Street Photography

Way back in February I started writing this post about Tatsuo Suzuki. 
 
But then you know what happened. Suddenly the concern  around the genre seemed unimportant. 
 
But now I wonder if we’ll ever be able to see street photography like this again. Will images like those taken by Tatsuo Suzuki become relics of the past?  A  historical snap shot of a way of life, never seen again?    
 
I hope not. 
 
On his website, Suzuki describes his style as 
For a sense of how he takes his photographs and what caused the furor in Japan, read on. 
 


A minor kerfuffle hit the news in February when Fujifilm dropped Tatsuo Suzuki from their X Photographer program. The reason was public outrage in Japan on his shooting style. It was triggered by local reaction to a promotional video by Fujifilm showing different street photographers at work. 
 
I’m a fan of street photography and I admire Suzuki’s work. His signature style is achieved by taking  in-your-face pictures of people on the street. It was this invasive aspect that revolted the Japanese public.
 
But this is his art form. It always has been. He has won awards because of photos and his fame is based on his style. Personally, I find it disingenuous to enroll an artist based on his credentials and then drop him due to local protest. Within the photography world there was debate on the ethics behind Fujifilm’s decision. My opinion? It was more about ethnicity than ethics. The ethics of Suzuki’s photos were never questioned when he was enrolled. The precipitating factor was the cultural source of the objections. 
 
Anyways, it’s not my intent to philosophize about street photography.  Instead, if you’ve never heard of Tatsuo Suzuki,  I invite you to discover his work in this video. 

15 Comments

  1. I like the photos though I’d probably not be happy if he shoved his camera in my face. I totally agree that Fujifilm knew what they were getting when they signed him up. Pretty spineless to dump him, but then that’s business.

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    1. That’s the conundrum, isn’t it. On the one hand, I’d love to take this type of photos but I can’t imagine infringing on someone’s personal space like that. As to how I’d feel to be on the opposite end of the carmera? If it’s on the street like this, then I think I’d be surprised but not upset. But that’s only because I respect the craft.
      Glad to hear your opinion Graham.

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    1. All the work I’ve seen has been in monochrome. Seems to me that b&w is a favorite for this type of photography. The shadows and contrasts are very noir and adds to the atmosphere of the pieces.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have this issue with youtube links. It doesn’t take me to the link you suggest. I will have to google his name. Do you know why this happens? It usually work for the host blogger but not for me at my end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s strange. I wonder if anyone else is having a problem. What happens exactly – does it take you to some other video or does it tell you the video is not available or do you see a blank screen in my post? I’ve noticed that the WP editor gets a bit wonky when embedding multiple Youtube videos.

      I’ve added links to the videos in my post. Let me know if that takes you to the right videos. The first link is a slideshow of Tatsuo Suzuki’s photos posted by 3squinas Fotografia. The second link is a vid entitled ‘ON THE STREET WITH [002] : Tatsuo Suzuki’ posted by Samuel L. Streetlife

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      1. The embedded videos in the post work to take me there. It is when it is a typed link. And I copy and paste it – it takes me to a completely wrong page. It takes me to a totally different subject and video, when I copy this link

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  3. Thank you Sandy for introducing me. I will check it out and the fact that his work is slightly controversial adds to its potential allure!
    Funny I was going to do street photography as a theme for Friendly Friday – but will hold off for now. Great minds must think alike!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Urban street is challenging, this particular style, even more so. While I can do some styles of street, I don’t have the guts for this style of engagement.

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