I was taught to look at art objectively at a very young age. To hone in on the laws of composition, content, and context. Only my ideas and process are subjective. They are a part of who I am as a whole. I believe in breaking rules but only after I have a stable understanding of them.
It’s not what camera you use. It’s not whether you shoot digital or film, whether it’s monochromatic or color, that makes an image spectacular. I shoot with both my Canon Mark II, 5D and Rolei 35. My images consist of both color and b/w.
Do what makes you happy. Use whatever tool gives you the freedom to express this happiness, unadulterated. Imagination has no rules. Artistic development comes from the soul; our past, our present. It is individually contained, a vessel of sorts, waiting for the moment to be brought into fruition, to share with the world, our doubts, our fears, our love, and our hate. We as artists, have the responsibility to teach ourselves and humanity how to “see.”
I believe when shooting street the photographer should never affect or infect the scene with their presence, that it should unravel naturally in order for that objectivity to fit well with the artist’s subjectivity of the moment, that while achieving this the artist is close enough to be able to smell the subject, taste their sweat, see the humanity in their carved skin and decide when to pull away and shoot. My images aren’t always close-up.
I like to keep moving. I never stay in one spot too long waiting for the catch. I believe in rhythm. If I move in a steady pace I will eventually become part of my environment, like a HEARTBEAT.
I walk and I steal. I see something, someone, a group of someone's, and I take that moment from them, for myself. Then I share it. They aren't performing, they aren't playing to the camera. They are merely being human. To me it's magic. I'll get close, real close so I can taste them. I'll get far and make the image look pretty. I take happiness, distress, humor, surreal, ugly, gritty, any moment in the human spectrum, and make it mine. I'll shoot at any ISO I feel like that day and use whatever balanced combination of aperture and shutter speed I feel at the moment. I'll shoot from the hip, cut off body parts, skew my camera, blur the image. I'll purposely over expose, sometimes under. I never, at least not anymore, shoot the homeless. It's too easy and they aren't being themselves. They have become society's bowel movement. It's not fair to them. There is only one rule I don't break, composition. Can you really break that? I went to art school. It's the Golden Rule, what separates a good photograph without content and a terrible, shitty, hard to look at one. I never talk to people unless confronted, then I try to explain myself. Sometimes it ends with a smile and nod. I have Hemingway's attitude. People who don't know me personally hate me. Those who do, love me. What's important is that I'm happy with the results; to capture a "real" moment in time that represents me and the environment. I'm a thief with a camera and I give back to whomever wants to experience life as I see it.
He has on clean clothes, a nice watch and bracelet. He's wearing brand new sneakers, clean. He is not poor. He is simply tired.
Now with that said we can talk about the symbols. The sign on the back right, "cashed", "for rent", signify he is tired. The key West sign over his head is a fantasy to a better, more relaxed state. The sign with the word "money" symbolizes a deep though of financial comfort. The smoke symbolizes the control over fire. It is perceived that smokers have a connection (Three of the four elements are shared by all creatures, but fire was a gift to humans alone. Smoking cigarettes is as intimate as we can become with fire without immediate excruciation. Every smoker is an embodiment of Prometheus, stealing fire from the gods and bringing it on back home. We smoke to capture the power of the sun, to pacify Hell, to identify with the primordial spark, to feed on them arrow of the volcano. It's not the tobacco we're after but the fire. When we smoke, we are performing a version of the fire dance, a ritual as ancient as lightning.
The man covering his one eye is symbolic to Illuminati. He knows more than we perceive. :)
It was my first time in this historical city. Philadelphia was everything I imagined minus the heat. Kind of felt like Miami without the sound of Pitt Bull blasting from rattling cars lowered to the ground.
Samantha walked with me, soldiering on as I documented my surroundings. She guided me like a local acting as a tourist. So Chinatown we entered.
Learning simple, stealth like mannerisms in the street will shield you from being screamed at in any language. Learn to be invisible without a sci-fi cloaking device.
The best images are the ones that tell a story and are compositionally sound. If you can achieve this without being noticed before you click the shutter then you accomplished a task that wasn't infected by your presence. Those that attempt to tackle the true definition of SP have created their own techniques to achieve this ninja-style approach.
-The Forgotten Moments
Advice to the young artists.
Naysayers impose rules to imagination. It's not what camera you use. It's not whether you shoot digital or film, whether it's monochromatic or color, that makes an image spectacular. Do what makes you happy. Use whatever tool gives you the freedom to express this happiness, unadulterated. Imagination has no rules. Rules are created by miserable men injecting their will in order to even the playing field, as they "ride the pine." Rules are a spectator's sport. Capture what you will. Not what you must.
Photography is a science first, art second. Learn to use your equipment, master this and you can control the outcome.
Image was shot in the dark with a 3.5 second exposure, flash disconnected, bouncing it off the ceiling.
It is not always necessary to have the complete body of an element to portray a story. Sometimes the surreal nature of bits and pieces can do the job just fine.