Should we think about these photographs or their subjects? Yes. Do we consider the art of them or the culture they depict? Yes, both. And perhaps composition or feeling? Again, yes.
Ken Bloom’s exhibition Public Domain: Street Photographs of Japan 1976-78 at the Duluth Art Institute shows three years of his work from the mid-1970s in city areas of Japan. Most are black and white; a few later ones are in color. The compositions are tight. The subject is people in their time and environment. Movement (striding, shopping, riding, jumping, talking, gazing) and waiting (for the ferries, for the trains, for the kids, for the work day to begin) are the subjects of many.