LUCK

LUCK Header

 

In this article Barry Talis and Edas Wong show us the role of LUCK on the street

 


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Edas Selfie-1

Edas Wong

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Barry Selfie-1

Barry Talis

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]I remember the first thing you told me is that you and I are very different photographers. How would you define our differences and similarities?

Barry

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]The first impressions after looking at your photos are:

1. Each photo gives very large range and extreme strong expressions

2. Technique of using flash is so incredible

Both of them normally cannot be found in my photos and so I said our photos are so different :-). I don't want my target subjects to know they were being shot; therefore, I don't use flash and in most of photos, they were in "faceless".....! So, up to now, I am still a fool on using flash :-(

On the other hand, I think both of us have similarity: connectivity. You link various intertwined expressions to form a shocking photo. For me, I link the relationships between different subjects to form a surreal photo.

Edas

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Untitled by Edas Wong

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]One of the things you told me about your photos is that they are "luck only". I can really sympathize with this feeling of having almost no control of the situation. However your photos are far from being only lucky, so How do you gain Control of the situation? DO you observe and wait? are you looking for certain things?

Barry

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]All of my photos were obtained from LUCK. It is a fact :-). My shooting style is actually very simple and also there is no standard rule. I always keep walking (wander) to seek for "luck" and shooting. I believe 99% theory, i.e. 1 out of 100 will be a good photo. Therefore, the more shooting, the higher opportunity of having good photos. Moreover, sometimes (but not often), in case I find an interesting scene/background, I "might" stay there and wait for opportunity; oppositely, I "might" trace an interesting subject to look for relative background. Furthermore, I also like boundless imagination/dreaming during observation ,-).

-Edas

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Untitled by Edas Wong

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Lots of street photographers say that "they have to shoot, if they don't shoot they become sick" can you relate to that? why do you think you shoot?

-Barry

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]No, NOT ME. I can stop shooting but cannot stop imagining/dreaming. In the first half of 2014, I completely stopped shooting because I left my camera in Stockholm and came back Hong Kong to take care my wife. During that tough period, although I didn't produce any photo, I still imagined to outline some interesting images.

Edas

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Untitled by Edas Wong

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]For me, street photography is not only shooting. It also Editing your work snf sharing it. What is your favorite/un-favorite part?

-Barry

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Personally, I prefer going out to street than spending time on editing. My experience is a good photo normally doesn't need big editing..., even no cropping. So, I only spend little time to change the color not to be so "digital". However, sometimes, even the photos had been posted to flickr, I might edit and then repost them again, if I changed my mind....

-Edas

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Untitled by EdasWong

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I like listening to people  and I am drawn to interesting and natural expressions. Some say that you are looking for characters  that represent you, for me its sympathizing with someone with a clear expression. So  if I can sympathize with him, he is me in some way. But usually one face  isn’t realy enough, it has to come with a suitable background and good contrasting characters that can spark my imagination for a story  So for one face to work, it has to be very close to  let me observe the inner world of the character.

-Barry

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]As a good artist/photographer, own character is very important. Your photos always provide amazing extreme expressions. What factors cultivate you to have such unique character, education, culture, etc.?

-Edas

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Untitled by Barry Talis

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I discovered street photography by  mistake , while trying to shoot visual materials for documentary films. I do want to try other types sometimes but the street genre is so vast (and therapeutic). I feel that I cant get enough of it.

-Barry

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]In your flickr photostream, all of them are street photography. Have you thought to change to other types of photography? What are they?

-Edas

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Untitled by Barry Talis

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Every street photographer has gotten in trouble and I also  gotten a few panda eyes. Im always trying to be careful but when I see an interesting opportunity I usually go for it and deal with the consequences later. It can actually be easier to shoot people from close distance, because its so unusual they think you are shooting something else in the background. The flash is a different story, it limits me to only 1 natural shot before people notice me and the moment is over.

-Barry

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]I really admire who can approach targeted objects so close and shoot them with flashing. If I did like this Hong Kong, I would get a pair panda eyes by being hitted. Had you encountered any difficult situation after flashing someone?

-Edas

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Untitled by Barry Talis

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]All street photos have an element of luck, but these 2 are truly happy accidents for me. This one is pure luck

https://www.flickr.com/photos/83917938@N02/11351121835/

and this one is so lucky, I only saw the shadow later when I was editing.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/83917938@N02/11861932426/

-Barry

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Let talk about our theme - luck. Could you show us some examples (with links) which you got them with full of lucks and unforgettable memories?

-Edas

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Untitled by Barry Talis

 


Favourite street photos from UPSP

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Barry Selection-1

Eye doctor's appointment by Violet Kashi

[quote]This wonderful cinematic photo from Violet Kashi, still  leaves me speechless. Its one minute before 12 o'clock, the old lady is eager, the Secretary is annoyed. So many stories that can be told, and the wonderful Characters are positioned perfectly in the surreal perspective. Tim Burton would be proud.

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-Barry

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Edas Selection-1

Untitled by Andreas Katsakos

[quote]This wonderful photo from Andreas Katsakos makes me tears down. It triggers me to remember my passed away mother and how painful I was in 2014. There are so many touching stories/messages behind the photo. Did she look at her young photo to reminisce youth? Or, did she memorize the lost family member?[/quote]

-Edas

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Jimmy Dovholt

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Jimmy Dovholt
http://sthlmstreet.com
Flickr

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Today we're talking to Jimmy Dovholt. Stockholm man, its a dark dark place, literally... Come hear about it.

 

[fourcol_one_first]Thanks for taking some time out to have a chat Jimmy. First off, can you tell us a little about yourself and you work?
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[fourcol_three_last]Thank you for having me, it is an honour. I am 44 years old, father of a tweenie son, I work as a Web Analyst and live in a suburb not far from central Stockholm, Sweden.

I have been photographing since 2007 but didn´t start shooting seriously until a couple of years ago. It was then I decided to actively study and engage with the international online SP communities as well as hooking up with some of the local shooters. I did engage with others before this too, but realized that their ideas of what good SP is about was quite primitive and was holding me back.

Looking back at my earlier work I can see a big shift in the way I photograph and how I determine which images are keepers after attending a workshop with In-Public last spring.

I do most of my shooting in Stockholm where I live, but like to visit other cities as much as possible. That´s one thing I really love about beeing a street photographer: give me a camera and a pair of nice sneakers, air drop me anywhere urban and I am happy.

As far as style concerned, I like observering people, patterns and the surroundings. My own mood at the time affects both what I find interesting to shoot and how I present it. Therefore, I have no problem mixing loud shots - usually with flash - with more quiet observations in available light in my photo stream. Close up flash may be "Cruise Control for Cool" nowdays but I would get creatively bored shooting nothing else than that.

- JD

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[fourcol_one_first]I know youre from Stockholm. Can you tell us a little about shooting on the streets there, and how it might differ from other places around the world?

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[fourcol_three_last]Compared to the major cities in Europe or elsewhere Stockholm is not that large, with less than one million people living in the municipality. We have a nice international mix of people which means divergent street life

In summertime we have lots of light, in June you could actually shoot hand held 24 hours a day. On the other hand we have an average of some 50 hours of light in total in November so no wonder if we get nuts. The dark winters are actually a consideration when trying to explain Swedens suicidal rate.  A crappy summer with rain and no sun probably bumps the suicidal rate up a notch or two as well ;)

Shooting street in Stockholm means that you have to go look for people during winter since we tend to do most of our stuff indoors dressed in dark colours. Basically Sex, ”fika" and rock and roll. From springtime and until autumn we go nuts again and spend as much time as possible outside since any sunny day could be the last one.

Sweden is an open society and our legislation towards shooting in the streets are the same as in most countries: you are allowed to take pictures while in a public space. The only restriction concerns military installations, but you don´t find many of those inside the urban settings. Besides the law I would say that the citizens might have more narrow idea of what is legal so from time to time I run into people that I have to explain this to. I always have business cards with me that says “STREET PHOTOGRAPHER”, since I´ve learned that it helps calm any heated situation down if you are quick on the draw. There haven´t been many of those though.

- JD

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[fourcol_one_first]Can you talk a little more about the In-Public workshop. What did you find helpful about attending a structured learning session?

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[fourcol_three_last]Besides meeting a bunch of iconic In-Public photographers (Matt Stuart, David Solomon and Blake Andrews) it was the part when we had in depth discussions during the last day of the work shop about our photos. It made me realize that I have to be more restrictive when editing my photos and also that I have to push my self more to move on. I like to think of my progress as "always in beta", but every now and then you have to take a good look at what you are doing and decide if it is time to change direction.

It turned out I wiped out most of my portfolio and started all over with new inspiration thanks to that workshop. :)

- JD

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[fourcol_one_first]What do you do as a day job? And how do you find this impacts your photography if at all?

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[fourcol_three_last]I work as a Web Analyst at a digital agency called Creuna in Stockholm where I help clients to evaluate and optimize their web sites. I am not sure it has any direct impact on my street work, but besides the obvious of having a nice income I do have lots of opportunities to practice close up flash shooting on our parties.

- JD

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[fourcol_one_first]I, along with a lot of others wouldn’t be able to comprehend having no light for such a long time. How to you manage to stay productive during the Winter?

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[fourcol_three_last]It is mentally tough when it is dark going to work and dark when you leave, but I try to go out during lunch breaks and of course every weekend. There is still light in the city and indoors of course and the shooting conditions in the metro is constant during the year so it is not like there is nowhere to shoot without flash. Ironically, when the light arrives in spring I tend to go into the shadows to shoot :)

- JD

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[fourcol_one_first]Who are some of your influences, photographically or otherwise?

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[fourcol_three_last]I get my influences from all over the place, like from the surreal Jeunet & Caros movies, the improvisation skills of band like Tribal Tech and how Trent Parke handles light. I have a back ground in music and always try to get to shoot the streets the same way a musician improvise in a band. Absorb the context and add a part of you into the mix

- JD

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[fourcol_one_first]What sort of music is your background in and do you still play?

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[fourcol_three_last]I got into synthesizers and keyboards in my early teen and found jazz/fusion a couple of years later. Played in different bands before I moved to Stockholm and become more interested in writing music. It was not on a professional scale or anything, but I put a lot of time and engagement into it. When I got my son in 2001 most of that energy had to be focused on him. For long periods I was basically a single parent so everything but the boy and work was low priority, including music. Nowdays, the kid is older and photography gets all my attention.

- JD

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[fourcol_one_first]What plans if any do you have for your work in the future?

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[fourcol_three_last]I have a bunch of theme based projects going on that slowly ripes. Ok, they are not proper projects since they don't have any deadlines, but still. I am not very keen on pushing my self out there, but I realize it is necessary for my photography to grow. For me, that means exhibitions, competitions and the occational feature interview. UPSP was actually my first street competition :)

- JD

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[fourcol_one_first]Any parting words for people reading?

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[fourcol_three_last]I think every photographer should have a portfolio with their top crackers. This will help you to see where you are going as well as being a good starting point for others who are interested in checking you out. Make it a small selection and re-evaluate it annually. Kill your darlings and be patient.

Oh, and get yourself some D-vitamines. Winter is coming :)

- JD

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Jonathan Taylor - National Bowling Championships

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Jonathan Taylor
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathantaylor/

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In this article we're delving into images of the National Bowls Championship, as photographed by Jonathan Taylor. We'll find out a little about Jonathan along the way as well no doubt!

Jonathan Taylor ©

[fourcol_one_first]Thanks for spending some time talking to us about your series Jonathan. To start us off can you tell us a bit about yourself? 
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[fourcol_three_last]Firstly, many thanks for the opportunity to be featured on the UPSP website.

I was born in Stoke on Trent UK and at the age of five my family went to live in Dubai in the Middle East. After 6 glorious years in Dubai, my family returned to Stoke on Trent when I was at high school age, which was a real shock to the system! After studying at university in Leicester UK, living in London for several years and extensive travel to South Africa, Malaysia and Thailand, I am now a father of two children, living back in Stoke on Trent, travelling around the country working as a site auditor in the telecommunications industry.

- JT

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Jonathan Taylor © (1)

[fourcol_one_first]How did you find photography? 

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[fourcol_three_last]It was the B&W photographs Anton Corbijn took for the sleeve work of U2’s album The Joshua Tree in 1987 that first really introduced me to photography. The imagery in the albums sleeve work really opened my eyes to the creative process of photography. It was then at college in the early 1990’s I chose photography as a subject to study. I had to fill my time with a certain amount of hours of study, so I selected photography as a means of filling my time table. I was a short time into my time at college that I realised what a fantastic world in photography I had discovered. It was here I was introduced to the works of Bresson and Brandt and as a result, I mainly took photographs of people on the street, which at the time was classed as documentary photography. I remember the thrill of first working in the darkroom watching my image slowly appear in the tray of developer. It was a magical process. I then went on to study photography and design at University.

- JT

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Jonathan Taylor © (2)

[fourcol_one_first]Dubai… Cool… Its interesting. I have been having some conversations with a good friend about transient people in photography. I moved around a lot when I was young, and it sounds like you have travelled a lot. Might not be something you have thought about before, but would be interesting to hear your thoughts.

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[fourcol_three_last]Good question. Myself personally, at a young age I was introduced to an alternative childhood and upbringing to one that I would never have experienced had I stayed living in the UK . Living in Dubai , I was exposed to a very different culture and alternative way of life. Before settling and starting a family, I lived in various locations and travelled extensively. With the experience you get from sampling different cultures, the exposure to unfamiliar environments and varying civilizations I think it is inevitable you have a different perception and outlook and view the world in more detail.

- JT

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Jonathan Taylor © (3)

[fourcol_one_first]So you started with film like many. Do you still shoot any film, and I am pretty sure that you're mainly digital these days, so what was the trigger that transitioned you to digital?

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[fourcol_three_last]I first started shooting on a Canon compact film camera that belonged to my Mother. My first SLR was a Nikon FE. I used Kodak colour film and Ilford HP5. I also used Kodak Kodachrome E6 film for my travels. This film gave really nice results when cross processed. After a prolonged absence from photography, on my return I bought a Nikon D80 but now I use a Ricoh GR, which I love and for me is the perfect tool for street photography. Shooting film gives the image a certain quality and aesthetic you won’t get from digital, but it does have financial implications that shooting digital doesn’t! Digital suits my needs as access to the images is instantaneous which living a busy life suits me.

- JT

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Jonathan Taylor © (4)

[fourcol_one_first]I know you're showing us some images from a series you have taken at the national bowling championships. Tell us a little about it.

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[fourcol_three_last]The series of images was taken at the National Bowling Championships in August 2014 in Leamington Spa. My family had the opportunity to house sit for some relatives of mine whilst they were away on holiday. We went to a park which was a short walk from the house where we were staying and we stumbled across the event. Using ice cream as a bribery to keep my children happy, I wandered around the event with my GR in hand. The quintessential Britishness of the event was quite wonderful and urge to photograph was instantaneous. What really struck me was how the aging spectators were sat on chairs facing the various bowling greens even though no bowling was taking place. There were participants proudly parading their pin badge medals on their jacket lapels from previous victories, there was lots of shuffling of plastic and folding chairs to different bowling greens and cups of tea and rain coats a plenty. These were all the things that became the beautiful elements of the event to photograph.

- JT

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Jonathan Taylor © (5)

[fourcol_one_first]One of the things that struck me about the series is the colour combinations and contrasts. The funny thing is the colours sort of dont correlate to the 'Britishness' that you mentioned earlier. Can you talk a little about colour in your work in general?

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[fourcol_three_last]The day I took the photographs, it was beautiful sunshine, but with erratic and heavy downpours that lasted only minutes. These downpours were frequent, so the bowlers where under umbrellas waiting for the rain to pass and the spectators were in their waterproofs for the duration. So in that sense it was typically British! The content of the images I feel to be very British, but because I used flash whilst shooting, I guess the images are naturally vibrant in their content.  With regards to my colour work in general, like most, I have dabbled with black and white in the past, but now I always shoot in colour. This is the way we see the world, so it makes sense for me to capture it in this way.  Graphical content is an important element in my photographs, so colour is the natural choice for what I want to achieve with my imagery.

- JT

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Jonathan Taylor © (6)

[fourcol_one_first]Name some influential artists for you and tell us a little about how they influenced your work?

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[fourcol_three_last]Over the years there have been many individuals who have been an influence. The people who have had notable impact over the years are the likes of Bill Brandt & Richard Avendon. When I was a student studying photography in the 1990’s, it was publications such as Dazed and Confused and ID magazine that really got the creative juices flowing and photographers such as Nick Knight and Jean Baptiste Mondino were important influences on my studio based work. A real lightning bolt moment was when I first saw the photography of Richard Billingham when it was part of the Saatchi’s ‘Sensation’ exhibition at The Royal Academy. It had real impact as did the whole exhibition of the artists on display. The colour work of Constantine Manos and Alex Webb is very special. The one photographer that has always has notable impact is Martin Parr. His wit, observation and vision, whilst documenting life is quite incredible. It could be said that this notable influence can be seen in this series of images, but it was not a conscious thing at the time of shooting. I just photographed the elements of the event that were of interest to me. But, if you photograph a ‘British’ event, using flash, shooting it in colour, then this is inevitable.

- JT

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Jonathan Taylor © (7)

[fourcol_one_first]Favourite photo book of books?

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[fourcol_three_last]I love photography books and it would be impossible to choose just one. A few to mention would be The Last Resort and Think of England by Martin Parr, Richard Avendon’s Evidence 1944-1994, the art project Face 2 face by JR, Grim Street by Mark Cohen, Street Photography Now, Minutes to Midnight by Trent Parke and Pastoral by Alexander Gronsky. My recent addition to the collection is, Don’t Just Tell Them, Show Them by Jesse Marlow.  His eye for an image and his delivery of colour is just stunning.

- JT

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Jonathan Taylor © (8)

[fourcol_one_first]Thanks for talking to us, its great to learn a little about some of our active members in this way. Last parting words or advice for people?

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[fourcol_three_last]Thank you for the opportunity Tristan. It is appreciated. As for parting words and advice for people. I am just like everybody else on UPSP. I like to wander with the camera and enjoy the escapism that street photography brings. So I would just say, enjoy your camera time, drink alcohol by the bottle and make sure you eat the recommended 5 a day portions of fruit and veg…….or is it 6 now….I am not sure.. So eat an extra citrus portion just in case…

- JT

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Jonathan Taylor © (10)

 


 

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Swapnil Jedhe

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Swapnil Jedhe
http://www.swapniljedhe.com/

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[fourcol_one_first]Thanks for sharing some work with us Swapnil. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your work?[/fourcol_one_first]

[fourcol_three_last]It’s a pleasure to interact with team UPSP. I would like to thank you for providing an opportunity to showcase my work on UPSP.

I am born and brought up in the lovely city of Pune (India), which is known for a distinct laidback and cosmopolitan culture. I have completed my education in applied arts. Currently, I am working as an art director in an advertising agency. My first instance of using the camera came in early 2012, when I started clicking pictures just to break the routine mould. It was then that I discovered my initial liking and later on, passion for photography. One fine day, I accidentally came across ‘That’s Life’, an Indian Street photography collective. It excited the budding street photographer in me.

From behind the lens, I consider myself as an entertainer. I entertain myself and the viewer. I try to make my pictures as simple as possible so that even non-connoisseurs can enjoy it, with their own interpretations. Exploring the hidden art within boring mundane life that we live, has driven my passion for street photography.

The idea of capturing that 'magical unseen moment' from a very ordinary-looking scene is a thrilling prospect for me. If you observe, most of my pictures have a surprise element or a twist in them. It serves like a hook for the viewer, who can sit back and spend some moments with the picture.

- SJ

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[fourcol_one_first]The compositions that you use in your work are often very busy, and other times are unconventional. Can you talk a little about this?

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[fourcol_three_last]Normally, I shoot only when something pleases me the most, which is either a story or a scene. In fact, as I look at it, every scene lets our imagination craft a story behind it. As I stated before, I want my viewer to spend some time looking at the picture and observing it in his/her own way. For that, I try and organise the visual clutter (which is and will always be an integral part of India and its landscape) in my compositions, so that eyes flow swiftly all over the frame. At other time, I click a special moment which might evoke viewer’s imagination. The results thus differ with the elements present in the frame. Eventually, my compositions are not deliberate efforts but natural instinct. I don’t over-think about the composition while shooting :), rather I see a story or a moment, and capture it as I see it.

- SJ

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[fourcol_one_first]You mentioned in an email to me that you had started working on a project, would you share a little about it?

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[fourcol_three_last]Not exactly. I think it is getting developed simultaneously, from my body of work. Over time, I can spot some visual threads in my portfolio. In the future, I might put together these images and see if some form of a project or a collage takes its own shape.

- SJ

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[fourcol_one_first]You also mentioned that you prefer to shoot single images than projects. Is there a reason for this?

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[fourcol_three_last]My photography is heavily time constrained, since I’m a working professional and also a family man. While shooting a project excites me, it also demands greater time commitment. I’m a street photographer at heart who loves to capture a moment and tell a story in a single image. I don’t plan anything before leaving for a shoot. I just shoot whatever comes to me.

- SJ

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[fourcol_one_first]You talked a little about your home town and shooting there. I have been told that capturing candid images in India as a foreigner can be hard as cameras tend to draw people, is this a challenge that you have as a local as well?
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[fourcol_three_last]Yes, people do get curious if I wander with camera into the public places. Many think that I’m a press photographer and shooting some stories for a newspaper. If something illegal is going on, they get upset by the camera. But it is not always like that. Here in India, people love getting photographed :) If you are trying to get a candid moment of a person, the other guys around ask that person to smile for picture. This makes candid photography, a bit challenging. And for a foreigner it becomes tougher.

If I come across any interesting spot, I simply wait and hang around. People get bored after some time and return to their routine activities and don’t mind if I shoot later.

- SJ

[/fourcol_three_last]

5

[fourcol_one_first]The framing in your work is really spot on a lot of the time. There is conjecture in some people about cropping in Street Photography. What side of the fence are you on? Is cropping images something that you sometimes do to improve images? Can you talk a little about why or why not?
[/fourcol_one_first]

[fourcol_three_last]I’m an applied art graduate and my education helps me a lot when it comes to composition. While framing, I unconsciously avoid unnecessary elements and get rid of clutter, which I think, is a crucial factor.

I don’t get why some people oppose cropping. Is it really an unethical practice? Fixing the tilt or cropping the minor distraction at the edge can add a lot to the image. But, of course it has to be in limit. If you get everything right while shooting, nothing like it.

- SJ

[/fourcol_three_last]

2

[fourcol_one_first]Shadows play a big part in some of my favourites of your images. Do you plan to shoot during times when the sun will be at the right angles?
[/fourcol_one_first]

[fourcol_three_last]I always look for some intriguing element to make my picture more interesting. I don’t deliberately look for shadows, but, it’s fun to juxtapose shadows with something mundane and create a story out of it. Definite shadows are the sign of good light and it’s always pleasure to shoot in such light.

- SJ

[/fourcol_three_last]

4

[fourcol_one_first]I know you're a member of That’s Life. How do you find being a member of a collective. Can you talk a little about how it benefits your work?
[/fourcol_one_first]

[fourcol_three_last]

That’s Life inspired me to get into photography and now, I’m a part of it. It’s really a proud feeling. I must say that, whatever little I have achieved is due to That’s Life and I would like to thank every member of it; especially Kaushal Parikh for being very co-operative and supportive.

TL is probably the only street photography collective from India. Every TL member has his own style and is always keen on pushing Indian street photography to the next level, which makes it really a great platform.

- SJ

[/fourcol_three_last]

3

[fourcol_one_first]Lastly, are there any parting words you would like to leave our readers with about yourself, or the images that you have shared with us?
[/fourcol_one_first]If any of the images featured here made you surprise, smile or think for few moments; I consider it a success!

[fourcol_three_last]

- SJ

[/fourcol_three_last]

 


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Year of the Dog - Jonathan van Smit

Fraser Crichton talks with New Zealander, Jonathan van Smit, talks about his graphic, emotionally powerful photography of the people of Hong Kong; “a world that’s alone and mysterious”.

JVS 5

“Sometimes people ask me why I have dogs in my photos, the reason for it is, they know everything. They know what you’ve eaten this morning, they know who you slept with last night, they know whether it’s your period or whatever, so I like photos with dogs. They look like they are peering into your soul. Sometimes, it’s like an accusation.”

Jonathan van Smit is a Hong Kong based photographer, who has been photographing the people of the Kowloon Yau Ma Tei, Sham Shui Po, Tai Kok Tsui and Hong Kong Island’s Wan Chai districts for the last 6 years. I met him recently, and he took me through the Yau Ma Tei district in Kowloon and introduced to me some of the places and people he takes photos of.

JVS 11

Jonathan’s high contrast black and white photos are graphic and emotionally powerful. They capture the nocturnal, subterranean quality of the claustrophobic alleyways, stairwells and open rooftops of the Kowloon Peninsula and Hong Kong Island. Jonathan’s high contrast candid street photography, roof-top urban landscapes and portraits depict some of the people who live in these areas: the sex workers, tattooed bare-chested Triad members, drug users, elderly people, children and, of course, dogs. It’s a world that appears on the surface very alien, and yet in reality it’s just the same as the East End of Glasgow or the Tenderloin of San Francisco. The people living here endure the same poverty and escape from it through drugs, alcohol and sex just as they do in the West.

Jonathan came to Hong Kong in 2008 from New Zealand, where he lived for 22 years. Although he still considers New Zealand home, he retains his English accent from birth in Somerset. In person, sixty-five year old Jonathan is beguilingly open and energised. In fact the one word I can think best describes Jonathan is ‘open’; that’s what allows him access to places many Westerners never see.

JVS 1

As a day job Jonathan works as a wealth manager; “It’s a way of effectively funding my photography,” he says. The contrast between his daytime job, however, and the night-time world he explores is stark.   “It’s just a world that’s alone and mysterious and of interest to me,” says Jonathan and unusually it’s not the act of taking photos that drives him. “It’s not about just photographs for me. I enjoy meeting those people. I’ve spent a lot of time talking and listening to their stories.”

