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Pedestrian Photographs by Jack Toolin

10 May

Pedestrian Photographs were made in the first years of living in San Francisco after moving from Pittsburgh, PA – this was the mid ‘80s. It’s commonly known that Pittsburgh is/was an industrial city – I grew up not far from the steel mills. What is less known is the quality of light in the area: it is often overcast, giving a softer light and sense of atmospheric perspective that attends humid weather. This is the cultural and photographic atmosphere that I grew up with and in which I began photographing.

Adjusting to the light in the San Francisco area was challenging as the light was brilliant and contrasty – no more pretending to be a landscape painter of the Northern Renaissance. 🙂 I adopted the shadows as compositional elements and displayed the intensity of the light by turning the lens towards it instead of away. I discovered that if I used elements on the street to block the sun I could capture the brightly lit scene without getting glare. I was shooting with a Hasselblad C and a Mamiya C330 at the time.

As for content, I sought out the peripheral, industrial sectors of San Francisco and Oakland for my photography. My attachment to these areas stems from my Pittsburgh childhood and was encouraged by the photographs of Lee Friedlander, Lewis Baltz and the like. I was, and still am, drawn to these areas that are both heavily developed but largely overlooked … spaces that people pass through rather than reside in. In the ‘80s it was surprising that so much open space in a large city was available to wander around in, though a different type of wandering than what Golden Gate Park provided. Today these areas (SOMA, China Basin, Mission Bay, Mission District) have been largely transformed by technology businesses and condominiums.

 

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William Real: Still Images of an Evolving Pittsburgh Landscape

31 Mar

 

The ever-changing man-altered urban and industrial landscape fascinates me, both visually and as a metaphor for impermanence and the passage of time. For this subject, Pittsburgh is a photographic paradise. I’m drawn to the remaining industrial architecture in all its decrepit glory, even more so because I know it will soon disappear. The faded and crumbling character of Pittsburgh’s marginal, impoverished neighborhoods also beguiles me. As dilapidated houses are razed or yield to nature, holes open up in the urban fabric, reversing decades of urban densification and creating a landscape of a more rural character. There is a frenetic building boom going on here, structures vanishing and materializing seemingly overnight; brick, rust and aluminum siding replaced by rubble, ditches, scraped earth and piles of dirt, then by scaffolding, construction equipment, steel, insulation, and Tyvek and eventually by uninspired modern architecture, obliterating the memory of what was once there.

In the midst of this upheaval, I also seek out everyday streets, corners and places that are perhaps insignificant and invisible to most of us–so ordinary and seemingly permanent that we overlook and take them for granted, until they start to disappear, and eventually, are forgotten.

While many of my subjects are concerned with inevitable deterioration and loss, I also find that within the camera frame, images of inherent beauty and dignity materialize as if by magic.

Lately my camera is the one I always have with me, a Samsung Galaxy smart phone. This little pocket machine’s images, with post-processing in the digital darkroom, are surprisingly satisfactory for their purpose. The fixed wide-angle lens perfectly suits my usual subjects. I have more fun and less anxiety shooting than I used to with more sophisticated cameras, lenses, and gear.

I’m on Flickr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/real00/

Guillaume R – Paris

9 Feb
Since my youth, I have ever been curious about the tags and the graffiti. Why, When, Who does it ?
Step by step I started to take street pictures like in a playground. I live in the suburbs of Paris  and as soon as possible I go and explore Paris and it’s suburban fringes, It’s an endlessly exciting game.
At first, I started watching graffiti but it opened my eyes to others interesting drawings. I’m in love with the dirty and broken city atmosphere .
   I look at  the « beautiful » in the places where you don’t want to live and I try to make sense. I was inspired by a lot of internet session , by people with whom I took pictures and photographers as Bruce Davidson or Marta Cooper.
I created a magazine “Vu dans la rue” (“View in the street”) you can see some online :

Tokyo Volume 2 by Andrew Wurster

3 Apr

I’ve been revisiting my Tokyo images recently and wanted to post more to this blog. This is a bit of a miscellaneous collection of various locations in Tokyo. I really hope to go back and explore more, maybe concentrating on one or two particular areas sometime soon.

https://www.facebook.com/andrew.wurster

Gallery

Francesca Pucci City Focus Nova Gorica, Slovenia.

7 Dec

In this project I chose to highlight the different colors, as these are the styles of this country. I tried not to isolate them from the rest, because I wanted it to be clearly visible the frame of the human aspect in this country: the nature. It is always present, in the form of reflection too. (photo 4) It is an element overshadowed in these photos, but important to represent this place.
The frontal and rigid shots, are softened by the lines of the trees, that are opposed to the straight lines and the colored blocks of the urbanism.

