an homage, a blending of established form with captivating subject, and downright jaw-dropping. Bad “are bure boke” is the photographic equivalent of a tribal tattoo.

I see that this post has managed to end just as crotchety as the last. Next time I will talk about Eikoh Hosoe, Yukio Mishima, and Butoh. From the vague outline I have, the next article will be more links, more history, less opinion, and less crotch.

You, me, this, and that

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I’ve been cleaning out my house, bringing my life in Korea to a close. Getting things organized is sometimes harder than it seems at the beginning. I’ve accumulated a lot of things over the years, things that eventually find themselves launched into the outer atmosphere, but not out of my orbit. Desk drawers and closets are where they like to hide. Sorting them out, digging through them, and determining what’s worth keeping… it’s a job for either a fine-toothed comb or a bulldozer. Not sure which I’ll ultimately go with.

I’ve been pushing things around at home, but also in my head. Especially things relating to photography. For instance, I like street photography, I shoot street photography, but I react to much of the genre very negatively. Sometimes it’s as simple as “not my thing.” Sometimes it’s downright nasty.

But I think I’ve got it down now, at least as it pertains to street photos. There are four subgenres I’ve come up with: you, me, this, and that. What? Read on.

ME

I might as well start with the stuff I like least. I consider “me” street photography anything that involves the photographer in an overt way.  It tells the viewer not only that this is a photograph, but that the photographer is there and is important. Characteristics of “me” photography:

-The photographer’s shadow, especially precisely framed, especially on the face of the subject.

-The photographer’s reflection.

-The use of flash with wide-angles.

-Stupefied subjects.

What’s wrong with “me” photography? It’s artificial. Of course people are going to make interesting faces when you’re flashing light in their eyes. Of course grandmothers are going to look wrinkly, the homeless ragged, and fat people fat if you’re up in someone’s face picking out their blemishes with a flash.  Passersby will put their hands in front of your camera. I see a lot of those photos, the hand shots. What does that say to me? That someone was annoyed and someone was annoying. I suppose I’m dull for not enjoying the converging geometry of the blocking hand with the background lines or societal critique inherent in the jowls of gaping, red-eyed grandmas. All I see is photographers out to bag “characters”, get away with something slightly subversive, and give their egos a good stroking.

Because the ego is what comes through the loudest. I am photographer, hear me roar! I’d rather not. Your breath smells of false bravado and cliché.

I’ve seen very few “Gilden-style” shots that I’ve liked. Gilden himself is pretty hit or miss for me. I really enjoy the projects where he’s on assignment. I think his style works well there, probably because he’s intimately involved with the people. Here’s what I mean. His New York photos are less appealing. I don’t dislike them as much as I dislike the trend that springs from them.

Anyhow, moving on…

YOU

“You” photography can be very good or very dull, as it all depends on the subject. “You”, like “me”, is all about people. “You” is more natural though. Posed or unposed, it shows people behaving natural, and exuding more character because they are comfortable. Characteristics include:

-People, especially a single person, taking up much of the frame.

-Portraits, posed or candid.

-An environment that doesn’t overpower the subject.

As I said, “you” street photos can be great or boring. It all depends on whom the photographer chooses as a subject. I think rapport helps. Also defining characteristics. If it’s candid, the pose and expression makes or breaks the shot.

Here are two examples of “you” photography that I love:

The second image in this series by Alec Soth.

And this one by Junku Nishimura.

What I don’t like are shots of ennui. And there are a million of them, products of our less than robust public life. The streets aren’t what they used to be. Technology is such that the face you’ll see most often on the bus or in the park is that of a zombie staring at a screen. But what can you do? I don’t like reminders of how dull the streets are, how average people look, and how boredom runs rampant through parks and bus stops. I’m bored enough most of the time as it is. No need to reflect that in photographs.

But that’s just my opinion. I’m sure some people like bored/stressed middle-aged men and women. “You” photography is the most subjective of the four. There are different standards of beauty, and there are different levels of interest, for sure.

THIS

“This” photography is another thing entirely. Instead of emphasizing the human aspect, “this” photography is all about the world created by the camera. And this world is usually a weird one. It has little use for people besides using them as props for either a visual gag or a geometric or colorful balancing act. Here’s what I think “this” is:

-Based primarily on an environment constructed by the photographer.

-Visual gags.

-Juxtapositions.

-Surrealism.

-People in awkward positions.

-Location of subjects over emotional content.

“This” photography is very popular on flickr these days. If you are familiar with the group “Hardcore Street Photography”, you need look no further. Every third image falls into the category.