Even spending a short time with Jonathan, it’s very obvious that even with a language barrier he still manages to engage with people in a very genuine way. Jonathan expands by saying, “In New Zealand we have this word Aroha. The literal meaning is a kind of love, but not romantic or sexual love. It’s more of a mystical, spiritual kind of love, and for me it describes the feeling I have for the people in my photographs. It’s an accumulation of all the memories surrounding trying to find them, and take their photographs in the first place. And the hard work; these photos don’t just turn up. They become quite precious to me.”

JVS 9

His candid photography is achieved using ultra-wide-angle lenses that force him to be within 1.5-2m of the people he takes photos of. “I like to be close . . . but I don’t want to be engaged in what they are doing, or for them to be engaged in what I am doing. I want to be an observer not a participant.”

Taking photos like this can be a risky. He has been chased, punched, threatened with a knife and verbally abused in the street. “From a rational perspective it’s a totally insane thing to do, so I’m quite driven by taking photographs.” Jonathan goes on to say, “If your demeanour is one of respect and you are not showing fear or aggression then most people are fine with it. If I’ve got some doubts I will occasionally ask, especially if the situation is a bit compromising for them,” he says.

JVS 10

There’s a very personal engagement and respect for the people he photographs that’s very obvious in talking with Jonathan. And, it’s also apparent in the long-term nature of his work and the various intertwined themes he identifies in it - political concerns about globalisation, poverty and marginalisation.

One of the things that drew him to photography was exploring. “Very simply, I like walking around a lot, especially at night. I have this urge to see around the next corner, to explore other realities. I'm especially interested in the margins, in urbanization, and the structures of lives different from mine.”

JVS 8

He organises his work online by loosely titled themes. Many of the titles - A Song of Unending Sorrow; And pass me by; Reflections of a Floating Life – are melancholic. Jonathan says “when I’m travelling or walking around or climbing to the tops of buildings, I don’t have a theme in mind. It’s just an act of exploration if you like. I think Moriyama, that’s the way he put it. It’s when I’m editing photos that I come up with a theme.“

When I asked him where his titles come from he says, “The answer is quite banal. I just needed a way to organize my photos, so these are just impromptu working titles. Maybe in a few years, I'll have more photos I like and will be able to edit down each project, and then think of a permanent title.”

JVS 4

Some of his working titles, however, have a more focused aspect. Searching for Miss Wong comes from a kitsch portrait by Russian painter Tretchicoff of a French/Chinese girl. “When I first came to Hong Kong that was a metaphor for me exploring,” he says, “[I was] looking for the almost idealistic Hong Kong that might have been here in the 50s, 60s and 70s, but it’s been wiped out by new building and concrete.”

In the last 12 to 18 months his Heart of Darkness series has been focused on Phnom Penh in Cambodia. The project chronicles trafficking, or rather, those who are the traffic. It’s not an issue that fits with the neat black-and-white description of exploitation depicted in the West. Many people who are trafficked are economic migrants who choose to pay someone to open doors for them. They also know risks and consequences that come with that decision. It’s a grey area that Jonathan says, feels closer to reportage although he’s uncomfortable with the concept of objective documentary photography. He stresses that his work is fiercely subjective even if documentary in nature, “it still comes close to fiction . . . I still struggle with the idea of documentary photography”

JVS 6

Looking for Love in Kowloon is another blurring of fiction and documentary. Jonathan says, “It’s meant to be ironic, it’s trying to understand what love is and it’s quiet perplexing when you see all this sex on sale. What is love? It seems to have lots of different shades doesn’t it?”

Raw, emotional images like Jonathan’s often raise questions; one reason why people respond to his work. His images reflect a world that most of us never come in contact with, but through globalisation are more closely linked than we imagine.

One reason he sees these themes and titles as ‘work in progress’ is that he understands the inherent difficulty in taking good photos. “I think we all, if we become semi-serious photographers aspire to have a body of work.” He says, ”If a photographer ends up with twenty or forty or fifty classic or great photographs in his working life he’s done very well because they are very hard to get.”

JVS 7

Although he shares his work online, Jonathan isn’t driven by fame or artistic acclaim. “I don’t want to delve too much in my motivations, but I do it for myself. I don’t take photos primarily with a view to an audience or gallery; that’s the danger of selling photographs. The offer is very seductive at first, but then you have to sit back and think how is this going to affect me? It starts to shape your mind.” He’s wary of the influence on his work.

He goes on to say, “I have this instinctive loathing of art galleries. It’s probably a necessary evil but I’m still uncomfortable with the idea of putting my photos on the wall of a commercial gallery with the implication that they are up for sale. It makes me feel extremely uncomfortable. The inference, at least to me, is that the people are up for sale.”

It’s unsurprising then that Jonathan enjoys the democratic, if idiosyncratic and anarchic, world of Flickr. “I like it because it’s un-cool. People who are ‘proper photographers’ think that they aren’t supposed to do that, they’re supposed to do galleries and their own websites.”

JVS 12

Just before completing this article Jonathan sent me a link to Loring Knoblauch’s piece In Defense of Ferocity [sic]. It’s an accusational piece that critiques the homogenised, formulaic, market lead approach of art collectors to art. It says photography is in a rut and that risk taking and “Angry, harsh, even ugly pictures” - pictures that leave people with uncomfortable questions - are not rewarded; that instead, “dumbing down and safety are being rewarded.” Summing up, Knoblauch says, “Only mavericks, fools, and rule breakers would buck such a systemic trend.” Jonathan van Smit does just that and like a dog with a bone he seems intent on exploring the darker places of Hong Kong and South East Asia for sometime to come.

Jonathan’s work online -

http://jonathanvansmit.com/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/n_ipper/


Enrico Markus Essl - Communication Breakdown

[fourcol_one_first]EME-2
[/fourcol_one_first]

[fourcol_three_last]

Enrico Markus Essl
http://www.fotofactum.at/

[/fourcol_three_last]

In this article we are going to be treated to a new series that Enrico Markus Essl has been working on. The series is titled Communication Breakdown. We will have a chat to Enrico and find out a little about him as an artist, and a bit about the project as well.

Communication Breakdown 1

[fourcol_one_first]Can you tell us a little about yourself and your photography?
[/fourcol_one_first]

[fourcol_three_last]I live and work in Linz / Austria and so I do my most photography shots there. Not a big city but it's interesting to live and work there, there is also a wide culture diversity. A few years ago I found the way to street photography and it has captured me till today. On my journeys I always take my X1 with me, for it’s a small and inconspicuous equipment. I often try to combine graphic elements, shadows and hard light. I prefer bright sunlight to get distinctive contrasts. Mostly I use polarizing filters to intensify color brilliance. When I’m out in the streets shooting pictures I always take my X1, cigarettes and money for coffee with me.

- EME

[/fourcol_three_last]

Communication Breakdown 2

[fourcol_one_first]I know you are from Austria, how do people react there to cameras and people taking photos? I know its very different culturally in each place around the world.

[/fourcol_one_first]

[fourcol_three_last]I think that people in Austria are more sensitive than in other countries when you come too close with the camera. I haven’t yet found reasons for it, but maybe it’s a matter of mentality or history.

- EME

[/fourcol_three_last]

Communication Breakdown 3

[fourcol_one_first]You seem to shot a lot in colour, can you talk a little about colour vs black and white in relation to your work?

[/fourcol_one_first]

[fourcol_three_last]Regarding to my last series ‚Inside Out‘ (www.fotofactum.at/series/inside-out) you can see that I took the pics in black and white in order to draw attention to the essential in a picture and to emphasize the concept of the series. All pictures were taken in strong sunlight, through glass panes and with the help of a polarizing filter. In the latest time I have preferred color. Pictures have more expressiveness and offer more room for shadows, light, geometry and color contrast which I like playing with. I’m convinced that you can always make a mediocre black and white pic out of a bad colour one. On the contrary you can never make an excellent colour pic out of a bad one.

- EME

[/fourcol_three_last]

Communication Breakdown 4

[fourcol_one_first]You talk so kindly of your home town Enrico, its great to hear people getting images in places that are close to their hearts. Do you travel and shoot much as well? And do you find shooting when travelling easier or harder?

[/fourcol_one_first]

[fourcol_three_last]From my point of view it doesn’t play a role in which places I actually take pictures. Basically, it’s possible to be successful in finding good motives in one’s hometown as well as in foreign places. Nevertheless, when I travel, I always have my camera with me and of course it’s more interesting and more fun to wander around in for me less well known places and to take pictures there. Each area has its special features and I try to figure them out and integrate them into my work. For example when I travelled the Cote d’ Azur, the beach and the people there played a major role. I have noticed that people outside of Austria and Germany react in a more positive way to being photographed. Therefore I really enjoy looking for motives in other places than my home country.

- EME

[/fourcol_three_last]

Communication Breakdown 5

[fourcol_one_first]You mentioned that you shoot with the X-1. How do you find the fixed focal length? Can you tell us some of the positives and any negatives to this kind of set up for you?

[/fourcol_one_first]

[fourcol_three_last]I’ve experienced that the fixed focal length is perfect for my way of photography. The fixed length always keeps me moving and allows me special perspectives and angles that I couldn’t have by using a tele lens. There are no real negatives about this method.

- EME

[/fourcol_three_last]

Communication Breakdown 6

[fourcol_one_first]Have you always shot digital? Or are you someone that used to shoot film and then converted?

[/fourcol_one_first]

[fourcol_three_last]When I was a kid I bought my first camera which was a Russian Zenit Reflex Camera. It was my companion in the following ten years. I developed the pics by myself in a darkroom. Actually, I’m not a nostalgic person, I like keeping up with the times and therefore I left the non digital ways of photographing behind me. Although there has been a boom in the field of analog photography over the last whiles, I don’t miss this kind of photography and all the working processes that follow it.

- EME

[/fourcol_three_last]

Communication Breakdown 7

[fourcol_one_first]Can you tell me a little about the Communication Breakdown project?

[/fourcol_one_first]

[fourcol_three_last]The common feature of the pictures from this series is that objects seem to be in a process of communication. Another thing is that these objects tell stories and the spectator interprets his or her own stories based on the objects. Motives like shown in the pictures can constantly be found in the streets. Therefore this series is a never-ending story. I’m keen on continuing looking for objects which encourage people to think of their own stories.

- EME

[/fourcol_three_last]

Communication Breakdown 8

[fourcol_one_first]I have spent some time looking at the images, and really like this kind of work from you. Can you talk a little about the lack of people as subjects in this project.

[/fourcol_one_first]

[fourcol_three_last]When wandering through the streets I constantly discover objects that seem to communicate with each other. These pictures speak for themselves which means that there’s no need of integrating people to outline a situation. Sometimes fragments of persons are visible to emphasize the expression of a situation.

- EME

[/fourcol_three_last]

Communication Breakdown 9

[fourcol_one_first]You have presented 11 images for us in the series. What was your hit rate for this body of work? As in how many images did you create this edit from?

[/fourcol_one_first]

[fourcol_three_last]

As I'm deliberately looking for motives when I’m planning a series it’s not really necessary to take a great amount of pictures. In this case there were 30 pictures from which I chose the best twelve ones. I’m anxious to be economical when taking pictures. This derives from the times when photography was merely analogue.

- EME

[/fourcol_three_last]

Communication Breakdown 10

[fourcol_one_first]Is this a completed series, or is it something that youre continuing to work on?

[/fourcol_one_first]

[fourcol_three_last]Actually, it’s not a completed series. I’m continually working on it.

- EME

[/fourcol_three_last]

Communication Breakdown 11

[fourcol_one_first]Can you tell us about any other series that youre currently working on?

[/fourcol_one_first]

[fourcol_three_last]At the moment I’m working on a series called ‚On Exhibition Street‘. I’m looking for motives in museums and exhibitions. In summer I’m going to make a series on a cruise ship.

- EME

[/fourcol_three_last]

 


 

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[/threecol_one_last]


2014 Competition Winners

WINNER

Ilya Shtutsa
The red button

Russia

 

"Judges always say 'what an incredibly high standard' and 'how difficult it was to pick a winner' and I'm afraid I'm going to be that cliche. There were so many great images to choose from that I held up the whole judging process because I couldn't decide. There are many different styles of Street Photograph and they are not always easy to compare one with the other and make a value judgment. I was struck and encouraged by how subtle and nuanced some of the observations were, indeed my favourite image is a simple, quiet one that imbues a sense of slight doom or apocalypse....rather than one of the more obvious or humorous entries. Having seen Street Photography develop from almost total obscurity 15 years ago to the most practised form today, it is clear to me that the entries here demonstrate a large, knowledgable and talented international community of Street Photographers and I'm grateful for the opportunity to see and share this work."

- Nick Turpin

 

"I was very impressed with the overall quality of the short list for this years UPSP awards. Particularly encouraging was the diversity of not just the entrants styles but also of where the photographers were coming from, making street photography a truly global phenomenon. Many thanks for giving me the opportunity to see such great work from both recognised and up and coming talent."

- David Solomons

 


 

Honourable Mentions

 

Swapnil-Jedhe1

Swapnil Jedhe
To play or not

India

 

Caspar-Claasen1

Caspar Claasen
Untitled

Netherlands

 

Tavepong-Pratoomwong1

Tavepong Pratoomwong
"I love Carbon dioxide not Nicotine"  Tree Man said

Thailand

 

Franky-De-Schampheleer1

Franky De Schampheleer
Flandronië - Oostduinkerke

Belgium

 


 

The Finalists

 

Akkara-Naktamna1

Akkara Naktamna
Unusual Incident 1

Thailand

 

 

Alberto-Perez-Pastor1

Alberto Pérez Pastor
Head

Spain

 

 

Arsenio-Jr-Nidoy2

Arsenio, Jr. Nidoy
Untitled

Qatar

 

 

Bastian-Staude3

Bastian Staude
The Fog

Germany

 

 

Carmelo-Eramo3

Carmelo Eramo
Street Games

Italy

 

 

Chen-Long-Wen2

Chen Long Wen
Cat

Malaysia

 

 

Chris_Suspect-2

Chris Suspect
Untitled

USA

 

 

Chris-Farling2

Chris Farling
Cafe

USA

 

d_horton.UP2

David Horton
Newport

USA

 

 

Dmitry-Stepanenko1

Dmitry Stepanenko
London 2013

 

 

 

Fadi-BouKaram1

Fadi BouKaram
Oblique

Lebanon

 

 

francesca-fascione_02

Francesca Fascione
nt

Italy

 

 

Gareth-Bragdon2

Gareth Bragdon
Salvation

UK

 

 

Gareth-Bragdon3

Gareth Bragdon
Go fork yourself

UK

 

 

Gavin-Bragdon2

Gavin Bragdon

UK

 

 

George-Gavrilakis3

George Gavrilakis
The dog

Greece

 

 

George-Marazakis1

George Marazakis
The Soldier

Greece

 

 

 

HARIS-PANAGIOTAKOPOULOS1

Haris Panagiotakopoulos
Solo 1

Greece

 

 

Ilya-Shtutsa3

Ilya Shtutsa
Tavrichesky Garden

Russia

 

 

Jason-reed2

Jason Reed
Photo booth

UK

 

 

Jimmy-Dovholt1

Jimmy Dovholt
Worship

Sweden

 

 

Kristin-Van-den-Eede1

Kristin Van den Eede
I put a spell on you

Belgium

 

 

Ksenia-Tsykunova3

Ksenia Tsykunova
Untitled

Russia

 

 

Larry-Hallegua1

Larry Hallegua
Air India

UK

 

 

larry-hallegua3

Larry Hallegua
Untitled

UK

 

 

Leopold-Fradin1

Leopold Fradin
Nantes

Germany

 

 

 

liberti-michele1

Liberti Michele
Senza titolo

Italy

 

 

 

liberti-michele1

Liberti Michele
Naples Summer 2013

Italy

 

 

Mankichi-442

Mankichi 44
Sheets Meet Boy

Japan

 

 

Marcelo-Argolo1

Marcelo Argolo
Carnaval, Rio de Janeiro. 2013

Brazil

 

Maxim-Dolgov3

Maxim Dolgov
A tie

Russia

 

Nicolas-Reuland1

Nicolas Reuland
Ensnared

Ireland

 

Ola-Billmont2

Ola Billmont
Ghost

Sweden

 

Ova-Hamer2

Ova Hamer
Cleaning

Argentina

 

 

Pau-Ll-Buscato1

Pau Ll. Buscató
Monopod

Norway

 

 

Roger-Clay1

Roger Clay
The Kinks

USA

 

SAKULCHAI-SIKITIKUL1

Sakulchai Sikitikul 
The cat and the worker

Thailand

 

Sam-Ferris-1

Sam Ferris
Untitled

Australia

 

Shin-Noguchi1

Shin Noguchi
Ginza, Tokyo 2014

Japan

 

Stavros-Stamatiou1

Stavros Stamatiou
Directions

Greece

 

Stavros-Stamatiou2

Stavros Stamatiou
Mattock

Greece

 

 

Sylvain-BIARD1

Sylvain Biard
Untitled

France

 

Tatsuo-Suzuki2

Tatsuo Suzuki
Shinjuku Sta.

Japan

 

Tatum-Wulff1

Tatum Wulff
Advent of Spring

Canada

 

 

Visit-Kulsiri2

Visit Kulsiri
Visit005

Thailand

 

 

 

 

 


Edinburgh

Bragdon Header

In this article Gavin and Gareth Bragdon show us the 'real' Edinburgh

 


[fivecol_one_first]

Gavin

Gavin Bragdon

Edinburgh, UK

My Website: http://greyskiescollective.com/portfolio/uncategorized/gavin-bragdon/

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last]

Gareth

Gareth Bragdon

Edinburgh, UK

My Website: http://greyskiescollective.com/portfolio/uncategorized/gareth-bragdon/

[/fivecol_one_last]

[fivecol_one_first]

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]So how did we discover and get into street photography in the first place?

- Gareth

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Well I had played around with photography here and there like most people for most of my life, but usually it was about “look at I what did, this is where I went, this is my pal, this is what I like etc etc”...it was about the memory and the documenting and keepsaking of that memory rather then about the photograph itself. It was only about a couple of years ago that it started to become about the photography.  Of course we started off with what most of us start off with: landscapes, pretty sunsets, pretty things and so on and so forth. And of course we did a helluva lot of over processing..saturation to the max, and how about nice dollop of that HDR filter? But the thing is by that time, photography was becoming more and more of an obsession for us and we were beginning to dig deeper. Eventually and perhaps inevitably we came across that BBC documentary Genius of Photography (which I highly recommend). Total eye opener...theres that one episode where they talk about Henri Cartier-Bresson and the man jumping the puddle and the decisive moment. I was like “Ok, theres something going on here, I’m intrigued...tell me more” and then the next episode really gets into street photography and I was like “HOLY SHIT...a lightbulb just went off”. It was this incredible revelation that the world around us was made of these things and moments that could really become something else, something more when stuck in this frame. It was a good thing we found out about this when we did, we were running out of nice scenery and buildings to take pictures of and thats what was great about street...the same old streets are constantly changing and refreshing. Same stage, different movies. It was addictive.

- Gavin

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

12955384044_df20fbb0ca_b

Untitled by Gavin Bragdon

[fivecol_one_first]

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]You and I have moved around a lot throughout our life between the US, Germany and the UK...we’re permanent expats it seems.  As we discussed earlier with Edinburgh, the nature of a place can have a have a huge effect on how your work and approach develops especially in the early formative stages. How you think your photography would have developed if you picked up photography for example in the suburbia of Virginia Beach for example instead of here?

- Gareth

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] It absolutely does as discussed earlier. Hmm...thats an interesting question. Someplace like a suburban sprawl tends not to have crowded thoroughfares of pedestrians, most people are inside their cars or shops or whatever, so in other words it might have been a little bit harder to break into street or even relate to it. I don't know. I would have taken a different route and approach technique-wise. The light is better there so my guess is I probably would been doing colour, more lights and shadows, more composition-y type stuff. I probably would been trying to go for that Stephen Shore or Joel Sternfeld approach. Who knows! In this parallel universe it would have definitely developed along different lines than what I’ve done here in Edinburgh. Thats whats so fascinating about how place can have such a profound effect on so many endeavors and thats certainly the case with photography, especially with street photography because fundamentally its about the spirit of a place, the zeitgeist as much as it is about people.

-Gavin

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

13093129414_df650b144d_b

Untitled by Gavin Bragdon

[fivecol_one_first]

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]So, you and I are both brothers doing street photography in the same place...what sets us apart in approach, how are we similar?

-Gareth

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Well we both shoot the same streets and we often shoot together so yeah, so there’ll be some similarities here and there, for instance we both lean towards black and white and hell we even see the same subjects. We both have a thing for surreality whether its in the subject or how the picture looks due to techniques. But we do have our different approaches. You’ve been more focused than I have been...you’ve found a road and stayed on it and sort of have this formula that works really well for you. I’ve been a bit more ADD about it and have experimented a bit more with black and white/colour, film vs. digital and so on and so forth for better or for worse. Jack of all trades, master of none! Am trying to keep more focused though, albeit being flexible at the same time. You tend to have more of a direct approach, more about the subjects themselves, whereas I tend to go more for an overall type of thing. I like to go for strangeness and surreality a bit more so I tend to get stranger pictures whereas yours tend to have more of an immediate punch. I think we started off fairly similar but as time has gone on we’ve become more distinguishable from one another.

- Gavin

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Untitled by Gavin Bragdon

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Where do you see your photography going at the moment? Any particular plans or ambitions?

-Gareth

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]

I am playing more with colour than I had before and I think part of that is due to the fact that the Ricoh GR I got a couple of months ago is much better at colour than was the Fuji X10 I was using before. So its sort of encouraging me so to speak with using colour more than I was...sometimes the equipment you have can push you in one direction or another as much as place does. Again its all about using what you got and adapting to it and having it adapting to your needs and wants as well. It’s an interesting process to watch unfold and see where it takes you. Anyway, the use of colour is of course going to depend on what the what kind of spring/summer we get this year...if its nice and sunny,  you’ll see more colour, if its grey, pissy and rainy then expect more black and white and flash gunnery.

Anyway beyond that, I’m hoping to start moving towards a more project and body of work based approach and I think things are going in that direction slowly but surely anyway. But I would like to do something more with my photography than just trying to grab a single good shot. We also are both involved with a local street photo collective (pluggity plug: Greyskiescollective.com, do check it out!) and I think some good work is going to come out of that so we’ll see where that goes. Also I’ve been wanting to start putting together a photo-zine so hopefully once this semester is over I can focus on that! Oh yeah, speaking of which we go to school for photography so it well be interesting to see what direction that takes us!

-Gavin

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Untitled by Gavin Bragdon

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]What were once bland and empty walks down the street from point A to point B have now become the journey itself as I now keep my eyes peeled for potential pictures. I find it bizarre now walking down the street with either my girlfriend or anyone else and seeing the things that they wouldn't have seen themselves. Photography has altered not only the way I see things but also my existence as I no longer go about my world with blinders on. Its become about the journey; the walk itself. The immediate surroundings that most people ignore or just drift through because they have to are now to me a stage and  the show itself. Photography has allowed me to see a world that is more beautiful and tragic than the world I once knew.

-Gareth

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Ok first off, so philosophical deepness...how has doing street photography changed and shaped your view of the world?

-Gavin

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Untitled by Gareth Bragdon

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Edinburgh is a city of cobblestones and blaring bagpipes, known for its postcard looks. I remember getting off the train here for the first time on a visit and I immediately fell in love with the city. It was all new and fantastic at first after coming from plastic American suburbia. By the time i picked up photography two years in though that novelty had worn off and things like the castle and the Scott monument were just part of the everyday. The weather here is shit and the sky is often a sheet of grey and the colours mute and muddy. The sun rarely shines and is rarely seen. As a street photographer one must adapt to their surroundings and shooting in black and white has been one of those adaptions to the environment.  I didn't pick up flash because of being influenced by Bruce Gilden or whatever, I picked it up out of necessity to combat the poor lighting conditions we have here. Edinburgh is often a dark and grey place and since we don’t see much of the sun, sometimes you got to make your own sun.

Edinburgh may be a capital but by no means does it operate or feel like that of a major city. Its town like size and build make it easy to feel at home. The characters that haunt and live in this city I often see several times throughout a day or a week, which often consists of bankers, pram pushing youths and the occasional interesting character and everyone else in between. When I am out taking pictures I am subject hunting, I am looking less for the decisive moment but more for the decisive subject so to speak.  We may not have the iconic characters of New York or the sunshine of Greece but we do have a unique vision and vista and a beautiful city that never fails to surprise.

-Gareth

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]How has Edinburgh shaped the way you’ve taken photos?

-Gavin

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Untitled by Gareth Bragdon

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]When I started I wasn't using flash, I was simply interested in capturing candid portraits of interesting subjects. Winter soon came and the days became much shorter and darkness more prevalent. It became difficult if not near impossible to capture moving subjects and I was never into that f/1.8 bokeh bullshit. With little sunlight and ambient light subjects had no contrast and little character. So it came down to adapting once again and using flash became an obvious next step in my evolution.  Putting a camera in a strangers face was already nerve wracking enough but adding flash to the equation was like giving Curious George a double-sided dildo.  The flash highlighted my subjects giving them character and giving the frame more punch and energy. There was no going back, the flash soon became as important as the camera itself. One thing I learned over time is that flash photography is as liberating as it is restricting. When I take a picture is not only an exchange between me and the subject but due to the Hiroshima like force that comes out of the flash gun it engulfs everyone else around it. This can sometimes attract the wrong attention and there is no hiding when one is using this technique. Due to the risk involved there are some subjects and opportunities I avoid. Using flash has given me more the look I want but sometimes I’ve become too reliant on it.  Flash is an integral part of my photography at the moment but I hope to expand my horizons and rely less on it.

