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Art Critique and Community Vol. 2 : Street

Street Photography has a long, rich history trailing across the world. It is human nature to be curious about those we brush elbows with or sit across from in a diner. Street photographers strive to capture these fleeting moments of human emotion. Star Rush, one of our panelists this month, defined what street photography was to her: 

For me, street photography as a genre of documentary photography does not mean taking photos of whatever it is we find in or on the street. It is instead to take candid photographs of people in the context of their environments, most often an urban landscape but not limited to it. It’s important that people are involved and secondly, the context of what and where people are is also included in the photograph’s composition. Without context, we have candid portraiture.

The roots of street photography stretch back to names like Henri Cartier-Bresso, Dorthea Lange, and Eugene Atget. With locations flung far and wide, street photography has gained steam over the years. It is heralded for its ability to unfold a story before the viewers eyes, capturing emotions and situation in one snap of the shutter. Presently, the move to mobile photography has brought a different sort of life to street photography. Daily we are seeing intense, intimate images of people all over the world as photographers share across platforms. Our submitters are some of these photographers. We hope you enjoy the in-depth look at this amazing genre.

You can view the Art Critique and Community Series here.

Photos By David Root
Critique By Star Rush

Norman

Norman I find the composition, expression, and gesture in this photo to work well together. The elements of the frame are carefully composed to create a relationship among the elements: cigarette in hand gesturing left, exhale of smoke, raised second hand, the empty “negative space” to the right, and the bag at the bench below. They negative space draws attention to what what is missing in a perceived symmetry that’s absent. It’s a perfect scene for square composition, too. As what is present (man) is equal to what is not. The sinner of light on the shoes bench, and the man’s head, left-side of face–they contribute to the sense of contrasts wit the darker, shadows. It’s mysterious, that bag, taking up as much compositional space as the man– just as mysterious as the puff of cigarette smoke–terrific symbolism There’s too an elegance and delicateness in the dress shoes echoed in the hand gesture with cigarette. The composition draws me into conversation with the gentleman and his story/mystery.

SF Guardian

SF Guardian The most striking element here as in the previous photo is negative space–what is not present. Again, the composition shifts emphasis to left side of the frame with the bench and the strong line at the top drawing emphatic horizontals across frame. The scale of this frame, though, isn’t in balance. The lower 1/4 of the frame out weights the other mostly empty 3/4 of the frame. This stirs some discomfort in m e as a viewer as the missing elements across the middle of the frame aren’t addressed, don’t appear intentional. The frame is bottom heavy but in a less than pleasing way. This coupled with the figure looking off frame, away from the rest of 3/4 of the vertical frame is also visually discomforting. Here the weight of what’s presence, the lower right frame, is far out-balanced by all that is excluded. His turn off frame, the absence of facial recognition, these also add to the sense of looking at an empty frame. In the end, the emptiness is less satisfying.

The Crossing

The Crossing I love the harmony and balance in this composition. There’s a stark contrast in black/white tones: heavy blacks in the foreground silhouettes and the backgrounds beyond the columns. Between these, is the grays of shadows creating linear light lines to offset the curves of columns. It’s terrific timing, too, to catch the figure walking in the empty space between the trash can and newspaper boxes–to give the human figure equal space to become one of the dark figures pulling horizontal across the lower frame in silhouette. This dark line works in contrast to the light columns that stretch the frame vertical. The effect for me is balance and harmony. The scale of the human figure against the large column is close to 1/3 their size–this creates contrast of scale as well, diminishing the figure against the grand classical architecture It’s a precisely composed frame with harmony and balance in a classical, formal sense.

What David had to say about his images:

Norman – I was pretty drunk, eating a burrito at a bus stop when Norman sat next to me. After shooting the shit for awhile, I asked to take his picture, and he was cool with it. I used Hipstamatic to take this, and did some post processing in Snapseed.

SF Guardian – This is the first photo that I was really proud of. I took this on my first photowalk. Now, whenever I pass by this spot, I’m reminded of this photo. Shot with the native camera, and processed in Snapseed.

The Crossing – One of the reasons I love working in downtown San Francisco is because during my lunches and smoke breaks I can get some time to shoot. This is the result of a smoke break I took a few weeks back. Shot with Hipstamatic and slightly cropped in Snapseed

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Images by Tony Marquez
Critique By Koci Hernandez 

Let me start by saying that it is an honor and privilege to review the work of another photographer. I’ve decided to give the four images I was presented numbers so that we can reference which image I’m discussing, But first, I’d like to talk about the images as a whole, since they come from the same photographer. I  have to say that the photographer has a very sharp eye with a sharp attention to detail. In each of these photographs is a very small observation made by the photographer that help make these images communicate at a much louder frequency, if you will.

