Dec 112011
 

Let’s head over to South America for the first time and visit the Salta region in Northern Argentina. This picture was taken by Christophe Thillier in August in San Antonio de los Cobres. (click on picture for high res)

Leica M9 with 75mm Summarit at F3.4, 1/750, ISO400

This is what Christophe wrote about his shot :

This picture is all about smiles and happiness, it is a candid shot. When one knows the difficult living conditions of the people of the Puna region, it is great to see the huge smiles on these kids’ faces. The streets of this village were so silent that when kids surge screaming, one has the time to notice them and get ready.

Dec 112011
 

When the fishermen get off their ships to clean the fish, there is always a large public to watch them perform this task. Some with much more interest then others, hoping to catch a free lunch.   (click on pictures for high res)

Pictures 1 and 3 with Leica M8 and 35mm Lux asph. Picture 2 with Fuji X10 at 28mm.

Dec 102011
 

Spain will be our host today as we travel to Valencia to discover this scene taken by Danie Knoester.

Canon D40 16-32 MM f2.8

This is what Daniel wrote about his image :

The old man was inflating his bicycle tire and just as I took the image he looked at me, with the wheel-cap still in his mouth. Since April, I got a Leica M9 and will not leave home without it.

I have done some shooting with it, – to see more go to http://streamlightphotography.blogspot.com

Dec 102011
 

The Fuji X10 uses a technology called EXR. Though reducing the effective picture size to 6 mpx, it resorts to pixel binning to reduce noise at High Iso’s by exposing adjacent pixels during slightly different durations (but only takes on exposure). Too discover how this new technology fares in street photography situations, I took my X10 for a walk in the camping ground we have been staying over the last few days.

Pictures are straight out of camera JPG’s with very slight noise reduction and sharpening in Lightroom (none applies in camera). All were obviously taken handled since nobody carries a tripod in street photography. I’d say that results are quite impressive for a camera with a such a small sensor. Colors remain saturated, sharpness is still acceptable and picture don’t look washed out and waxy like they do with many other compact cameras. I’d even dare to say that the X10 in EXR mode at ISO 1600 is better than the M8 at ISO1250, especially in terms of color rendition, chromatic noise and lack of banding.

Pictures taken in Kiama, hunting for lonely souls in the crowded campground.


Fuji X10 at 45mm, at F2.8, 1/5, ISO1600

Click here to download the full res image (Save image once it pops up)

Fuji X10 at 55mm, F2.5, 1/7, ISO1600

Fuji X10 at 45mm, F2.2, 1/4, ISO1600

Dec 092011
 

Let’s go back to the US East coast today and have a look at this Boston shot taken by Jerome Arfouche from Canada in May.

Leica M7 + 35mm Summicron ASPH + Fuji Neopan 1600

Here is what Jerome wrote about it :

“I started shooting a few years ago, on my way downtown every day, but I rarely got the chance to travel, something I very much enjoy. After a while I felt my town was getting a bit smaller, luckily I was able to escape for a couple of weeks this spring and travel in the US, visiting friends along the way.
That was my last day in Boston before I continued my journey to the west coast of the US. My friend and host was busy that day so I had the day to myself, and I was looking for a place to eat after the long morning walk. As I went in, I sat by the window, almost without thinking, by reflex. It was a bit late for lunch and outside, people were making their way back to work. I took a few other shots but I like this one best because I felt it really shows the feeling I got from the city, that busy, cold spring week.

My photographic “style” draws from the documentary genre and cinematography, but with a strong emphasis on aesthetics. I like to show the mystery of the city and to imagine what kinds of stories could be going on in those small quick situations we capture.”

To discover more about Jerome’s work, please visit these links :

Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/jerome88/
Website: http://the-invisible-cities.com

Dec 092011
 

Over the last few years, I have met or seen in action quite a few photographers. A lot of great and passionate people covering a wide range of styles, gear and personalities. Here is therefore an attempt to classify them in different types. This is evidently a satire, to be taken with humor, but I am sure you’ll find a little bit of yourself in some of these types.

I) The Intellectual : Everything in a shot is about lines, metaphors, psychology, sociology, history … or you name it. No element in his pictures is ever the result of hazard since his swift eyes detected and interpreted every single detail before he triggered. Even the lousiest shot becomes the next Michelangelo after going through his everlasting rhetoric. Yet, most often, he is actually the only one to understand, and like his pictures.