-PK

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]One of the most distinctive things about your photography is you use of off-camera flash...what are the advantages and disadvantages of using this technique?

-LH

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Untitled by Gareth Bragdon

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Probably confidence, fear and anxiety which tends to come along with the territory. Street tends to be about taking photos of strangers. Theres a lot of photos that I should have taken but didn’t because I hesitated or froze. Its about fighting that survival instinct thats telling you no.

-Gareth

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]What are your biggest obstacles in shooting street? What gets in the way of taking better photos? 

-Gavin

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Untitled by Gareth Bragdon

 

Conclusion

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Gavin

Gareth has really stepped up to the plate and devoted and pushed himself to achieve his photos. For example pushing himself to leave his personal comfort zone in the name of getting that shot. I see that and the results he gets and think to myself “right I need to have a bit of that attitude”.  He sets the bar high and goes for quality over quantity. He inspires me to wake the fuck up, quit fannying around and set my own bar higher. He may be my little brother but I always find there is a shit load I can learn from him.

We often shoot and collaborate together anyway but it was great to work on this mini-project to get ourselves to focus a bit more and in the process learn about what we’re good at and all the things we need to improve to get our photography on another level. Its been a worthy endeavour.

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Gareth

I’ve always been Gavin’s little brother liking what he likes doing what he does.  For this collaboration he has captured pictures that show people of Edinburgh suffering from first world problems like rain & annoying phone calls.  No one has ever created such a surreal and haunting take on Scotland as Gavin’s headless bag sucker.  He continues to surprise & inspire me always see and thinking something I did not see or think.  This group project has helped us see eye to eye and exposed are weakness & strength.  I see this  collaboration as a stepping stone in our photographic journey.

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Favourite street photos from UPSP

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Bragdon Picks

Elephant in the room by Ksenia Tsykunova

[quote]I’ve always had a thing for museum, zoo or aquarium shots. Places such as those are where the normal everyday meets the exotic. This is very, very much displayed here in this photo. An old tired museum employee seeming as dusty and as tired as a stereotypical librarian wiling away her shift as the minutes and seconds tick arthritically by. You look up and there’s an elephant and her elephantling. It’s just so casual and surreal at the same time and the expression on the elephants face makes you believe that it’s a living elephant who just happened upon the museum.  The green colour palate along with the patterning on the floor is also great and draws the viewer. Good work Ksenia…time for me to get my ass back to my local museum[/quote]

-Gavin

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Bragdon Picks-2

Magnum Size by Mary Cimetta

[quote]I think Mary has single handedly redefined the decisive moment!  Not only has this picture made laugh my ass off but I’m now craving ice cream and questioning my sexuality.  I can’t help but wonder what Mary was craving when she made this exposure?  I’m now seeing her work for the first thanks to Urban Picnic.  Mary’s pictures are not your typical street shot of someone walking by a sign.  They are funny clever and well thought all of which are key ingredients to a great picture[/quote]

-Gareth

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Coming Next..

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Jesse Marlow - Dont just tell them show them

I recently received a copy of a new book by Jesse Marlow to review. After recently purchasing his previous book Wounded, I was very excited about the new publication from Jesse.

Jesse is a Melbourne based photographer, and this is one thing that I find drew me to his work. From a slightly selfish perspective, its a source of inspiration to see someone roaming the same streets that I search and coming away with such strong work. Its great to see the locations and know where they are. It lets me become just a little more immersed in the images than with a book shot in a location that I am unfamiliar with. This is all well and good for me as a Melbournian, but I have no doubt the book is hugely successful without this locational connection. Maybe even more so, I dont have that perceptual advantage.

Jesse is a member of the international Street Collective In-Public.  I am actually completing a masterclass with Jesse at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, something that I am really looking forward to. Jesses style of photography is definitely something that I aspire to. I was lucky enough to make it to the launch for 'Dont just tell them show them' where I heard some wonderful things about Jesse and his work. The book does speak for itself though, so lets get into it.

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Jesse has been awarded a number of prizes, including the MGA Bowness Prize in 2012 for the image above.  The image opens the books and I think it sends a great message to the reader of what to expect. You can clearly see why the image was selected as the 2012 winner. This is the sort of candid image street photographers search for.

One of the things that is immediately obvious to me as I take in Jesses new book is the wit of the artist that shines through in the work. Being able to make a candid image and also leave no doubt that a small part of the artists personality is present in the photo is such a talent. I get the feeling that were Jesse in concerned its a nice mix between a well trained eye and patience to get the shot. This is especially true in Dont Just Tell Them Show Them. Some of the images in the book are clearly preconceived. Maybe not over a lengthy period of time, but once a location was found when walking.

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Other images in the book are quite clearly the opposite. Found items. Found compositions. Found moments of slightly strange occurrences that are able to be seen and captured purely due to the the fact that Jesse knows what he is looking for. This mix of style in the images makes the book quite entertaining. It feels like it is shifting and moving with each turn of the page. Its not a book that has a coherence to it, but this is by no means meant to be a negative statement. The randomness of some of the images in the book keeps the eye interested as you take in the images.

Just as you think you have settled into a flow of some sort youre presented with something that breaks the cycle. Its a great way to keep the reader entertained with a street photo book. It reflects the random nature of what we find in the street in many ways. It keeps the reader guessing. For me, its more interesting viewing than books that have images that match one another so well that you start to get lost from one to the next.

 

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There are also quite a few images in the book that dont contain people. As with all great street work that doesnt have a human form in the frame, the fact that there was human influence on the image outside that of Jesses is quite clear in all of these photographs. The images are a far cry from the work that Jesse undertook in his previous two books that were purely around the human form. In both Centre Bounce, as well as Wounded, the books wouldnt have been possible without people. The people were the subject, this was plainly evident in the images.

Dont just tell them show them is a little different in this respect. There is no cohesive subject of the book. The streets are the subject. This is clear in the images without people, as well as those with. The images without people place an emphasis on the redundancy of human subject matter. Many of them acting as a play on the human form. Its like Jesse is playing a little game. Showing that even lacking a human subject one is able to make an emotional image of a face takes quite some doing, but Jesse manages just that.

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In a strange sort of way the images of people enhance the redundancy of the human figure in this form of street work by using the people to complete a composition. By removing the faces from the people. By placing the people in strange locations within the frame. By using colour in such a strong manner that the human form in some of the images becomes just that, a human form. Important to the completion of the image, but redundant in many ways in telling the story that Jesse is playing out in the pages.

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In the book there are still these moments that are found in modern street photography these days. Moments where the viewing audience is left a little quizzical about whats going on in the frame. A little taken back by the fact that someone is able to find these things going on, and have the foresight to be able to have a camera at the ready to make an image of it that lasts forever.

For some photographers that aspire to street photography, that slight lack of understanding of how one person is able to find these instances again and again. Time with a camera surely being the defining factor in many of these cases, not to take away from any of the talent involved.

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Jesse is able to use simple plays of light in some of the images in the book to be able to turn what would otherwise be something quite boring, into something that is in such a simple way, very interesting. The bare bones nature of some of the compositions in the book are quite refreshing. There is always something in the frame that ties the image together in some way or another.

Even in the simplest of compositions there is an intellectual element that is able to let the reader sit with the image for just a little longer to assess how it was done. What was the process to catch this situation? How did someones eye manage  to make that image out of the sparse information that was available to them?

 

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Its really been a joy for me to review this one. I have taken a little more time than usual in writing it. This has meant that I have been able to revisit the book on more than one occasion to really take in the images. I think I have said in the past that there is always a slightly selfish motive to writing these.

I write them on some level to force myself to take in the images in the book. I force myself to really think about the layout and the sequencing and how this impacts the end result. This is a learning process for me as much as anything and I think that it allows me to get much more from the books that I am lucky enough to have on my shelf. Its like writing an essay in high school English really. Not much shorter in most cases, and a whole heap more fun in each and every case!

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I did make images of a few more of the photographs in the book, but I am going to leave you with just one more. The image that I will finish with is probably my favourite image from the book. I love the opening image that won the Bowness prize for Jesse, but this image of a girl running through an open space with a horse balloon is the pick of the bunch for me. There is a slight theme of horses in the book, I dont know if this is intentional, I will have to ask Jesse when I meet him again.

The image below has this strange sore of macabre feeling to it. The fact that the reader is not provided with the luxury of being able to see the girls face adds to this. Along with the tones of the image, and the formal attire that the girl is wearing, it juxtaposes what the mind wants to portray of an image of a girl running with a balloon. For me, it leaves me with a slight feeling of unease about the situation that is presented, and its this mixture of emotions that really keeps me coming back to the image.

Jesse Marlow

Youre still able to grab copies of Dont just tell them show them from Jesses site. I really think that its a bit of a modern day street classic and am very happy that its a book that has a spot on my shelf at home.


Larry Hallegua

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Larry Hallegua
http://larryhallegua.wix.com/photography

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[fourcol_one_first]How did you start taking pictures on the street?
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[fourcol_three_last]A love for art, photography, observing people and wanting to progress my camera skills, a working trip abroad, the purchase of a new camera, a HCB photobook, a Vivian Maier exhibition, the encouragement from loved ones, a determination to get something even if it's bad and then show people.

- LH

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Mumbai, India by Larry Hallegua

[fourcol_one_first]Of all your images you have made, can you share with us your own personal favourite and the story behind it?
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[fourcol_three_last]One of my favourites is a shot I took in Tokyo's subway whilst teaching English in Japan. Standing on the platform using a remote flash and slow shutter speeds, I was shooting into the carriages speeding in and out of the station. I was working on an instruction set by Simon Kossoff, as part of the Street Photography Now Project's 3rd year on flickr.  The brief was to take a safari (not literally of course) and photograph the Human Zoo, luckily for me I'd found a section of the platform where there was a poster of a wildlife theme park with animals on it, which I thought was a genius idea to juxtapose in the background against my human zoo of rush hour workers. I played around with a few shots, panning the carriages as they pulled in and left the station, but it wasn't working, I was getting stale boring shots of the poster with nothing of interest from the packed carriages. I took a few more shots, and then one when the carriage was leaving, I noticed the girl in the hat and aimed for her, hoping to get the poster too. Instead I got her in front of the poster, but with some other interesting elements either side. I hadn't noticed the uniqueness of what I had captured until about 5 minutes later, because it was at that point a guard came racing towards me uttering the words dame, dame, "stop that" in Japanese, and signalling with his hands. I smiled and played my tourist card, whilst packing up and leaving the platform, I studied my captures, and noticed that something quite nice had occurred with my last shot. The street gods had smiled for me that day!

- LH

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Tokyo Subway by Larry Hallegua

[fourcol_one_first]You are from London, do you like shooting in London or more so when you travel?
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[fourcol_three_last]If I'm honest, I'd say recently I prefer shooting more when I travel. I think the most obvious reason is the buzz I get from new surroundings and culture. I get a bit restless with my own location, sometimes it's hard to see through the familiar streets and sites, I do need to venture round London more though, it's a big place with lots to explore, but I guess it's hard trying to find fresh ways to present the same streets is what I'm saying, or maybe I need to look at ways to do that, or find new streets. Until then I appreciate the good fortune right now in my life, that I have the opportunity to work and live abroad every year. My next destination is Chengdu, China.

- LH

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Air India by Larry Hallegua

[fourcol_one_first]Do you have any other hobbies other than photography?
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[fourcol_three_last]Yes, I have been doing meditation for over 5 years, a form of Vippasanna. Meditation is a key for unlocking a lot of doors in my life, and it grounds me generally speaking. I see a lot of parallels with street photography, for me it's quite a meditative practice sometimes. With both techniques, I'm aiming to let go and just observe the experience without forcing it, the more I do this, the easier it is to slide into "the zone" and sometimes this presents magical moments! :)

- LH

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Asleep in Mumbai by Larry Hallegua

[fourcol_one_first]Who is your inspiration (photographically or otherwise)?
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[fourcol_three_last]Photographically, apart from the likes of some Magnum photographers that I have come to really admire and like, including Parr and Webb, no real shock there, as well as the usual street legends and present day collectives , I would have to say some of my inspiration and motivation comes from viewing the work of and interacting with other street photographers, they inspire me a lot, in particular, I'd like to give a big shout out to all my good friends at 14 Street (a private flickr group), made up of extremely talented photographers from all over the world, including the UK, USA, Ireland, Germany, Argentina, Turkey, Canada, Greece, Israel..Their talent and support continues to motivate and inspire me to do better work.

- LH

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Subway Moves by Larry Hallegua


Modern Times

Modern Times Header

In this article Larry Hallegua talks with Peter Kool.

'Modern Times' investigates how modernism is infiltrating the world in which we reside. Photos taken during January 2014.

 


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Larry Hallegua

London, UK

My Website: http://larryhallegua.wix.com/photography

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Peter Kool

Belgium

My Website: http://www.peterkool.be

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Larry, I sometimes imagine being able photographing during the silent years; thinking it might be easier then to make a nice photo instead of in these cacophonic modern times.

Do you share the same feeling?

- PK

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Shooting in central London I often find a lot of people wired to their Ipad or phone, sometimes while walking! It doesn't get duller for the street photographer. Yes I agree Peter, I think it would have been easier to get a good shot, I expect a more open and charming landscape to shoot, and much more social interaction back then, a street photographer's dream! Also, I wonder how people would have responded back then to seeing me holding a camera, would they care so much what I was up to?

- LH

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Untitled by Larry Hallegua

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Oh yes, in that matter I clearly feel the more negative attitude of many people in contrast to the eighties, when I started to take pictures.

In a time where everyone “peeps” at everyone in the magazines, Facebook, YouTube and so on, don’t you think it’s a little hypocrite of these people who don’t like photographers?

- PK

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap] Yes, hypocrisy is rife in these 'modern' times. Protection seems to be a common theme in response too, this notion that everything needs to be protected, protect the planet, protect your family, protect your property, protect your country, protect your identity, and now, protect what people see you do on the street. In order for the last one to work, we'd all need to walk around averting our gaze from anything in the slightest incriminating, this of course applies to everything one does, and of course as you say, remove a lot of high rise cameras that look down on the population without the majority of them even aware. J So what do you think is the future for street photography Peter, how long do we have before the walls close down on us? In the UK it looks like it could be around the corner.

-LH

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Untitled by Larry Hallegua

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]May the God of photography preserve us from this Larry. People will always take photos I think, but there probably will be more rules we have to break and who doesn’t these days; the only difference is that ‘we’ don’t do anything wrong.

But in spite of all the negativism, many photographers have an eye for humor in the streets. You also have a great eye in that field; do you go on the road searching for humor or do these photos arise spontaneously?

-PK

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Thanks Peter, I'd say that a lot of the time they arise spontaneously, or develop from something I initially notice, very often in fact something or someone will catch my eye, and then if I'm lucky something interesting may transpire, if I find the subject worth spending more time with then I try to be more patient. I also enjoy being on the move, especially if it's quite a busy place, scoping the action around me, snapping as I go. But I guess I don't have one particular way, just what feels right at the given time.

- LH

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Untitled by Larry Hallegua

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]I know the feeling; the urge to be on the move all the time coming from some kind of restlessness I think; we even move to other countries to shoot. You have been to Mumbai , India recently and made some great shots, but didn’t  this overwhelming culture change make it more difficult to take photos?

-PK

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Yes, particularly in Mumbai, where there's an intensity in the street, this was very difficult, I was only there a week and I think one needs a longer time in new surroundings to study and soak up the culture and people to really get the most out of their shots.

-LH

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Untitled by Larry Hallegua

 

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Great that you like my snaps Larry. One of my favorites is the man with the eyepatch.

I like it because of the funny “eye connection” between the people in the photo; looks like even the girl in the background has eye trouble.

It was one of those times that everything comes together in the blink of an eye. I was drawn to the guy because of his eyepatch and at the same time I saw this girl cross the street; I wanted her in the picture too. When she was close enough I rushed forward and took the shot; at that time the guy gave me a strawberry with mustard look and the girl made this kind of shy gesture.

-PK

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Peter, I love your work, your eye for composition and humour is incredibly strong, I have so many favourites from your photostream. Can you tell me about one that you're particularly fond of, and why you like it, maybe also about how it occurred?

-LH

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Untitled by Peter Kool

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Like many of us I’m looking for a little extraordinariness in common life. I’m usually waiting for things to see that are in some way ordered; it’s like in my closet, everything is tidy. That’s why I take very few photos while walking around; too few to my liking, because often something nice happens because of the photographing itself.  So I promise myself often to try and take more photos.

Because I only want to enjoy photography I avoid aggression; when I have the feeling people are not going to like it taking their picture I will not do it, but sometimes the urge to make the photo is stronger than myself. So far I’ve got away with an angry look, but maybe that’s because I’m tall J

-PK

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Ahh yes, that's one of my favourites too. The eye connection between the 2 people is spot on, transforming an ordinary scene into something quite special, as Winogrand said "The photograph is not what is photographed, it's something else". So many of your shots play with the viewer's imagination in this way, opening up lots of stories. What things on the street do you look for when taking a good shot, and what do you try and avoid?

-LH

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Untitled by Peter Kool

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]For example, take the picture here of the lady in the beauty parlor; you may say it’s unethical to expose here like that, but old age or the desire to look young again are just common things of the people. The unethical here is the fact that people, for only 10 euro, are promised they can look like Audrey Hepburn; whom, if she was still alive, would be 85 years herself this year. So I think many photos are in fact a registration of the unethical in society. Is it therefore morally incorrect to show these edges of the streets?  To put this photo on the open media to mock with it, now that would be unethical and that’s the difference with 30 years ago. Perhaps that is why many people are now wary of photographers.

-PK

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Ethics seems to come up time and time again. What ethical boundaries should there be when shooting on the street, and do ethics play a bigger role in street photography now than it used to with all the open media available to the public, such as the internet and phones, does the 'street photographer' have a bigger responsibility nowadays as opposed to 30 years ago?

-LH

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Untitled by Peter Kool

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[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]If you mean which camera to buy to do street photography, I would say choose one that’s fast.

If you push the button it has to respond immediately. I have two camera’s and one of them I have to wake up in advance when I feel a picture is coming up; I will not reveal the brand, but it is named after a Japanese volcano. Also if you use autofocus, it has to work instantly. So take your time to try it out in the shop and keep in mind that, when you buy one, they are already manufacturing a better successor.

You can consult several sites on the web which perform quality tests.

For street photography itself I would say; let things amaze you and maybe your photos will be amazing.

-PK

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Thanks Peter, well said! Totally agree. With the onslaught of more and more cameras aimed at this market being produced, it's clear there seems to be a revival. If you could give only one piece of advice to an aspiring street photographer, what would it be?

-LH

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Untitled by Peter Kool

 

Conclusion

[twocol_one_first]
Larry

Peter's strong eye for humour and composition, his consistent ability to take simple scenes, highlighting a moment of mundane or ordinary living and transforming them into something more dramatic, absurd or humorous for the viewer, make him one of my favourite street photographers at the moment. Peter's photos make me want to be a better photographer, they fill me with excitement, amusement and awe, making me wonder, How did he see that? How long did he wait until that happened? What made him stop and notice that? There's quite a groundswell of street photography activity around nowadays, with a lot of very good players competing for attention, but the best or "Koolest" work will always stand out.

[/twocol_one_first]

[twocol_one_last]
Peter

The title of the project may give away that both Larry and me are Chaplin fans, but then who isn’t.

My favorite scene is when Charlie says in a kind of mute way: “You can see now?”  And seeing is what Larry is good at; he sees those little edges of society, sometimes funny, sometimes weird or a little tragic and moulds them into photos. I really can recommend to check out his work, as I enjoyed it again in relation to this project.

 

[/twocol_one_last]


Favourite street photos from UPSP

[twocol_one_first]

A Snake by Ilya Shtutsa

[quote]Ilya's shot is a brilliantly timed slice of life, albeit a little cheeky, everything comes together so well across the frame making the perfect recipe for street photography! A very funny moment, the kid's look of disdain, the guy, worried people might be watching, the mysterious figure holding his only protection, and of course the grand entrance from the Queen. Really excellent work![/quote]

-Larry Hallegua

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[twocol_one_last]

Tokyo Authority by Larry Hallegua

[quote]There are several pictures on UP that I really like; so in line with this project I’ll choose one of Larry’s. It’s one of those pictures which make it hard to say why I like it, but it has that twist of weirdness ; together with the megaphone it just sounds great to my eyes.[/quote]

-Peter

[/twocol_one_last]


Coming Next..

Edinburgh

The BRAGDON Brothers... Gareth and Gavin

 


Interested in taking part in a collaboration project?

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[threecol_one_last]

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January 2014

NT by Salvatore Matarazzo

[quote]I'm a sucker for old distinguished ladies and I think that Salvatore has capture one nicely here. I love how her mouth is pulled together tightly with wrinkles around it. I love her perfect hair and her matching glasses. The light is also nice, red "evening" light in the background, balanced nicely with flash."[/quote]

-Christian Nilson

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[divider]

tie

A Tie by

[quote]For my selection for January I have selected A Tie, by Poi_so_mnoi. Poi’s image shows a level of creativity in the use of his own shadow that is rarely seen. That ability to notice an image, conceive it in the minds eye, and then improve on what is available by inserting their presence into the shot is something that I really enjoy in street photography. It goes against the grain of photography, the removal of ones presence in the image is what we so often strive for. When someone is able to insert themselves into a shot, and thus improve the image, rather than distract the viewer I think this is something that deserves to be credited. This image from Poi is a clear example of this. Well done."[/quote]

-Tristan Parker

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[divider]

RahenyCornea_2013-09-15

Ensnared by

[quote]Every so often an image comes along that is simple and brilliant. Nicolas's picture here is no fluke. His instinct to focus on people around rather than the subject means capturing a moment is more likely. The visual pun playing with scale is brilliantly achieved. Nice shot Nicholas, one of my favourites." [/quote]

-Rob Hill

[divider]

[divider]

 


Koji Onaka - Lucky Cat

Lucky Cat

This is going to be a really interesting and quirky kind of review if it does any justice to how quirky and interesting Koji Onaka's wonderful little book Luck Cat is.

The basics are that its a simple soft cover book. The paper quality is really nice, and the vibrant colour and contrasty nature of the prints is well done also. I do prefer hard cover books, they seem to add a touch of class to a book, but the soft covering on this edition of Lucky Cat is actually quite well done. The simple utilitarian design on the front cover of the book really matches the nature of the images within.

Lucky Cat-2

Once again thanks to the guys at Japan Exposures and the clear fact that they have contact with a lot of the artists whos books they sell, I have been able to acquire a copy signed by the artist. Nice little touch anytime this is the case as I have said in the past.

I am going to try and write this review in a few sittings and hope that this will sort of allow me to translate the process that one gets to experience when they slowly start to take in a new book. A photo book is both very different and very similar to a novel in a number of ways. Different in the obvious point that it doesnt use words to tell its story. Similar in the fact that I think the measure of a good one is so often not only about the single images in the pages. Much like the sentences in a novel, its about how the combination and structure of the small pieces work with one another to tell the story that artist is trying to convey to the viewer.

Lucky Cat-3

The quality of the story, much like a novel, will be a matter of ones subjective tastes... Even what I would consider to be my favourite photo book, or even my favourite image, is not something that the eye of another viewer may find even slightly intriguing. I get the impression with Lucky Cat on the first quick viewing that it does have a story to tell me, and its a story that I think I will end up having a connection with as well.

The workflow of Koji is apparent in the pages and seems a little haphazard on the first viewing of the book. I do think this is something likely to change as I have more time with the book and will report on how this feeling has progressed and developed upon further interaction with the book. Right now though, it is evident to me that Koji has a strong ability to take what he sees everyday and make images that others find interesting. This is of course a great talent to possess.

Lucky Cat-4

The book actually starts with a series of images where Koji is present in the images. Just a shadow, but clearly the shadow of the artist. I get the impression with the book starting in this manner that Koji is almost using this first section as a form of an introduction. Just a casual wave hello from the artist before we get stuck into the rest of the images.

His presence in the images is telling to the rest of the book as well, as when I first flipped though the pages the sense for me was a strong indication that I was simply joining Koji for a walk. Just spending a day with him, do whatever it was that he had planned for the day. everything, from eating meals to catching the train. Evidently at some point in time we needed to stop for a bathroom break.

Lucky Cat-10

An interesting observation that is evident when taking in the book is the lack of human subject matter in a lot of the images. This is in no way a problem for myself, I really like this kind of work. What is really well maintained through the pages however is an always strong sense of presence of human influence in the images. Even though there are not actually people in many of the shots, that feeling of the fact that a human influenced something within the scene is always there.

As one starts to go back to the book for subsequent viewings little snippets of the sequence start to reveal themselves. Those sneaky little placements of images within the pages that work well together. In Lucky Cat these instances are sometimes very subtle. Sometimes not being placed on the same page as one another, but a couple of pages apart. This is very purposeful and really works well for this book.

Its a very multi-layered book. There seems to me to be a few ways youre able to read it. My initial reading was after work one evening when the book came in the mail and was very fast. This left me with some really strong ideas about what the book contained. These ideas however were a little misguided when time was spent taking in the book in a slower manner.

That haphazard nature of the images that was the initial impression slowly drifted into a distant memory as I started to connect with the images in the pages.What really stood out to me was the different images that presented themselves as the alpha images in the pages when viewed as a set at different speeds.

Lucky Cat-8

I think that any photo book will have a set of images, or a few single images that always stand out amongst the others in the book. Again I am certain that these images will be different from one reader to the next. I do think that the placement of the alpha images in the books allows for a very different flow to the story unfolding. Too many alpha images in a row and your senses start to get a little overwhelmed. Too few and you start to get a little bored. What I feel Koji has been able to do with the book is present these strong images in a manner that acts as a conduit for the rest of the book.

Lucky Cat-6

They sit well with the rest of the images and dont distract from one another. They add a little surprise to the eyes and wake the soul just a little as they present on the pages. At times these images are set on a double page by themselves with the adjoining page being blank. This method further adds to the change in tempo that they present when they appear in the sequence.

