Looking for the Glory Shot ! 6


(English Version at the bottom of the page.)

(Ce Blog est garanti sans « Glory Shot »…)

Il y a encore quelques temps, mon élément de mesure pour une session Street Photo était le nombre de photos réussies que je ramenais à la maison. C’est comme ça que je déterminais si une sortie était bonne ou pas. Je revenais souvent le moral dans les chaussettes. Passer 4 à 5 heures à arpenter les rues et rien ramener et c’était un début de déprime. Le pire c’est qu’à la sortie suivante, j’avais un peu de pression car je ne voulais pas revenir à nouveau bredouille. Fort heureusement, j’ai rarement eu deux sessions stériles (je suis chanceux…). Je parvenais toujours à revenir avec un petit quelque chose qui sauvait ma session photo dans Aix.

 

La Street Photography est exigeante. C’est sûrement la forme de photographie la plus difficile. Vous devez connaître parfaitement votre appareil photo. Vous devez faire avec la lumière disponible. La rue est imprévisible, bordélique et est toujours en mouvement. A vous de composer. Personne ne posera pour vous et les moments sont éphémères. A vous d’être là au bon moment pour le capturer.  C’est pour ça que j’aime ça.

 

 

Je ne sais pas si je me serais intéressé à la Street Photography si je shootais en argentique. Pour certains, c’est la forme la plus pure. Comme à l’âge d’or des Garry Winogrand et Henri-Cartier Bresson. J’ai essayé le temps de quelques sorties en utilisant mon Nikon FM2 avec une focale 24mm. Le résultat ne m’a pas paru concluant. Je n’ai pas persévéré… Bon ok juste 4 péloches, c’est pas assez. Mais je n’avais pas de feeling dans la rue avec mon FM2. Faut dire que je me suis habitué à travailler qu’avec mon Ricoh GRD IV. Il est extrêmement léger et je ne fais qu’un avec lui. Pourtant à y regarder de plus près, je fonctionne de la même façon qu’avec un appareil argentique. Comme il est mauvais à haute sensibilité (au dessus de ISO 400), je dois souvent changer l’ouverture et les ISO en fonction des conditions lumineuses pour avoir une vitesse correcte. Avec mon Nikon FM2, c’est un peu la même chose sauf que cette fois, l’ISO (ASA) est fixe et je change constamment mon ouverture et ma vitesse.

 

Nikon FM2 | 24 mm

Je m’égare un peu là. Je referme cette parenthèse argentique. Je disais donc que la Street Photography est très exigeante. Je ne connais pas mon ratio (nombre de photos réussies / nombre de déclenchements), mais il est extrêmement faible. Et je ne parle que de photos que je considère « réussies » (les anglo-saxons appellent ça « keepers »). Ne parlons même pas des photos que je considère comme mes plus belles photos. Elles ne sont pas bien nombreuses… Même si je sais tout ça, revenir à la maison sans « keepers » me déprimait. La Street Photography avait du sens pour moi quand je parvenais à ramener quelque chose. Pourquoi ? Je vais encore charger les réseaux sociaux (…). Pour exister, j’avais besoin  de ces photos pour les poster sur les différentes plateformes. Sans elles, pas de visibilité ou peu… C’était un cercle vicieux. Pour continuer à exister, je devais ramener encore plus de keepers pour alimenter Facebook, Instagram. 

 

 

J’étais devenu une machine. Petit à petit le plaisir a laissé la place à une routine avec obligation de résultat. J’étais à la recherche de ces Glory Shots. Sur Instagram, j’ai eu la chance d’avoir certaines de mes photos re-grammés par certains groupes très influents et certaines de mes photos ont eu plus de 2000 likes ! Le deuxième effet, c’est l’augmentation significative de mes followers. Tout va bien dans le meilleur des mondes…

 

 

Mais si le plaisir est uniquement conditionné par le résultat, je fais fausse route. Ce n’est pas pour çà que je faisais de la Street Photo. Je me suis appliqué à revenir aux basiques. Faire des photos pour le plaisir. Oublier les « keepers » ou autres « Glory Shots ». Bien évidemment je suis content quand je tiens une photo intéressante, mais je ne cours plus après elles. J’aime aller prendre l’air avec mon appareil photo dans Aix. J’aime être attentif à ce qui se passe autour de moi. Marcher, flâner et observer les gens. Je n’en oublie pas la photo. je click toujours autant, mais sans pression. Cette démarche est libératrice. Je m’amuse plus car je peux photographier ce que je veux.  