Image #1 This image is just such a pleasure to look at, there is so much going on in this photograph specifically I’m drawn to the very strong architectural and body language lines. I’ve used a Photoshop overlay to show some of the very strong lines that I was drawn to, and this is really at the heart of this photograph, a really wonderful, wonderful composition, a beautiful use of light that almost silhouettes  the pedestrian. Next let’s talk about the little surprise, I absolutely love how the photographer saw and used the mural as a leading line and the little surprise for the reviewer once they see the legs popping out, or hiding behind the letter “I.” I like this image because the more I look at it the more I see, for example reading the words at the top of the frame “j”ust around the corner, and when I further look at the image and move to the left the surprise of the legs behind the letter I, give me a small sense of delight, a great tiny surprise. The final masterful detail of this photograph is the gentleman’s perfectly captured body language and how he’s exactly framed within composition of the overall image. A stellar, evocative, and quiet image made with precision. Not too many bad things- if any- to say about this photograph.

Image #2 Another strong and quiet image well captured. I overlaid the Golden mean on top of this image because I felt a very strong sense of flow and grace from his eyes, swirling around the curve, perfectly attuned to his body language and leading me, or my eye, to be tiny written details on the wall which once read, adds another small delightful detail to this image that helps it rise above “normal.” That tiny detail, while it may be hard to see if viewing on a small format, but it reads stand pipe and I made a connection between him standing there smoking to those words which of course I isn’t viewer read into it but I believe help make the image stronger, not to mention the beautiful tones created by choosing to shoot this in black-and-white.

Image #3 This is such a well seen, again, very quiet, sweet moment that immediately draws me in and because of its composition that draws my eyes right to the center of the frame where the “action” is. The final detail are all the rounded squares and rectangles within the image, from the windows within the windows to the hooks on the right side of the frame. Personally, I do not feel that the choice to use a sepia tone on this image is particularly effective, I would have stuck to black and white in order to keep the classic street photography feel to the image.

Image #4 This is a very well captured moment, again a tender tiny thing happening that was recognized by the photographer and photographed in such an evocative way. The man is clearly trying to help the woman with something and they are perfectly framed by two strangers on the left and right both moving in opposite directions, the people bring such  attention to this quiet moment because of the sense of movement and how they frame the couple and yet the couple despite being surrounded by what looks like chaos remain in solitude. Finally, I think black-and-white is a perfect choice for this image, as I suspect the color version of this would be a lot more distracting and our eyes would dart around because of the color, but black-and-white, really puts the focus on the essential details.    

 Overall this photographer is on their way to mastering street photography and certainly give the impression that they are not just beginning but have been doing this for a while. If this person is indeed a beginner then they are certainly on the right track and have found their calling in street photography. Either way, beginner, intermediate or advanced  these pictures give a strong sense of moment, detail ,tenderness, composition and humanity.  The first piece of advice, or the best piece of advice I could give this photographer is to keep shooting and shooting and shooting, you’re on the right track. Whatever you’re thinking when you’re shooting or is inspiring you to shoot keep that momentum going, keep looking for the quiet, tender, subtle moments of life and light and continue to compose them with very strong leading lines and movement. If I have to leave you with one thing to think about it would be this, try and decide on a particular photographic presentation style, meaning, pick a single format like Square and a single pallet like black-and-white and stick to that for a while so that when you present images everything is consistently square and black-and-white. Conversely everything could be rectangle or and in color, but find something that helps you express your vision in a consistent way, this is one of the secrets to great photography, picking and having a particular style and working with it and mastering it and then eventually moving on to something else, or sticking with it. I’m certainly not advocating only sticking with something without a playful experimentation with other “palettes ” but the secret of every great photographer is to get comfortable with a particular sense of style and presentation and work with it for a while in order to master it and then eventually move on to something else, or stick with it for a very long time. For example when I looked at these four images it was very difficult for me to feel like they were taken by the same photographer because one was in color, one was a rectangle in sepia tone and two square in black-and-white. It was a pleasure to live with these for a few days and think about them and they have certainly inspired me to hit the streets.

What Tony had to say about his images:

Image 1 was shot with 4S native camera, edited in SnapSeed. indoor lighting on an already cloudy day, meant for a lightening of the subjects with a vignette to better frame the subjects.  

Image 2 was taken with ProCamera , edited in SnapSeed. taken early in the morning light, meant for minimal edit due to the  long shadows and vivid colors. since the image was taken in a decent proximity to the subject, it meant for a light crop as well.

Image 3 was taken with native 3G camera on the dark streets of San Francisco, proximity wasn’t too far, but I hoped to retain the candid moment by maintaining a distance. image was edited in SnapSeed only.

Image 3 was taken with native 3G camera and edited with SnapSeed.

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Images by Ana Leko
Critique by Misho Baranovic
First up, it’s a pleasure to be invited by JUXT  to participate in the street photography critique.  Let’s get  to it.

The Door

The Door Here is the first photograph I’ve selected. This  is my preferred of the two images.  It is stronger both in terms  of technical execution and also narrative development.  Technically  the photograph works in the square format.  The scaling of the  photo is excellent. The figure at the center bottom acts like an anchor  holding the photograph in place. His hand, in particular, grabs the  viewer’s attention.  The figure is reinforced by the double windows  and doors on either side.

While some might suggest a tighter crop to remove  the right-side column I think it’s more important to keep the complete  windows.  The color of the sandstone column also complements the  gentlemen’s jacket helping to draw the eye horizontally through the  frame.   The overall toning of the photograph also complements  the classical feel of the image.