II) The English Patient : Patience is his main virtue. A shot is as good as the time and effort it took to get it. He identifies carefully a setting, studies the light and positions himself for the perfect composition. His finger always ready on the shutter, he then waits for the missing element to appear. His wait might last for hours, sometimes braving rain, wind and the suspicious neighbors. Eventually, nothing will happen, but it doesn’t matter, he’ll be back tomorrow.

III) The Innovator : In search of quick glory, his goal is to give a new birth to street photography through his revolutionary style. He’ll therefore frame diagonally, shoot subjects out of focus, go the polarized way, and even try to shoot with some vaseline … on his lenses. The innovator in the end just repeats the mistakes of other, and eventually comes to the fact that the road to glory is completely un-predictable.

IV) The Nostalgic : Street photography reached its peak in the 50’s and HCB, Brassai, Doisneau are his idols. He only shoots B&W and inherited his grandfather’s cherished Leica M3 with a 50mm Summilux first version. To him, nothing matches the gentle softness and glow of vintage lenses. He will let you listen, almost with tears in his eyes, to the extremely quiet and delicate sound of his Leica’s shutter. Backpacks, Renault Twingo’s and basketball shoes drive him nuts and he wishes everybody still wore a beret and a tie.

V) The Frugal : For the frugal, it is not about quantity, but quality. Film is too expensive to be wasted, so better not to get the shot than a potentially bad one. He usually hangs at the bar with the Nostalgic, who listens patiently to his never ending lament “Film makes you think more, film makes you compose better, film makes you a better photographer”. Of course, you won’t see ever his work online since the frugal won’t waste a penny on a digital scanner. Prints are so much better, prints make you think more, …. etc

VI) The Egocentric : Subjects are just toys because it is all about himself. He likes to show off his skill and witty mind. He usually hangs out in Flickr and comments are his measure of personal greatness. It doesn’t matter if his shots have absolutely no meaning, as long as he gets his usual dozen of “nice shots”. The Egocentric is simply the best out there and anyone who does not think so simply doesn’t understand what street photography is all about.

VII) The Shy person : For him, It’s all about not being spotted. So he shoots from behind, from the hips,  or mounts a 135mm on his rangefinder. Whenever he gets spotted, he’ll blush and turn as red as the dot on his camera. This until the day that when in an excess of bravery, he will raise his camera in the face of a subject. Evidently, he’ll shake so much in fear that the shot will end up blurred.

VIII) The Terminator : His camera is his weapon, and the number of frames per second is his only buying criteria. His camera is huge and his lens looks like a grenade launcher. He is a master of camouflage. Of course, his 300mm lens makes it easier. The decisive moment does not exist, or at best, it is located somewhere in his last 10 shots burst.

IX) The Fearless : Shooting in the face of people is a non issue to him. Law does not prohibit it so why should he renounce to his personal rights ? You’ll see him bouncing around the sidewalk trying to get the best angle he can and getting as close as Capa told him to.  If his technique ends up freaking out a few subjects, it does not matter, it will actually make shots look better. The Fearless remains so until punched in the face by a 6’6” ex football player. It was a bad idea to take a picture of his girlfriend, with flash and in the Bronx.

X) The Family man : With a full time job, a demanding wife and two kids, the family man has little time left for street photography. He shoots while pushing the stroller, one eye in the viewfinder and the other looking over the other kid. His free time happens when the whole family sleeps, and bad news, there ain’t a soul in the street either at that time. He therefore becomes a sofa street photographer, looking at books or surfing the web, and thinking with melancholy of the times he could hunt the streets all day long.

Dec 082011
 

I call him the Museum street photographer since it seems to be one of his favorite place to shoot. Let’s pay a visit today to Axel Cordes in Vienna.


Canon 5D MKII, Zeiss Planar T* 1,4/50 ZE at F1.4, 1/80, ISO800

Here is what Axel wrote about his picture :

This was taken in KHM  Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna.
Painting by Maerten van Heemskerck, Title “Vulcan Venus and Mars” 1536

I choose this as I’m interested in painting and like to walk the museums. It was more of a gut shot than a thought one.