As you read the book more and more (I have been through it 4 or 5 times slowly now) the feeling of everyday existence becomes more and more evident. Koji has managed to set a scene that is so normal that its interesting.I scene that could be from anyones extended day, but is plainly one of his own doing.

With time I have started to connect to the happenings of the book. The connection is almost such that you feel like you are with Koji as the images have an intimate and natural sense to them. So much so that I have even started to leap to some conclusions about what he may be doing at one point or another in the book.

Lucky Cat-12

There are times in the book where this is quite clear. The images above are an example of this. Youre presented with these two images above, and then following on from these are a series across four or five pages that end in an image of a darkened room with a bed. Its these simple but telling sequences that leave the viewer with that feeling of normality. The feeling that this is just another day.

There are times when we see shoes in a doorway. Others were we are presented with stairs leading to somewhere that is unknown. These are the sections where we are left to fill in the blanks. Are we coming home, visiting a friend. The ability to leave the reader with these questions and a sense they need to be answered make the book kind of like a chose your own adventure.

Lucky Cat-9

The transitory nature of the book, and the different paths that you are able to use to navigate it are one of the defining features for me, but there is another. There is Kojis natural ability to make images of things that draw his attention. There are times when you are presented with images that you just wouldnt really consider making. The fact that Koji has made the image and then managed to sequence them in such a special little book is a great achievement.

Lucky Cat-7

I think that I have managed to take in the book to an extent that has allowed me to gain some insight into what Koji was trying to show readers of his wonderful little book. I almost feel as if I have sat and enjoyed a casual meal with Koji himself. Its that type of book that leaves the reader with no doubt that what youre feeling is the presence of the artist in the pages. It has been a fun and fulfilling little journey.

Lucky Cat-11

The book finishes with the only image of a person. The only shot in the whole book that has a person in the image is this last one. As I said earlier, there are a set at the start of the book where Koji is present in the form of a shadow. Through the book the reader is left to almost fill in the blacks as far as the rest of the people that Koji would have interacted with throughout the day. This is however part of the intrigue. It just adds to the mystery of the read.

What it also does is build a little suspense. This all comes to a head when you are presented with the final set of images where one is of a man riding his bike. The immediate feeling for me was one of intrusion. What is he doing here and what does he want? Who is he? Why was he so important that he was the one person that managed to prove important enough to become a final and lasting part of the journey we have undertaken?

I feel these are not questions that I will get an answer to. Maybe another read and the choice of a different path will reveal the secret...

Lucky Cat-14

I find the style of the images in the book inspiring. Its a style that I would aspire to be able to achieve myself someday. I am super happy to have this little book as a point of reference to what I think is an interesting eye through which to view the world.

Japan Exposures still have signed copies of Lucky Cat available. I think that it would be a welcome addition to any photo book collection, and I for one am super happy that its a book that has a home on my shelf.


TEXT

text

In this article Jonathan Taylor talks with Danielle Houghton, the winner of the inaugural UPSP Photo Competition.

'TEXT' investigates the words and signs that are all around us. Photos taken during January 2014.

 


[fivecol_one_first]

IMG_0776-200x200

Jonathan Taylor

Stoke on Trent, UK

My Website: www.jonathantaylor75.wix.com/jonathan-taylor

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last]

IMG_5636-200x200

Danielle Houghton

Dublin, Ireland

My Website: www.observecollective.com/

[/fivecol_one_last]

[fivecol_one_first]

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Tell me about the path that led you into street photography and what is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?

- DH

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]The focus has always been people in my photography.  As a student studying photography in the 1990s, the bulk of my images were studio based fashion shoots, documentary and club photography. The club photography was a big aspect for me back then, shooting in various clubs, photographing DJs and clubbers on their night out. I would produce a set of images for the night clubs and in return my friends and I got a free night out. A win win situation for all involved! This was probably where photographing people and documenting life really began. After starting a family and a prolonged period away from photography, street photography seemed to be the natural route back into picture taking. The one thing I wish I knew when I started taking photos was that shooting on 35mm film, would become popular again, so I would have kept all of my SLRs, as they would have been worth a lot more money further down the line!

- JT

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

Jonathan Taylor #1

Untitled by Jonathan Taylor

[fivecol_one_first]

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Who are your favourite street photographers and why?

- DH

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] The photographer that first caught my imagination was Bill Brandt.  His image of the snicket taken in Halifax really struck a chord with me. I was amazed at how something so simple could be so beautiful. His image of Francis Bacon walking on Primrose Hill and the ear photograph taken on the pebbled beach are also both stand out images. I really appreciate the work of other photographers that are not street photographers. Over time people such as Richard Billingham, Jean Baptiste Mondino, Richard Avendon, Nick Knight, Bresson and Juergen Teller have all had impact. The one photographer whose work has always blown me away is Martin Parr. His wit, observation and vision, whilst documenting life in colour is simply amazing. The guy is just incredible. I really enjoy the work of the current street photographers, as the images they produce are relevant to the world I live in now and this is what fascinates me, such as the likes of Gus Powell and Matt Stuart. I have recently discovered the work of Alexander Gronsky, which is really quite special.

-JT

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

Jonathan Taylor #2

Untitled by Jonathan Taylor

[fivecol_one_first]

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]I see a wonderful observation of detail and use of colour in your work coupled with the freedom that not every shot needs to include a face, what do you notice most and what excites you most when you are shooting? 

-DH

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]The thing that excites me most about street photography is that sense of escapism and time to myself away from routine whilst shooting. I love this time wandering and observing life. Sometimes it is people and sometimes it is the graphics and colour of things that I come across. The joy of street photography is the unknown. You leave the house with nothing and may go home with nothing, but if you capture some slices of life that please you visually, then that is a real thrill.

- JT

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

Jonathan Taylor #3

Untitled by Jonathan Taylor

[fivecol_one_first]

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]What do you think of the use of text in street photography? Do you think it should be embraced or avoided as of its limitations to translate globally?

-DH

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Good question! Though my approach for the collaboration was to use text as a means of bringing additional colour and graphics to the image, I think text should be embraced. Text is everywhere. Be it shop signage, neon lighting, graffiti or in advertising, so it is inevitable at times that there will be some aspect of text your images. Unless this text is being used as a clear visual message in your image, then I don’t think it is a problem. For example, street images that have been taken in the Far East, I don’t know what the text means, but it adds real aesthetic value to the image. However, if text is being used to communicate a visual message, then let the image be enjoyed by those for who the language is their native tongue!

-JT

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

Jonathan Taylor #4

Untitled by Jonathan Taylor

 

[fivecol_one_first]
[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]My brother dabbled in black and white photography when I was a teenager growing up in Dublin, it looked like fun, so I decided to attend an evening class to learn the basics. I think people interested me more from the start as on an outing to use our first ever roll of film, while the others were experimenting with capturing trees and buildings, I chased after two kids messing on a motorbike. For the next few years I snapped away without knowing anything about genres and with some frustrations along the way, like finding myself in the middle of the Coup in Russia without any means to shoot.  But life happily took over and photography remained an interest through books instead of shooting.  It was learning about the Street Photography Now Project in 2010 coupled with receiving a camera as a gift that made me finally pick up where I had left off after a long break, but with the difference that I finally could put a name to and expand what I enjoyed.

-DH

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]So, first of all Danielle, tell me a little about yourself and how you first discovered photography and how that evolved into street photography?

-JT

[/fivecol_one_last]

DH_C

Untitled by Danielle Houghton

[fivecol_one_first][/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I do like making connections between things on the street, in a way creating a mini narrative in one shot.  I also enjoy the witty side of street, though understand this can become somewhat cliched, but it is still fun so that can be a factor when shooting.  I just love to look and observe people and places and even when I can't physically take a shot, for example if I am driving I still do like to visualize shots. I also believe in strongly relying on what your intuition is telling you, and try to tap into that.

-DH

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]There is a great wit and observation captured in your images, tell me about your approach to street photograph?

-JT

[/fivecol_one_last]

DH_B

Untitled by Danielle Haughton

[fivecol_one_first][/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]There are so many styles and genres in photography even within street photography that I think there is no one book that fits all.  The book that every photographer should have on their shelf is the book that first triggered a reaction and inspired them, or the one that currently does.  For example I learned about photography in a fairly classic way through black and white, and was aware of the work of those considered the masters and had several books to this effect, but then one day I picked up a copy of Martin Parr's Common Sense and was excited to see there was a totally different way of creating images that I could connect and aspire to.  But over the years I have felt equal excitement for a range of different books by Larry Sultan, Richard Billingham, Bruce Davidson, William Eggleston, Stephen Gill and Rinko Kawauchi.   I do think most street photographers should have a copy of 'Street Photography Now' complied by Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren, as featuring 46 photographers, there is something in there for everybody, and had it not been for the project it lead to I wouldn't be writing this now, so I obviously have a certain fondness for it.

-DH

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Suggest one photography book that every photographer should have on their shelf and why?

-JT

[/fivecol_one_last]

DH_A

Untitled by Danielle Houghton

[fivecol_one_first]

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]It was great getting to know Jonathan better and I enjoyed the idea and process.  I think we both would have liked a bit more shooting time and a bit better weather, both the UK and Ireland have been a bit wet of late, but we muddled through! I think there is a strong community spirit amongst street photographers and mini projects like this just can only serve to strengthen connections.

-DH

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]How was your time shooting for the collaboration?

-JT

[/fivecol_one_last]

DH_D

Untitled by Danielle Houghton

 

 

Conclusion

[twocol_one_first]
Jonathan

"The images Danielle has produced for the collaboration encapsulates what I really enjoy about her photographs. Her observation, use of colour and vision for an image is fantastic. The use of text in her images adds additional narrative and another element of story telling. I have really enjoyed the last few weeks and I am really pleased to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Danielle for this project"

"Can I just say many thanks for the opportunity to take part in this collaboration. I have really enjoyed the process"

 

[/twocol_one_first]

[twocol_one_last]
Danielle

"There is a great vibrancy to Jonathan’s set and they all work well together.  I like how he incorporated text as an integral layer in each photograph.   The text serves as a wonderful way to add and highlight the colour and setting of each shot and I like that he didn’t go for the more obvious route of using the text as a juxtaposition.  I also find the connection of bent elbows running through the set very enjoyable.  I find Jonathan’s work very refreshing and honest, classic street, yet with a modern aesthetic"

 

[/twocol_one_last]


Favourite street photos from UPSP

[twocol_one_first]

Red-Ear-2

Red Ear by Sacha Lenz

[quote]I have selected this image Sacha Lenz as for me it captures what I love so much about street photography. When we are out, wandering with our camera, we  have no idea what opportunities will present themselves to us on the turn of the next corner. I am sure when Sacha went out shooting for the day, he had no idea he would return home with a photograph of a man pushing a big red ear! That is the beauty of street photography."[/quote]

-Jonathan Taylor

[/twocol_one_first]

[twocol_one_last]

Taking-a-break-2

Taking a Break by Jan_d19

[quote]First of all I have to say as the Urban Picnic Pool is looking so good, I was a bit spoilt for choice in picking a favourite, but I have decided to pick this quiet but wonderful image taken by Jan. Although Street Photography has moved on in so many ways, at the essence it remains about people.  I picked this as I feel Jan has shown me something strong and magical about this woman’s spirit and personality, I cannot help imagine anything other than an artistic free spirit, lost in a moment of abandonment, whether she is gazing at shapes or just tired, I see flashbacks to the younger girl she once would have been.  The modernist setting suits her so well even down the graphic angle of her legs."[/quote]

-Danielle

[/twocol_one_last]


Coming Next..

Modern Times

Peter Kool | Larry Hallegua

 


Interested in taking part in a collaboration project?

Sign up here

[threecol_one_last]

Name

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I am human

[/threecol_one_last]

 


Christian Nilson

Christian Nilson

[fourcol_one_first]Christian Nilson
[/fourcol_one_first]

[fourcol_three_last]

Christian Nilson
http://www.chris77photo.com

[/fourcol_three_last]

 

 

[fourcol_one_first]Could you briefly introduce yourself?
[/fourcol_one_first]

[fourcol_three_last]
My name is Chris, I’m 36 years young with a passion for street photography. I currently live in Switzerland with my wife and daughter. All the free time I have, outside of work and family is spent photographing the streets.

- CN

[/fourcol_three_last]

 

Christian Nilson

Untitled by Christian Nilson

 

 

[fourcol_one_first]We all know that photography can be frustrating at times. How do you stay motivated to shoot on the street?
[/fourcol_one_first]

[fourcol_three_last]Motivation is really difficult at times, especially in Zurich, where at least 4 months out of the year are grey. This grayness was the reason I started shooting with a flash and then I really liked it so I kept shooting with flash also in good light. What helps against slumps in motivation then; I found what works for me is to just power through them it will change eventually and you just have to keep shooting until this happens.

- CN

[/fourcol_three_last]

 

Christian Nilson

Untitled by Christian Nilson

[fourcol_one_first]What is it about the street that keeps you shooting? Some people say its about the people, other say its about documenting an environment or population, what is it for you?
[/fourcol_one_first]

[fourcol_three_last]It keeps me fit and sane! On a more serious note, I just love photography and the “hunt” for something I find interesting and/or beautiful. I think it’s the hunt for the next good photo that keeps me going.

- CN

[/fourcol_three_last]

 

Christian Nilson

Untitled by Christian Nilson

 

[fourcol_one_first]If you won the lottery, what would be the first piece of camera equipment that you would go and buy?
[/fourcol_one_first]

[fourcol_three_last]I would not buy anything; I would spend it on travel and maybe self publish something, who knows? I don’t think about it much since I don’t play.

- CN

[/fourcol_three_last]

 

Christian Nilson

Untitled by Christian Nilson

 

[fourcol_one_first]I think there are a couple of types of street photographers. Option A is a find a location and wait for the moment, option B is a wander and not wait, things will happen if you keep moving. Which type are you?
[/fourcol_one_first]

[fourcol_three_last]I’m a B-Type, I’m too restless to stay in one place for more than 30 seconds, I could however walk up and down the same street for a whole day.

- CN

[/fourcol_three_last]

 

Christian Nilson

Untitled by Christian Nilson

 

[fourcol_one_first]Do you shoot Street by yourself, or with other people?
[/fourcol_one_first]

[fourcol_three_last]99% of the time by myself, but I do occasionally take trips with friends to shoot, like I did last year with my friend Ola Billmont. (check him out, he’s a great photographer)

- CN

[/fourcol_three_last]

 

 

Christian Nilson

Untitled by Christian Nilson

 

[fourcol_one_first]Bruce Gilden, Daido Moriyama, and Zoe Strauss are stuck on a desert island. You can only save one of them, who will it be?
[/fourcol_one_first]

[fourcol_three_last]Gilden for sure, not just because he is one of my favourite photographers, but also because he’s a great guy and makes me laugh, I have not met the other two.

- CN

[/fourcol_three_last]

 

 

 


Nuno Moreira - State of Mind

I am going to start this by making something perfectly clear... I am a little biased about this style of black and white photography. That gritty grainy feel to some of the images, the high contrast look in others. The tonal ranges are very pleasing to my eye.

Housekeeping first... The book is printed on really nice quality paper. It is presented in a glossy soft cover and the first edition was printed in 2013 in Japan, and is limited to just 500 copies. There is no page numbers so I am unsure how many images are in the book, but the image size on the page is great, with really high quality print quality finishing off the premium feel.

Although the book is available in a few select stores online now, I purchased my copy direct from Nuno (and due to this I was able to ask for it to be signed, Im a lucky boy!). I must say, the communication was a great start, Nuno even asked me for some feedback and a review at some point once I had spent enough time with the book to write something meaningful.

State of Mind-6

I must agree with Nuno, this is a book that has some hidden secrets. Each time you pick it up, there is something new that you’re able to learn. Maybe the readers learn a little about Nuno himself, and maybe a little about his subjects, and maybe as we shall see, just a little about themselves as well.

There is feeling and emotion in the pages and it’s not something that you are able to appreciate on first viewing. This to me is a good sign.

Some of the hidden findings are in single images themselves, but it’s the sequencing and shot selection that has drawn my back for the subsequent viewings of the book. The images, and the shadows that they so often have lurking within, create a sense of change and movement in the pages.

State of Mind-4

Nuno opens the book with a brief written introduction in English that tells a little about how he started the project. The book was created over a period of 4 years. It was also shot in a number of different locations, which is ever present when viewing the images in sequence.

There is a feeling of change; Nuno himself makes a statement in his intro about the fact that he sees the “transitory” nature of the world in these pictures. I don’t know if this would have been as present if the series was not shot in very diverse and different cultural locations.

State of Mind has that ability to share with the reader stories about the subjects and their involvement in the pages, as well as an insight into Nuno himself. This is evident when confronted with some of the images that don’t contain human figures. These images are the ones that show me most the place where Nunos eyes were drawn to, places that he felt a need to share in his book, even lacking a human subject.

I own quite a few photo books, and it’s quite unique to see a project that spans cultures like this. So many books are about a small confined space or specific population of people that the artist has tried to document.

In State of Mind Nuno has gone against the grain in some respects, and taken on a task that to my mind is a lot more challenging. Nuno has created a set of images that combine and gel with each other, delivering the message that he set out to convey through his lens. Being able to bring together images from these locations, but still maintain a sense of coherence in the book was an impressive task.

State of Mind

As far as single images in the book go, the image above is a clear stand out for me. The light on the man’s face and the expression of expectancy from the subject for some reason don’t match the man’s appearance. It’s this play on one’s human nature to generalise that really strikes me in this image.

There are a number of really well presented double image sequences in the book as well. The two images below are a great example of this. They seem to have a connection, and this is further enhanced by their placement on opposing pages.

State of Mind-2

It’s the forlorn and lonely feeling that is created by the female on the left page, standing in a ridged manner holding a smoke in her hand. When paired with the solitary subject on the right, sitting and facing a blank wall, it seems these two people were meant for each other, meant to help each other in some way.

Their placement in the pages of State of Mind seems to be yelling out for them to come together and solve each other’s problems. Nuno’s ability to pair images like this in the pages of the book is seen time and time again. It’s the fact that these placements are able to be made, and still fit with the overall ebb and flow of the complete set that is so impressive.

I will leave you with a final set of images showing an ability to catch the emotion in his subjects. I feel there are a select few images in the book that jump off the pages for the simple reason that it is clear and evident that Nuno has been seen by the subjects, But he has been able to catch the moment in time right before they realise that Nuno’s making a picture of them. Right before their expression, and that moment, are gone forever.

State of Mind-3

 

Putting aside the technical qualities of the image of the girl on the left that result in wonderful tonal ranges and an expert placement of the subject, the simple and innocent moment that has been conserved here is just wonderful.

The book is full of these little surprises. Just when you feel that there is a bit of a lull in the images, a subject like this jumps out of the next page and takes you by surprise. Its this emotional ride that the book takes you on that I will state as one of the defining reasons for you to run out and buy this one. Maybe the State of Mind of the reader is as much at play in the pages of Nunos book as that of his own, and of his subjects.

Nuno still has copies of the book available, and if you would like to grab one then you can do so at the following link http://nmphotos.org/publications.html


December 2013

The Hand by

[quote]Because of the gentleman’s expression this photo radiates some tragedy, but I feel comedy at the same time. What exactly makes it comical I ask myself and the answer is “the plastic glove”; or how a small element can change the whole atmosphere in a picture. What is going on inside the car is probably not what we think, but leaving something for the imagination is good. Along with the perfect composition, sorry policeman in this case your head is not important, this photo is touching and will stick somewhere inside your memory. It’s the kind of photo that, when seen again sometime, will make you think “oh yes”. Congrats on your “Hand” George."[/quote]

-Peter Kool

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Carnivorous plant by

[quote]This photo is light hearted and simple, and brings a smile to your face, and I like it... During the holidays I want to celebrate and be glad, therefore a photo of a man with a flower head appealed to me and to many users of the site. From a technical point of view, the picture is also good, there is volume and air, and nice colors. Thanks Rudy for posting, I wish you continued success, good luck and photographic inspiration."[/quote]

-Elena Maiorova

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by

[quote]In 2013 the Oxford English Dictionary named 'selfie' the word of the year, so what better way to end twelve months of strong UPSP submissions with one such picture? In a style not too dissimilar to Friedlander's work, Shalunts has framed his own reflection to create an enigmatic creature walking towards us from another world. The child's head, balanced on a disproportionate body with squashed nose, wears an odd yet engaging expression that borders on confrontational. The whole thing is nicely framed with strong verticals and diagonals too, and I like the fact the woman appears oblivious to the strangeitude behind her. There were a few I'd liked to have picked from December, including Suzuki, Reuland and Marazakis. They, like this one, all appeal to our macabre, darker side." [/quote]

-Jamie Furlong

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monkey 79

Salvation by

[quote]December was a very strong month here at Urban Picnic, so it was a struggle to select just one image. Salvation by Gareth Bragdon is the one that I kept returning to though. The image is quirky and just a little bizarre. I like this. The black and white is fantastic, and the slight movement and blur in the image just adds to the almost manic feel to the picture. Its one of those photos that took a while to work out, and I enjoyed this process. I was torn somewhere between a stuffed toy of some description, and the yeti come down from snowy peaks for a while there. The contrast between what could be fun, and what is actually a caged animal is an interesting one." [/quote]

-Tristan Parker

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Untitled by

[quote]Timed to perfection. Oguz has a great eye and this shot shows us how tremendously quick one has to react to an unfolding scene. Four evenly spaced subjects arranged in a diamond creating such a great visual composition. A split second earlier or later and the amazing paper plane would not be isolated against the background and the woman's legs would not be in the position they are which is the next best element after the plane, imo. I just wish that we could see the child's face, although I think the rest of the frame makes up for this."[/quote]

-Matt Obrey

[quote]I have to agree with Matt this month and pick Untitled by Oguz Ozkan. When I first saw this shot I was amazed at all the good elements within one shot, the paper plane in flight, the poses of the people, the relative positions of everyone in the scene. I still come back to this photo and see more, there is so much going on. It's fascinating that each person is totally absorbed in their own gaze, the boy's expression is great. This shot is perfectly timed and has a nicely balanced composition. The strong light and shadows add even more to the scene. Superb photo Oguz."[/quote]

-Rob Hill

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Together

together

The UPSP team thought you would like to have a little fun over the holiday period. In line with the collaborative works that we have seen on the site this year, we thought we would set a theme for the festive season. A theme that we would encourage all our members to participate in. The theme for the season is...

TOGETHER

 

It's open to interpretation, and we are very excited to see what the creative think tank of artists we have here do with an open interpretation of a theme. We have seen how interesting it is when just two people tackle the same theme from different eyes in the collaborations. We think that this opportunity for all members to show a little creative flare will produce some stellar results.

    A few rules, though not many.

1. All images submitted must still fall into the genre of Street Photography
2. Submissions must be TAGGED or labelled some way in the submission page as 'Together'.
3. Members may submit any number of images for the theme, but with the usual rules of 1 image per day, no borders and no watermarks.
4. Submissions are now open.
5. 'Together' photos will also be included to the regular street photo categories.
6. Only new and original images will be considered
7. Submissions end 24th January

 

That’s about it. At the end of the submission period (24th January) the editors at UPSP will delve in and select their favourite images from the submissions. These will be featured in a stand alone page on the site, much like the format of the collaborations that are already published. When this page goes live, should your work be selected for the main page, we may ask a few questions of each artists to get an idea of how they got the shot, and some comment on how they felt about shooting to a restricted theme.

We wish you a safe and happy holiday season, and a fun and festive new years! We are sure that there are big things to come in 2014, lets kick it off with a bang, TOGETHER.

You can view latest uploaded 'Together' photos here> Together


Hiroki Fujitani 2013

Highlights of Hiroki Fujitani's street photography from 2013


Splash

splash

Welcome to another collaborative project. In this article Fanis Nizamis talks with Enrico Markus Essl, both street photographers on UPSP.

The series of street photos below are based on the idea 'Splash', and taken in September 2013.

 


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Fanis Nizamis

Athens, Greece

My Website:

FacebookFlickr

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Enrico Markus Essl

Linz / Austria

My Website: http://www.fotofactum.at

FacebookFlickr

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[fivecol_one_first]

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Where did you find the pictures for this project? Is the beach always a good area for hunting for special moments ?

- EME

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[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]

The places where I did the shots are from eastern beaches of Athens and some from North Evia. The Beaches this period of the year attracts a variety of people with different ages. This creates inevitable actions . I have to be extremely discreet with people. There are problems like very harsh light that prevails during the summer months.

- FN

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[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

Splash - Street Photos 01

Untitled by Fanis Nizamis

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap] Why do you prefer Street Photography and do you also pursue another type of photography ?

- EME

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[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] The street photography is photography of personal expression and not applied or commercial photography. It is the need of the photographer's creation. It has many difficulties and rewards only after hard work. I like other types of photography such as landscape on a smaller scale of course.

-FN

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[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

Splash - Street Photos 01

Untitled by Fanis Nizamis

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Which cam and lens do you use for Street Photography? In your opinion, is it important which camera to use to get the perfect Street ?

-EME

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[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I believe in street photography you have to work with whatever tool you have even with a cell phone in hand. I shoot often with analog cameras. I like using film camera Olympus OM-4T and lenses zuiko 24mm 28mm 50mm and Minolta x-300s with lens Minolta 28-70mm. Also a distinctive Canon g10 and various dslr of Canon that occasionally fall into my hands.

- FN

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[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

Splash - Street Photos 01

Untitled by Fanis Nizamis

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Fanis, where do you come from and what are your favourite places to shoot ? Is it merely your hometown or do you travel a lot?

-EME

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[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Ι'm from Athens, I live and work there. My Favorite places for shooting is the city's historic center and archaeological sites. I often escape from the city during the year at different places of Greece, and, rarely abroad.