My only minor technical criticism is that the bottom  is cropped too tight, extra room would help the figure breath, while  also alleviating viewer confusion about whether there is a step or path  beyond the bottom of the frame.

In terms of content, the photograph captures the figure  at just the right point. The angle of the figure’s body clearly conveys  a sense of motion as he enters the cathedral.  This adds an overall  sense of mystery and intrigue to the scene as you wonder where the man  is going and why.

The Girl Crossing the Street

The Girl Crossing the Street This is the second photograph.  The composition  of the frame is strong, with the vertical road stripes creating a triangular  frame around the central figure.  The crossing stripes continue  this motif and also complement the patters in the surrounding building  and windows.  The black and white toning also complements  the wintery feel of the photograph; however, a small amount of highlight  detail is being lost in the foreground stripes and the sky.  While I can imagine why the photographer was drawn to the women in the  foreground, there is not enough happening in the frame to make me want  to engage with the subject.  My suggestion would be to move a step  or two closer to the subject or rotate around 45 degree so that you  can see more of her face and/or profile.  I also think by taking  the photo a second or two earlier there may have been an opportunity  to strengthen the story between the older figure and younger women walking  away at the center right of the frame.

What Ana had to say about her photos: My philosophy towards street photography is the same as my philosophy towards life and is a reflection of my character. By this I mean that I am a person who is not the life of the party, but likes to observe. Not so much for the sake of taking notes and learning, but for the sake of enjoying the show. In my street photography this means that I often stop walking when I get to a spot where everything is as if I`ve come on the set of my next photograph. The light and the elements are there and perfectly set up; I just wait for the show to begin (a person, a movement of some sort). I don`t like to intervene in any way, so if it’s not coming together I move on to the next opportunity. Because of this, chance plays a big part in my photos. Especially in wintertime, when I shoot a lot of my photos from moving streetcars. The speed of the streetcar, will I get a good spot in the streetcar, how dirty the windows are all play significant roles in the output I create. I don’t see these things as necessarily bad, just things that I have to take into account.

The door: I had some extra time before I had to be at a meeting one morning downtown, so I stopped in front of the Cathedral. Usually I stand far back to try to take it all in, but this time I wanted a detail. I lined up the door and caught a few people going in and out. The doors themselves are very heavy and people do not open them all the way. Also, they do not want to make much noise, so it`s almost looks like they`re sneaking in. I saw this while photographing the location and hope it transferred onto this particular photo.

The girl crossing the street: I often shoot at this intersection because I find the perspective that the buildings create, the light in general and the white lines from the crossing make an amazing backdrop. This was shot on my way to work, from the tram. It was going pretty fast, but I`ve been practicing panning and managed to get enough focus on the girl. The fact that she was lined up with the vanishing point of the buildings is something I saw only after I shot it. Her demeanor set the mood for the edit. She looked to me to be very deep in thought and trying to keep out the world. I didn`t see her as being sad, just lost in her own thoughts – maybe of a past love. The other woman walking down the street, taking big steps and keeping her head high additionally sets the girl off as lost in her own world.

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Images by D. Andrew Boss
Critique by Paul Marsh

 

Five Cups of Coffee

Here we have two images in square format, likely taken with Hipstamatic, each with an individual male as the main subject, and each in different locations. One in color and one in black and white. I’ve chosen these two images (of the three submitted for critique) to discuss because there seems to be similarities and connection between the two. The color image appears to have been taken in a cafe, and the black and white image appears to have been taken at an airport or near the heart of a downtown square. Each subject is presented in such a way that it would be difficult to identify the person. The younger man sits in shadow against a strongly backlit scene, and the photographer deliberately cut off the top of the bearded man’s head in that image. While we’re not sure what exactly the younger man is reading — a newspaper? If so, which one? Is he working on the crossword puzzle? — the older man with a beard is reading Alastair MacLean’s book “The Secret Ways.” The description with the color photo included the photographer’s own memory of getting lost in a world of art and coffee, associated with the Jayhawks song “Five Cups of Coffee.”

It appears the photographer deliberately wanted to preserve each subject’s anonymity by placing the younger man in silhouette and by purposefully cropping out the top of the older man’s head. Individually each image is interesting in its own right — The Reader, why is the older man reading that book? What secret ways has he discovered in his own life — is he a “retired” Cold War spy? His posture suggests that he’s focused, relaxed and concentrating on what he’s reading and not concerned with the business of the urban world immediately surrounding him. It’s as if he’s in his own secret world.  Likewise, the younger man in the coffee shop also appears to be relaxed and not in a hurry. The blank space on the right suggests that he’s purposefully alone, but the feeling of emptiness on the other side of the table suggests that he’s waiting for someone he isn’t entirely sure will arrive. Neither appear aware that their photo is being taken.

