Category: People

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Flickr a Week 37b: ‘Window’

Self-titled “Window” isn’t the best street shot in the Photostream of Spyros Papaspyropoulos, but it’s the one that caught my eye and that appropriately defines his style: People, or things, that fit oddly together. His composition technique is brash and intimate—as if he were invisible and thus able to get close in to capture candid, raw, unfiltered moments.

He used Fujifilm X-Pro1 and Fujinon XF18mmF2 R lens for the portrait “snapped in Chania, Crete, Greece” on Aug. 8, 2018. Vitals: f/11, ISO 1600, 1/250 sec, 18mm. The image takes the Sunday spot for candor, character, color, composition, and creamy grain that adds film-like quality. From Athens, but living in Rethymno, Spyros joined Flickr in May 2008. He also is cofounder of Street Hunters—where you should go to see more of his work and that of his companion photographers.

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Brother and Sister

Uncle Arnie passed away last night, Eastern Daylight Time, in Northern Maine. He was 74. Three years ago today, we lost Mom, his sister. Their bond tightened as they aged, and I wonder about the strange synchronicity of one sibling departing on August 4 and the other on the 5th.

My strongest personal memory of Uncle Arnie is him yelling at me and my being perplexed by his reaction. He was known to be cool-headed. I was as old as 12 and about to cross the street in front of my grandparent’s house to the neighbor’s place when he screamed “Joey!” with supreme urgency that caused me to stop and turn towards him just as a car topped the hill and roared past. Uncle Arnie almost certainly saved my life that summer’s day. He gave me one hell of a scolding and sent me inside.

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Flickr a Week 32: ‘Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park | Deltron 3030 Concert Spectator’

The last of three consecutive entries discovered searching for “spectator” demonstrates how to get close in from far away. Michael Tapp captured self-titled “Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park | Deltron 3030 Concert Spectator” on July 19, 2014, using an unidentified Sony Alpha camera (presumably) and Pentacon 135mm f/2.8 lens (certainly). If I owned an interchangeable lens camera, rather than fixed Leica Q2, 135mm would be my go-to focal length on Prime glass—as it was during the mid-Noughties when shooting Canon EOS 20D.

With “social distancing” the norm for the foreseeable post-pandemic future, time is right for street shooters to rediscover the mighty telephoto. A good one-thirty-five closes the distance—more so on APS-C cameras when applying the crop-factor—while delivering sharp detail and beautiful bokeh. Michael’s portrait is a keeper for both and excellent use of natural light. Unfortunately, EXIF isn’t available, which is typical of his photos; some photographers choose to expunge the metadata. 

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Flickr a Week 31a: ‘Defy Gravity’

The self-title of August’s first entry is a message to my daughter on her 26th birthday: “Defy Gravity“—something she needs to do, and perhaps all of us. Markus Binzegger used Olympus E-M10 Mark II and M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8 lens to make the moment, on July 15, 2017. Vitals: f/9, ISO 200, 1/640 sec, 45mm.

The stunning shot, second of three consecutively found by searching for “spectator”, is a keeper for composition (love the dude watching); stopped action (posture and leg positions really convey motion); storytelling (leap of—gulp—faith); and use of black and white (to keep attention on the two guys). Location, according to Markus: “Maggia River, Ticino, Switzerland”.

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Flickr a Week 30: ‘Bengal Cricketers’

The week goes to a street shot not for what it is but for what it isn’t: The choice selection from the Photostream of Pietro Tranchida. While week-worthy, self-titled “Bengal Cricketers” isn’t the best example of his art; the eye-poppers are designated All Rights Reserved, and this series only uses images that are released under a Creative Commons copyright.

That said, there is much to like about the sporty pic—for bokeh, clarity, composition, sense of motion, and the camera used: Leica Q, which is not typically an action-associated shooter. But, hey, capable hands work wonders. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/1000 sec, 28mm; Sept. 20, 2017.

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Flickr a Week 29a: ‘Talking’

Day 217 of my 2015 series went to Pedro Ribeiro Simões for “Finally The Expected Photographer Arrived“. He returns with self-titled “Talking“, captured on August 15 of that year using Leica M9. Half-decade later, actively posting to Flickr, which he joined in June 2005, Pedro still shoots with the same rangefinder. Vitals: ISO 640, 1/180 sec, 50mm. Pedro’s moment is the Saint Clair garden, Lisbon, Portugal—the city and country where the economist resides.

The street shot takes the Sunday spot for punchy contrast, vivid colors, and what it represents in 2020: The past. Mask-wearing and “social distancing” drastically change how citizens interact in public. Imagine, for example, six-feet separating each person seated. We won’t see scenes like this one for some time. 

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Flickr a Week 29: ‘Oxford Street, 2019’

We greet mid-month with startling self-titled “Oxford Street, 2019“, which Sam Rodgers captured on September 8 using Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Fujinon XF16mmF2.8 R WR lens. Vitals: f/11, ISO 200, 1/500 sec, 16mm. The portrait is evocative of Sam’s street shooting style—getting down low to the subject. Before moving to San Diego, I often would lay on the pavement or sidewalk with my camera for more interesting perspective. But Californians love their dogs and let them defecate and pee everywhere; rain is too infrequent to naturally clean away the crap. So I stay on my feet.

Sam shows how changing angle and viewpoint can create character from what otherwise would be a mundane moment. He also gets in close to people, shooting wide open, and his portraits tend to be more dramatic—and clever—as a result.

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Flickr a Week 27c: ‘Lost’

If you don’t know where you’re going, neither does she. Linus Ho presents self-titled “Lost“, which he captured on July 25, 2012 using Canon EOS 5D Mark II and EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens. Vitals: f/22, ISO 250, 1/60 sec, 17mmm.

Many of his photos are composites, and I cannot say whether or not this one is an authentic moment. But the elements (such as lantern and seagull), composition, and storytelling make the posed portrait a keeper.