 

 

J’ai aussi voulu voir si je pouvais exister sans les réseaux Sociaux. J’ai un peu hésité avant de faire ce break avec Facebook et Instagram. Et si je n’étais rien sans les réseaux sociaux ? Qu’adviendrait il de mes Blogs sur mon site ? Et si je me trompais depuis le début et que je ne faisais des photos que pour satisfaire mon ego sur les réseaux sociaux ? J’avais un peu cette peur du vide. Voilà 4 semaines que j’ai pris mes distances avec Facebook & Instagram. J’écris toujours autant d’articles et je continue de faire des photos. Enfin j’en fais moins ces dernières semaines, mais c’est uniquement dû à mon emploi du temps chargé… Mon travail est moins vu que du temps où je postais régulièrement sur les Réseaux Sociaux, mais je m’en accommode. Là n’est pas l’essentiel. Je n’ai pas besoin de Facebook et Instagram pour exister. Je continue de faire des photos et j’y prends toujours du plaisir. Je reviendrai sûrement sur ces plateformes, mais cette fois apaisé. Enfin pas tout de suite, l’année prochaine sûrement ! Comment ça on est à un mois de la fin de l’année 2017 ? Rendez-vous en 2018 alors !

 

 

~ o ~

 

Looking for the Glory Shot !

 

 

(This Blog is guaranteed without « Glory Shot » …)

Some time ago, my measure for a Street Photo session was the number of successful photos I brought home. That’s how I determined if a session was good or not. I often came back home empty-handed. Spending 4 to 5 hours walking the streets and nothing to bring back and it was a beginning of depression. The worst is that at the next session, I had a little pressure because I did not want to come back empty-handed again. Fortunately, I have rarely had two bad sessions (I’m lucky…). I always managed to come back with a little something that saved my photo session in Aix.

 

 

Street Photography is challenging. This is surely the most difficult form of photography. You must know your camera perfectly. You have to deal with the available light. The street is unpredictable, messy and is always in motion. It’s up to you to compose. No one will strike the pose for you and the moments are ephemeral. It’s up to you to be there at the right time to capture it. That’s what makes it so special and that’s why I like it so much.

 

 

I don’t know if I would be interested in Street Photography if I shoot films. For some, it’s the purest form. As in the golden age of Garry Winogrand and Henri-Cartier Bresson. I tried a few times using my Nikon FM2 with a focal length of 24mm. The result did not seem conclusive. I did not persevere … Ok just 4 rolls are not enough. But I did not feel in the street with my FM2. Too bulky, too heavy. I must say that I got used to working with my Ricoh GRD IV. He is extremely light and I am one with him. Yet to look more closely, I work the same way as with a film camera. As it is bad at high sensitivity (above ISO 400), I often have to change the aperture and the ISOs according to the light conditions to have a correct speed. With my Nikon FM2, it’s a bit the same except that this time, the ISO (ASA) is fixed and I constantly change my aperture and speed.

 

Nikon FM2 | 24mm

I digress a little there. I close this analog comment. So I said that Street Photography is very challenging. I do not know my ratio (number of successful photos / number of triggers), but it is extremely low. And I’m only talking about photos that I consider « keepers ». Let’s not even talk about the pictures that I consider as my « Glory Shots ». They are not many … Even if I know all that, coming home without « keepers » depressed me. Street Photography made sense to me when I managed to bring something back. Why ? I will still put the blame on social networks (…). To exist, I needed these photos to post them on different platforms. Without them, no visibility or little … It was a vicious circle. To continue to exist, I had to bring even more keepers to feed Facebook and Instagram.

 

 

I had become a machine. Little by little, pleasure gave way to a routine with an obligation of result. I was looking for these « Glory Shots ». On Instagram, I was lucky to have some of my photos re-grammed by very influential groups and some of my photos had more than 2000 likes ! The second effect was the significant increase of my followers. Everything is fine …

 

 

But if the pleasure is solely conditioned by the result, I am wrong. That’s not why I was doing Street Photo. I tried to go back to basics. Make photos for fun. Forget the « keepers » or other « Glory Shots ». Of course I’m happy when I have an interesting photo, but I do not crave for them. I like to go get some fresh air walking my camera in Aix. I like being attentive to what is happening around me. Walk, hang out and observe people. I do not forget the pictures. I always click as much, but without pressure. This approach is liberating. I’m having more fun because I can photograph what I want.

 

 

I also wanted to see if I could exist without Social Media. I hesitated a little before taking a break with Facebook and Instagram. What if I was nothing without them ? What would happen to my Blogs on my site ? And what if I was wrong from the beginning and I only made photos to satisfy my ego on social networks ? I was a little afraid of emptiness. It’s been 4 weeks since I distanced myself from Facebook & Instagram. I still write as many articles and I continue to take photos. Finally I do less in recent weeks, but it’s only due to my busy schedule … My work is less visible than the time I posted regularly on social networks, but I am accommodating. This is not essential. I do not need Facebook and Instagram to exist. I shoot for myself and I still enjoy it. I will surely come back on these platforms, but this time appeased. Finally not immediately, next year surely ! Oh we are only one month from the end of 2017 ? See you in 2018 then !

