Tag Archives: Urban

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.

 

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 :

David Grim

7 Feb

I originally started taking photographs when I turned thirty and had dreams of making my own short movies. I couldn’t afford a digital movie camera at the time, and the technology was new and unimpressive. Instead I decided to learn some basics with a still-shot camera, and that is how I ended up with my first Canon G-series Powershot. After a few years I found myself encouraged to show some of my work in a coffee shop, and then in galleries… and in this fashion a decade-and-a-half progressed in what seemed like a blink of an eye. Today I’m still taking stills, although aiming for a certain element of narrative tone and cinematic atmosphere in almost every shot.
These particular images are drawn from a series of night walks I’ve taken over the last several months through various neighborhoods in Pittsburgh, PA (USA). I feel it’s important for me to point out that, while I do use in-camera filters to achieve a certain feeling in my shots, I do absolutely no post-processing. It’s not that I have anything in particular against Photoshop (in fact I hold the skills necessary to make that program sing in high esteem!). But I am striving for immediacy in my work, encouraged by my knowledge that I have to find what I am seeking “out there” rather than in the comfort and safety of my home after the fact. I feel like this approach adds some creative tension that would otherwise be missing from my work. I’ve always worked better when I set some arbitrary parameters for myself.
I love exploring the underbelly and the back end of my city in the dark. Luckily I’m blessed with the size and bearing that seems to intimidate bystanders from interfering with my reveries. I have the feeling that one of the reasons people seem inclined to take time with my photos is the simple fact that many wouldn’t feel comfortable going where I go at such times as I prefer. At any rate I have a great time getting lost in the stories in my head as I wander through these alleys and gritty industrial nether-zones. I never fail to delight in the unexpected at the periphery of our everyday lives. To me there is nothing more authentic than a glimpse behind the face that society presents. I feel like my wanderings are full of such gifts, and I can only hope to capture and share them with others.

Dan Mitchell Innes

23 Nov

I like to photograph the ordinary. I am from England and I’m 41 years old.
My main influences are William Eggleston, Diane Arbus, Stephan Shore and Martin Parr.

I try and take a camera with me all the time and photograph anything that interests me. I don’t go out for the sole reason to take photos very often as I don’t have the time.

I’ve been shooting seriously for about 8 years now but I’ve had an interest in photography since I was about 13yrs old.

I’m not really sure what draws me to photography and I don’t have any distinct goals. But I’m always surprised how rich a subject matter it is, there are photographs waiting to be taken around every corner. Maybe that’s what I like about it? There’s instant art everywhere! I’ve never studied photography, I don’t think I would enjoy it if was something I ‘had’ to do.

Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/12263029@N00/

Julien Hairault – Valence

22 Oct

I’m a French photographer based in Valence, a small and quiet city in the south-east of France. My work deals with the tracks and signs we leave along our streets and roads to communicate, inform, entertain and direct ourselves. Everywhere I go in my country, I carry around my medium-format camera and Kodak Portra films, avoiding to take pictures of people and touristic places.

http://julienhairault.tumblr.com

City Focus: San Jose, California. by Jim Dobbins

6 Aug

I’m Jim Dobbins. I photograph my local urban environment.
My photographs are an effort to discover compelling images in this environment.
Beyond the images there is no narrative.

 

 

City Focus – Terrassa by Xavier Aragones

25 Jun

If you ask anyone in Catalonia about Terrassa, you will likely get one of the following answers:

1- It is an inland city, about 20 km (12 miles) northeast of Barcelona, with a population of 215,000.
2- lt played a very important role in the Catalan industrial revolution of the late 1800s and early 1900s.
2- It is the birthplace of famed FC Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernández.
3- It has an ancient and quite nonsensical rivalry with the neighboring city of Sabadell.

Apart from all that, Terrassa is also the city I have been living in for the last 5 years.

I have always been especially attracted to what the architect Ignasi de Solà-Morales used to call “terrain vague”: abandoned lots, decaying post-industrial sites, semi-rural areas around bridges or near rivers, etc.

Lately I have been embarking on a series of early morning walks to explore and document (mostly on 35 mm film) the inner and outer fringes of Terrassa. Here are a few examples. If you wish to see more photographs from this project please visit http://xaragones.powweb.com/koken/albums/malarrassa/

City Focus : Baltimore by Steve Walsh

17 Jun

I prefer the name Smaltimore over Charm City. One overly ambitious mayor attempted to brand Baltimore, “The City That Reads.” Perhaps because of our history, there is a pervasive grittiness and determination from those that live in the city. There’s also pride in the quirky; respect for the absurd. Think John Waters and Formstone. We have come to accept imperfections. Though pockmarked and littered, Baltimore alleys speak to our character.

Baltimore once contained a thriving middle class supported by physical, industrialized labor. In the 1950’s, the city observed the beginnings of a persistent population decline as the nature of work changed and socio-economic conditions deteriorated. Demand for shipping, steel processing, and automotive manufacturing declined leaving the local economy dominated by lower wage service jobs and an unbalanced contribution from higher wage, higher skilled science and health-focused occupations. The decline in population accelerated due to race riots in the late 1960’s and crippling drugs and blight in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Time heals all wounds, it seems, and signs of growth are emerging.

I frequently find myself exploring neighborhoods at night. I appreciate the quiet. The change in light soothes our coarseness and highlights our possibilities. Welcome to Bal’mer, Hon.

Image

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.

Willy Vecchiato – Burano

3 Jun

Willy Vecchiato - Burano ii

Willy Vecchiato – Burano ii

Burano is an island in the venetian lagoon, closed to Venice.
The peculiarity of Burano is the colours: there are many small brightly painted house.
The colours of the houses follow a specific system originating from the golden age of its development; if someone wishes to paint their home, one must send a request to the government, who will respond by making notice of the certain colours permitted for that lot.
My aim is bring out a different point of view of this colorful place with an unusual black and white.
Ted Grant sayd: ‘When you photograph people in color you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph in B&W, you photograph their souls!
I tried to capture the soul of Burano.

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