-FN

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[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

 

Splash - Street Photos 01

Untitled by Fanis Nizamis

 


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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I think it depends on the style and the kind of photography. Nevertheless, a keen eye and a talent for observation are basic qualities for taking good pictures. The mentioned qualities are especially important in the field of documentary as well as street photography. In contrast to this, for being successful in the genres of landscape, sports, macro and studio photography technical basis and experience are absolutely necessary. According to these kinds of photography, a lack of good techniques and experience will result in poor quality.

-EME

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]In your opinion, good photography is basically a matter of technique or glance and view of the world?

-FN

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Splash - Street Photos 01

Untitled by Enrico Markus Essl

[fivecol_one_first][/fivecol_one_first]

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]In the last two years, especially in the field of street photography, a real hype and a market have developed around the globe. It's not always easy for me to gain an overview of all trends and to enjoy each trend. Actually, it's a matter of personal taste if one likes a picture or not, which applies to all kind of art. Unfortunately, there are some so-called experts on street photography who pass judgments on the work of others. That could be a problem-especially on community platforms, where beginners could be lead in the wrong direction. For getting a good overview I prefer websites like urbanpicnic-streetphotography.com, erickimphotography.com or in-public.com. I think these sites are really professional and put standards in street photography.

-EME

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Everyday we see images of artists on the internet from all over the world with different cultures. Ultimately how easy is it to try to decode and enjoy these pictures? It is true that art ultimately requires education even for enjoyment?

-FN

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Splash - Street Photos 01

Untitled by Enrico Markus Essl

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]The pics were shot in Southern France, strictly speaking on the beaches of Nizza, Menton and Monte Carlo. When shooting the pics, I didn't have any troubles or doubts. Of course I tried not to invade people's privacy. Therefore I didn't get too close. Respect is an important feature of my work as a street photographer. Besides, I'm not interested in the faces themselves. What I really like are good and interesting profiles and rear views of heads. These kinds of snapshots do not give away everything. To my mind they make situations more interesting and exciting.

-EME

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]From which location is your photographic shots. Did you face any concerns or difficulties?

-FN

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Splash - Street Photos 01

Untitled by Enrico Markus Essl

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I've been taking pictures passionately since my childhood but I discovered street photography just three years ago. Actually, it was a journey to Berlin that was desisive for my interest in street photography. I took so many pictures that turned out to be real street pics. First, I couldn't assign my pics to a certain genre of photography. Because I had to categorize some of my photos for a photography-platform on the internet, I took a closer look at the term "street photography".

-EME

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]When and on what occasion did you get into street photography?

-FN

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Splash - Street Photos 01

Untitled by Enrico Markus Essl

 

 

Conclusion

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Fanis

"It's hard for me to talk about the work of another photographer. However I will write some thoughts about Enrico's work. I feel that here the form works in Balance with the topic and there is harmony in color. The geometry and form as obsession, works here, giving a looseness and carelessness on your photos. I've seen the work of Enrico and the persistence of the geometric patterns and forms that incorporates into his pictures rewards him, because I really think that street photography describes the obsessions of the photographer rather than moments in the world "

 

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Enrico

"I like the straight and natural view to the things and moments in Fanis pictures. Pure and natural, he shows us situations and moments that are typical for Greece in terms of expression and colors. The pictures match the series and give the viewer the full view of the scene."

 

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Favourite street photos from UPSP

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Untitled by Vasco Leao

[quote]The courage, preparedness and the setup of the frame is what I value in a street photography. This combination, together with the deep and penetrating look that gives the photographer provide a strong picture."[/quote]

-Fanis

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street photography

Complete with a purse by Darran Roper

[quote]How difficult it is to find a favourite picture I experienced by preselecting the first pics. I remembered a lot of excellent pictures from the beginning of UPSP and went through them again. And then I found "Complete with a purse" from Darren Roper again, it's definitely my favorite ! I like this pic a lot because scene, cut and colors are perfect in my view. But also this kind of Street Photography is one of my favorite style. The cut provides space for interpretation what's behind the focus scene, the lines create the geometrical element and the color fills the picture with life."[/quote]

-Enrico Markus Essl

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Coming Next..

 

 


Interested in taking part in a collaboration project?

Sign up here

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Name

Email (required)

Website

I am human

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November 2013

 Urban Pirates by

[quote]Two of my favourite shots from this month were 'Directions' by and 'untitled' by . There were a few bizaar photos being posted, but this shot by Danielle stood out for me. The scene is nicely composed, has depth, interesting characters and the dark colours all add to an intriguing picture. Many elements point to the guy in the car smiling at the camera, sitting in his treasure trove with a frog mascot at the bow and a sofa on the roof. Brilliant timing to position the man walking past, a great scene, I love the title."[/quote]

-Rob Hill

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Winter morning in Pune, India by Swapnil Jedhe

[quote]It was very difficult to select just one image among many good photos from this month. In the end I chose this picture that holds an entire story in a seemingly trivial moment, where nothing exceptional or extraordinary happens. Four people, four birds in flight. Every gaze is lost in his own world, in his own flight, and the only one that looks towards the camera emerges through the food for the birds. I like the strength of the central part of the photo, with the bird with open wings in frontal position and the woman's gesture captured just at the right time."[/quote]

-Francesca Fascione

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Directions by

[quote]Real nice shot here from Stavros. Three well placed subjects, a complementary background for the foreground subjects head which i think is the nicest element in the frame with his tongue slightly sticking out juxtaposed near the bottle of water. I get the impression someone has been unfaithful but not quite sure who. I also like the title Stavros has given this, "directions" which is very fitting even down to the downward arrow on the door. Very nice shot indeed." [/quote]

-Matt Obrey

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Limbs by

[quote]Limbs ticks a lot of boxes as far as things we should be looking for in a great street photo. There are the small things like the arrangement of the flashes of blue scattered about the frame, and offset by the bright green of the grass, and high vis vest. There is the nonchalant manner of the security guard on his phone, oblivious to the scene that he is partaking in. And all offset by the strange posture of the limbs in the framed window. Great composition and frame. Simple and controlled natural processing. Great work, one that I keep coming back to." [/quote]

-Tristan Parker

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. by arsenicjr

[quote]The photo clearly shows some kind of construction work and the image is balanced well with some simple horizontal thirds. There's the always-fun 'missing bodies' gag, but done nicely since the two people clearly have a relationship with each other. No doubt the person on the pavement is looking down at the person in the hole... but why isn't it the construction worker in the hole and the woman looking down from the pavement? And therein lies the rub."[/quote]

-Jamie Furlong

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Beauty in the City

header

 

In this article Tatsuo Suzuki talks with Manu Mart, both featured photographers on UPSP.

'Beauty in the City' discovers beautiful girls and their relationship with the city. Photos taken during September 2013.

 


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Tatsuo Suzuki

Tokyo, Japan

My Website: justatoy.pixyblog.com

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[fivecol_one_last]

Manu Mart

Madrid, Spain

My Website: www.manumart.net

[/fivecol_one_last]

[fivecol_one_first]

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Can you tell us who are you, where you live and how was your first approach to photography? What gear you are more comfortable with when you work on the streets?

- MM

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[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I'm an amateur photographer. I work weekdays, 9 to 5 and my main job is in business. I starting shooting in 2008, and so I don't know many details about photography, and street photography, hard to define. I live in Ota, Tokyo in Japan (It's near Shibuya and Shinjuku). My most recent gear is a Fuji X100S and a Ricoh GR. They are both very good. I shoot mainly at weekends in the streets of Shibuya and sometimes Shinjuku, Ueno or Yokohama.

- TS

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[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

Beauty in the City 01

Untitled by Tatsuo Suzuki

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap] Can you also tell us some of your references you have and some Japanese photographers (not only the master Daido) we have to check right now?

- MM

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[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] My favorite Japanese photographers are Yamasaki Ko-ji and Black Opal (I don't know his real name). My most favourite is William Klein.

-TS

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Beauty in the City 01

Untitled by Tatsuo Suzuki

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]You are a great portrait street photographer, Tatsuo. Can you explain how you approach people/subjects and what are you looking for when you shoot them so close up? Do you have any particular story you can tell us?

-MM

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[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I shoot the subjects with my feeling. Sometimes portraits, sometimes street snap shots. With portraits, I talk to them with my mind open. Open mind is very important. I am open therefore they are open too, and they express good emotional feelings. I would like to shoot their feelings, it's maybe universal all over the world. I would like to share these feelings through my eyes and lens to other people. It's my pleasure.

- TS

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[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

Beauty in the City 01

Untitled by Tatsuo Suzuki

[fivecol_one_first]

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]I've never been in Tokyo (not yet), but in my mind are lot of neon lights, plenty of colour, people dressed in a strange ways...can you explain us your b&w choice?

-MM

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[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]My black and white shot are not able to explain neon lights, colourful things and fashion. But this is not so important and interesting to me. My photos aim to express passion, emotional feeling and have a sense of their tension. I want to express the beats (just like Punk Rock,Beat Rock,New Wave, Avant garde music). I like to give a rough or raw feeling. So I don't consider the need for colour photos.

-TS

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Beauty in the City 01

Untitled by Tatsuo Suzuki

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Which is the main advice you can give to all photographers which will read this interview?

-MM

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]My advice is keep shooting, believe in your instinct and vision. Look at the scene through your own eyes and you will make original photos.

-TS

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[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Hi Tatsuo. I'm Manu Mart, a Spanish photographer based on Madrid. Street photography is useful for every kind of photography you want to explore, you learn to compose quickly and to manage the light properly. I love to travel. Street photography and travel photography are really close. I love shooting dance in studio, and you have to be fast.....everything is related with streets.
I started to shoot b&w, as so many photographers, but when I went deeper in photography, I discovered colour. The challenges were much more than in b&w. Then I discovered Dimitri Mellos work in a workshop with him, and it was fresh and new for me. That was the final push.

-MM

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Manu, who are you? Why do you take photos and why street photography? and why in colour?

-TS

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Beauty in the City 01

Untitled by Manu Mart

[fivecol_one_first][/fivecol_one_first]

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I have always worked with high contrast scenes, with only one kind of light, and lots of shadows. I suppose I'm influenced by other photographers and artists I like. But I have gone deeper with this now I'm living in Madrid. I was born here, but I was out for many years. I came back a year and a half ago and I discovered that my birth city was sadder, grey, young people going abroad, financial crisis everywhere....it was my feeling and I needed images with a kind of poetry as a tribute to this place. This is also the reason that I use now mainly one subject, I don't want action on my photos, I want to tell stories and let people think about them. I'm seduced by the loneliness of a person in an urban environment. If this will still influence my future work, I will see.

-MM

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Your photos are very special, lights and shadow, strong contrast, and mainly single subjects. Where is this style coming from? And what is your purpose when you take pictures, is there a message to others?

-TS

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Beauty in the City 01

Untitled by Manu Mart

[fivecol_one_first][/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I always work with a Canon 5D and 35 mm lens. I try to shoot daily, but not always possible, obviously. All the American colour photography from 50's to 70's I find amazing, and I admire the painter Edward Hopper. Alberto García-Alix, a b&w documentary photographer from Madrid, was my first influence. I don't have a particular favourite photographer, there are many of them.

-MM

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Tell me your favourite gear you prefer, I really want to know about it. When do you take pictures? Weekend? Weekdays? Who is inspires you? Who is your favourite photographer?

-TS

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Beauty in the City 01

Untitled by Manu Mart

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[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I'm interested on medium format, so probably I will explore it....also I'm exploring portrait now. I don't know exactly. For sure, I will travel next year, and I think this is this is my best advice: travel and learn as much as you can.

-MM

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]What are you looking for your next project and your street photos. What would you like it to be in the future? Advice please, many people like and love your photos, so first step to be a street photographer like you. What do we need and action?

-TS

[/fivecol_one_last]

Beauty in the City 01

Untitled by Manu Mart

 

 

Conclusion

[twocol_one_first]
Tatsuo

"This project with Manu for 4 weeks has been very exciting for me. Manu as you know is a very talented and a special photographer. So while I was inspired by his work, I went on shooting and shooting pictures over 3,000 pics for this theme. Thank you very much Manu. Your photos are all amazing for me and your work is inspiring, I've continued to take pictures this summer period. I wonder someday I could shoot with Manu in Madrid, Spain! For this purpose, I will keep shooting and should be a better photographer. Much appreciated Manu! "

 

[/twocol_one_first]

[twocol_one_last]
Manu

"This collaboration with Tatsuo has been really enriching for me. First of all, Tatsuo is an extremely talented b&w photographer. The compositions seem chaotic at first view, but he shows us a body of stories behind the main subject, sometimes evidence, sometimes with a shadow as if it was painted.
Thanks to Tatsuo, I have gone deeper to Japanese photography. I have discovered how Tatsuo and his countrymates use photography as an art expression, and sometimes you get confused where both photography and art cross. Tatsuo gets close to both ways and works with photography to access an imaginary world.
Finally, it should also be noted Tatsuo's ability on the street portrait genre, and his contagious impulsivity shooting, Tatsuo is a great street photographer and he is a very nice man. I hope I can meet him by Shibuya street someday."

 

[/twocol_one_last]


Favourite street photos from UPSP

[twocol_one_first]

street photography

untitled by Manabu Sugimoto

[quote]Maybe because this last weeks I have studied a little bit of Japanese photography, I discovered this piece of jewellery in the gallery. So different to my style, but so vibrant. Excellently composed, it's like a sci-fi image, and instead of its internal action, everything is well-placed and the unfocused girl in the center gives the needed calm to all stress surrounding her."[/quote]

-Manu Mart

[/twocol_one_first]

[twocol_one_last]

untitled by Tashi Delek

-Tatsuo

[/twocol_one_last]


Coming Next..

...

... | ...

 


Interested in taking part in a collaboration project?

Sign up here

[threecol_one_last]

Name

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[/threecol_one_last]

 


Home

header

 

Welcome to another collaborative street photography project on UPSP. In this article Elza Cohen talks with Darren Rye.

The series of street photos below are based on the idea 'Home', and taken in August 2013.

 


[fivecol_one_first]

Elza Cohen

Brazil

My Website: http://elzacohen.org/

twittergoogle+FacebookfivehundredpxFlickrtumblr

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last]

Darren Rye

Birmingham, UK

My Website: http://slicedhamm.tumblr.com

google+FacebookFlickrtumblr

[/fivecol_one_last]

[fivecol_one_first]

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Hi Elza. I don't really know too much about you, so it might be a bit of a gimmick, but how would you explain yourself in one sentence?

- DR

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I do not know how to say it in a sentence, but I can define in a few words: Dreamy, restless, existentialist and obsessed with photography.

- EC

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

Home 01

Untitled by Elza Cohen

[fivecol_one_first]

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]How, when and why did you first pick up a camera and take photography "seriously"?

- DR

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I became interested in photography from an early age through movies that I watched. And then I started photographing music festivals, events and parties with DJs, skaters organized in Rio de Janeiro. But photography "seriously" (professionally) started in 2008 when I moved to São Paulo, cosmopolitan, vibrant and chaotic at the same time it oppresses, fascinates. My restlessness and need to express became even more evident with this change. I bought a camera and HDSLR went to photograph the street everyday, interact and dialogue (I with the city and its complexity). Now photography and I are inseparable, just one thing, it's my life.

-EC

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

Home 01

Untitled by Elza Cohen

[fivecol_one_first]

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]You live in Brazil, how do you think Street Photography in Brazil differs from the UK or the US for example? How do people react to being photographed?

-DR

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]In my opinion there is not much difference, because the basic principle of street photography is the same everywhere in the world: it is a record of the photographer's opinion about things, about the world, about spontaneous situations on the street, about portraying a moment pure as it is. I think the only difference is that each place has its different culture, matters, things, situations and different looks to be portrayed. Here in Brazil works well too. What about the reaction of people when they realize they are being photographed, here in Brazil people are very kind and a lot of them love to be photographed. There are people who ask for my email site to see your photo published and share later. I love it when that happens.

- EC

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

Home 01

Untitled by Elza Cohen

[fivecol_one_first]

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Have you done any "directed" or "themed" work like this before?  How did you find the experience of going out to shoot with a brief or a title in your head?  Did you follow a process at all?

-DR

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I've done and enjoy doing work to a theme, I like to develop a photographic series on a particular subject, it's good for developing creativity and deepen the knowledge on the subject. But I like the freedom of being on the street and to click when something arises, unexpectedly, without planning. Several times I've left with a title in my head to shoot and come back with something completely different. I do not like to follow rules, my creative process is usually free, life and its narratives.

-EC

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

Home 01

Untitled by Elza Cohen


[fivecol_one_first]
[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]OK, boring stuff first: I’m 26, originally from North-West Kent but moved to the Midlands to study for a degree and I’m currently living in Birmingham working in the IT/Technology industry.  My dad got me into photography/cameras in April 2010 by lending me his old DSLR.  But I soon found that you can only really shoot what’s around you, and at the time I was living in a small city centre apartment with my girlfriend.  I quickly got bored of the flowers in the local park, family members’ pets, and my girlfriend soon got bored of me shooting her…  I’m not sure what first started it, but I went on a few photowalks in London and got more and more interested in taking photos of the interactions between people and their surroundings.  I’m still learning about myself and improving, I’ve had a good deal of help and inspiration from some cool photographers, and whilst so many aspects of photography are frustrating, taking pictures is something I find myself more and more obsessed with.

-DR

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Can you tell us a little about yourself and where you have come from as a photographer?

-EC

[/fivecol_one_last]

Home 01

Untitled by Darren Rye

[fivecol_one_first][/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]The biggest struggle for me wasn’t working to the brief as such, but finding the time to get out and shoot.  I finally managed to set a weekend aside eventually and I spent all day Saturday and Sunday in Birmingham.  I got a few good images, but nothing I was pleased enough with.  We then agreed to change the brief though and after struggling to find some more shooting time I looked through my images I shot the weekend before and found that many of them which didn’t fit the theme actually worked ok as a series under the new title.  I’ve been trying for some time to put images together which have some meaning as a whole, so whilst I don’t think these are the best images I’ve ever taken, I am pleased with the outcome of the exercise.

-DR

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Darren, we both struggled a little with the initial brief that we decided on, can you tell us what was hard for you with the first brief, and what you found challenging about looking for specific photos on the street?

-EC

[/fivecol_one_last]

Home 01

Untitled by Darren Rye

[fivecol_one_first][/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I’ve just started playing with film, I say playing because I still don’t really know what I’m doing or how my images will come out, it’s an exercise in trial and error, but I think that’s part of the appeal, and encourages you to learn from your mistakes.  Before I’d be devastated if an image didn’t come out when I saw it on the LCD but I could shoot another straight away, now I have to think back to what I did, work out why it went wrong, and learn a long-term lesson from it.  I almost feel like I have to work against my digital kit sometimes, whereas with a manual camera it does exactly what you want it to.  It’s great to see the image quality you can get from a £10 camera, a £1 roll of colour film and £2 development at the supermarket.  So much so that I took a couple of point and shoots on holiday with me and shot 15 rolls in week.  I’ll definitely be continuing with film alongside digital, and if anything I expect the proportions to sway further towards film.

-DR

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]You were going to shoot film for this project, do you shoot much film and is it something that you plan on doing more of?

-EC[/fivecol_one_last]

Home 01

Untitled by Darren Rye

[fivecol_one_first]

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I will hang around if I see something developing, but on the whole I keep moving, I’m too impatient to wait by a pretty urban landscape and wait for the right person to walk by, is that to my detriment? I’m not sure.  Equally I don’t have a particular workflow or any set type of image I seek out, I’ll just wander and take a picture if something intrigues or amuses me.  I’m encouraging myself to take more than one frame of each scene though. Moving yourself slightly left, right, up or down can make a huge difference to a composition and the elements included in it. In fact the image of the lady on the phone was one of three I took, and I liked aspects of all three, I guess the challenge is to try to find a composition quickly which includes all of the elements I want.  My approach is to keep learning really.

-DR

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Are you a stand and wait type of street shooter Darren, or do you walk a lot and get your shots on the move? Can you tell us a little about your workflow on the street?

-EC[/fivecol_one_last]

Home 01

Untitled by Darren Rye

 

 


Favourite street photos from UPSP

[twocol_one_first]

street photography

White Belt by John Goldsmith

[quote]This picture gives me the idea of balance in motion. I love the composition and the soft contrast between the white and washed blue almost gray, and a black dot represented by the figure out of the scene causing a slight imbalance. It seems to me that men are practicing exercise-seaside. Meditative. I love it!"[/quote]

-Elza Cohen

[/twocol_one_first]

[twocol_one_last]

Metro Ligne 6, Paris 2013 by Fabio Costa

[quote]Of all the varied images I've seen on this site so far, some stand out compositionally, others demonstrate the photographer's wit with clever colour-play or gestural repetition, others do something different altogether.  Where this image excels is in its emotional power and the fact that the interaction present just begs the viewer to come up with the context.  Public displays of affection between humans are two a penny, which is why so it's striking to see such an embrace here between a beautiful dog and his owner.  A scruffy train, graffiti visual outside and we're treated to a man and his best friend sharing a brief, possibly surprising, moment of tenderness.  The viewer gets the feeling that he's sitting there behind the foreground metal bar, maybe mirroring the other spectator's pose and questioning gaze.  It's a great catch by Fabio Costa, it's exactly what Street Photography is about for me: catching beautiful moments in unexpected situations.  It's the sort of photograph I'd love to show someone if they ever questioned why I'd shot them. "[/quote]

-Darren Rye

[/twocol_one_last]


Coming Next..

Beauty in the City

Manu Mart | Tatsuo Suzuki

 


Interested in taking part in a collaboration project?

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The Other Side

The Other Side 01

 

Welcome to another collaborative street photography project on UPSP. In this article Elena Maiorova talks with street photographer Umberto Verdoliva. The series of street photos below are based on the idea 'The Other Side', and taken in June /July 2013.

 


[fivecol_one_first]

Elena Maiorova

Moscow, Russia

Fixxer
Ex-Photo

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last]

umberto

Umberto Verdoliva

Italy

Umberto Verdoliva
Flickr
Street Photographers
Spontanea

[/fivecol_one_last]

[fivecol_one_first]

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Is your visual search is based on preconceived ideas or you are looking for intuitive moments?

- UV

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] I look and search based solely on my intuition.

- EM

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

The Other Side 01

Untitled by Elena Maiorova

[fivecol_one_first]

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]What is your approach to people? describe it.

- UV

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] I've never had any real issues taking pictures of people as I treat everybody with great respect. I don't take the photo if someone has forbidden me to photograph them. I don't publish work that would denigrate anyone. However, when there is an opportunity I'll take the picture quickly to try and take what I saw and the idea I want to convey. If someone sees my camera I will talk to the person, explaining my intentions and often there is a little dialogue, sometimes developing to a longer conversation and even a friendship. I love people, they are the most interesting topic for me in the photo ... inexhaustible, always new and unexpected.

-EM

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

The Other Side 01

Untitled by Elena Maiorova

[fivecol_one_first]

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Are you a careful observer or if there is something to prepare how do you make it happen?

-UV

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Most often, when I shoot in the street - it's just impromptu, but if the situation is such that something prevents me, or I want to change something for the sake of a great shot - I certainly will.

- EM

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

The Other Side 01

Untitled by Elena Maiorova

[fivecol_one_first]

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]How important is photography in your life today? Is it your world for refuge or is a way to understand more about people?

-UV

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Photography today means to me very much to me. I'd almost say taking photos is my life, its full of vivid impressions, hopes and dreams, successes and failures, the joys of knowing the world and the people themselves.

-EM

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

The Other Side 01

Untitled by Elena Maiorova


[fivecol_one_first]
[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I started taking pictures in 2006 to document the progress of work for my company. The digital has brought me to photography for ease of approach but at the same time I have realized early the importance of having a technical basis of analog photography. Years before, I loved edit video shot with the camera, when I look at them, I realize I have joined many photographs to one another.

-UV

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]I would be very interested to know how long you have been a photographer?

-EM

[/fivecol_one_last]

The Other Side 01

NT by Umberto Verdoliva

[fivecol_one_first][/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]My first camera was a nikon d70, now I work with a nikon d300 and an analog camera nikon FM2n film. I have never attended photography courses I am self-taught. I attended a short course for analogue printing in black and white. I wanted to understand the differences between working in the darkroom and operate the PC in the room clear. I really like the traditional photography with the analogue camera and film, it allows you to think before shooting. This approach has almost disappeared with digital but I think it is essential for the quality of the work. Many, even looking at my digital photos, they are convinced that I'm shooting film and when they point out to me that I am very happy.

-UV

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]What was your first camera and how and where did you study photography?

-EM

[/fivecol_one_last]

The Other Side 01

NT by Umberto Verdoliva

[fivecol_one_first][/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I am a simple amateur. I like to call myself a professional amateur photographer, because I spend all my free time on photography.
In every day life, I have a degree in urban planning, I work as a technician for over 25 years with a major construction company that realizes significant public works, from here, the need to transfer to various sites in Italy ... a challenging job, not just for me, it has also impacted on important decisions with my family.

-UV

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Is photography your profession or is street photography a hobby and you do a different job?

-EM[/fivecol_one_last]

The Other Side 01

NT by Umberto Verdoliva

[fivecol_one_first]

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I love photography that gives dignity and respect to the man. I do not like to attack people but always wait very patiently for the right moment, which I often pre-visualize. My invisibility of the conquered with the continued presence and visible on site.

-UV

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Do you prefer to remain hidden when shooting or let people know you are shooting them?

-EM[/fivecol_one_last]

The Other Side 01

NT by Umberto Verdoliva

 

[fivecol_one_first]

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I have only two lenses: nikkor 18-75 mm f/3,5-4,5 on D300 and nikkor 50 mm f / 1.2 on Nikon FM2n, they are enough to me. For me the camera is only a pen...

-UV

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]What is your favourite lens in street photography?