The Reader

I see the two images together strongly connected, even though there is probably no connection between the two individuals. Together, though, if we viewers use our imagination, we can very much create or read a narrative when they’re presented together. In both images, there seems to be bubble of quiet protection around the individual from the bustle and busy in the background. Each is taking a break from whatever their daily routine requires. Each is downward-gazing and concentrating on their own activity. In the background of the cafe image, there is a movie poster for “End of Watch” and with the other image presenting “The Secret Ways” — perhaps the subtle connection is an action adventure currently happening with the two men in each image playing a key role. Are they supposed to connect and transfer some secret spy info in the coffee shop? Or are they related by blood and the black & white scene represents looking backwards & reminiscing, while the color scene looks to modern times and the future? Presented together, possibilities for stories like these can be endless to those viewers creative and patient enough to take that leap in their own interpretations.

Good street photography in my view allow us viewers to engage in the story of what is going on in the photo and perhaps bring in our own experiences to connect with the subject and the energy of the scene. This might be an example where the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts. I really like the connection of the two images together. I love that the images together, with their combined curiosity, allow us viewers to really use our imagination and stay connected and challenge us to look deeper to fill in a larger story. Individually they still work, of course, each with its own individual intrigue and wonder. I think the images do have strength individually, but are even stronger presented together. I’m fine with cropping the top of the bearded man’s head out of the image, especially to add the intrigue that anonymity provides. Initially it reminded me of the photos we see with people having black stripes across their eyes (and abstractly the black stripes of the windows in the building behind the bearded man also remind me of that) — like the international album cover for AC/DC’s “Back in Black.” I wonder if the color image was converted to black & white if we’d get the same level of connection between the images, because I see that difference as something that adds important nuance when looking at them together. Presented as a diptych together, it shows that the photographer has some good skills in capturing some themes and a style that works for street photography.

What D. Andrew  had to say about his photos:

Five cups of coffee The title is a song title and lyrics to a Jayhawks song. It was an anthem for my friends and I when we were young and had time on the weekends to brew pots of coffee and get lost in art. Couldn’t help but think back on those times as I worked on this.

The reader. I think part of street photography is an attempt to make the world around you compelling to others. It’s difficult. Obviously. We see millions of images that don’t appeal to us or convey a story. I thought this guy was interesting. Cropping the top of his head off was a conscious choice. I think it gives him more intrigue.

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Critique by Scott Woodward
Images by Dilshad Corleone

The Storyteller

I was immediately drawn to discussing these two photographs because of their obvious similarities: both are high-contrast black and white images, both feature a single prominent male figure, and in both, the primary subject is wearing a hat.  However, it is the striking dissimilarities between these two photographs that truly captured my imagination.

To me, “The Story Teller” is a remarkable portrait.  Of course, dramatic light makes any photograph interesting, and the lighting here is almost theatrical.  This seems appropriate to me; I imagine the man delivering a monologue at center stage in a packed playhouse.

The subject’s body language is direct and assertive, while, interestingly, the photographer’s angle is also dominant (above of the subject, shooting down) which is atypical in portraiture.  It seems a counterintuitive combination, but the photographer has clearly succeeded – the firmness of the subject’s posture, the authority of the camera’s angle – to capture the decisive moment with enviable results.

However, for me, what makes a portrait truly memorable is an intangible factor: the ability to create a discernible level of intimacy between the lens and the subject.  In my experience, this is difficult to do with street photography, and even more challenging with street portraiture.  This photographer has managed to brilliantly capture and translate this connection between subject and artist.  I am left wondering: What is the tenor of his voice?  How many cigarettes did he smoke while he told his story?  Besides me, who else is in his audience?

“And The Bells Rang” is also a wonderful example of street photography, although of a very different style.  The photographer demonstrated control of his/her tool by making a creative decision to cast the subject(s) in shadow while properly exposing for the majestic background.

And the Bells Rang

But what I like most about this image is the patience and anticipation that the photographer demonstrated when making the photograph, and how he/she was rewarded with a little luck in the form of the fluttering bird.  Beautiful accidents like this have a way of transforming good photographs into great photographs.  To me, “And The Bells Rang” is definitely an example of a great photograph.

A particularly insightful photographer friend of mine once proposed that the difference between a good photograph and a great photograph is the difference between an “open” and a “closed” image.  He went on to explain that, although a closed image is pretty, it blends into all the other photographs like it.  An open image, however, is unfinished; it demands further investigation because it has a story behind it that needs to be told, and it invites the viewer to bring himself into the image and interpret it in his own way.  In my opinion, “The Storyteller” and “And The Bells Rang” are beautiful examples of open images that demand further exploration, conversation and debate – hallmarks of exceptional photography.

What Dilshad had to say about his images:
The Story Teller: This is the first shot from my Hasidic Series. I saw this old little man sitting at the bus stop and fell in love! I tried to shoot him from different angles, but I really wanted to get as close as I could get, and that’s exactly what I did. We started a conversation about the mystical being and he began narrating me story of Baal Shem Tov. He spoke for a good while and then, when i finished the story, stood up and walked away, he crossed the road without taking too much care of the cars whizzing around him. He disappeared as if he never existed.

And The Bells Rang: The light was perfect, I saw the men with the hat and I waited for him, everything happened exactly when I framed him: the bird flew, the couple started running in the background, the pigeon flew and he walked away without noticing that the world had stopped for a second just for him! This is my very first bird flying. As they say, one cannot forget it’s first bird.

