09 Jun Art or recycling?

Source: Don Craig

Street photography: I can’t give it away

Last weekend, as I was cleaning my home office, I started to fill the recycling container with unwanted prints. Some that had sat unloved for years. Instead of recycling the prints, my daughter suggested that I offer them, for free, at work. So, this morning, I dropped a pile of unframed prints on a couple of tables and left them there for a few hours. Thus started my inadvertent social experiment.

At the outset, there was a flurry of activity and the “best” prints were quickly snatched up. Over the course of the morning, the pile diminished until there were only a handful of prints remaining. As these are my work colleagues and they are nice people, I heard a lot of “oh, that’s so beautiful” and “this is such a great idea.”

A few of them picked up and looked at prints of my street photos. One actually took two of my double-exposure street prints home. But they overwhelmingly took conventionally appealing landscapes and seascapes, flower photos, and colourful images of boats and ships. And they left the street photos.

Now, I know that street photography is a genre best loved by, well, photographers. In fact, I suspect the average person considers it either a waste of time or downright creepy. Why are you photographing complete strangers on the street? Really?! And then, why would you consider printing any of them? Double really?!

My inadvertent social experiment once again…

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