-EM[/fivecol_one_last]

 

Conclusion

[twocol_one_first]
Elena

"I love to see Umberto’s new work, as they are always great. Again, Umberto connects with his emotions, passions, thoughts and secrets. Umberto’s photos are beautiful, smart and fancy, their composition is flawless. The pictures you want to spend time finding all the new and interesting moments. With all my heart I wish Umberto new creative successes and discoveries, I am very pleased that, thanks to the wonderful project at UPSP I met this amazing photographer and person."

[/twocol_one_first]

[twocol_one_last]
Umberto

"Tackling together the theme 'the other side' has emerged again our common vision in interpreting the reality around us. To split, to separate reality through a physical support which may be a glass, a cloth, or other object has been our common way of seeing. Elenas images comes up with strength in all this. The poetic and surreal appearance of the moment, is highlighted, and the vision becomes evocative and gives a different perception of reality. As Elena likes to transform reality and at the same time making it intimate and personal, are not exercises ends in themselves, but are insights into something that is continually looking around her through others"

[/twocol_one_last]


Favourite street photos from UPSP

[twocol_one_first]

street photography

Swarat Ghosh 'Life at Ghats'

[quote]To choose one picture of the work of many talented authors UPSP - quite a challenge. So I set eyes on one of the many pictures that I really liked. This is the photographer's work Swarat Ghosh "Life at Ghats". I always struggle to explain why I like or dont like some work. For me, it's more intuitive time than parsing photos on items. However, for me, shooting of children is a special, I love these troublemakers and visionaries, I love to take part in their games, while photographing the interesting moments. In the picture - evening by the river, the children who have to work. A child in the foreground is clearly unhappy with his comrades games, I think he's tired ... the other boy has not finished the job, and their comrades sports and acting up, jumping into the water from the concrete pedestal. Beautifully drawn on the sunset sky graceful figures, jumping boys, perfectly captured the dynamics of their movement. Sunset light, graphic quality of drawing, and its various dimensions is very encouraging. The composition and arrangement is calibrated, and the story does not leave anyone indifferent. I'd like to see in the photo, sad and rejoice with those kids. In the picture, a story, a story about the lives of children who, despite the difficulties of life, still remain the same cheerful, mischievous and fun mood, like all the boys in the world."[/quote]

-Elena Maiorova

[/twocol_one_first]

[twocol_one_last]

Le plongeoir by Roch Laurent

[quote]I love this photograph for the beauty of gestures, for its splendid black and white, for the eternal moment who she transmits, to the sense of youth that fills my heart. It is a timeless image who has stayed with me impressed. I do not know what alchemy is when man and woman love each other, the same alchemy has happened to me when I saw the picture 'The Plongeoir'. "[/quote]

-Umberto Verdoliva

[/twocol_one_last]


Coming Next..

Home

Darren Rye | Elza Cohen

 


Interested in taking part in a collaboration project?

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[threecol_one_last]

Name

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I am human

[/threecol_one_last]

 


My Tube Days

My tube days 01

 

Welcome to the fourth collaborative street photography project on UPSP. In this article Tarek Labrighli talks with street photographer Vasco Leao. The series of street photos below are based on the idea 'My Tube Days', and taken in May 2013.

 


[fivecol_one_first]

Tarek Labrighli

Morocco

www.tariklabrighli.com

Flickr

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last]

profile pic

Vasco Leao

Lisbon, Portugal

www.vascoleao.com

 

[/fivecol_one_last]

[fivecol_one_first]

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Does being a street photographer change anything about your personal life?

- TL

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] Yes, it channels all my spare time and sometimes the unavailable as well. It is my therapy, my shelter from everything else, my alter ego. I think everyone should have endless interests, and photography became mine long ago. It is something I know is there and I can always run to whenever I can or need. The feeling of trying to do better each time and following that improvement is very grateful, to the point that I feel a better person in everything else, in family, work and relationships.

- VL

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

My tube days 01

We the Dark 54 by Vasco Leao

"The face expression and the black and white toning are give the photograph great feelings, and also I can feel your presence in the photo as a photographer, which is reflecting your personality." -TL

[fivecol_one_first]

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]What is your favourite picture, and what makes it special for you?

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] I find it very hard to have a favourite picture made by me for very long, I might prefer one today and another tomorrow, it all depends on what you have made already and how do you feel that specific day. Either I like or I don´t.

-VL

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

My tube days 01

We the Dark 55 by Vasco Leao

"I see a usual contradiction, togetherness and loneliness which is true in our society, I would love the photo more if it focused on the third character." - TL

[fivecol_one_first]

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]What is your source of inspiration?

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Everything around me, from the photographers I follow since kid, to the people around me, from what is going on right now to a certain idea I might have.

- VL

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

My tube days 01

We the Dark 56 On by Vasco Leao

"Excellent composition, the way how she look gave to the photo a great feelings." -TL

[fivecol_one_first]

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]According to your experience, what is your advice to the young street photographers?

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Shoot as often as you can, pay little attention to what others say, go with your own feelings and flavours. Do not fear anything in the streets, do not skip that picture because of fear, shoot anywhere anytime.

- VL

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

My tube days 01

We the Dark 57 by Vasco Leao

"Good idea to hide the face and show just the head of the necklaces". -TL


[fivecol_one_first]
[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I first began taking pictures when I bought an DSLR camera some 5 years ago . The street was my destination to photography , but the story began a long time ago. It was my dream during all my childhood to take pictures of strangers in street but, for some reasons I wasn’t able to start until I was 17 years old. The feeling which I had 5 years ago when I was in the street was totally different compared to how I feel now, I was going just to amuse myself by taking some funny snapshots or some funny faces of the village guys, but now I feel I am more responsible with my photographs. Because of the social network sites photographs can be seen all over the world, and if it is fake there is no use of doing that, the media already doing that, moreover my feelings to the people is a bit strange, I feel like I am close to their emotions and feelings though the camera, I like what Bruce Gilden once said 'All these people I photograph are like my friends even if I don’t know them.'

-TL

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]How long have you been shooting the streets ? And how do you feel when you´re out there ?

-VL

[/fivecol_one_last]

My tube days 01

Untitled - Tarek Labrighli

[fivecol_one_first][/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I think I am open about anything seems interesting to me, but I feel like I am focusing more on the emotions and the feelings, I don’t know if that is reflecting my personality or this is the right shoot in that environment, sometimes the colours tale my intention and it is one of my favourite elements in the photograph. To talk about a style I think it is a bit too early for me, I am still discovering myself in street photography and learning and developing.

-TL

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]What are the most common elements you seek when you´re shooting ? What is your style (if you have one) ?

[/fivecol_one_last]

My tube days 01

Untitled by Tarek Labrighli

[fivecol_one_first][/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I think the equipment is a means to an end not an end to itself. I used to work with 50mm for more than 3 years and never thought about it. I am more interested in people rather than specific gear. I have seen a lot of topics talking about the best equipment and most of them talking about a Leica with 35mm, but in my opinion whatever gear you have can make a great work if you have a good eye.

-TL

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Do you feel you are addicted or dependent to a specific type of gear ?[/fivecol_one_last]

My tube days 01

Untitled by Tarek Labrighli

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]If I would have 10 lives I would still be a street photographer.

-TL

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]In ten years from now how do you see yourself in street photography? Still doing it ?[/fivecol_one_last]

My tube days 01

Untitled by Tarek Labrighli

 

Conclusion

[twocol_one_first]
Tarek

"Working with Vasco was useful, Even if don’t know him for long but, his photographs are telling a short story about him. I am not interested in complimenting the work of somebody, it is true Vasco has great shoots but, I believe in every photograph we take we miss something interesting. I took a look at Vasco's work on his website and in Facebook, it seems to me Vasco is influenced by the old concept of street photography, he is copying what he sees in the street to his camera, it’s good, but, in this point I don’t see any different between documentary photography and street photography, and also, I noticed that he has enough courage in the street but, in some of Vasco photos his presence is felt, generally I can say that Vasco is developing."

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[twocol_one_last]
Vasco

"First of all, giving anyone´s work a critique is something uncomfortable for me, and I don´t know Tarek too long, and it only makes it harder, but I tried to examine most of his body of work, from 500 px and Facebook and i made my own ideas.

It seems to me Tarek has started in street photography and it´s modern concept, very recent. But it already shows strong ideas, you can sense different worlds in his photographs, but that is very natural to anyone starting on the streets and it only shows the love for the streets.

 His latest photographs show how Tarek is more concerned on human nature, on people, rather than playing with colour or geometry and you can see a development. I will keep tracking his work and I guess it will keep evolving, gettting better and better."

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Favourite street photos from UPSP

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street photography

Southern girls by Carmelo Eramo

[quote]It's very difficult to choose one picture as a favourite from UPSP. There is a lot of great photographs, but this photo I can say it is my best. The toning of the black and white give the photograph a fantastic feeling, that's why it seems alive to me. The composition and the light are really great too."[/quote]

-Tarek Labrighli

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[twocol_one_last]

analogies by Francesca Fascione

Worried & Bored / Preocupada y Aburrida by Emilio Aparicio

[quote]This shot has what I seek most and what draws my attention when I go out shooting, the human emotions! The gaze of the girl on the right makes it for me all the way, but the left one somehow completes the "painting"! It looks like you have there the side and the front sketch of the same emotion, and that can be from despair to sorrow, to boredom, many bad feelings occur to me when I look at it, but it shows two different characters with the same sad look. It is not a perfect image when it comes to composition, but by having all the key elements, it only gets better! Nothing that I love more than a strong image with flaws, it only makes it more real, less artificial! This is what it all should be about!"[/quote]

-Vasco Leao

[/twocol_one_last]


Coming Next..

Glitz & Glamour

 Darren Rye |  Elza Cohen

 


Interested in taking part in a collaboration project?

Sign up here

[threecol_one_last]

Name

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I am human

[/threecol_one_last]

 

 


Minimal

Minimal

 

The third in our collaboration series. In this article Jamie Furlong talks with Italian photographer Francesca Fascione. The series of street photos below are based on the idea 'Minimal', and taken in April/May 2013.

 


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Francesca Fascione

Francesca Fascione

Pisa, Italy
flickr
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Jamie Furlong

Jamie Furlong

UK

flickr facebook
http://www.jamiefurlongphotography.com/

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Jamie, you are a traveller and you’ve seen many places, is there a place you prefer for street photography? Which is the city that gave you the best inspiration?

- FF

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[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I spent three years in Cochin, a sprawling, industrial, working city in south India, and met many local photographers there. It was around this time that I made the transition from travel to street so I have to give this city and its people props for inspiration (and for their hospitality). For some reason I also have a lot of great street stuff from Jaipur. I get a buzz from anywhere that's chaotic, something that India excels in!

- JF

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[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

Minimal

Untitled by Jamie Furlong

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]From your photography it's clear you love to portray people. What features of a person make a good subject for pictures ?

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[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I like slightly macabre, amusing facial expressions. The more bizarre, the better. I prefer interesting to beautiful when it comes to portraits, so if the viewer looks at one of my images and asks "what the hell?", then I'm happy.

-JF

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[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

Minimal

Untitled by Jamie Furlong

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Literally to photograph means to write with the light. Even if street photography is a photographic kind that can take the liberty of breaking the rules and playing with other aspects of situations, what is the importance of light in street photography, and particularly in your photographing?

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Lighting has become more important to me than ever, especially as much of my stuff is now shot with a flash. For this project, however, I made a conscious decision not to go stroboscopic and instead use the strong light and shadows here in the tropics. If you examine your favourite photographs and ask "was the lighting important in making this shot?", the answer will almost always be "yes".

- JF

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Minimal

Untitled by Jamie Furlong

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]What's the picture you dream to take? and also someone else's you admire?

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[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]That's difficult to answer. The images I take are different to the ones I admire. Steve McCurry has always been an inspiration and there are two of his images that spring to mind. One is of an old man walking past an ox. He's stooped so low his hunched back reflects the hunch of the working ox behind him. The other is of a boy running off down a backstreet in Jodphur, the Blue City, with red hand prints leading into the picture. Both these images bridge the gap between street and travel, and those are the shots I should be taking, being in my position. I'd love to ask McCurry about his thoughts on these images, how they could be deemed 'street'. I think he'd laugh! At the other end of the scale is Gilden's work (I do like his Coney Island collection), and Martin Parr's subtle social commentary is fabulous. Location and context are key to all these photographers' work, something I constantly remind myself when out shooting. Of course I've just mentioned some of the big names in photography whose work I'd love to take, but there are some fantastic contemporary photographers on the scene at the moment. We see a few of them on UPSP who are exceptional.

- JF

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[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

Minimal

Untitled by Jamie Furlong

 

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]I believe street photography originates from a particular sensitivity to the world, and from the curiosity to investigate in a personal way the reality around us. Which of the many aspects of street photography dramatic, ironic, ambiguous, surreal, emotional, comic, tragic-  do you prefer in your photography, which is the one that moves your research, and which one do you love to see in photography of others?

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[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Your question highlights the problem with answering this one, Francesca. There are so many different types of street photography that to consciously narrow it down is impossible. Dramatic has to feature, but that too can be interpreted in many ways. Add surreal and comic and you're heading in my direction. I love the work of In-Public, for example. Getting involved in UPSP has given me a greater appreciation of the more 'artistic' side of street too, though I'll always go for a raw image over a beautiful image.

 - JF

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]What would you suggest to young photographers that are starting to shoot street photography?

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]One camera, one lens, master them both.

- JF

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Effectively the research of minimalism is a trait that characterizes many of my photographs. This is due, I believe, to the fact that my approach to the "figurative arts" originate from the passion for drawing and for graphics, which guided me to study architecture at university.

At first, architecture was the only component of my photos, I was looking for the graphic patterns, lights, shadows, volumes. Over time, however, my interest has shifted to the city as a combination of architecture and human presence; here I started to use photography as a means to investigate and understand the relationship between man and city, and I see that, almost instinctively, with photography I tend to look for the graphic aspect and geometry in urban daily situations. I like to try to figure out if you can find an order in the complexity of reality, if you can capture "a graphic moment" in the chaos of the world around us, if we can discover apparently non-existent relationships and connections. In life and in the daily gestures are hidden ironic, dramatic, bizarre, moving elements, and the strength of photography lives in disclosing them and show them. Here, it can also reveal the graphical aspects of the situations that are beyond the passing of real life, but which are also useful in reconstructing the complex mosaic of reality.

 -FF

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]You chose the theme 'minimal' and a lot of my fave images of yours could be described as minimal. What is it you like about shooting this style of street and how did you find this project?

-JF

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Minimal

Untitled by Francesca Fascione

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]If I'm in a place I know well, it’s possible that I go back to the place several times, until light and weather conditions are optimal. In general, however, I love the randomness. I like to go out and walk in places that I don’t know, to prove myself extemporaneously and see what comes out at the moment. The graphic-geometrical search I try to improve and advance is not based on premeditation or a "project at the table" of images, but the spontaneity with which sometimes graphic situations occur, unconsciously. I like to try, in the confusion, to capture that moment when things come by in the way I'd thought, or in a way that not even I had thought, surprising even me first.

-FF

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Do you find a location, work out the picture and wait for all the elements to fall into place, revisiting it again until you get the shot? Or do you just wander without premeditation, picking and choosing frames as they pass you by? I'm keen to know how much planning and research is involved in your work.?

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Breaking the Rules

Untitled by Francesca Fascione

[fivecol_one_first][/fivecol_one_first]

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I really love black and white, because of the passion for drawing that I mentioned before. Since I’m interested mainly in the graphic aspect of things, often it is the form and the proportion that attracts me, more than the colour, so when I can I delete it, to make pictures more synthetic and cleaner. I usually try to keep the colour only if it is functional to the message and if it  has a particular role in the image, but generally I do not have a preference leaning to one or the other, instead I follow the instinct from time to time in front of every individual picture or project. Giving up the colour can be a further step towards minimalism and synthesis, so the challenge of this work was to try to achieve them regardless of the colour.

-FF

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]You have a mixture of black and white and colour in your portfolio. Is this a conscious decision and how do you feel about the two different formats?[/fivecol_one_last]

Minimal

Untitled by Francesca Fascione

[fivecol_one_first]

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Currently, Italian street photography is more in the background than other genres, but I think we have several good and talented photographers who are standing out in the international scene.

In fact we have great Italian masters, from Gianni Berengo Gardin to Enzo Sellerio, to Federico Garolla, and then Luigi Ghirri and Ando Gilardi, who gave us a real photographic treasure as well as a kind of spiritual heritage, an ethic of photography and especially street photography.

The reference point of Italian contemporary street photography is Umberto Verdoliva, who I admire not only for the obvious and undoubted talent as a photographer, but also -and not secondly- for his great humanity, for the passion with which he dedicates his life to sharing and diffusion of the culture of street photography, and to the training of new generations of street photographers. I also cite with pleasure other good Italian photographers that I admire: Adolfo Fabbri, ironic tamer of light, Mario Mencacci, original promoter and lover of architectural street photography, Alex Coghe, Italian but cosmopolitan photographer with international scope.

-FF

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]What's the street photography scene like in Italy? Are there any contemporary Italian photographers you'd care to mention?[/fivecol_one_last]

Minimal

Untitled by Francesca Fascione

 

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]If it’s true that male photographers are more prevalent than female photographers, it is even more true that in the sphere of street photography the female component is even more restricted. Given that I never like to generalize or make distinctions of class and gender, actually I think that nothing prevents a woman being a good street photographer, after all,  intuition, sensitivity, attention to the small things and love for the world around us , these are at the soul of street photography, and are qualities that generally don’t miss a woman. Like always it happens in all things, in this particular environment being a girl has its pros and cons: a girl is generally frowned upon less than a man when she approaches someone and photographs them, on the other hand walking by herself, maybe at unusual times and through “problematic” places, sometimes it may not be prudent. (That's why I practise ju jitsu. I'm black belt, watch out!)

Coming to the inspirations, the mother of all female street photographers is Vivian Mayer, who really knew how to channel the feminine sensitivity in his shots, leaving us a precious example. Passing to contemporary time I like to mention the Italian street photographer Mary Cimetta, and internationally, Alison McCauley. I think however that in the international scene a large place is occupied by Russian female street photographers, some of them very young -I refer for example to Maria Plotnikova, Elena Maiorova, Anastasia Rudenko.

-FF

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Tell me about women in photography. Does being a female street photographer help or hinder your art? Are there any female photographers who inspire you?[/fivecol_one_last]

[fivecol_one_first]

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[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]"Why" is simple: because for a day I’d see what they see. Appointment in Rome's Trastevere, 11.00 a.m. , with Sigfried Hansen, Matt Stuart, Felix Lupa. I recommend ... on time, and I'll take care of lunch, of course!

-FF

[/fivecol_three]

[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]You're organising a photo walk in your favourite city. Which three street photographers would you invite along to accompany you, and why?[/fivecol_one_last]

 

Conclusion

[twocol_one_first]
Francesca

"Working with someone you don’t know personally has been hard and stimulating at the same time; enveloping the same theme with someone who is at the other side of the world, beyond the oceans and the continents, is an exciting and almost surreal experience; collaborating with Jamie, a street photographer with talents and leanings so different from me, has been a great challenge.

When I saw Jamie’s photos for the project, I’ve confirmed the excellent impression that I already had of his work and his photography. Jamie loves people, loves to get closer to his subject and establishes a strong connection with them: I think it has been a complex challenge for him to engage in theme “minimal”, having to remove as many elements as possible. Well, I believe Jamie was completely successful. Considering his permanence on the boat and his sailing through the seas, I thought we would have mainly “naturalistic” pictures, with sea, beaches, woods, whereas Jamie produced very urban scenes. Characterized by excellent light, clear shadows, strong colours.

To segment the body is useful to our theme: the message is devolved upon other elements –the cigarette, the contrast between dress and floor textures, the chromatic and formal connection between shoe and motorcycle, the disconnection between body and shadow. And obviously that eye that emerges in yellow, that by itself captures the look and makes a great photo.

Before the end of the work, I absolutely want to mention and thank Rob Hill and Tristan Parker, who worked and collaborated behind the scenes, as good coordinators and curators, for the success of this project."

 

[/twocol_one_first]

[twocol_one_last]
Jamie

"Francesca's architectural background is very much apparent when we view her images as a set. Her love of angles, lines, parallels and diagonals are the main feature in most of her images, as is demonstrated in the near-abstract quality of the road and yellow trousered pedestrian. But it is her fourth image of the roundabout that breaks the mould with some beautiful curves, repeated across the image from the signposts, the lamppost and even a well considered curved car. Of course the person disappearing under the lamp post is the clincher and demonstrates perfect timing. This is very much contemporary 'decisive moment' street photography.

Also great timing are the two people walking under the two objects hanging from a brick wall and, rather than choosing two random people, Francesca has captured two people seemingly wearing identical hats. Both perfectly positioned under each object. Taking up full two-thirds of the image the study in parallels is well executed with the green strip of grass contrasting nicely with the red brick.

The shadow taking the dog for a walk stands out as quite different to much of Francesca's work. Here she has stepped right in and got close to her subject. Again, more parallels here but it is the shadow of the Churchillesque dog-walker that really makes this picture stand out.

I've really enjoyed working on this mini-project, especially with a street photographer of Francesca's calibre. Minimal suits her style perfectly and there is much we can learn from her execution. Her study in architecture gives her a keen eye in spotting those minimal foregrounds and backgrounds.

Keep an eye on Francesca, she's definitely one to watch!"

 

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Favourite street photos from UPSP

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street photography

The Stare by Tristan Parker

[quote]It was hard to choose just one photo from the enormous archive of UPSP, full of exciting and remarkable images. I chose this photo because I think Tristan is one of the most promising photographers of the community, and this image of his represents something of a breakthrough in his work, inaugurating his new way of seeing and finding connections. The image reflects what I said before: the randomness plays an important role in the scene, the wind that ruffles the hair of man creates an unexpected and unconscious relationship between him and the deer in the background, and probably shooting a moment earlier or a moment later the situation would have been completely different.”[/quote]

-Francesca Fascione

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Enlightenment #2 by Christos Kapatos

[quote]There's shadows and light, and then there's Christos Kapatos. His image of the gentleman gazing at camera with three perfectly positioned silhouettes is one that is indelibly imprinted in my memory. In this image Christos has demonstrated a remarkable ability to combine sublime use of shadows and light with a unique street portrait. Christos is one of a few contemporary Greek photographers I admire, Charalampos Kydonakis being another obvious example. Their capture of decisive moments through facial expressions, combined with creative lighting, really appeals to me. Not only is the expression in Christos's photograph captivating, the whole scene is aesthetically satisfying. I described this picture previously as 'cinematic'; it is one of a few UPSP submissions that I could hang on my wall and look at every day."[/quote]

-Jamie Furlong

[/twocol_one_last]


Coming Next..

'My Tube Days'

Tarek Labrighli & Vasco Leao

 


Interested in taking part in a collaboration project?

Sign up here

[threecol_one_last]

Name

Email (required)

Website

I am human

[/threecol_one_last]

Editors: Tristan Parker, Rob Hill

 


Breaking the Rules

Breaking the Rules

 

The second in a series of collaborative street photography projects by photographers in the UPSP community. In this article Sam Ferris talks with Canadian photographer Tatum Wulff. The series of street photos below are based on the idea 'Breaking the Rules', and taken in March 2013.

 


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Tatum Wulff

Vancouver, Canada

http://www.tatumwulff.com

Facebook  google+  fivehundredpx

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Sam Ferris

Sydney, Australia

twitter  fivehundredpx  google+  tumblr

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Sam, could you tell us the story of how you initially got started in street photography?  What first compelled you to this genre of photography, and how has your work altered or progressed over time?

- TW

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[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I am not entirely sure why I began taking photos. Around the time I started, I was working and researching at university five to six days a week to try and finish off my PhD thesis. I was fairly miserable and really under a lot of stress. In order to get outside and have a break from my desk, I set about walking to and from the campus and home which took about an hour and a half each way. On these walks, I began to notice things. First of all, it was architecture. I was drawn to the form and design of buildings and became interested in how they engaged public space. I was also fascinated with the lines and how certain surfaces would become luminescent under the radiance of morning and afternoon sunlight. After a while, I brought a compact point-and-shoot camera with me to photograph these structures. I would often change my walking route because I enjoyed the feeling of being lost in suburbia, with only a general direction in mind. This led me through Sydney’s stark industrial areas. There were streets of factories, warehouses; the skeletal remnants of abandoned buildings, construction sites; all machinery and concrete. I found these areas interesting to photograph too because of the alienation I felt walking through them; an environment so bleak and devoid of humanity it was almost a vivid tableau of modern life. At this stage, my photographs too were without human figures in them. And my photography itself, little more than a personal hobby.

In 2011 I lived in an outer arrondissement of Paris. I felt like it was, at least from my Australian perspective, an authentic way to experience the city: existing amongst the locals in a part of Paris not frequented by tourists. My habit of voraciously taking photos with my little point-and-shoot extended to my Paris experience because there was so much that I could observe with the enthralment of a foreigner. I would also walk everywhere in the city. I had a rudimentary map, but I once again enjoyed the sensation of being lost and discovering the alleys, galleries and markets on foot. I would photograph everything and a lot of the photos I took had people framed from afar by the street or its surrounding architectures. There was so much that I found both strange and marvellous about the everyday activities and goings on around me that I felt compelled to photograph it.

Back in Australia, on a whim, I decided to upload some of these images to a photo-sharing site so that I could send the gallery link to my friends and family and have them share my experience of Paris. What I didn’t expect was the generally positive reaction to my photos by people who I didn’t know. Where people had left comments, I noticed one word emerged again and again – ‘street’ – even though a lot of my photos did not actually depict one. Curious, I immediately researched the genre. I was amazed by the images that appeared. It was a very exciting moment for me. Later, I would spend hours every night looking at photos online, reading articles and blogs. Discovering the genre of street photography crystallised my earlier experience of taking photos while walking the streets of Sydney; that there are moments where the ordinary and mundane can be made strange and beautiful through the temporality of the shutter. It perhaps also marked this as the moment when what I was doing with photography shifted from a personal diversion to more of an artistic pursuit.