 

Photographs by Alan Durnwith

Critique by Rose Sherwood

 The images that I have chosen to concentrate on are the second and third photographs sent by the photographer.   The first photo is an image of two people, seated at a cafe table and the second  picture is an image of two people embracing in front of a large wall mural. These images present unposed, spontaneous situations that demonstrate great expressive moods in the photos.  When viewed, these two images are quite able to hold a story.  Both shots are successful in presenting the decisive moment to the photographer, and both have the elements of surprise and wonder.  Both images work well for fitting into the genre of street photography, they surprise,  they have a story and they contain people who have not posed with arranged props.  In other words, there is little presence of intervention felt by the photographer.  Both demonstrate an incredible, palpable moment that is  visual  but the two images create opposite moods; the  first picture of the “cafe” scene is serious and tense, whereas, the couple in an embrace is lighter and humorous.

  The first image presents a young woman seated at a table, perhaps a small cafe table,  left hand to her fore head, other hand (right) holding a cup of tea (there is a tea pot on the table)  in mid air.  The mood is quite serious . She looks as though she is engaged in a tedious and complex dialogue with another person.  Although, in the image, the other person is really held back totally by the dark value that surrounds and shrouds him.  Him? How do I know it is a male? By taking a screen shot and then looking at the image with back lighting, many more details were revealed.  Yes,  the shadowed person is male and darkly clothed and the photographer has captured movements by this gentleman.

Again,  in processing the shot the photographer has chosen not to reveal this man and his details but has shifted focus on the angst of the woman through the tonal scale that is present.  She is not held back by the darkness of this image.  However, this photograph  is punctuated by lighter objects:  the cups, the teapot, the salt and pepper stand that holds a small rectangle of menu items, and the legs of the chairs.  There is an interesting rhythm that is persistent throughout this image; if you look at the shape of the hand on the forehead , the length of the arm down to the table and back up the arm to the shoulder, this triangular presence is seen again in the chair legs and less formed by the lighter objects set on the table (the cup, the teapot connected to the salt and pepper holder and finally to the held cup and small menu.  It provides a repetitive pattern that emphasizes the woman’s pose.

The back ground does not hold much of any detail or information and is quite dark.   There is a horizontal line above the woman that does frame and emphasize her.  The wider vertical line divides the picture plane in half and lines up with the chair legs on the left side of the picture.  Both of these lines are architectural.  The darkness enhances and surrounds the woman but because she is lighter in regards to tonal scales, she is visible.

I like this image, it provides a situation that I can enter as the viewer and think about.  I feel that this is successful.  It meets my criteria of a moment that is unplanned,  candid with people that have stories to tell because the photographer has clicked the shutter at an opportune  moment that possesses great energy.  This energy connects the moment to the photographer and then to the viewer.

The second photo of the couple kissing and carrying on is also a successful street  image.  Unplanned, uninterrupted and taken by the photographer.   The image has many similarities to the previously discussed photo.   It is dark and the darkness on the left bottom area of the photo pulls the legs of the figures into it.   This image is  happier and more humorous than the “cafe” photo.   The figures are pulling themselves into one another and the darkness surrounding them merges these two into one.

The line at the top center where bricks meet the metal of the door divide this picture in half.  But unlike the other image, the metal surface is lined with a photographic mural (a very large Dali-esque wall photo).   This image has the funny juxtaposition  of having real people paired with the photo mural.   The mural is caught with a surprised, open-mouth look aimed at the couple who are making out.  He has more facial expression than what can be discerned from the real people, making him seem somehow less flat and  unreal to possessing more reality.  The fact that something that is glued flat onto a wall can take on this realism is a strange and surreal quality that this image has and it works.

This image holds more surprises. If you look at the messenger bag that is carried by the taller figure,  it’s strap almost replicates the mural’s nose , the round shapes of the heads of the couple mimic the eyes of the “Dali” face, and the body of the bag is almost the  same size of the wall photo’s mouth.   I find this quite funny and playful.   There is another repetitive pattern that happens with several light, triangular shapes that surround and emphasize the couple.   The couple is leaning on a diagonal towards the photo wall , this pose connects all the ” people” elements and builds a spatial relationship between them.

This image is fun and silly.  As far as storytelling it is more limited than the previous image,  but both images show strong technical expertise.  The photographer knows what to emphasize.  The photographer knows how to portray a story by shooting at the most developed moment.

If I did not already  know that these images were taken by one photographer, I believe that I would be able to discern that they were shot by the same person;  from a technical aspect  there are more commonalities than differences.   I enjoyed looking at the complete set of photos that were sent in.   But the images I chose to critique presented  me with some similarities and distinct differences that hopefully give a fuller evaluation.

 

Images by Shaun Swalley

Critique by Dan Robertson 

Preface
I’ve always loved Shaun’s work, especially his candid and street photos. I always find myself drawn to high contrast, black and white images, and Shaun does a great job capturing and editing them for maximum impact. It appears that most, if not all of the shots Shaun submitted were shot with Hipstamatic. I especially admire good street photography that is shot using Hipstamatic, because there is even less room for error due to the fact that the crop is built in.

