Unboxing ‘La Habana en color’

In ‘La Habana en color,’ Neil Ta has put together a series of classic Street Photographs from Cuba, all shot on film, with an XPAN.

Let’s just get to the unboxing…

I’m not sure where I found out about this… maybe one of the times I perused Eric Kim’s site, maybe. Anyway, I scored a limited edition with a print. Go Go!

So, as I said, this is Street Photography with a capital “S, P.” Ta knows all the tricks, all the classic arrangements and alignments, and he employs them with Skill and Intent, and it’s been awhile since I’ve seen anything like this… probably not since before I got married, right after I got an iPhone 4 and started shooting with it, when I avidly followed Kim and Big Head Taco and Matt Stuart and the rest. Some of them have aged well in my memory; others, well, not so much. And I left off this sort of work in ’12 or ’13 as a sort of style I wouldn’t engage in and that was probably best left to other, more capable personalities.

Well, that, and it all started to look the same to me. Maybe you know what I’m talking about; maybe you’d rather flame me or dismiss me as hater. I’m not too afraid on either count: this blog gets few visitors and few comments, and I know precisely who and what I am.”Hater” is not on that list. If you want to shoot street, shoot street: I do sometimes too—and if you have the skill and drive to shoot Street, then, by all means, go for it.

But to be honest, I might just feel a bit cheated on this one.

Sure, I got a nice zine chock full of well composed, well executed Street Photography, signed and numbered, and a print… Sure, I paid $65 Canadian for it. $65 CAN for a blurb zine and an inkjet print on good paper. If I sold the same, I’d probably charge something in the neighborhood of $25, and would probably feel a bit guilty about it and drop it to $20 and take a bit of a loss on it.

But that’s me, and, as I said, I know precisely who and what I am, and I’m not a Street Photographer, not trying to make it as a pro photog of any sort, and not trying to profit off my hobby. And maybe I shouldn’t begrudge someone who is.

‘La Habana en color’ is well printed, though some of the scans look a bit digitized, not pixelated, but slick, overly sharpened, with too much grain suppression or something. The photography is accomplished and right in line with what you’d expect from 21st Century Street Photography. (I really shouldn’t hate on that point: solid photography is solid photography, and that Street stuff take skill and patience.)

unrated

I started to give ‘La Habana en color’ one of my lower ratings, down there with the Burroughs record or the Madonna book, but I think I’d be rating the style of photography and the price of the object, rather than the photography and object itself. And, anyway, La Habana en Color is out of stock… a more economic reviewer might rate it high in hopes of driving the value up in the secondary market. But that’s not me, either.

If you’re a fan of Street Photography, go check out Ta’s work, and maybe be inspired. Check out the ‘La Habana‘ series while you’re at it: there is some good stuff there, really.

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