- SF

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Breaking the Rules

Untitled by Sam Ferris

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]What other influences drive your passion for street photography?  

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]In terms of art in general, I think I have always been interested in it. My dad is an artist and so I grew up surrounded by his paintings and shelves of art books. As a kid, I would love to spend time in his studio; it was cluttered and smelled of oil-paint. My dad was meticulous in the approach he took to work. He would always explain his images to me; drawing little sketches on the thin yellow paper he kept for notes to demonstrate a concept. I learnt how perspective worked; about lines and vanishing points; he explained composition, form, layering and colour pallets too. One thing I distinctly remember is that he would always have a camera – a film Canon SLR – with him when we were driving somewhere and he would often stop to take photos of landscapes, factories and industrial plants, buildings, roads and signs; anything that he felt he could later use in a painting. Years later, I think his influence filters through to the photos I now take.

In strictly photographic terms, even though I became aware of street photography only very recently and feel like I am a complete novice, I feel like I had a head start in some respects of image making. I’m definitely still learning. My work has shifted from being rendered solely in black and white and centring on figures against architectural backgrounds or murals and advertisements to using colour and being concerned with the light in Sydney. Reading photography books – I currently have the compilation Street Photography Now, Josef Koudelka’s Exiles, Think of England by Martin Parr and William Klein’s Paris taking up a significant portion of my coffee table – has been instrumental in broadening my understanding of the potential that photography on the street holds. I have also been inspired by work I’ve seen in Flickr’s Hardcore Street Photography and Street Photography Now groups as well as the individual work of Shane Gray, John Goldsmith, Fabio Costa, Julien Legrand and Baptiste Hauville to name but a few on Urban Picnic.

-SF

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[fivecol_one_last][/fivecol_one_last]

Untitled by Sam Ferris

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]From a cultural standpoint, has shooting in Sydney had an effect on your style? 

[/fivecol_one_first]

[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Well, I think it has. I’ve been here for just over five years now and feel like I’m still discovering Sydney, especially in terms of photography. It is a vibrant and multicultural city, full of life and diversity. I think there is also another side to it though; one that finds the city in a post-Olympic decline. I’ve certainly felt isolated at times here. I think that is why I connect so strongly with the work of Trent Parke, especially his exquisite portrait of the city in the series Dream/ Life. It is body of work that I find at once aesthetically sublime and incredibly visceral. He uses light so beautiful to sketch his vision of Sydney. Some of the images in the Dream/ Life series are almost nightmarishly post-apocalyptic and I connect with them for their bleak rendering of life. For me, I don't think there is any conceivable way of photographing Sydney today, without considering Parke’s accomplishment. It’s a body of work that I go back to on an almost weekly basis and draw inspiration from time and again. I find myself trying to visit the same locations where he took photos and experiment with the oblique light in mornings and afternoons resulting in various successes and failures. And the light in Sydney has definitely shaped my style. I’m fascinated by the light in the city as it juts through the gaps between buildings in shards that cut through long, dark shadows. It makes colours more brilliant and creates shimmering silhouettes. Recently, by shooting at apertures of between f8 and f16, I’ve found the light can also be useful in cleaning up photos compositionally: I can show a subject and leave the cluttered or unnecessary elements of the image obscured by shadow.

- SF

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Breaking the Rules

Untitled by Sam Ferris

[fivecol_one_first]

[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Could you tell us what your experience was like in shooting for this brief, any challenges you encountered, and how the development of the project unfolded for you? What are you trying to communicate to the viewer in your photos?

[/fivecol_one_first]

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Working to a brief was interesting and not something I had ever done before for street photography. Normally, I go out to shoot with locations in mind that I know will be interesting in terms of light or people, but I tend to be a bit open minded about the sorts of images I might get. I think that it is, perhaps, the most addicting thing about taking photos on the street: you never know what is going to happen. I think Matt Stuart frames it really well in an interview I recently saw: “the lovely thing about street photography . . . is that the best stuff; there’s absolutely no way you could stage or even think of.” So, while I had not worked to a brief before, I was excited about the potential for interpretation and to see how focussing on a particular idea would change the way I might take or look for photos.

With that in mind, my initial idea for ‘breaking the rules’ was to explore certain parts of Sydney at night and see how, perhaps, the guise of darkness permitted people to break the rules with more frequency. After embarking on Friday and Saturday nights for three consecutive weeks on a route that led me from King street in Newtown where I live, to the city itself and then finally through Kings Cross, I managed to capture a number of images that I found interesting but did not fit the brief. Some of the individual shots I got of drunkenness, fights, police and general disorder were, for me, compelling but there was nothing tying them together as a cohesive series. Moreover, I think the style of these photos erred more towards photojournalism than street photography. That is not to say that it was for lack of subjects; it was more a problem with my composition and technical skills when taking photos at night. In any case, these images certainly lacked the witty and surreal prowess of, for example, Maciej Dakowicz’s brilliant Cardiff After Dark series.

After that initial setback, I wasn’t sure where to go next so I asked some friends about their interpretation of ‘breaking the rules’ and we had an enlightening, albeit somewhat inebriated, conversation at the university’s pub about it. We spoke about how rules are different to laws and that we in-fact break the rules – or codes – of the streets every day in the subtle, unnoticeable and sometimes unconscious ways we use or traverse public space. As children we had all walked along a railing or wall for our own amusement or daring; and we had used the pavement itself as an object of play. Moreover, as adults, we now dart through busy traffic to avoid waiting at the lights; we lean against street signs; or walk through vacant lots to take a short-cut home. We all ‘break the rules’ in some sense. So, it now became my goal to capture these subtle kinds of rule breaking and to do so in a way that tested and even ‘broke’ my ‘rules’ for street photography. To improve the chances of capturing these sorts of moments, I knew I needed to get out and shoot as frequently as possible.

Fortunately, this coincided with a resolution of mine to always bring my camera with me when I leave the house. And yet, while completing the brief, I was also extremely busy; extended time to go out and take photos increasingly scarce. I’m studying now, full-time, to become a teacher and also trying to work when I can; so, I often found myself in a classroom while the light outside was beautiful. But that I did have my camera with me everyday at university and that I was sometimes able to find the time between or after class to shoot meant that I was constantly working at the brief. I certainly find the university campus an interesting setting for street photography; there are masses of people of all ages and from all walks of life; and there is a variety of interesting locations with good light. My photos for this brief have actually all been taken in and around the university I study at and in a bizarre art-imitating-life type moment, I was even told off by campus security for taking photos for this project. From the light in the quadrangle streaming upon a girl cutting through a cordoned off section of covered grass to reach class on time; to students enjoying the afternoon sunlight; to protesters assembled at an entrance and sitting atop a wall; to an old woman ambling down the middle of a busy road while a father and children quickly dash across it and a pair of stunned ladies look on, I think I have been able to capture some images that delineate the moments that I see in my life and perhaps at the same time also meet the brief.

- SF

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Breaking the Rules

Untitled by Sam Ferris


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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Travel has always played a key role in my life. From an early age, I became accustomed to moving and adjusting to new environments. I grew up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and lived briefly on Vancouver Island before moving to Vancouver, British Columbia. During the 1990’s, I fulfilled my aspirations to travel and live abroad. Through a series of unplanned events, I eventually found myself calling Japan home, and settled there for around eight years. Having a background in Fine Arts, I was very fortunate to meet a renowned Japanese artist who taught me the intricacies of an ancient art form called Nihonga, or traditional Japanese painting. What I didn’t realize at the time, was that my apprenticeship in painting would eventually provide as a good foundation for my future love of photography. I had already visited places like Israel, China and Brazil, before finally discovering my love for street photography during a trip through the rural countryside of northern Thailand. It was a life changing experience for me to meet people from cultures so different than that of my own. Armed with a couple of film cameras my father had given me before leaving Canada, I finally turned my lens toward capturing the wonderful people I met while backpacking. Moved by the beauty, strength and dignity of such humble people who had very little in the way of material possessions, I became impassioned to tell their stories and celebrate their culture through photography.

In regards to other photographers I like, I have always loved the master of candid photography, Henri Cartier-Bresson. Like other masters in any medium, his work emulates what can be accomplished when one learns to listen to their instinct, and follow it. We can learn and find inspiration through those who have mastered their craft, but ultimately as artists, we have to learn to let our own instincts act as a compass for us to find personal success and fulfillment. Elliot Erwitt is of course also a master of capturing the decisive moment. I love the playfulness and humanity found in a lot of his work. While visiting the Art Gallery of Ontario last year in October, I was deeply inspired by an exhibition of imagery by Josef Sudek. His ability to portray ordinary objects and scenes in such a sublime and beautiful manner left me captivated. James Nachtwey is a photographer I hold great respect for. Not only because his images serve to show us the human consequences of war and the struggle of people living in areas of international conflict, but his humble character is truly admirable. He does not strive to be praised for how good his photography is, his main concern is that there is an emotional response and understanding from people about the importance of what it is he is capturing. I have long loved Steve McCurry for his vibrant colorful portraits of people and his drive to portray both people’s joy and the human struggle. I adore the work of Vivian Maier. I am fascinated by her life as much as I am her work. Aside from other photographers, my earliest influences in art were 19th century European Impressionist painters. More than likely part of my admiration for these innovative artists is that they celebrated the life and beauty of everyday people, which is what I have always gravitated toward in photography.

Street photography for me is a celebration of life and an appreciation of people. I think once you know what it is the moves you in life, it will become second nature for you as a photographer to capture that. It’s all about being true to one’s self and having gratitude.

Currently I shoot with a Canon T2i and after reading an article on Eric Kim’s website, ’10 Things Henri Cartier-Bresson Can Teach You About Street Photography’, listing a number of photography tips, one being to ‘Stick to one lens’, I challenged myself to switch from using my kit lens to only using my 50mm F1.4 on the street. It didn’t take long for me to realize the benefits and I haven’t used my kit lens ever since reading that article. I do at times use a 28mm F1.8 as well, but I feel very comfortable with my 50mm for street. If I do decide at some point I would like to shoot with something that has more range, I have my eye on the Sigma 17-50mm F2.8. I’m not certain if it would suitable for street, but I would like to try it one day. I use Silver EFX Pro for black and white processing.

 

 

-TW

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]First of all, Tatum, can you you tell us a little about yourself: where you're from, how you found your way into street photography, which other photographers you like and why? What you look for on the street? Which cameras you shoot with?

-SF

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Breaking the Rules

Untitled by Tatum Wulff

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Yes, absolutely.  Our life experiences and personal history have a direct effect on our outlook and what we may focus on in life, and as a result, in what and how we shoot.  I think core elements of every photographer’s personality are reflected in their work.  There are pictures all around us, at any given time anywhere we are.  There are moments that will translate to something meaningful for someone, that’s other may dismiss.  I also find the style of post processing can at times reflect elements of a photographer’s personality.  I don’t know the author of this quote, but it really holds true for me: “Often times, photographs reveal more about the photographer than the subjects themselves".

-TW

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Do you see your personality reflected in your work?

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Breaking the Rules

Untitled by Tatum Wulff

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I saw a young child standing on a grass lawn between two condominium buildings, he was playing with a sign hanging from a chain that read, ‘Private Property – No Trespassing’.  I centered him holding the sign when I photographed him, that’s when the idea of breaking the rules crossed my mind for the brief.  The child was innocently breaking a rule by playing on private property, and I had broken one the standard rules of photography by centering my subject.

Initially I planned to interpret the brief in a literal sense by shooting pictures that broke some of the standard rules of photography, such as the rule of thirds, focus and leading lines, but I decided to challenge myself to shoot the brief in the visual context of my subjects breaking rules.  I actually found this very challenging, as my interpretation varied between ideas such as breaking the rules, unwritten or otherwise, which society places on us to breaking rules we set for ourselves.

-TW

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]What inspired you to arrive at the idea of 'breaking the rules' for the brief?[/fivecol_one_last]

Breaking the Rules

Untitled by Tatum Wulff

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Sam, thanks for asking.  Yes, I am in the process of creating a book documenting my travels and the diverse people and cultures that had such a life changing impact on me.  This involves sifting through a backlog of negatives to scan and edit.  I have an Epson V500 for the job, hopefully this will help in providing for some good results.

-TW

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Are there any projects in general that you're working on or itching to work on in the future?[/fivecol_one_last]

Breaking the Rules

Untitled by Tatum Wulff

 

Conclusion

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Tatum

“Working with Sam on this brief was a very interesting exercise.  I really enjoyed the process and overcoming any unforeseen challenges that came with it.  I think the final results we produced are very telling of just how unique our viewpoints and interpretations are as photographers.  I know Sam for his compelling and classic black and white street work so I was very intrigued to see he chose color for the brief.  I think the images he produced for the brief are a great visual example of the range and diversity of his talent.
What makes his images so striking to me are the strong graphical elements combined with his clever use of bold, vibrant colors.  I also love Sam’s apt ability to capture a visually stimulating interplay of geometry between his subjects within their environment.  His image of the family crossing the road with a child holding balloons really exemplifies this.  The family walks across the middle of the road while an interesting character who seems to have grabbed the attention of others, walks toward them.  For me this can be symbolic of people we may cross paths with when we break the rules and go our own way.  The fact that the viewer is the only one involved in the shot who cannot see the persons face further piques my curiosity and adds to the story of the shot.  Each one of his images shows a unique interpretation of the brief.  I find it compelling that not only did he use color while I shot in black and white, but his series was shot in the daytime while mine happened to be shot at night.
Since joining UPSP I have met some very inspiring photographers who have introduced me to exploring other styles of street photography.  Collaborating with Sam on this brief has further motivated me to continue to be open minded in how and what I shoot.  I am really happy with the outcome of our collaboration and glad we had the chance to work together.”

 

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Sam

"I greatly enjoyed working with Tatum, getting her input and ideas, and seeing her interpretation of ‘breaking the rules’ come to fruition. I have been following her photos on various sites for a while now and admire the quality of black and white images that she creates. My favourite images from her, in the past, have always been of children. I think that children as subjects can be brilliant in general: they engage with the world in unique ways; seeing details that adults often miss; and they wear their emotions visibly. I think Tatum’s photos really capture these qualities and what might be considered the ‘essence’ of childhood. As such, her work often reminds me a lot of Doisneau’s.

Now, the reason I bring this up is because Tatum mentioned to me in an email that her observation and photographing of a child innocently ‘breaking the rules’ inspired her to come up with the idea for the brief. What is especially interesting for me, then, is to consider the direction her interpretation has taken due, perhaps, to the city in which she shot in. Instead of Doisneau, this series recalls – for me – aspects of the work of Frank and Klein in their respective portraits of American life. I really think Tatum has rendered an experience of Las Vegas into a cohesive set of images. In a city that is bursting with glitz and neon technicolour, I find her black and white style distils the darker, grittier side of the city to the surface while focussing the viewer’s attention on small details: a cigarette; a flashlight; a tattoo. Perhaps my favourite image from Tatum’s interpretation of the brief is the old gambler sitting before the pokies machines with his cigarette cocked in his hand and wearing two pairs of glasses. He almost seems entranced by the lights in front of him and this is accentuated by the shallow depth of field Tatum has used to place the machines out of focus; with their text slightly obscured and lights bleeding together in a sensory mass. The graininess also works well throughout Tatum’s images for the brief, but it is extremely poignant here as it creates a beautiful tonality between light and dark elements."

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Favourite street photos from UPSP

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La Baie des Anges by Roch Laurent

[quote]This image immediately reminded me of Salvador Dali's painting, 'Person At The Window'.  It elicits the same dream like contemplative quality as Dali's painting for me.  I love the surreal nature of the image, the soothing color palette and how the subtleties found throughout can lead one to a much broader meaning. I find it to be an extraordinary and deeply thought provoking image, one that has made a lasting impression on me.”[/quote]

-Tatum Wulff

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Strait Express by John Goldsmith

[quote]This is a tough one, because there are so many great shots in the Urban Picnic gallery. So, I’ve decided to go with one that holds personal significance for me. John Goldsmith was one of the first photographers whose work I came across that really showed me what the street could be. His work challenged my conceptions about the aesthetics of street photography that I had held for a long time. The shot I have selected is also one that I spent a very long while viewing, and later, showing to various people because I found it so brilliant. The image, Strait Express, that I’ve selected here showcases Goldsmith’s masterful transformation of reality to an abstract tapestry of the strange and beautiful. At a surface level, the photo appears to be a simple scene devoid of what Meyerowitz might call an ‘incident’ and yet I find my eye moving from element to element, creating connections in the scene and space depicted. Perhaps Goldsmith first hints that we must examine the details within the scene through his title which is taken from the tiny logo on the truck at the centre of the frame. Although the scene is quite open for interpretation; the recurring motifs – again in the details – brings the image together as an almost visual jigsaw puzzle. The contrasting pair of rainbows – real and rendered; large and small; translucent and block-coloured – take the image from being realist to almost dreamlike in nature. There are connections too between the people populating Goldsmith’s scene; either through colour and patterns or simply in their use of umbrellas and even gesture in the case of the two most proximate figures who anchor the frame at the left and right sides. Finally, for me, this photo raises questions about how people move collectively through shared, public spaces. Questions that still resonate even now.”[/quote]

-Sam Ferris

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Coming Next..

'Minimal'

Jamie Furlong & Francesca Fascione

 


Interested in taking part in a collaboration project?

Sign up here

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Name

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Website

I am human

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Editors: Tristan Parker, Rob Hill


Where do you get your photographic inspiration from?

By Tristan Parker

This article was originally written as a blog entry on my personal blog, but I thought that it was something that could be shared with the Urban Picnic Community as a source of inspiration for others.

Where do you draw your inspiration for your photography from?

If you can’t answer this question clearly, then you’re in trouble I tell you. It might not be a simple answer to convey to others, granted, but it is an answer that you should be eager to provide to anyone who would ask such a personal question.

I am lucky. I have a very personal source of both inspiration and knowledge for my photographic journey. My Dad... He isn’t the single source, and I don’t think that any artist would ever claim to have only one influence in their work, but he is an important one.
For as long as I can remember my Dad has been involved in photography in some way shape of form. The most active period of actual shooting that I am aware of for him was during the late 1980's and early 1990's when he was living overseas in Kuwait and Oman in the Persian Gulf. An interesting time to be in Kuwait no doubt.

 

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Free Kuwait - Shot at the Free Kuwait Rally in London England ~1990

 

My Dad and I are about to submit an exhibition proposal to the Centre for Contemporary Photography in Fitzroy in Melbourne. This will be a proposal for a joint exhibition showing my Dads work from this period, and contrasting it with my current work in documenting the city of Melbourne. The aim being to allow the viewers a chance to assess the impact that a generation has on the work of photographers. I think it’s an interesting proposal.

 

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Smoker - Shot in Africa ~1990

 

So in order for me to submit the proposal to the CCP for the exhibition, we had to scan in some of my Dads work prints and negs to provide with the proposal. This gave me the chance to write this sneaky little blog post to share what I think to be some important images in my life, and images that I was exposed to during my own formative years as a photographer. And all in all they are great shots in my opinion. The images that I am showing in this post were hanging in my family home for many years, next to large Ansel Adams prints, and I likely looked at them many times without really thinking about how they were influencing me at the time.

 

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Fisherman - Shot in Africa ~1990

 

When I thought about this post, and when I thought about this exhibition proposal I was a little ignorant about the influence that some of this work had on my own decision to start working in the Street genre. I probably wouldn’t have considered the work that my Dad did Street Photography.

Maybe this was due to the fact that at the time they were taken, and I was there for some of them, I would have thought of them as travel shots. They are probably that as well I guess. But the exposure that they provided me to the monochrome medium of black and white film, and the fact that I used to go to the school darkroom with Dad when he was making his prints, is likely the start of my fascination with the art form.

 

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Family - Shot in Oman ~1992

 

Since taking this body of work Dad has spent most of his energy in relation to photography passing on his skills and knowledge to his students at High School. During this time he hasn’t really shot as much I don’t think. Or maybe he has shot more, but the images on this post are still the ones that hang on the wall at home. For that reason I think it’s safe to assume that they are still what he sees as his best work.

I like to think that as I start to find myself as a photographer again in what I hope will be a long and slow process, that I might be able to influence him a little to get back in the creating images side of things rather than only teaching. He will retire soon as well, or at least so he keeps telling people. This will also give him time to work more as an artist. He will also build a studio at home, with a darkroom and a wine cellar. Trust me, I have seen the blueprints, so it must be happening.

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Camel Man - Shot in Oman ~1992

 

I think that I have already had a small influence in this area. Dad is about to leave for China to travel the silk road for 3 weeks. He seems excited about shooting film again for the first time since I can remember in a long time. He is taking his trusty Nikon F4 with him, and I am sure he will return with some great images. I am sure that they will form the basis of another article, as I am sure that people who read this one, see the images above, and are able to relate to them, will want to see the next, and slightly newer instalment in my Dads work.

My Dads name is Greg Parker, and he is the reason I picked up a camera for the first time. So I have to say THANK YOU!

If you are an artist reading this post, I implore you to take some time to consider who and what influences you in the work that you do. Having this knowledge fresh in your mind allows you to recall it at any time that its needed. Inspiration comes in many forms, keep an open mind about where your next batch might come from!

If you enjoyed reading this article, more of my ramblings are at www.fixedfocallife.com/blog


Faceless

Streets of Melbourne 01

 

Welcome to the first in a series of collaborative street photography projects by photographers on UPSP community. In this first article Urban Picnic's founder Rob Hill talks with Melbourne street photographer Tristan Parker. The series of street photos below are based on the idea 'Faceless', and taken in February 2013.

 


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ROB HILL

Cambridge, UK

http://www.urbanpicnic.co.uk

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TRISTAN PARKER

Melbourne, Australia

http://www.fixedfocallife.com

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]What aspect of street photography do you find the most challenging?

- RH

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap] The main aspect that I struggle with at the moment is the time commitment that is required in order to develop as a photographer. I don’t think that this is something that is only relevant in the street space though. There is a lot of testament from a lot of great artists that promote the idea of practice makes perfect, and I agree with this concept. I’m married, and I work a day job during the week… I also teach group exercise classes and have other commitments, the time left for shooting is sometimes minimal.

- TP

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Streets of Melbourne 01

Hot Head by Tristan Parker

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Tristan, tell me about your street photography workflow and methods.

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap] I am still learning Rob, but at the moment I have settled into a bit of a working groove, so I will explain that for you, and if yourself or anyone on the site has feedback then would love to hear it. I will outline the work flow from a digital perspective, as I am still bedding down the film to digital scanning flow at the moment.

From a shooting perspective, I don’t really have a work flow as such. I am very easy going when wandering. I have an endurance sports background and have raced a lot of long distance triathlons, so I guess this prepared me well for walking long distances with a camera. I try to go where the light takes me. I take note of what time of day it is, and where the sun is coming from, how high the buildings are, and I try to work out where the good light will be. Street is interesting like this. Yes the light is always great in the morning and late afternoon… But a lot of good street work is taken at all times of the day. If I find somewhere that is a good location but the light isnt quite right then I take a note of the location and a time that would work best in Evernote in my phone and come back to it later.

 From a post production perspective, I use a few tools. I have a Dell laptop that I do all my editing on, its 17 inch so big enough. I use a Nikon Coolscan 4000 for scans for 35mm, and I use a Epson V700 for 120mm on the rare times (hope to have more times) that I shoot some. I use Viewscan for scanning, Lightroom for cataloguing, start of post production, and Silver FX Pro2 for black and white conversion (This is the best program out there, period). I have only just started using Photoshop, and only use it for spot removal on film, nothing else. I don’t think that Photoshop is the right tool for street work, Lightroom is a much better solution. Might be due to the fact that its a lot more like a digital darkroom. The same goes for the Silver FX set up as well.

 So, I do some basic colour adjustments in Lightroom, adjust the tone curve, punch a little clarity into the shot when shooting digital (this doesnt work for film I am finding), and do the rest of the edit in Silver FX. The control you have over work in there is completely insane, and as someone that spent a lot of time in a darkroom for a lot of my youth, I do sometimes feel like I am cheating!

 -TP

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Streets of Melbourne 01

Faceless Couple by Tristan Parker

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Do you have a dream location for street photography?

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I think that I am pretty spoilt with my current location. Melbourne is a vibrant and eclectic city, and has enough history and little dark corners to keep you happy for a long time. I have only been shooting street for 6 months, but I am still walking down back alleys in the CBD that I have never even been down before, and I have lived here my whole life, so this location is great. As far as other locations go… I don’t know that they are really different to travel locations that I would usually choose anyway.

New York (wanted to go there anyway)

London (have been a very long time ago, but would love to return)

Some other places, India, South America, some area of Africa.

I usually travel to South East Asia, Thailand, Malaysia, Bali type of thing for holidays. I haven't been back since starting this street photography caper. I would love to do that as well.

Please make reference to dot point 1 and the time commitments... Lucky I have a bit of time left I hope!

- TP

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Streets of Melbourne 01

Shoulder to Cry On by Tristan Parker

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[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]What don't you like about colour? - or why do you prefer black and white?

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Great question Rob, and one that I suspected would be coming. Want to be clear, its definitely not that I don’t like colour. I have a great appreciation for work that others do in colour, and I also realise that there are likely opportunities where colour can be used to enhance the story, that by restricting my work to monochrome, I may be missing. You never know, it may be something that I decide to challenge myself with at some point in time. However based on the fact that I am currently returning to monochrome film in a big way, this might be a while off.

Probably 2 points that I have thought about on the reasons for this. The first is a physical restriction that I have. I have an eye condition called keratoconus. Its basically a condition that impacts my vision, not from a colour perspective, but from a clarity perspective. I wear strong contacts to combat this, but its still an issue. I think that I have to put a lot of work into framing and focusing, adding a new visual consideration to my shot selection is a very hard task for me.

Second point… I have always shot in black and white, and I grew up around monochrome photography. My Dad is a secondary school teacher, and teaches photography. Ever since I can remember he has taken photos, and usually in black and white. I think its the sense of control that you are provided in the processing when you are able to do it all yourself. This is likely the reason that my eye when shooting just works better in monochrome.