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Pekka Nikrus – City Focus – Helsinki

8 Jun

If one would imagine that photographers were hunter-gatherers, I guess I would be more of a gatherer than a hunter. Occasionally I do hunt for some particular image or motive, but mostly I am gathering pictures. It’s not unlike people wandering off to the woods to pick berries or mushrooms. I pick photos from my surroundings. All kinds of photos. Some days I get a good catch, especially if I’m in the right mood. Other days I return home empty handed.

For me photography is both a way of exploring and researching concepts of looking and seeing, while it also is a language for conveying these explorations. I don’t shoot any particular subjects, rather I use different subjects to gain more understanding in my explorations.

Through this process, which is quite organic, themes, series and concepts slowly emerge, giving a photographic form to both observations of the surroundings as well as my own inner visions. These lead to new thoughts, new paths to follow, new pictures to be taken. It is a reflective and iterative process that keeps feeding itself.

One theme I have pursued for a long time is “of man and environment” where I collect evidence of human interaction, impact and influence without showing the humans themselves. These five observations are from the environment of my hometown, Helsinki.

Leon Daly

16 May

In most British towns and cities independently owned and run garage petrol forecourts and service areas are becoming a thing of the past. They have either closed down because they were unable to compete with the discounted petrol stations run by large supermarket chains, or because their owners have succumbed to the inflated prices offered by land speculators for their prime locations.

Many of these sites have stood empty, abandoned and unused, sometimes for years, gradually developing into urban wildlife sanctuaries. Often guarded by security cameras and plywood or wire fences, they await patiently the inevitable arrival of the bulldozer and the developer.

These images form part of an ongoing project to record closed petrol stations throughout Britain and the United Kingdom.

Nick Barkworth Empty Streets

14 Apr

We leave our mark across the land, no more so in the urban environment, designed and created solely for our use be that to work, to play or to simply live. The nature and culture of the urban environment, the lines, the patterns and shapes are all purposeful and with meaning. In this selection of photographs the lack of casual organic evolution is replaced by a man-made development, sometimes an interrupted sprawl and other times a more fluid vista, but nothing left to chance.

For me the urban topography of a city tells a story of the people who live there, who inhabit its space, use its roads, light up its windows at night. Only when the people leave the scene can we really see the scene.
The side streets and alleyways, as opposed to the boulevards and main roads, provide a unique insight into the people who live there. They tell a tale of bolted gates and high fences a well place lack of trust in the pedestrians who travel through them, although not present in the photograph, their presence is always felt.
I have found myself increasingly drawn to the empty street, waiting for occupants to leave an area, not wanting them to dilute the scene. A subtle filtering of the scene, I would hate the viewer’s eye to be drawn unintentionally to a shadowy figure in the scene instead of the lit window.
Its a dichotomy of my photography that I find myself increasingly comfortable with and drawn towards. Nothing should deflect the shabby glory of a north of England alleyway on a rainy day, the cobblestones and ramshackle walls are the centrepiece of the shot, the eye should not be interrupted as it is drawn along the row of street lights in the evening, nor distracted from the vertical façade of an urban car park.
I’d like the viewer to consider the environment first and then the people who inhabit it, which is at odds with its development where the people are considered first and then the landscape built around them…..if they are lucky!

London Urban Photography by Dimitri Hon

27 Mar

Having worked across a few architecture and commercial real estate publications over the past few years, I seem to have developed a counter aesthetic to the way the built environment is portrayed in marketing materials and industry media. I like showing places for what they are, usually with very flat, two-dimensional head-on angles and more realistic degrees of saturation etc, as apposed to the glitzy way the developers would like you to see them. That’s not to say I think these places are always ugly – just that you can find the more interesting parts of a skyscraper or shopping centre if you go around the back to where they keep the bins or where the access ramp for the deliveries is.

After seeing the work of Chris Dorley-Brown and Michael Collins (and subsequently an entire clique of Flickr members) I had a kind of realisation that there was this particular style of documentary photography (usually from north-western Europe with a few exceptions) that was appealing to me and seemed natural. These neutral, matter-of-fact images really pushed me in the direction I’ve taken in photographing the spaces we occupy or the weird, dead-spaces in-between places. Something that is quite common in cities – a lot of it is planned but there are always awkward gaps and accidental vistas between these planned areas.

The social implications of the built environment are constantly wheeled-out and argued over and are more often than not used by developers themselves now as a form of coercion on local government and residents alike. I’ve never consciously thought about the larger issue when taking pictures but my own cynicism of the industry is clearly there in the background. It’d be wrong to say that’s the main driver behind these pictures though, I genuinely just find these sort of places interesting and strangely beautiful. Most the time.

http://chris3.500px.com/#/0

http://www.michaelcollinsphotography.com

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Hong Kong by Xyza Bacani

7 Jan
Nothing Personal, just a Lifestyle
A city of fast paced life and geometry,Hong Kong is a photographers paradise. Walking the crowded street for three years now,isolation is a sight i seldom see and capture. Photography for me is nothing personal but a lifestyle.

 

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