It’s popular, it’s clever, and it takes a lot of thought and/or luck to create. And I can’t stand it. Why? Even though the strange, surreal, or downright funny creations give me a laugh sometimes, it’s little more than a gag. Easily consumed and forgotten. It tells you next to nothing about the people in the photo, other than they were at the right place at the right time. It works hard, trying to make the uninteresting interesting. Oh look, there are arms growing out of a tree. It looks like that sunbathing man’s face is about to be run over, and she looks like she has a little man walking on her shoulder. Big whoop. Like “me” photography, the only thing I get out of it is a cheap “look how clever I am”.

I guess one criticism of my characterization of “this” photography is that all street photography has some of the elements I’m complaining about. I understand that, but it’s a question of degree. I think it’s okay to have some humor, some surrealism, but a lot of street photography today is overdoing it. It’s like over-roasted coffee. The subtlety is burned out and it’s so strong and bitter it’s unpalatable.

THAT

So what do I actually like? My final category, “that” photography. “That” photography is simply saying “look at that”. It’s not tampering with reality, it’s finding reality that doesn’t need tampered with and capturing it. While every photograph is a photographer’s interpretation of reality, “that” photography, as opposed to “this”, is relatively hands off. It’s letting the scene unfold and being there at the right moment.

-Interplay between subject and environment.

-Interesting places.

-People doing interesting things.

-Subjects unaware or unbothered by the camera.

-Visual puns, if present, back up the subjects instead of overpowering them.

The only problem with “that” photography is its difficulty. It’s hard to find things that are genuinely interesting and that aren’t a clichéd play on some everyday banality. It helps if you’re in an inspiring place, for sure. I think of Jonas Bendiksen, one of my favorite photographers, when I think of good locations. Also, Ian Teh.

But you don’t need to go halfway around the world to take good “that” photos. Plenty is happening around your neighborhood. I think of Robert Doisneau. He, if anyone, was in tune with his surroundings in France. I think you could say the same with William Eggleston and the American South.

It goes for photographers as it goes for storytellers. The best can be world travelers, or they may have never left their hometowns. But to be good requires patience, diligence, compassion, and an eye for beautiful moments.

In the end, I don’t know what to call my view of street photography. Old-fashioned? Maybe. Purist? Yeah, whatever that means. All I know is that I prefer humanity over surrealism, will take real emotion over shock value, and admire photos that capture the drama of undiluted existence rather than the ego-repping creations of “streettogs” who think they’re badass.

I’d suggest leaving reality alone. There’s plenty of feeling, plenty of drama that you can find if you’re patient, plugged into your surroundings, and playing the role of an observer instead of a hunter.

Maybe my made-up genres will be helpful to you. If not, at least you know what makes me tick as a photographer.

Now that I’ve got that all sorted out, it’s back to cleaning. That smell coming from the cupboard? I’ll get back to you on that.

***By the way, I plan to write more of these long, street photography-centric articles. My next will be about the PROVOKE style, its allure and its shortcomings.

An Early Goodbye

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I’ll be leaving Korea mid-August. It’s going to be strange leaving the place that has been my home for nearly four years. I feel sad, having to leave friends and familiar places behind.

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What will I miss? My friends, primarily. My students, though they would be leaving eventually anyhow. My excellent coworkers. Also, I’ll miss two places a lot: Yogiga and my local coffee shop, Cafe Olives.

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Jing and I are going around, visiting all of the famous sites we have been too busy to see for the past few years. We went to Changdeokgung and I took some pictures with my old Chinese TLR. They make a nice set to play me out. Chances are the next blog post you’ll read here will be from Shanghai.

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Shanghai sounds nice. They don’t have a large rubber ducky like Hong Kong though. But like me, the rubber ducky will move on from its temporary home eventually. Maybe it will travel up the coast and come to see me. If so, pehaps I should have a roman candle handy. Maybe my next blog post will be written from Chinese prison.

http://english.sina.com/china/p/2013/0514/590608.html

Daejeon Art Mart

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I’ll be rocking the Art Mart this Saturday. If you find yourself in Daejeon, or with vaguely Daejeonish thoughts, you should come on down. It starts at 9ish, when you can check out myself and others, doing our art thing. I’ll be selling my photobooks, some random photos, and my warped portraits. 

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It seems to be an all night affair, with bands starting late and playing till the morning light. Or maybe not. But really late. Last time I went down I had a blast. Nick Anzivino of G.T. Arpe fame is a really awesome host. 

So there you have it. Come down, see art, rock out. But don’t go too crazy. Your mother would disapprove.