Image 1

The motion blur in this shot creates a surreal atmosphere that I really like. The fact that the foreground is almost completely blurred out allows the viewer to create the destination that the subject is heading toward. While I like the blur in the foreground, I do find myself wishing the subjects face were more in focus. However, with street photography, especially mobile street photography, blur can be difficult to control.

Image 2

This is my favorite image in the series. I love the subtle angles that create unique leading lines toward the subject. First, the window frame, second the beam reflected in the window, and finally the silhouetted passerby, all subtly point the focus toward the subject. These elements come together incredibly well, especially in a non-posed, candid setting. The next thing that stands out to me is the perfect camera angle. The lens is low and right at eye level, which draws you right into the subject. The tonal range is also excellent in this shot.

Image 3

This is my least favorite image in the series. Sometimes, a busy scene can heighten interest. This is especially true of reflection images. It’s as if you’re viewing two worlds, for the price of one. There is a certain Where’s Waldo-esque excitement created as you carefully study an image and find more and more points of interest. With that said, while this image certainly has many points of interest, none of them seem overly compelling. I’m left with a feeling of frustration since I’m not sure where to focus my attention. Perhaps a tighter crop, or catching the scene a split second sooner (placing the center SUV to the left of the subject) would have simplified the shot. Attaining perfect timing is of course easier said than done in street photography. That challenge is what makes street photography especially rewarding to me. Sometimes you nail it, and sometimes you just have to keep walking, watching for the next perfect moment.

Image 4
                                                                                                                                                                                                                
There is a high level of intrigue in this shot. The silhouetted reflection of the subject, coupled with the ghosting created by the doubled-paned glass, adds a level of mystery to the subject. The angle causes the subject’s head to appear somewhat alien-like, which makes me think this could be a still from an M. Night Shyamalan movie. Although this appears to be a Hipstamatic shot, I find myself wishing the crop were a little bit tighter.

Image 5

This may be a very pleasant individual, but the low angle and the back/side lighting, give the subject a very imposing, condescending appearance. That impression is reinforced by what I imagine to be the fat stogy the subject is puffing on. The impression conveyed could have been completely different had the lens been high and shot from the left of the subject. One of the reasons I love photographing people, is the ability to control the viewers’ perception of the subject. The choices made in this image present the subject in a very interesting way. The sharp contrast of the white door/trim behind the dark subject creates nice separation from the subject and the background. The image is well composed into thirds and the faint reflection of the subject in the background is a nice secondary area of focus.

What Shaun had to say about his images:  

What street means to me? There are many great things that could be said about it, and many much better at it than I. For me it’s process of experiment and discovery, becoming more aware of people, with a loving eye trying respectfully to capture and represent the human experience in a way that is revelatory about both others and myself. Often I am projecting a mood onto a situation and trying to draw it out in a way that can be seen and felt by myself and others. However,there is a great element of serendipity and accident, which I have almost no control over, that is often wonderful to experience in a candid situation.  Also it is good practice for me on the technical aspects of photography, composition, light and dynamic action. 

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 Our Panelists:

Star Rush
 //Juxt  //  Website  / / Twitter  //  EyeEm //  Flickr //

Star is a Seattle-based photographer, writer, and educator, whose medium is predominantly connected (mobile) photography. Her street and documentary photography has been exhibited in the US, London, and Europe and published in magazines Actual Colors May Vary, Camerpixo, Dodho.com, and featured on international sites and publications: Resource Magazine, wired.it, and Volksrant.  In 2012, her photoblog was syndicated on Photoverse, a handheld application developed by Kolekse.com. Star writes about connected photography for dprConnect. She is the co-founder and curator of Lys Foto Magazine and teaches writing at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.

Richard Koci-Hernandez
 // Juxt  // Website // Twitter  // IG //

Koci is an Emmy Award winning visual journalist who worked as a photographer at the San Jose Mercury News for 15 years. Koci Hernandez is an Assistant Professor of New Media at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

Scott Woodward 
// Blog / /  Website / /  Twitter / / IG //

Scott’s father is an avid and accomplished amateur photographer.  When he was a young boy, he taught Scott how to operate a manual camera, skillfully interpret light and imaginatively compose an image.  But more importantly, his dad instilled in him a sense of wonder and adventure; it is these traits that truly make Scott a photographer.Scott calls his photography style “Choose Your Own Adventure Photography”, after the books he used to read as a child.  Literally and creatively, Scott can go one direction and discover a remarkable photographic opportunity; or he can go another direction and find something entirely different.  It is this adventure that is the beauty of photography for Scott. Scott’s editorial work has appeared in publications such as National Geographic Magazine, Condé Nast Traveller, Travel + Leisure, Departures, Monocle, Vogue, GQ, Esquire, The Financial Times and The New York Times and he has photographed advertising campaigns for global brands like Google, MasterCard, Adidas, Nokia, Honda, Nestle, Standard Chartered Bank, Johnson & Johnson and Unilever.  Luerzer’s Archive honoured Scott as one of the “200 Best Ad Photographers Worldwide” and Nikon named him “One of Asia’s Finest Photographers”.Scott is hosting a five-episode travel and portrait photography television series that is currently airing on The History Channel Asia.Scott is a Nikon Professional Photographer, a SanDisk Extreme Team member and a Getty Images Global Assignments photographer.

