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Street Photography and Hopelessness


Rufus Mangrove

street photography and hoplessness by rufus mangrove

Is there anything more hopeless in the photography world than street photography? Here’s a camera, go wander the fucking streets by yourself for a period of time and for no money, and come back with something good that most people don’t want to look at on their walls.

You ever get your rolls back in the mail and ask yourself why you were allowed to carry a camera that day? You ever review a memory card worth of pictures and immediately want to sell all your digital equipment on Ebay? Street photography can be fucking hopeless. But you do it anyway, because you saw a picture, and you had to take it. Or worse, you do it because you saw a picture and you missed it.

So if you’re going to do it, just know what you’re getting into. Because once you start, you will never stop, like some kind of sick Alfred Hitchcock episode . . .


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  1. Ballard L Tackett Jr #
    March 7, 2014

    Do it anyway.

  2. Lisa #
    March 10, 2014

    Rufus, I know just how you feel. I love your work and have one of your pix on my computer desktop at work where I see it every day when I log on. (The Alaa hot dog cart lady). I live in New Zealand. That’s how far your photos stretch…

  3. May 4, 2014

    I agree with all of this and I’m not even a street photographer. Especially the part about doing it because you once missed a shot.

  4. BookOfBokeh #
    May 21, 2014

    Honest to God, I did. Was in Africa for three years shooting constantly sending all the film back to my sister who dutifully developed them. Went home for a vacation and saw that all I was shooting was snapshots, not photographs. Was so pissed, I sold the camera, every lens, all the equipment and bought an idiot proof box that I was more suited for. (They’re all lost now, those pictures…I wish I could see them now to re-judge them from an older point of view. C’est la vie.)

    I am assuming that to have the nerve to capture the street honestly, you have to have the nerve to be honest with yourself. This was a great post and showed your courage and honesty.

  5. Casey Ingram #
    July 25, 2016

    Can I use this photo for my band ep cover photo ? Pretty plz!! It be really awesome

    • Rufus Mangrove #
      November 7, 2016

      Contact me at rufusmangrove at yahoo.

  6. Rufus Mangrove #
    June 24, 2015

    Thank you. However, it is common courtesy that you actually credit my name to the photo on your post, which is great by the way! In my copyright notice, you can certainly use the image in your post, but you have to properly credit it. A simple link at the bottom of the page that just has a hyperlink “IMAGE CREDIT” is not enough. Thanks for your cooperation.

  7. June 24, 2015

    Hello, sorry again for using your image without proper credit.

  8. Rufus Mangrove #
    June 25, 2015

    No problem at all. Keep on with the great stuff!

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