I love to be able to process myself as well. I shot a roll of Fuji Acros the last few days, and I processed it in Rodinal using a stand development process for an hour at 20 degrees… I dont know that there is a lab anymore where you would be able to take a film and say to them, "I pushed this by 2 stops, and I would like it stand developed, and I would like it at 22 degrees instead of 20 to make up for the push time". It just doesnt happen anymore. I also shot a roll of XP2 Ilford a week ago, the stuff you process through a lab in C41 process… I dropped it at a lab a week ago and its still not done. I would rather do things myself if I can. I think that you will be seeing a lot more film work from me in the near future, its an absolute joy to smell fixer in my house again, and I love the patience that it teaches. That feeling of waiting to see your results, getting shocks cause you don’t remember shooting that shot on the roll. More people should give it a go, I really think that it does wonders for your digital work flow as well.

- TP

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Streets of Melbourne 01

Lack of Direction by Tristan Parker


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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Urban Picnic is a new venture I formed just over a year ago. I wanted to combine my design work and photography skills, start something interesting and have varied projects. Having a gallery and studio space means I now have contact with creative people and photographers near and far. The street photography took off in collaboration with Jamie Furlong and Matt Obrey and is a journey we are on and developing. Six months on and the reaction to UPSP has been amazing. I'm learning more and meeting great photographers all the time.

-RH

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Rob, you are the Art director at Urban Picnic, how did you come into
this role?

-TP

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Streets of Melbourne 01

Look the Other Way - Rob Hill

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Absolutely. I work with some talented people with skills in design, illustration, video and photography. I'm learning all the time from others I meet. When you come across an amazing photographer or artist it gives you that extra boost to develop your skills further, not just technically but how you view the world around you. When you work for a company you are probably restricted to some extent, but have the safe income. Now I work with different freelance designers and artists from all over, they all have a story to tell.

Urban Picnic Street Photography is a great example of how viewing other street photographers work in one place can be a great source of inspiration. There are many styles on display here, and it's interesting how differing environments and cultures define style. The quality is great and I hope it makes others think like myself to be more critical on work produced. Building links with others has been great, and ultimately I can develop my personal photography work further.

I think this project can be interesting and will develop further. I'll let others decide on how, I can just give people that platform.

-RH

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Do you think that being art director is a job that allows you to grow
as a photographer?

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Streets of Melbourne 01

W by Rob Hill

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Working to a brief is good. It's what I do on a daily basis. Shooting to a brief with street photography though, I'm sure you found this too, it gets put the back of your mind, and you go around and rely on the environment to dictate to a certain degree. The shots are there you just have to find them. I was still looking for interesting shots, and when I saw a glimmer of an opportunity I angled it towards the brief. The lady and child with balloon was an example I stumbled upon and so I followed them. I knew a classic shot is to obscure the face with the balloon, and so shooting from the hip from a certain direction gave me that chance. A few efforts to get the shot without looking like a stalker, but that was the best of a bunch.

The brief itself wasn't too difficult. There are many possibilities in the street to obscure someone's face. Some of the ideas we discussed for the project brief could have been tougher. The challenge for me was to find something original or another play on the meaning of faceless. The other challenge for me was finding suitable weather to take pictures (excuse). It has mostly been freezing here and dull, and less than clement.

-RH

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]How did you find shooting to a brief? What was challenging and
different about it, and how did you overcome this?[/fivecol_one_last]

Streets of Melbourne 01

Unappreciated by Rob Hill

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[fivecol_three]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]I think working to this brief I naturally wanted to explore different options rather then stick to one theme. I must admit one or two of my shots were influenced by work I've seen here on UPSP. I didn't go out to with any preconceived idea of what I wanted to get, but I was generally looking out for the theme. Also I was thinking of ideas where the term 'Faceless' may not be literal. The shot 'Look the Other Way' where people are walking one way apart from one guy was on that idea. It took ages, but London is a busy place.

I think if I had been shooting in a strong sunlight I would have been looking for low shadows obscuring faces and heads, or taking shots into the sun to silhouette people. Some of my favourite images on UPSP have great contrast and play with light. But London in February with only a couple outings, my chance for strong sunlight was limited.

-RH

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[fivecol_one_last][dropcap]Q[/dropcap]Do you think that you were successful in capturing what your vision
of the brief ?[/fivecol_one_last]

Streets of Melbourne 01

St. Paul's Station by Rob Hill

 

Conclusion

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Rob

"Working with Tristan to a brief was an interesting experiment to try out. I think we both produced interesting work within a tight timescale.

I had a good idea Tristan was going to work in black and white which influenced my decision to stay in colour as a contrast. I think Tristan's use of strong light and contrast is great. His photo, 'Hot Head' is a winner. I know if that was uploaded to the site it would be a 'best of the day' shot,  and maybe a contender for editors' choice.

Tristan has developed a strong style since joining UPSP, maybe he has been inspired, I can see influences from others. 'Faceless Couple' and 'Shoulder to Cry On' both have great compositions and both use a single light source to good effect. 'Lack of Direction' not only has strong design elements and texture but has a nice observation on someone's lack of direction.

I'm glad we came up with contrasting styles and a different idea of what 'Faceless' could mean in street photography. Maybe we should try this again when it's summer in the UK and winter in Australia....then again no, it would look the same.... :)

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[twocol_one_last]
Tristan

"As the first of these joint projects we have been successful in achieving what we set out to explore. The difference in artistic interpretation of the same brief when explored by two people in different sides of the planet.

Robs work in colour is very striking. I think that the choice of colour is an interesting one, and perhaps a little removed from my expectations. I knew that the weather in the UK was quite bleak during the time that we had for capturing our images. I found one of the things I continue to go back to Robs images for, is the brightness and the vibrancy of the colour, and its contrast to the very winter clothing and colours that are worn by the subjects.

Rob has also utilised a variety of methods to fulfil the brief. This is also contrary to my series where I have used shadow to conceal the face in all bar one of the shots. Robs methods bring variation to the concept that I may have been lacking, something also displayed in the strong use of a variation of colours through the series.

Of Rob's images, the image of the reflection in the glass wall stands out for me. The man walking past the wall, with the flash of red on his sock, makes me want to know whats behind there. Its almost like one man is choosing to venture where the other has already been.. The fact that the reflection in the glass is slightly skew due to the nature of the surface leaves me wondering if he would be better staying on the sharp and focused side of the shot, rather than venturing into the unknown."

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Favourite street photos from UPSP

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street photography

Don’t Think Twice by Manu Mart

[quote]I love the pose of the man, seemingly staring at the group approaching. The sharp angles cast by the shadows creates tension to something that is quite ordinary. Put together this apparent peaceful, solemn scene takes on new meaning. I like the subtle colouring too.”[/quote]

-Rob Hill

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analogies by Francesca Fascione

Analogies by Francesca Fascione

[quote]This is an image that I was drawn to as soon as it was posted, and one that I come back to often to view on the site. The vast expanse of white almost has a doctored effect to it, until you have a closer look and realise that there is details in some of the clouds and the water line on the horizon. Its an intriguing image in the fact that creating a feature of black in a monochrome image is something that is a lot easier technically, as well as something that in Street Photography is done on a more regular basis, the use of white in the same way is presented as a possibility on far less occasions and requires a much higher level of skill and a better eye to capture. The framing and composition created by the sign and the rocks keeps your eye drawn to the man, but I keep wanting to know where he is going. I love it when a street photograph makes me want to know more about the subject of the photo, who they are, where they are going, why they are doing what they are doing, or simply what they are thinking about. This image does that for me.”[/quote]

-Tristan Parker

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Coming Next..

'Breaking the Rules'

Tatum Wulff and Sam Ferris

 


Interested in taking part in a collaboration project?

Sign up here

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I am human

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Documenting the Human Condition - Part 1

 

Street Photography: Documenting the Human Condition - Part One of Three by Chris Weeks.

 

In this film by Chris Weeks you'll see his work and that of photographers Severin Koller, Frank Jackson and Mario Anzuoni, all with different perspectives for shooting street photography.

 

 


The Five Levels Of Street Photography

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[quote]Editing is the hardest part of street photography. It is harder than being confronted by strangers or getting lost in the bad part of town or trying to focus manually with the Fuji X100."[/quote]

 -Juan Jose Reyes

Searching for a better editing process

Just to clarify, for the purposes of this post, when I say editing I am referring to the process of selecting the images that “make the cut” and discarding the ones that don’t.

My decision process when looking at one of my images usually goes something like this: “wow, this one is fantastic!…..maybe not…..well, it could be……ah.. whatever, I’m keeping it….. I guess…… yes!”.

At the risk of discombobulating such a scientific and rigorous process I started to think if there could be a better way to more easily select images that have higher impact and meaning and that will make me fill a little better about my photographs.

Since images have two elements, visual aesthetics and emotional content, I thought it would be good place to start by categorizing the images according to how much of each element it reveals to the viewer. This is important because the first one operates at a more conscious level and the second one aims at the subconscious level.  Images that are mostly visual would be categorized in the lower levels because it fulfills the most basic needs of the viewer.  Images that have strong content would be placed at a higher level because fulfills deeper needs of the viewer.

Just like Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, fulfilling the needs at the top has a more lasting effect and is a more powerful motivator. The same thing happens with SP images.  Some images fulfill the basic need of providing information or delivering visual/esthetic reward while others are more complex and touch the subconscious part of the viewer eliciting a stronger reaction that lasts longer and makes the viewer come back to it over and over.

 

Cognitive Friction

The term “complex” isn’t enough to describe if an image will be in the higher level. Complex doesn’t define well the impact of the photograph because we can have a very simple image with a strong emotional content. For example a white wall with one single shadow of a person on it.  It is a simple image because there is really only a wall and a shadow but opens the mind to a wide variety of meanings and emotions. Complex might refer to multiple elements and subjects on the frame but that doesn’t necessarily make it more interesting so I had to find a better word or tool.

During this self-imposed and unnecessary quest, I came across a concept that not only will make it sound like I know what I’m talking about but will also add the scientific validation that the whole process is sorely lacking. This concept is called cognitive friction.

In the world of interaction design, cognitive friction is defined as“The resistance encountered by a human intellect when it engages with a complex system of rules that change as the problem changes.”  Is a common concept in the software development world and it basically means that if on different screens or modes the same button performs a different function, it makes it more difficult for the user to learn how to use it.

Simply put, applying cognitive friction to street photography means that the image changes or acquires different meaning based on our current or present emotion. If you are an interaction designer you want less cognitive friction but if you are a photographer you want more.

If an image has high cognitive friction it means that you cannot understand it  just by looking at it. Your mind has to work to understand it and your interpretation or emotion will change depending on many different internal factors that are also changing constantly. I am aware that even though it sounds scientific it is still a subjective process.

 

Five levels, Five emotions.

Based on the emotion that they trigger and the amount of cognitive friction they have I created five levels to help me determined which one of my photographs will be the target of the delete or export button. The five levels are:

 

Level 1

  • Emotion: Interest  
  • Cognitive Friction: Low

 

vivian maier

Vivian Maier

henri-cartier-bresson-near-juvisy-france-1938-river-picnic

Henri Cartier-Bresson

 

These type of images are mostly informational. Elicits some interest but is not enough to keep the viewer engaged for long periods. It could be viewed as a  basic photograph of people in a public setting. Sometimes these images lean more towards the documentary side and have more meaning if analyzed in the context in which they were taken.

 

Category 2

  • Emotion: Joy.
  • Cognitive Friction: Low

 

Robert-Doisneau-2

Robert Doisneau

lev 2 HCB

Henri Cartier-Bresson

52old

Elliott Erwitt

 

These are images that trigger a pleasurable emotion such as when we smile at the visual joke created by the juxtaposition of the subject and background or are amused by the contrasts or patterns.

There is usually one theme or pattern and all the elements are visible in the frame without leaving much to the imagination. The answer is given, no questioning involved, so the impact diminishes with time. In other words the more we look at it the less strong the emotion becomes. A funny story becomes less funny with time.

 

Level 3

  • Emotion: Surprise
  • Cognitive friction: Medium

 

doisneau

Robert Doisneau

lev 3 HCB

Henri Cartier-Bresson

lev4 henri-cartier-bresson-0

Henri Cartier-Bresson

In these images all elements are visible but displayed in a way that they elicit strong curiosity or questioning. The viewer has to work a little bit to figure it out because they find something unexpected in the frame. Images that have “layering” or different scenes in the same frame, and images with peak gestures captured at the right exact moment are an example of this type of photographs.

 

Level 4

  • Emotion: Distress  
  • Cognitive friction: High

 

frank-044

Robert Frank

friedlander15

Lee Friedlander

robert-frank-8

Robert Frank

 

These images triggeremotions such as confusion or fear, sometimes anger or sadness.  Images that trigger confusion or fear usually have missing elements in the frame or they are only partially visible, missing or distorted. Shadows and blur are common.

 

Category 5 

  • Emotion: Mixed (usually combination of 3 and 4)
  • Cognitive friction: Highest

 

lev4henri-cartier-bresson-mexico-1964-mans-shadow-girl-leaning

Henri Cartier-Bresson

lev 4 HCB seville

Henri Cartier-Bresson

18_robert-frank_trolley-new-orleans_1955

Robert Frank

 

The combination of the elements in the frame triggers different emotions at the same time. These are powerful images, not easy to create  yet the masters seem to have done it almost routinely. This is what  Meyerowitz and Winogrand called tough images, “tough to like, tough to see, tough to make, the tougher they were the more beautiful they became”.

 

An editing framework

As I said at the beginning, this is just a framework to help me categorize and decide what images have a better impact. I realized in the process that it also helps me when I’m shooting .  To summarize and to make things easier to use as an editing ( or shooting ) tool:

Screen Shot 2013-01-21 at 10.59.56 AM

 

I am aware that the whole thing is a subjective process and because it is based on emotions it will vary greatly from person to person. It is a starting point. I also realize that the images I used as examples can move from one level to the other very easily.

I started using these new system and so far the main result is that I don’t like any of my photographs!. Not the result I was hoping for, but maybe that’s a good thing. All it means is that I have to go grab my camera and go out for a walk.

 

 

Source: The Five Levels Of Street Photography

 
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Juan Jose Reyes
Juan Jose Reyes
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Berlin Subway

A series of prints made between 1983 - 1989 based on the Berlin Subway.

Berlin Subway by Diane Kaye

1 Carful

 

2The Glare

 

3 Gossiping

 

4 Schlecht Drauf

 

5 Big Eyes

 

6 Old and Young

 

7 Couple with Cane

 

8 Happy Couple

 

9 Two Guys

 

10 East German S-Bahn Couple

 

11 Model Face

 

12 Stylish Exit 13 On the Platform

 

 

Diane Kaye:  Inspiration for “Berlin Subway” series

I have a degree in German Studies from UC Berkeley and studied in Goettingen, Germany.  I developed a desire to document the demeanor of the Germans in public in the 80’s, and the best place to get a close-up unguarded look was the subway.  There are several unusual ways my subjects behaved in that environment, and I liked the expressive body language.  Even though they put on a public face, some of these moments are more intimate.  These photographs represent a certain slice of the population, who tend to look different than the “Mercedes people” enjoying a much more comfortable existence in the big city.

I spent several months – many of the years in the 80’s, always riding the subway myself.  On the way to my destinations I had my little point and shoot Olympus film camera ready on my knees at all times, and because of shake and also the extreme quiet of the fellow passengers, I found that the only sharp photos that I could safely get away with were those made at the precise moment when the subway doors banged closed.  I looked away while pressing the shutter.  That means that usually the driver’s actions would determine the moment.  There were a lot of strange outsider/intruder feelings in executing this plan.

To convey a lot more of the atmosphere, I spent three days riding with a boom box, recording characteristic sounds, part of the wonderful riding experience.  This was a useful accompaniment to a show of this series in the US.

 

www.DianeKaye.com
www.FineArtBotanicals.net

Copyright © Diane Kaye 1990
No additional distribution or publication without the express written permission of Diane Kaye.


A Guide to Street Photography

Its hard to exactly define what is street photography. This article originally by Eric Kim gives some good pointers though.

In it Eric shares some insights and experiences in street photography in terms of what not to do.

Hopefully this will help you get more compelling images when out on the streets!

Read the full article here.

 

Tatsuo-Suzuki - Girl - Street Photography

Girl by Tatsuo Suzuki

 

Don't shoot standing up

[quote ]When you are shooting street photography, crouching allows you to get a more interesting and dynamic angle."[/quote]

 

Don't shoot street performers or the homeless

[quote ]The reason I don’t like shooting street performers and the homeless are because it is rare you will get a compelling or unique image. Not only that, but it is too easy. Street performers have their photo taken all the time, and aren’t challenging to take photos of. The homeless are a bit different—we try to highlight their suffering in order to make an interesting image. I believe it is better to take an extraordinary photo of someone ordinary than take an ordinary photo of someone extraordinary."[/quote]

 

Lines

Lines by Hiroki

 

Don’t spend more time researching gear than shooting photos

[quote ]You don’t need a Leica camera to get compelling images. Learn how to get comfortable with your DSLR or point and shoot and capture life through your lens."[/quote]

 

Don’t ask others what they like about your images

[quote ]Sure it is nice to have people compliment your images and give you positive feedback and of course. But all of that stuff doesn’t mean much in the end. I have a simple suggestion: when you post a photo and you want helpful/harsh critique, be very open and transparent about it."[/quote]

 

3747226069_c263221407_b

 Girl in the Tube by JPPimenta

 

Don’t waste time focusing

[quote ]Rather than wasting time on manual focusing or autofocus, simply use zone focusing. If you are unfamiliar with the technique, it is setting your camera to a pre-set focusing distance (ie 1 meter or 2 meters) and selecting a high f-stop with a large depth of field (ie f/11 or f/16). If you shoot consistently a certain distance away from your subject, this will ensure that your photo will always be reasonably sharp and in-focus."[/quote]

 

Don’t rush yourself

[quote ]If you see an interesting background, beam of light, or potential photo-opportunity, wait for the right person to enter your scene and capture the moment. Good things happen to those who wait."[/quote]

 

waiting

 Waiting by Paul Greenwood

 

Don’t constantly change focal lengths

[quote ]Less is more. Having more options just makes us frustrated and prevents us from focusing. Although I am a huge advocate for experimenting with different type of street photography styles, focal lengths, gear, and projects—there is a point in which you need some consistency. Having too many cameras and lenses only inhibits your artistic creativity—by stressing you out. Feel free to experiment, but once you find what suits you the best don’t waver too much! Many of the well-known and established photographers shot with mostly one focal length for their entire careers: Henri Cartier Bresson and a 50mm, Bruce Gilden with a 28mm, Josef Koudelka + David Alan Harvey + Alex Webb with a 35mm."[/quote]

 

Don’t shoot without knowing why you shoot

[quote ]Whenever you go out on the streets, you should have a reason why you shoot. Whether it be for pleasure, whether it be for documenting humanity, whether it be a personal project, or something that drives you."[/quote]

 

 Untitled by Toni

 

Don’t be slow when shooting

[quote ]If you are slow when shooting on the streets, you will often miss the decisive moment. When you are out on the streets, learn to spot a potential photo-opportunity from a fair distance away, approach your subject, crouch (or not), snap the photo, smile, and go on."[/quote]

 

Don’t upload photos everyday

[quote ]Less is more. Quality over quantity."[/quote]

 

The-wrong-way-mario-mencacci

The Wrong Way by Mario Mencacci

 

 Add you comments below and we can build on this guide to street photography.

 

Source :


london-bus-street-photography

London Bus Tour

London Bus Tour by moritz oberholzer.

Looking for some inspiration for your next set of street photos? Why not try a different aspect. This short film by Moritz Oberholzer was produced by filming from a London bus.

Each section of this film could be a still photo in its own right. So why not sit still and relax while the world around you goes by. Maybe even as a novice street photography trying to get the courage to take pictures of people around you, people will think you're a tourist.

Everything is shot handheld with an hd camera and a DIY 35mm adapter while sitting in one of those red vehicles of London.


Aggressive, In-Your-Face, Off-Camera Stroboscopic Flash Street Photography

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Two famous street photographers, Charlie Kirk and Bruce Gilden, are frequently accused of their aggressive style of picture making.

With a wide angle prime they throw themselves into their subject, thrusting lens and off-camera flash in a seemingly intimidating way. This is an all-out ballsy, aggressive and confrontational style of photography, it seems.

Gilden is less apologetic about his style, claiming his gritty, urban pictures are a reflection of the Brooklyn tough-kid in him. Kirk, meanwhile, has claimed it's a great way of engaging with your subjects. But how can this be if you've just scared the living daylights out of them?

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Jamie Furlong
Jamie Furlong

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"This is an all-out ballsy, aggressive and confrontational style of photography."        

- Jamie Furlong

I'd been meaning to give this style of photography a go since I bought my petite OM-D this summer. Getting a bit bored with the usual Indian travel shots I've been looking for ways to push myself in a new direction (new for me at least).

I figured, why not combine my knowledge and love of India, and apply this style of photography to it? I might just come out with some interesting results and, more importantly, I'll find out for myself whether Kirk or the naysayers are right. First, the nerdy stuff.

 

 

The Set-Up

Dirty Harry, a photographer from Crete who's up there with the best of them, wrote an article on +Eric Kim's blog about using a flash for street. A couple of things interested me. The first was his insistence on going manual. As a photographer who swears by the Av setting (aperture priority), this bothered me a little. The other thing he mentions is using a cable vs remote. With a cable you benefit from TTL (through the lens) luxury, so the camera tells the flash how powerful to flash. With a remote, or with a cheap one at least, the flash and the camera work independently other than the camera telling the flash when to trigger.

I have a cheap wireless remote so I opted for this second approach. I also switched my camera to BULB (manual), so the shutter stays open for as long as I hold the button down. I opted for slow-syncing, or second curtain flash, which means the flash goes off not at the beginning of the exposure but at the end. This meant that the shutter could be open for up to a second, and since I went out when it was still light I shut down the aperture to f/22. I whacked up the strength of the flash to +5.

Of all the prime lenses I own, I chose the smallest in size. It's a cheap Panasonic 14mm, which is a 28mm equivalent on the micro four-thirds Olympus OM-D. I almost sold it the moment I bought the Olympus 12mm (24mm equivalent) since the IQ of this lens is far superior. I'm glad I didn't because this evening this lens proved its worth. Light, small, unobstrusive, and sharp enough to get results.

I zone-focused, though there was no method in my calculation other than to know that subjects between 0.5 to 2m appeared to be in focus. This was aided by the small aperture, of course.

 

 

Results and Lessons Learnt

Although much of this was trial and error, I'd managed to guess the settings pretty much straight away (thank you Dirty Harry). The problem, however, was framing.

Shoving a camera randomly at a passer-by isn't going to get a decent picture. There still has to be some consideration to framing, subject and background context and I wasn't always getting the results I wanted. It's near Christmas and there are lights everywhere. I realised that by moving the camera all the way down, or all the way across, I was getting annoying streams of light in the way of my subjects, which kinda frustrated me a bit.

As I mentioned the lights were a distraction and it wasn't until the end of my session that I was learning how to control this. Since the flash was going off at the end of the exposure I also had to think about framing at that point, and not when I pressed the shutter. That also took me half an hour to figure out!

Some of my images are just normal flash shots at night, there's nothing particularly mysterious or enchanting about them, which is what I was really after but, like I said, this is trial and error and the images here are of one hour last night and 20 minutes today.

 

Post Production

I spent about 30 seconds on each exposure in Lightroom, converting it to black and white. Using a flash in the dark doesn't leave a lot to play around with in post production save for increasing or decreasing contrasts. None of the images have been cropped except one, which I cut from landscape to portrait.

 

 

Conclusions

The naysayers are wrong. Not only was this an enjoyable, thrilling style of photography, it made a lot of people smile. If you're uncomfortable with street photography anyway, then you're gonna hate this style of photography.

If you like taking pictures of people, then this is a lot of fun.People smiled after the fact. They're confused for a moment because a random flash has just gone off, and this is the expression you're catching, but as soon as they realise “it's just a camera”, they smile or nod. If they don't, I always say “alright?”, which invariably leads to a smile of approval. Only one man objected, and I knew he would anyway. He was queueing up outside the liquor store (drinking, though legal, is frowned upon here in Kerala). However I made a joke about him being on the front page of all the newspapers in India and within 10 seconds we were laughing and joking. He even invited me to jump the long queue to get a bottle of wine!

 

 

As a fat, grey-haired tourist with a whacking great big dslr, Indians saw me coming a mile away. This is one reason why I downsized to the Olympus OM-D, which is about the size as a small rangefinder. Now that I'm in the dark, they can only see a fat bloke. They don't see the camera and they don't see the flash in my other hand, so a lot of time they don't see me coming. End result? They're not smiling or posing. Good.

I love it. I love this style of photography, and I'm loving the rawer results I'm getting compared to my usual travel stuff. It's not a new technique, people have been doing it for years, but for me this is a breath of fresh air. I've always loved the interaction with my subjects if and when it happens, and this is no different. I've a lot to learn still, but I'm gonna love learning this technique.

 

In short, this off-camera flash technique has given me a new burst of enthusiasm, it's made me more confident about using a flash, and it's producing some results that are new to my line of photography.

 

 

Do you do this style of photography? Can you give me or anyone else further tips? I'm loving my results from my first attempt (one hour last night and 20 minutes this lunchtime) but I'm always looking to push myself, so any comments would be appreciated.

 


 

Links:

Dirty Harry's Guide on Eric Kim's Blog
http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2011/11/how-to-shoot-stroboscopic-flash-street-photography-by-dirty-harrry/

Dirty Harry's Pictures on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dirtyharrry/

Bruce Gilden's Website: www.brucegilden.com/

Charlie Kirk's profile on flickr: www.flickr.com/people/charlie_kirk/

Burn My Eye Collective: http://www.burnmyeye.org/