It was a great pleasure to welcome Scott Kelby to my show this week. He had just hot footed over to his office after a long webinar on Kelby One. In this episode of Photography Live and uncut we discussed Scott's initial introduction into photography and the beginnings of the business he has developed with his wife Kalebra. Scott is well know for his love of travel and sports photography. His preferred gear system at this time is Canon primarily for his sports action needs and has been an advocate of this system over the last few years.
It was interesting though how the show switched to the likes and dislikes of street photography. As you know I love 'good' street photography and we both agreed there is a lot of poor attempts at this genre out there. But for Scott to make the comment that it was a 'sneaky' and 'creepy' style of photography and that it would be the first to go I think was a little over the top. Also I would add as I mentioned in the show using a 'Pro" camera (as Scott would advocate) is the wrong tool for street photography - The history of street photography from the classic photographers to the present day, is littered with quality work achieved on inconspicuous cameras, such as a Leica, Fuji or Olympus 4/3.
Here are some comments made on the back of the show...
Greg Kowal - Scott is wrong about the privacy and photography in the future. Public spaces don't have privacy and never will. It would be the most idiotic law ever.
Greg Kowal - https://www.flickr.com/groups/onthestreet/ is a nice collection of good and creative street photography.
Greg Kowal - at 35:45 , why would you need a signed release in NY? For street photography purposes nobody needs that as you can easily publish a book without releases.
Tom Fairley - Scott and Paul, the great two man team. So enjoyed the discussion on street photography. Thanks Paul
and finally from Ray Warren - I watched this not long after it aired and I have been meaning to say I think Scott was a bit rough on you and street photographers in general. By a 'bit' I mean a lot. Although I admire his ability and motivation for distilling complex concepts into digestible tutorials, he does stand on the shoulders of giants to do so. And too many people give him credit for borrowed knowledge and talent. I think he doesn't understand street photography and is not comfortable to get any successful shots and is therefore writing off the whole genre as 'creepy'. I watched the videos of him following Jay Maisel around and he seems totally uncomfortable and out of his depth. I don't think it is fair to project those insecurities onto others.
The comments above seem to back my opinion, that street photography is important to our world history and the documenting of our world as we know it today. You kill street photography you kill the art and history of image documentation be they good or bad images! Done correctly, with politeness and openness some very good street work can be achieved, without any inconveniences caused.
Maybe we should start to consider changing the name of the genre to image or photography documentation?
The all important links...
Photography Live and Uncut with Scott Kelby