Documenting the Human Condition: A Documentary on Street Photography

Here’s an oldie but goodie: back in September 2009, photographer Chris Weeks released this documentary about street photography titled Documenting the Human Condition. It’s occasionally preachy and at times feels like a stealthy Leica advertisement, but should be interesting to you if you’re at all interested in the practice of street photography.

  • iforgotthequestion

    Since when is 2009 old?

  • Ranhoff

    Hard to see through his arrogance. 

  • Benicio Murray

    narrator needs to get the hell over himself already.

  • Genebrowder

    I liked it. They had a point of view and they presented it.

  • Attic Dweller

    Sounds like he was struggling heavily to replace the word “Leica” with “Rangefinder”.

  • Richard Ford

    If you think his movie is bad – try reading his PDF file from deviant art a few years ago on street shooting.  These internet tough guys really piss me off.  Though he is probably a very nice chap.  Photo’s aren’t that exciting though.

  • 9inchnail

    Nice Leica-commercial. Of course rangefinders are great for street photography but how can you justify buying a M9 for 6000 bucks for a genre of photography that doesn’t make any money. We’re not talking about the 5 guys in the world that make a living with workshops and art shows, we’re talking about your Average Joe Photographer. Money may be in stock or wedding photography but not in street. You’ll die some day poor as with some gems on your HD no one will ever see or appreciate.

  • Flgraphics

    couldn’t watch the whole thing. I did feel like I was being talked down too.

  • Mimyofoto

    “A lumbering SLR”? My 20 year old Pentax Super A cost 50$, is neither lumbering nor catches the eye of subjects. 

    That was when I stopped watching this infomercial.

  • Dennis Marciniak

    You and me both.

  • Andrew

    Unfortunately, in our current society, no genre of art makes money for the average (or even above average) Joe or Jane. That shouldn’t and doesn’t stop people from creating it, even at great personal expense.

  • Bob Nelson

    the deviant art pdf was revolting.

    the guy is very annoying and his pictures are mediocre and boring.

  • Samuel

    And me

  • Osh

    i hope PP will not publish commercials in news section anymore. otherwise – not comin’ back.

  • David

    Chris Weeks is a smug douche who gives Leica photographers a bad name.
    His images are mediocre yet he thinks he’s Henri Cartier-Bresson.

  • Wotjek

    Do count me in. My Olympus OM-1n is far less of a thief magnet than his M9.

  • giacomo benecchi

    I feel unappreciated by thieves too, with “just” my OM-1

  • Gavin Stokes

    .”one who concerns himself with the fruit and not the flower”. …”rangefinder users are more non conformist”?????

  • B E. L

    It definitely felt like a Rangefinder, even Leica, advert, it was like watching adult-hipsters telling you why they’re good because they’re not mainstream and more “true” to the art. Just seems as though the high def video is a tool to back up his point, more than making a decent documentary. I shoot with an SLR, sometimes I go unnoticed, sometimes I get noticed – both make good photographs. I’m still learning, admittedly, having upgraded from a 4/3’s SLR to a full-body SLR is vastly different. I’ve found my technique never actually uses the viewfinder, strange, I line my right eye up to it and use my left eye to gauge the shot, meanwhile, gaining a pretty clear view of the scene and it works for me. While yeah I’ve never used a Rangefinder, I’ve seen many pictures that are good without one. Good pictures are good pictures, regardless of the camera, in my opinion. It felt like I was being patronized by the same sort of people I go to University with, the one’s who base the worth of their art on the specifications of their equipment, mainstream or not, it’s all the same. I recently blacked out, with PVC tape, the branding on my Canon and have definitely found myself less-obvious, but being slightly obvious is also good. Look at Winogrand’s photography, his bluntness and obviousness provoked interaction between the camera and the subject, something you can’t get with being silent, something that also gives insight to the human condition. I felt as though this guy is sitting on some Leica-pedestal, I’d argue that there shouldn’t be a “means” to street photography, in fact, differences in technology make different photographic approaches and therefore different images. This “documentary” just seemed, to me, a way for this guy to show us how he feels better than all of us because he uses superior products.

  • B E. L

    Also, check out Bruce Davidson’s “Subway” some of the best street photography and in the complete opposite direction of a small rangefinder. I can’t remember which camera, but it was big and had a flash and he even noted he made himself obvious to the everyone.

  • giacomo benecchi

    the “Subawy” serie is now exposed in Berlin…just great

  • Titus-Armand

    Take your pills, grandpa.

  • Sadastronaut77

    This guy needs to get over himself.  Average street shots at best.

  • Simon Brown

     I just did read the PDF. Ghastly. One or two good shots. The whole hectoring, profanity laden text was too much to stomach though. Utter drivel.

    Weeks comes across as rude, sneaky and unpleasant company. The sort of prat who gets street photography a bad name. Sorry, that should have read all photography, not just street photography.