No Name #1 2

You’ve probably already seen songs called No Name. Only on his album Roman Candle, the late songwriter Elliott Smith wrote No Name #1, No Name #2 and No Name #3! I took the liberty of imitating him, because to tell you the truth, I don’t have any ideas for titles for this Blog. About 2 months ago I started writing a Blog about my 7 years of Street Photography. I completely abandoned it when it was well advanced … That’s a sign! I tend to think of it as a kind of Freudian failure. There was probably no point in writing a blog about the 7 years I spent on the streets. To mark the occasion, I’d put together a slideshow of almost 50 photos from when I first started out. Shoo, bin!



Oh yes, you may not have heard, but I’ve started posting slideshows on YouTube again. It’s allowed me to share more recent photos and I’m sorry that I’ve somewhat neglected my Blog where nothing new is posted. Don’t think you’ve missed out on any nuggets or awesome photos … No, nothing like that. Just ordinary photos taken in Saint-Denis. If you want to take a look at YouTube, I’ll put the links here.



All that to say that although I haven’t been very active on the Blog front, I’ve still been taking photos. Funnily enough, I keep getting “Say Goodbye to Writer’s Block with WordAi” spam messages in my inbox! Wow, they’ve even realised that my Blog is almost dead and that something needs to be done to revive it! The thing is, I’ve got nothing left to say about Street Photography. I don’t even feel like commenting on anything. And anyway, as I’ve been cut off from everything since I left the Social Networks, I’m pretty far away from any kind of noise or distraction.



For example, even though I’ve written a Blog on AI here, I found it amusing to see the beginnings of the thing with people with 80 teeth or 7 fingers on each hand, but frankly, I don’t give a damn about AI. Strictly from a Street Photography point of view, if some people want to use this technology to build images, fuck it! I think it’s rubbish, but it won’t change anything for me. I like the practice because it allows me to get out of my house, wander the streets and capture insignificant moments. If some people are stupid enough to stay at home and build an image from scratch inspired by the best street photographers, they’ve understood nothing about the practice. So yes, with the advent of new algorithms and new software, they are already capable of producing some very beautiful images. You’ll note that I’m not calling this photography, because until there’s proof to the contrary, photography means painting with light… and not constructing from a computer! So screw AI-generated images. For me it’s not photography.



I continue to read blogs like Alex Coghe’s. And I realise that when I read his Blogs, I don’t have the same motivation to defend the practice as he does. Alex is a fervent defender of the practice and doesn’t hesitate to denounce behaviour that ruffles his feathers on Social Networks. That’s why I love him, and that’s why there’s a certain common thread between our ways of thinking. But where I’ve distanced myself from him is that I’ve stopped ranting about all that, partly because I’ve cut myself off from Social Networks and partly because I’ve grown bored and thrown everything away to concentrate on what I do. Selfish bugger!



Several years ago I wrote My Definition of Street Photography. Today I realise that it was pretentious of me, but I don’t deny anything I wrote. Today I just don’t give a damn about what other people do. They want to label what they do Street Photography when it’s light years away? It doesn’t affect me any more than that. Personally, I think it’s crap, but if it makes them happy to call it that, then I’m not part of the street photography brigade. I’m no longer that defender of the practice. I’ve got my own way of seeing things, there’s no need to impose it on others …



For a long time I’ve been trying to keep this blog on track. Talking almost exclusively about Street Photography, maybe that’s why the articles are getting rarer and rarer. Once again, I’m going to try to be a bit more assiduous by writing more regularly, but the last time I said that was more than 2 months ago … In any case, I’m particularly happy to have come to the end of this Blog, which certainly doesn’t have much interest and may seem disjointed, but from now on I’m going to write in one go like I did today. It’s like my Street Photography. I don’t need it to be perfect or well written. It’s just an excuse to share a few ideas and, above all, some photos with you!



All the photos were made if the Ricoh GRD IV.

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2 thoughts on “No Name #1

  • John Harper

    AI is not as smart as it thinks, but then again it doesn’t actually think. To begin with your blog is not dead. Secondly if it was capable of thought it would prevent itself from creating images. It would realise that for its human “image creators” there’s a much healthier option; Walk the streets, observe the human condition, enjoy total mindfulness and contemplate when to press the shutter and what makes a good frame. It’s the process, not necessarily the results.

    Writers block affects anyone writing a blog, again AI can’t help, it’s a good thing not to be able to decide what to write. The brain searches and becomes creative, eventually we arrive at an idea. That’s good training for your mind. If it’s not thinking or solving because that’s being done for it, then it wanders, it’s bored and in the end will just turn to existential angst. That said, I’m all out of ideas for Street Photography, I ran out of those ages ago.

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      Like you, I feel that I have said everything on street photography. That doesn’t mean that I can’t talk about it. It’s just that I ‘m running out of ideas of blogs. You’re right. It’s like my photography. Just let it be and everything will be fine. I’m no more forcing things. If it happens that I won’t take any photos for several days, it’s not a big deal.
      Kids are on holidays till mid August so very little time for street. Well I will snap during our stay on seaside like I do every time but I won’t focus on anything.
      The book you mentioned about winogrand is just top notch. This is real street photography for me. Some might say old school. May be, I’m old…
      And I ‘m lightyears from his work by the way!!!