Saturday, May 23, 2015

Red Buddha

"Red Buddha" 

© 2015 Steven Edward Streight.

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Street Photography 2: It's Good for Society

Street photography is good for society. 

PHOTO ABOVE: "Weed Wacking #2" © 2015 Steven Streight.

"I like to start with something funny," says Joel Osteen.

Tom MacIntyre cracks me up. In dismissing social media and selfies, in an interview with Gary Moore, he said, "Why do you have to take a picture of you and the ship? Why not just take a photo of the ship? We'll know you were there."

But every news reporter on TV is seen standing in front of the thing being reported. "I'm here in Baltimore and behind me is a burning convenient store...."

"Asian Market Clerk and Security Man" 
© 2015 Steven Streight.

Street photography is like instant portrait painting. 

See how the true self appears in unposed, candid, unaware photographs? This ennobles humanity, showing the unvarnished, unrehearsed personality as it exists without overt ego performances.

Part of the ethnomethodological discipline is to study what exists in social connections that is mere routine vs. what is genuinely idiosyncratic, the real individual in the moment, raw, phenomenonologically correct.

"St. Peters Lutheran Church, 
PAPS potluck server"

© 2015 Steven Streight.

Often this sociological observation and analysis is accomplished by deliberately violating a social rule.

Like suddenly, without preface or explanation, begin talking formally, with Thee and Thou or in legalese, to family.

Calling your dad Mr. Streight and mom Mrs. Streight. You then notice what occurs in reaction to this experiment, this breaking of the informality rule with parents. Many other methods exist, which to the uninitiated might appear to be pranks or jokes, but are serious scholarly research.

"Dogs in the Hood #1" 
© 2015 Steven Edward Streight.

Street photography can happen 
in your own neighborhood 
and includes more 
than just human animals.

"Black Cat, Black Mailbox" 
© 2015 Steven Edward Streight.

"Neighbor Reads My Business Card" 

© 2015 Steven Edward Streight.

Occasionally someone will ask me, "Do you get permission from strangers to take their photo and to put it on Facebook?"

Almost never. No permission is required. I'm exercising my rights and I have good intentions.

Sometimes I'll say, "Can I take your photograph?" or "Can I take a photograph of your motorcycle?" 

I avoid children, unless they're part of a group scene of adults, or you can't really see their faces to identify them.

But I photograph freely, constantly, politely, brazenly, carefully, artistically -- and legally.

"Two Girls Playing" 

© 2015 Steven Edward Streight.

I'm documenting life in Peoria, and strengthening our democracy against tyranny by photographing cops, city workers, and average folk.

"The more cameras, the better." as the freedom fighters say.

If someone asks me what I'm doing, I'll tell them I'm a citizen journalist, documenting what is happening in the Peoria area -- and celebrating the common person in their natural habitat.

As long as a person is publicly visible, they can be photographed or videotaped even it they're doing something embarrassing or criminal. 

And that includes police, firefighters, emergency medical teams, and other servants of The People. As long as you don't get in their way and interfere with their work.

I never use my camera as a weapon or a way to mock or harm anyone. I show regular people doing what they do, having fun, enjoying the weather, working at their job.

By catching the subject before they have a chance to "pose" (which ruins the photograph), you may even get their unconsciousness portrayed in their face, before they can form the manipulated mask of the ego.

I'm a historian and an ethnomethodologist by training, a type of radical experimental sociology.

I have never had anyone try to stop me from taking their photo, though a few have asked why I'm photographing them -- and often people ask me "Take a photo of me!!"

That's how I met Maurice Cobige (ABOVE), accomplished actor, musician, and owner of TT's Barbecue. He saw me walking down Main Street downtown taking photos, and he shouted at me, "Take my photo!"

I took his photo, gave him my business card, and 3 Str8 Sounds CDs, and struck up a friendship and potential business relationship.

We must not fear taking photos if we have good motives and honorable intentions. We can keep our cameras poised, ready to snap a picture, with no worry about hostility or anger from our subjects, which is extremely rare.

I walked into the Asian Market yesterday, with my camera out, and as soon as I stepped inside the store, a customer announced, "Say cheese!" (BELOW)

"Say Cheese!" 

© 2015 Steven Streight.

The vast majority of people like having their photo "taken" and only rarely do you encounter someone who is defensive or opposed to what you're doing.

I'll be polite, and don't "have to" take a photo of a random person. But people must realize that street photography is a right we have and if you're in public view, you can be photographed legally.

Acting friendly, smiling, being casual and uncreepy -- will enable you to take a lot of photos wherever you may be. Exercise your rights. 

Keep the government on its best behavior, and snap away!

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Street Photography intro

Street photography includes taking photos of people who would not be in a magazine, advertisement, or music video. 

PHOTO ABOVE: "Library Basement Boxes" © 2015 Steven Streight.

Normal, regular, nonglamorous individuals are marginalized in favor of the super stars and beauty icons.

Street photography, as opposed to models and special lighting, takes humans as they are, where they are, doing what they do, looking how they look.

Often you and your camera glimpse their unconscious face, catching the subject off guard, unprepared to form the standard mask of self.

Celebrating the colloquial, instead of celebrities, brings democracy a breath of fresh air.

"Sunday Bikers" 
© 2015 Steven Streight.

"Asian Market Checkout" 
© 2015 Steven Streight

"Peoria Civic Center Entrance" 
© 2015 Steven Streight.

"Peoria Worker"
© 2015 Steven Streight.

"Peoria Walmart Customer Service Desk" 
© 2015 Steven Streight.

"Mowing Lawn in Boots"

© 2015 Steven Streight.

"Weed Wacking" 
© 2015 Steven Streight.

"Man Cross Street" 

© 2015 Steven Streight.

"Peoria Civic Center Escalator"
© 2015 Steven Streight.

"Mahler Concert Audience 
© 2015 Steven Streight.

"Peoria Walmart Floor" 
© 2015 Steven Streight.

"Happy Couple" 
© 2015 Steven Streight.

"Lou's Drive In 2014" 
© 2015 Steven Streight.

"Kim Johnson, Art & Society Magazine 
at Naturally Yours Grocery"  
© 2015 Steven Streight.

"Motorcycle Vest and Girl" 
© 2015 Steven Streight

"Checking Her Facebook Notifications"
© 2015 Steven Streight.

"Packing 50 Pounds of Bought Books"

© 2015 Steven Streight.

"Young Love 1" 
© 2015 Steven Streight.

"Young Love 2" 
© 2015 Steven Streight.

"Man Walking on Forrest Hill" 
© 2015 Steven Streight.

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Peoria Area Photography Society potluck St. Peters Lutheran Church, E. Peoria, IL

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Annual Peoria Area Photography Society potluck group photo.
St. Peters Lutheran Church
East Peoria, IL

PHOTO ABOVE: Jeremy Duncan
PHOTOS BELOW: Steven Edward Streight