Tag: people

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Christmas in June?

I spotted Santa Claus while walking in Balboa Park this afternoon. He was out for a stroll—to where is anyone’s guess. An elf helper tagged along, so surely there was some purpose. After passing him, I stopped. Hesitated. Stepped forward. Then turned around and approached Mr. Kringle, rather than let the moment pass. I asked to shoot a portrait.

As you would expect, Santa responded jovially, accepting the invitation. While couching low with Leica Q, I asked about his presence, joking that it wasn’t Christmas in July. He smiled and said something about Christmas being every day for people who keep it in their hearts. Now that is a lovely sentiment. 

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A Legend Leaves Us

The seeming suddenness of David Bowie’s death yesterday cannot be overstated. He hid his liver cancer from most everyone, and he left this world with remarkable dignity—externally living normally as could be nearly up to the end.

The singer celebrated his 69th birthday on January 8th—yes, two days before his departure—when his last studio album, 7-track “Blackstar” released. The song that surely will be a meme is “Lazarus”, which issued as digital download the week before Christmas; in my listening to the song is epitaph to all the people he leaves behind. From first stanza to the last, unrequited fate is transcendence.

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Flickr a Day 360: ‘The Leaving’

The series winds down with a dramatic change in curation. From the first day forward, I prepared posts in advance—sometimes as many as 10. But with six selections remaining, I prep the next to follow the current one; for emphasis and care choosing.

First up, street photographer Tuncay Coşkun, who shot self-titled “The Leaving” on June 6, 2014, using Canon EOS 60D. Vitals: f/13, ISO 200, 1/125 sec, 50mm. I picked the pic for clever composition and character. Need I even explain why? 

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Flickr a Day 358: ‘PopCorn Culture’

Go figure, I had planned to feature something more traditional for Christmas Eve but couldn’t resist self-titled “PopCorn Culture”, which J Mark Dodds captured eight years ago today using Fujifilm FinePix E900. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 800, 1/4 sec, 7.2mm. The pic is a reminder about what matters — people, particularly those whom we are closely bounded, and major reason this series focuses (no pun, honestly!) more on them than the things.

“I’m a photographer with a lot of food and drink experience in restaurants, bars, clubs and pubs. The distractions of a life full of inescapable things gets in the way of taking and processing photographs—and I spend a lot of time with my boys who are becoming men”, he says. 

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Flickr a Day 352: ‘Left Alone’

What’s missing makes the photographic art of John Meadows so commanding. Color for one. Digital for another. The modern is absent, too. If you look at portraits from one-hundred years ago and earlier, the subjects often don’t smile; typically there’s a seriousness to their facial expressions and bodily postures. The look, feel, and mood is similar; most any of his captures could easily be mistaken for a picture from the 1910s.

But John is a modern shooter blending past and present techniques. “As time goes on, I find myself moving more and more drawn back to film-based photography and historic processes such as Cyanotype and Van Dyke Brown”, he says. “However, I will take advantage of certain digital technology, so even when stating with a film negative my workflow tends to be hybrid”.