I received this comment a few months back and it got me thinking: is street photography dead?
” i’ve become terminally bored of what photography is today. the internet, the complete ubiquity of imaging. everytime i pick up a magazine or newspaper – everyone now is ‘an award winning photographer’ of this or that genre, ‘an artist’. it’s become utterly banal. art/flickr/street photography. i’m embarrassed to tell my nearest and dearest who regard me as ‘the resident expert’ on cameras and photography that i’m done with it and that, how the world has changed, i find all so cliched, contrived and meaningless now.
the internet has burnt it up. made what was novel mundane. a street scene in new delhi/nyc/paris/moscow/khartoum – a thousand photoshopped examples anwhere/anytime 24/7 at the click of a mouse. it’s been fun along the way but now..the riskiest shot in a seedy quarter of a foreign city is just another screensaver cliche. photojournalism is routine, the world has moved on even if it still needs to sell its legacy in the form of DSLRs and colomn inches.”
Everyone has a camera of some form or another. The digital revolution has made that possible for the masses. The rise of blogging sites and the internet have increased the distribution of street photography images. And more and more people now, when you ask them what kind of photography they do, they say, “I do street photography.” If you look up street photography on google, you’ll get an insanely long list of sites of people either doing street photography or discussing the technical aspects surrounding it.
I of course include myself in this blob of masses. I don’t make a living off photography. I don’t even make lunch money off this. I have a film camera but I primarily use a digital camera. I post my photos on this site and on flickr. I look at a lot of my photos on this site and I honestly think they suck ass. I’m not going to take them off my site, as street photography to me is as much a journey as it is the final product you hang on your wall or a gallery’s wall. It’s like a diary as opposed to an art show. Maybe it’s just some fucked up way for me to express myself, for both personal self-expression reasons and the more human emotion to be recognized.
The mere amount of street photography that is out there now — the almost ubiquitious nature of it — have called into question whether street photography as a genre is dead. While I think the rise of street photograhy has increased the amount of mediocre images (I include many of my own) floating around, I think it also has increased the amount of stunning and powerful images out there.
The problem is finding them. There is so much out there now, that sometimes you have to sift through a lot of shit until you find images that move you and represent, at least in your view, what HCB and GW had in mind. It’s harder now to find inspiration with the current mold of street photographers. Twenty years ago, you had a solid handful of street photographers. You knew where to look. You knew where to start.
Now where do you start? Whose images break free from the mediocrity that plagues most of us? Who will save street photography as a ubiquitious, faceless genre?
Meet Chris Weeks. Still Photographer. Run on sentences. Thoughts. Feelings. Oblivion. Black hole.
He is the Ender Wiggins of Street Photography. Irreverant. Rude. Egotistical. An asshole. These are all interpretations by the Launchies. We all are launchies compared to him.
It’s not his god damn leica and leica lenses.
It’s his eye for the human condition.
That’s what is magic.
He is here to save street photography from itself.
He is here: Chris Weeks