 


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6 commentaires sur “Looking for the Glory Shot !

  • John Harper

    The Streets are messy Jeff, that can make it really interesting or totally wreck a shot; Street/Life is hard. « Glory Shot » hunters are going to get very disappointed, very quickly and I suspect give up. It won’t fulfil their desire for likes. As you know, I deleted all profiles on photography platforms/Social Media (98,000 followers on 500px at the time of deletion) a year ago, except Facebook & LFI. Facebook I took a rest from for a couple of weeks and it’s time it happened again. That said, we have met some great people, a few in person.
    We photograph for ourselves, surely that can be the only way. As I’ve said before there is an inherent need to show our work, a blog is a good way, or a book, exhibition…I still maintain that photographers should print, frame and hang their work, not many do.
    I like the gestures in these shots, the guy and the cup, but mostly the jewelery shop window…superb.

    Speak soon. John

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Auteur de l’article

      This might seem a rant against Social Media from me. It’s true that I kind of lost myself on 500px and Facebook. Somehow, things are different on Instagram, because it’s very impersonal. You just post and that’s all. No interaction. Yours photos speak for you. But I’m thankful to FB for allowing me to keep in touch with some Photographers I really appreciate the work. My work is slowly evolving as I stopped chasing the photographs. Staying away from SM also help me slow things down. Today, it’s been more than a week since I’ve been in Aix for a street session. As I said, too busy… I would be like a drug addict asking for his fix a few weeks ago. But now, I just wait for the next opportunity. No need to rush things. There is no more this urge to go shooting to get some keepers.
      I need to print some of my work and get back to this print swapping thing ! 😉 I’ll think of it in 2018. I have a bunch of good intentions for next year !

      • John Harper

        Honestly, when I deleted those accounts a year ago it was like a breath of fresh air. That short break from FB helped too. LFI is fine, no likes, no comments even…just post a shot if you feel like it. Anyway, we can concentrate on photography and things slow down to a normal pace, how things should be. Print swapping is a great idea btw.

  • Vasco Trancoso

    Congrats Jeff. You are in the right way. We should not be interested in classifications or how one would characterize our work or run for new “likes” everyday. What interests is the pleasure to discover and photograph magic moments of everyday life. And we should also show only our best work. People will judge you by your worst photos. Less is more. By showing less of your work, the quality of your photographs will be far more better in general. The photos you decide not to show are more important than the photos you decide to show.
    Cheers.
    Vasco

    PS: Some very interesting quotes:

    Social Media might be one part of why I feel that we are going the full circle week after week. Algorithms force photographers to upload new pictures or posts, almost daily to stay relevant. It isn’t enough to post one outstanding image a month to fulfill the thirst for new content. Clearly, quantity is superior to quality to be successful on those social media platforms. But that shouldn’t mean that we are allowed to deteriorate into mediocrity just to feed the beast. When it comes to photography, quality should always come first.
    – Sebastian Jacobitz

    “99% of street photography, if not more, is about failure”
    – Alex Webb

    I was having a dinner with Cartier-Bresson and W. Eugene Smith. They were having a conversation and Bresson said, ‘How many great pictures do you think you take a year?’ And Eugene Smith, trying to sound modest, said ‘About 15.’ And Bresson said, ‘You always exaggerate.’
    – David Hurn

    “It’s not a good photograph without good composition” – Joseph Koudelka

    “Speed is not always a constituent to great work, the process of creation should be given time and thought.” ― E.A. Bucchianeri

    Photographers have become a huge target market to be milked.
    Does anyone know a photographer who isn’t award winning these days? Its like being published or exhibited or awarded or liked or followed means virtually nothing anymore.
    – Nick Turpin

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Auteur de l’article

      I like what Sebastian Jacobitz stated. That’s definitely the case on FB. Quantity over quality. You need to feed the beast. I don’t know how people can share so much. When I share something on FB, Insta and even WSP, I think about what photograph I should post. It’s like an editing. I’m not sharing for the sake of sharing. That’s why I’m not vey prolific, but believe me, I shoot a lot and there’s a lot of things I don’t share except on my Blog. That’s what is lacking on FB. People don’t edit anymore their work. You have to feed the beast to get exposure. No matter if what you’re sharing is any good or not.
      We can’t slow down people, but I can slow down myself to do things differently. That’s what I’m doing now.
      Being away from SM and all this turmoil is very refreshing. I’m also speaking of my photography. It’s like a reset in my mind. I’m no more looking at others pictures. It might seem meaningless but trust me, you look at the street differently with a fresh mind. Well it’s my case. Like a newborn.