 Misho Baranovic
 // Website  // Twitter  // IG  / / EyeEm //

Misho is a mobile photographer,  writer and app developer.  He is interested in how mobile photography  can be used for community building, in particular, helping people understand  and express their relationship with their surroundings. Misho’s street  photography has been exhibited internationally in Oakland, California  (Pixels at an Exhibition, 2010), New York (EyeEm, Open House Gallery,  2010), Berlin (EyeEm, Schlechtriem Brothes Gallery, 2010), Paola, Italy (iPhoneography.eu, FIAF Gallery Arteaparte, 2011) and Sarcelles, France (Photsoc PhotSoc  2012 – International Festival of Social Photography). Misho is currently  working on the world’s first interactive mobile photo printing press  at FORMAT International Photography Festival in Derby, UK.

 Paul Marsh
 // IG / /  Twitter  //  Web  //  Flickr  //

Paul has been doing photography at  some level since before high school. He fell in love with the darkroom  back then and am thankful for having started on film. In college, digital  photography consisted of an early version of Photoshop and trying to  find time next to a computer with an expensive scanner for the prints he had made in the darkroom. Digital cameras were still a decade away from  being commonplace. He snuck a few prints into some shows and somehow  ended up with some recognition. Now, with the iPhone, he can combine  all three elements nearly instantaneously and share his work with a much  larger audience. And these days he continues to sneak into photo shows  with iPhoneography, including having several images chosen for honorable  mention in both years of the Mobile Photo Awards.

He chose a path away from photography,  however, in college and by day he work with a Webby Award winning government  web team. Jack of many trades, he  can be called  a webmaster.  Still, he  makes time to run away from the cubicle walls and venture into  the world of art, both as a creator and as a consumer. A few years ago  he found himself hanging around a photo critique site, PhotoSig, and discovered  he could write a decent critique (affirmed by the site’s editors when  his critiques were chosen as featured critique several times). He has  learned that in looking at photos more deeply it makes him a better artist.  He has also come to see art as the polar opposite of dogma, since life  is full of paradoxes and juxtapositions that go way beyond the constructs  of the reality in which our minds try to keep us.

Some people actually know him as  a musician more than as a photographer. And vice-versa. He enjoys writing.  He also knows way too much about baseball and am a passionate Seattle  sports fan. Again, a jack of many trades but master of none.

Except being himself.

#GoHawks!

 

Rose Sherwood

 // IG //

Rose is a retired art teacher. She  taught art on the elementary level for 22 years.  She also taught on the high school level and in a museum setting too.  She enjoyed teaching and misses the students.  Before teaching she worked in brain research because her first college degrees were in both the fields of Biology and English.   She met and married a great guy and when their son, Matthew,  was born, she went back to school to study art.  She  continued her education at RIT and earned an MFA in painting and photography and then returned and acquired a MsT in art education.Her teaching career was very full but one of the memorable times was being honored to be a recipient of a Fulbright Memorial Fund Fellowship to study in Japan.  It was a pivotal experience that changed her and her teaching practices. Her students benefitted from her experiences. Their daughter, Laura, introduced Rose to IG and returning to all things of photography has occurred.  IG was a way to communicate with family and friends about T., her husband, and his bone marrow transplant.  She has been as active caretaker for him.

 

Dan Robertson
// Twitter / /  IG  //  EyeEm / /  500px //

I’ve had a love of photography since I was old enough to covet my fathers Nikon. Mobile photography reawakened my creative passion for shooting, and I especially love using my iPhone for street photogrdesign firm in Memphis, TN.aphy. By day, I work with a great team of artists at a marketing and

 

 

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Our Photographers

David Root
 // IG / / Flickr //

David was born and raised in Union City, California. He is an Audio Visual Technician that works on corporate events. He began photography through Instagram, and after finding few local street photographer’s feeds (@troyholden, @shutter_se7en, @andreclemente),he fell in love with street photography. Now, he spent a lot of time walking the streets of San Francisco with a camera.

 

 

Tony Marquez
 // IG  // EyeEm  // Twitter
 //

Tony was born and raised in the Bay Area of California and has recently started shooting with his iPhone 4S. The concept of mobile photography is something he has fallen in love with recently. He  believes that art for or by the masses, be it frescos, murals, or even the Polaroid camera, is important to  society and feels as though iphoneography is perhaps the next step in art for the masses.

 

Ana Leko
IG

Ana was born in Zagreb, Croatia. Moved with my parents and brother to Canada as a child. Finished college there and as a graduation gift, my parents gave me a plane ticket to Croatia. The trip was supposed to last 6 weeks, but I’m still here! And no, I didn’t fall in love and decide to stay :) I just liked it and I had to start working “in the real world” somewhere anyway, so I decided it would be my hometown. Today I have a job that is as creative as can be in a large corporation, and the rest of my time is spent with my husband and two amazing daughters, all of who cheer me on in my newly (re)discovered love for photography.

 

D. Andrew Boss.
// Tumblr // Flickr // IG //
 
Husband. Father. Former Renaissance man, and present member of the walking wounded. My story is not new or unique. I simply realized the phone in my pocket contained everything a person needs to document and share the odd, wonderful and sometimes heartbreaking world around us.
 
