STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

1970's STREET PHOTOGRAPHY - (cont'd)
The original Soho Photo Gallery was a cooperative that stimulated the imaginations and aspirations of a budding generation of photographers. With support and encouragement from those with a few more scars on their Nikons, young photographers got new technical information, exchanged ideas and hung group shows based on themes like "Male/Female", "Self-Portraits," etc, that were advertised and open to the public. Lee Romero (now Librado Romero), staff photographer at The NY Times, was the visionary who started the gallery. In those pre-internet years, this kind of information sharing was immensely important and it had a great impact on the young photographers who were the gallery's members.

Mastering darkroom technique was the hot topic of the day and the frequency of the monthly shows spurred photographers to make the finest prints possible. Many a beer was consumed over debates on rangefinders vs. SLR, Accufine developer, etc -- topics which seem innocent compared to discussions today about pixelation, dithering, USM, FTP, RGB, TIFF, GIF, ACDsee!

This section is in memory of the good old days of photojournalism.



FAQ's about Street Photography:

What's so interesting about shooting on the streets?
In Manhattan it seemed like everything and anything on the streets was interesting and fair game for the lens. We had just weathered the events of the Sixties and it seemed like everything was happening out on the streets. Of course, it didn't have to be just NYC and it wasn't restricted to streets for that matter. But it was always b&w, and the final photo never required a caption. At its best, a fine example of street photography is a visual equivalent for a human emotion and needs no words. At its best, each section of the photograph is important and loaded with meaning and emotional values.

Who were some of the other photographers in the original Soho Photo?
Paul Hosefros, Donal Holoway and John Morris, all from the NYT ; Jill Freedman, Don Stickles, David Chalk, Catherine Ursillo, Mike Levins are some others who come to mind. There must've been 40-50 members in all.

What was so special about the original Soho Photo Gallery?
It was a cooperative effort by and for photographers at a time when there were very few venues that exhibited photography by contemporary photographers. Those were exciting times when people even brought prints to the that were still dripping wet! It was an experiment in colleaguial, non-competitive photographic networking.

Isn't there still a Soho Photo Gallery?
Yes, there is, and it's an offshoot of the original one. The original gallery was on the second floor of a loft building on Prince and West Broadway and it lasted for about two years. The current one is on White Street. Same name, different location, different mood.



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