Category: Storytelling

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Flickr a Week 13a: ‘Selfie’

Self-titled “Selfie” easily takes the Sunday spot for character, clarity, composition, and expression (of the subject and his artistic presentation). Chris Bird used Fujifilm X-T1 and Fujinon XF35mmF2 R WR lens to capture himself, on June 22, 2016. Vitals: f/13, ISO 200, 1/180 sec, 35mm.

In February 2014, Chris joined Flickr, where he posts a vibrantly, intoxicating Photostream. His website is as dynamic.

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Someone Tried to Steal Bruce

As my wife and I walked along Monroe today, a voice called from behind: “Hey, there’s something I have to tell you about Bruce“—not an exact quote but the gist is right. She approached, with her dog leashed and the tabby trotting behind. He was profiled for my “Cats of University Heights” series in May 2017.

Three days ago, someone came pounding frantically on her door, agitated: “Something happened to Bruce”. The tiger tabby likes to hang out and watch the kids at a nearby daycare, and he had stretched out on the sidewalk waiting for them to come outdoors to play. They didn’t, as the place is temporarily closed—along with most other businesses in the city because of state and county orders that everyone should “stay at home” as a means of slowing spread of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2), better known as COVID-19.

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Flickr a Week 13: ‘La Rambla Ice Cream’

Stop if you are easily tempted by icy, smooth, sugary sweets. Close your eyes! Rick Schwartz captured self-titled “La Rambla Ice Cream” on Oct.27, 2018. Is your mouth watering yet?

Rick, who chimes “Through images, I see”, made the moment using Sony α7R III and FE 85mm F1.8 lens. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 1250, 1/500 sec, 85mm. The portrait takes the week for bokeh, character, color, and composition.

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Flickr a Week 12a: ‘The Starting Grid’

Vroom, the race is on, in self-titled “The Starting Grid“, which Dennis Freeland captured on July 13, 2016, using Olympus OM-D E-M10. Vitals (incomplete): ISO 1250, 1/1600 sec. “If my time comes for a scooter, I will have a camera built in”, he chimes. Sentiment I share, if, and hopefully never.

The street shot is a no-brainer choice for our Sunday spot. This is a moment that could only work in black and white; colors would distract from the three gents. I got to ask about the last: Why is he considerably younger? His presence gives more sense of a race than would a trio of geezers riding about. Why does the lead rider look so miserable? The answer to these and other questions is the kind of storytelling that this series seeks to spotlight with each and every selection.

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Flickr a Week 11b: ‘Break Heart’

Architect Mariano Mantel steals Sunday with street shot “Break Heart“, which he captured on March 2, 2019, using Nikon D7100 and 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. Vitals: f/10, ISO 1000, 1/250 sec, 56mm. The settings are interesting, for what they deliver: Graininess that adds ambience and texture to contrasty colors.

What are we seeing? Mariano explains. “A kora player show(s) his instrument in a Barcelona street. The kora is a West African harp of the family of bridge harps or harp-lutes. It’s the highest developed string instrument of Africa. The construction of the instrument as well as the music are unique in the world”.

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Pandemic!

A new era of uncertainty makes this an historic Wednesday, as the most transformative event in generations advances with rapacity. This morning (Pacific Daylight Time), and taking too long doing so, the World Health Organization officially classified SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19—as a pandemic. This evening, President Trump announced an unprecedented 30-day European travel ban—excluding United Kingdom—starting at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Friday the 13th. How appropriately unlucky is that?

The goal: To limit the contagion’s spread from the Continent, where Italy is besieged and has essentially quarantined (e.g. locked down)  the entire country. Earlier today, the government there ordered the closure of all stores, other than banks, pharmacies, and supermarkets. Yikes!

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Flickr a Week 9b: ‘Willing Prisoner’

Strange how foreshadowing metaphor can be a single street shot and its accompanying caption. Quinn Dombrowski captured self-titled “Willing Prisoner” on Sept. 23, 2012, using Canon EOS Rebel T2i and EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens. Vitals: f/7.1, ISO 400, 1/400 sec, 240mm. The gas mask and woman bound are eerily appropriate illustrations for the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19—pandemic spreading across the Continents from China.

As I write, more than 3,000 people have died globally from the virus, which has infected around 90,000 in at least 60 countries. But those numbers are likely low, because of unreported cases—for numerous reasons: Inadequate testing; influenza confusion; political  coverups; and the extremely long, asymptomatic period when the infected are contagious. In the United States, six people have died from the disease in about 72 hours (four announced today)—mostly in a cluster within Washington State, where experts estimate unobserved transmission occurred for about six weeks. As such, the infection is likely widespread.

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Flickr a Week 9: ‘She Concentrated Deeply on the Message She Dreaded Sending’

Some street shooters swear by Ricoh GR II—or, presumably, the nearly year-old III. I can see why. If you asked me what camera J Stimp used to capture self-titled “She Concentrated Deeply on the Message She Dreaded Sending“—or any other image in his Photostream—I would have said Leica M10, or one of its siblings. But, no, the GR II. Wow.

I discourage you from looking at any other portraits but this one. To peek at his Photostream is to fall inside and became gloriously trapped in an enchanting and mesmerizing montage of (mostly) black and white street shots. You have been warned. I barely escaped from the sheer visual wonder and clever captions.

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Flickr a Week 7b: ‘The NYC Band, The Upwelling’

Our Sunday spot shouldn’t be, because of endings: The photographer is no longer active on Flickr, and I am unable to confirm that his subject matter still exists. But I can’t resist the portrait for looking to be exactly what it is—in purest, iconic, grainy, black-and-white composition: An indy rock group.

Steve Hardy shot self-titled “The NYC Band, The Upwelling” on Jan. 24, 2009, using Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 1600,1/15 sec, 33mm. He describes himself as a “Grammy Award and multi-platinum, award-winning mix engineer”. He mixed the group’s album “An American Stranger”, which released in August of the same year that he snapped the photo.

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Flickr a Week 6: ‘Paris’

The week goes to Matteo Pezzi, for self-titled “Paris“. Juxtaposed subjects sharing something unexpectedly in common makes the moment. The modern woman using smartphone is passé, unsurprising. But the nun! Who represents what some people would regard as anachronistic!

Matteo describes himself as an “Italian nostalgic photographer, living in Strasbourg”. The street shot is “nostalgic” because of its composition, location, and subjects. He captured the image on Feb. 25, 2018, using Fujifilm X100F. Vitals: f/8, ISO 200, 1/180 sec, 23mm. Yesterday, Fuji announced the camera’s successor, the X100V, with larger sensor, updated fixed lens, and articulating rear LCD screen.