D. Andrew Boss aka Colony Collapse Disorder 

Shaun Swalley

// Web // IG // Twitter // EyeEm //

I live with my wife and 4 kids on Bainbridge Island , WA. I work as a landscape maintenance gardener and tree pruner in my own business. I’m growing in my passionate hobby of creative photography and am working toward building a business in that as well. The spark of love for photography began before Instagram, but didn’t really come into fruition till about 2 years ago in becoming aware of the capabilities of the iPhone in the Instagram community. My photographic journey has been an experiment in freedom and creativity, to experience, discover and enjoy the divine life we are all connected to, and share with others. And, to deny the forces of fear and self-doubt. 
 
 
 Alan Durnwirth
 // IG // EyeEm //
 I’ve been inspired to create art in some form or another all my life, even at a very young age I was always drawing or painting. I ended up choosing art as a career & studied Visual Communications at The Art Institute of Seattle. I currently own a small graphic design firm in Seattle WA. I have enjoyed photography for as long as I can remember, but the iPhone rejuvenated my passion for photography. The ease of shooting, editing & sharing on the fly is fun & exciting to me. In November 2011, I started posting my photos on Instagram.My feed @adurnwirth mostly consists of architectural shots of buildings in Seattle & the beauty of the surrounding areas.In November 2012,  I tried my hand at street photography. I look for gestures, expressions or anything communicating an emotion. I look at street photography as a story or many stories in some cases in a single frame. Sometimes I look for a “stage” & wait for the right person to walk through my frame to create a story, telling a sense of place.  I prefer black & white images for my street photography because monochrome removes any distracting elements from the frame, allowing the viewer to be more drawn to the subject.In December 2012 I was honored to be part of The Juxt Darkroom Series V2.0 show in Seattle.
 
 
 
Dilshad Abdulla
// IG // Video // Flickr //
I am Dilshad and I am an IPhoneographer.If I see something that makes me feel as if I were in the middle of an emotional-earthquake, I just take my IPhone out… and that happens a lot recently. am fond of having my black and white street images look as if they were stuffed in an old shoebox for the last 30 years. Or that you looked down on the street and found an image that 100 people just stepped-on. I very much try to bring an analog feel to my digital images. I love the grunge, the dirt, and the grit! I love the unspoken London, the untold London, with heavily blurred background. Men with big, long beards and hats, characteristic and peculiar faces. I see, I shoot and I go! It is difficult to analyses the why behind my subjects, or to describe what are my favorite subjects. It is very much like when you fall in love and you feel the butterflies, yes, that is exactly how I feel when I see something that I want to shoot. Iphoneography and Street-photography has given me the power to tell my stories, what I see and what touches me!

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Stay tuned next month for the MOBILE ARTISTRY  critique. If you would like to find out more about being a panelist or submitting images for critique send us an email to juxtcritique@gmail.com

The Art Critique and Community forum for Juxt is a safe space for constructive critique and support to advance the individual artist and the artform.  We expect the utmost respect for all participants, panelists, and community members.  If you are wanting to contribute or you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and one of the moderators will respond to you. 

Big thanks for all your support and love.  Big thanks to the moderator:  Anna Cox.

8 Comments

  1. AmaZing!! thank you for the great feed back and Reading this I have learnt so much more!! please keep up the great work!

    • Thank you Anna for coordinating such a comprehensive exercise. I learned a lot, from those being critiqued as well as those doing the critiquing. Thank you Misho for the quality feedback, Ill be thinking about your words on my next shoot!

      • I so loved the image of the doorway! Thank you so much for being a part of this! Your awesome. Much love and respect dear!

    • Thanks so much for submitting friend! You’re awesome

  2. Very educational and informative…
    Also interesting that Dilshad C just happens to be “a fan of having my black and white street images look as if they were stuffed in an old shoe-box for the last 30 years. Or that you looked down on the street and found an image that 100 people just stepped-on. I very much try to bring an analog feel to my digital images.” Word for word what Koci said in his interview with the AppWhisperer last July http://theappwhisperer.com/2012/07/18/extension-of-the-i-with-richard-koci-hernandez-one-of-the-most-creative-and-successful-mobile-photographers-in-the-world/ (May as well crib from a master!)
    Cheers!

  3. Hey everyone, I really enjoyed my chance to participate in this. I think this is a fun and valuable series. Not just for the participants, but for anyone interested in improving their craft. Juxt has provided a safe (and I would say loving) space for honest feedback. Thanks to Juxt for providing the opportunity, Anna for putting all the pieces together, the talented panelists whom have their time offering up advice, and all the brave and talented participants.

  4. Hi Rose! Your critique of my photos were very enjoyable to read, thank you so much for your keen eye.
    I really appreciated all of your in depth descriptions & comparisons between the two photos. I still have much to learn, street photography is very new to me.
    Thanks Anna for putting this altogether & letting me be part of this exercise. I have learned a lot from reading all of the other critiques.

  5. Great article ! I knew most of the photofraphs here and it was very interesting to discover others point of vue about it ! Quick question, how can I be part of the community ?

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