How not to do street photography..

Each to their own and all that, but here’s a tip…unless you want a fat lip and a load of crap pictures, don’t do street photography like this:


Discussion (20 Comments)

  1. John says:

    Surely, a spoof, a belated April Fools’ Day prank. I hope and pray.

    • David White says:

      I’m afraid not John. How depressing- what total and utter lack of respect, skill, thought, knowledge, ability and results. Still, if he keeps it up the only thing his d90 will be taking pictures of is his small intestines.

  2. JonathanJK says:

    I think street photography has moved on from this style. We should want to know more about those being photographed. This stuff won’t win awards or further a photographer’s talent for handling a scene. It’s just luck if he gets what he thinks is a good shot.

    More Flickr crud that will collect dust but generate negativity for the good street photographers.

  3. I’m speechless.

    I guess the only way he’s getting away with it without a broken nose is because he’s got his ‘production team’ with him for backup.

  4. Dan says:

    Courage, maybe. Talent, ummmmm?

  5. Stan B. says:

    Did he really say he’s “a bit more of a perfectionist than Gilden?” I could almost forgive the arrogance (although not his pervert in a raincoat sneak attack on steroids routine)- if he had the results to actually prove it.

    Perhaps the video should be applauded for the cautionary tale that it is.

  6. craig says:

    Isn’t this technique more or less exactly the same as Gildens? (In fact probably less aggressive as he doesn’t flash people). Doing street photography like this doesn’t necessarily mean the results will therefore be crap?

    A few years from now (and a few fat lips later) this guys results might not be much different than Gildens. And let’s remember that Gilden (and his work) is pretty much revered and probably becoming more popular.

    The “a bit more of a perfectionist than Gilden” comment was funny though!

    • duckrabbit says:

      Hi Craig,

      good comment.

    • David White says:

      Good points Craig, but the fact he doesn’t use flash is the problem in a way…to work like that you need the flash to freeze movement. The way his subjects are moving and the way he is throwing his camera around mean he is very unlikely to get any useable shots, unless he’s shooting at 8000th of a second at 6400 iso. Maybe he is. I suppose he is arguably less aggressive than Gilden, but I don’t remember seeing Bruce hiding behind things then jumping out like a wounded ninja. The lad will probably go far.

  7. craig says:

    Yeah, I take your point.

    Aggression aside Bruce’s technique is probably far more technical, not least because he is or was seriously restrained by the limitations of film speed/grain.

    Also, having seen a vid of Gilden in action it never felt like he was using his camera like a weapon, whereas this guy seems to fling it around like he was playing Call of Duty. SLR + heavy lens banged against your bonce = pain.

  8. ST84Photo says:

    Craig – still is, Gilden still shoots film. he *might* shoot digital sometimes (I honestly don’t know), but he definitely does still shoot film.

    Wish I could see the video – it’s been taken down.

  9. Don’t want to take defense of this guy but I think filming the process of shooting the street is often misleading and infortunate. Basically you have:

    – guys acting gently and making good shots
    – guys acting gently and making dull shots
    – guys acting like assholes and making good shots (Marc Cohen, anyone ?)
    – guys acting like assholes and making bad shots.

    … Keeping in mind that even the most seemingly gentle photographer can look like an asshole for many folks, especially today. I don’t think anyone is invisible. Just imagine how the guy doing this shot: … looked like when he framed.

    • JKaranka says:

      Jacques, having spoken with Marc Cohen a few times he does sound like a genuinely nice guy shooting in a small town, which might sound surprising!

      • Joni,

        I was quite ironic here. Actually I like Mark Cohen’s work a lot, and think he is one of the few innovative street photographer of the post-Winogrand era. “Grim Street” is a fantastic photobook. And I’m aware that his work has more to do with self-reflection rather than assaulting people.

        That was my point actually, to say that you cannot really say what is good or not simply based on what you see of the process being gentle or not. Otherwise “good” street photography will be reduced to street portraits made by people asking permission à-la sartorialist.

  10. Rob Boler says:

    Video is still available at
    (as at 15.30 BST, 8 Sep 2011).

    Very relieved to find the video, & to see that it’s not me being filmed (with someone getting my name wrong).

  11. Graeme Nicol says:

    The video has been taken down from youtube, but his brand of idiocy is still available to see on a Chinese video website.
    Good luck to Peres in being able to remove it from Chinese cyberspace… :O

    Actually I’d be lying if I said I’d never been too intrusive with a lens, in a moment of over-exuberance or carlessness. It happens. However, if that sinking feeling resulting from my sense of diminished “street-karma” didn’t tell me it hadn’t been worth it, a quick look at the DSLR screen would.

    It’s an incredibly one-dimensional way of shooting and results in incredibly one-dimensional images.

  12. ST84Photo says:

    Saw that chinese upload earlier via HCSP. I’m amazed the guy was foolish enough to make the video and not realise how he’d end up looking. Maybe he saw one too many youtube videos of top photographers and thought if he could fake a similar character nothing else would matter. Isn’t that what “auto” setting on your camera is for, after all?

    I also use the “auto” setting on my camera when I’m photographing in high heel stilettos (when I’m trying to be a model photographer for others to literally look up to). But it doesn’t always work. I think my camera must be broken or isn’t good enough because of this.

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