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International Street Photography Finalist x3

A round-up of recent street photography recognition

September 2017

If you’d told me ten years ago I’d have my travel/street photography up and exhibited in San Francisco, London and Brussels, I’d say you're too kind, before getting another round of Jaegers in. That was most definitely the dream though when I decided to become a photographer in August 2007, and here we are, ten years later...

It was at the start of this year that I made a decision to do more to promote my travel/street photography. Whilst I’m very proud of my wedding photography, which I've done a lot to promote, I felt as if I wasn't doing enough to push my personal work. It is from this after all where my style has developed, and I really began to understand who I was as a photographer. This approach has ultimately shaped my wedding photography, and is something I always recommend when I speak to other photographers.

The pre-wedding season trip I took to Colombia, and the response I got to the pictures when I posted them, encouraged me to get my shit together and enter into any street photography contest that was going. I'm always hopeful when I do, but I was still taken aback to have six images make the finals of StreetFoto San Francisco, the London Street Photography Festival and the Brussels Street Photography Festival. Here's a brief rundown on the images that were selected and how they came about:

 
‘‘To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.’’
Elliott Erwitt
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Finalist, Best Street Photograph, StreetFoto San Francisco

So, the one that started it all off back in June - this was a finalist in the International Street Photography Awards, which was part of the StreetFoto San Francisco exhibition at the Harvey Milk Photo Centre. It was shot in a backstreet of Comuna 13 in Medellin, which was once one of the most dangerous barrios in Colombia. Whenever I can, I like to venture away from the main roads, and see what’s happening in the suburbs - once in a while you get lucky and find an interesting/surreal moment. In this instance I was photographing the cityscape you see in the background when this boy just popped out of no-where! I took a step back and included him in the frame as he twirled the sheet around himself.

Finalist, International Singles, London Street Photography Festival
Second Place, London Photograph, London Street Photography Festival

Not only was I pretty astounded to have four images selected in the London Street Photography Festival, but even more so as two of them were wedding images! But as a friend said to me, they are and they aren’t, which is what I love about them. I’ve discussed the ‘Space Odyssey’ Bride already in a contact sheet blog post, so head over there if you're keen to know more.

I can’t yet bring myself to explain what’s happening in the image above - I love how people seem to come up with their own conclusions, and I’ll keep the mystery going for a bit longer. Let’s just say I was really confused as well when I first stumbled upon it and couldn't at first work out what was going on!!

Finalist, International Singles, London Street Photography Festival

This image on the beach was taken in Barcelona, on one of the yearly trips I take with The 8 Street Collective - you can even see 8 Streeter Nick Tucker inadvertently completing the composition as he observes the yoga man! The beach in Barcelona is a gold-mine for images, but I felt I'd taken the safe kind of shots I've seen a hundred times before, so when I stumbled upon this guy practising yoga right in front of me I immediately felt as if I had something different, especially with the characters in the background balancing the composition. If I can be completely honest here I had this originally down as a 'B' image - I wasn't sure if it had enough to push it into the 'A' category, but after showing it to the other guys, they seemed to think it did. A perfect example of not deleting any image, and getting feedback from people whose opinions you respect to see if you're missing something.

Finalist, International Singles, London Street Photography Festival + Brussels Street Photography Festival

Finally, this image of the one-eyed shadow girl has the honour of being a finalist in both the London and Brussels Street Photography Festival. It was taken on one of the Rosario Islands, off the coast of Colombia, where there are no roads or cars, and has a small island community of about 1000 people. It was challenging to photograph there, as the islanders were wary of tourists coming in and encroaching on their personal space with their cameras - understandably. To get closer in I'd have to have spent a longer amount of time there, building a rapport with the people there, and really getting to know them. I'm going to do a contact sheet blog post of this image at some point, so keep an eye out on that for the full details on how this came about. If the truth be told, I also had this down as a 'B' image, but not for the same reasons as the one from Barcelona - I absolutely loved this picture when I first saw it on the back of the LCD screen, and every time since then, but I wasn't sure if that was just me being too close to it. So I placed it in my 'B' selection to see what the other 8 Streeters thought of it, and all of them, independent of each other, chose it as an 'A'. I then knew for sure that this was something a bit special.

So there you have it - a proper manic year, and one that I keep shaking my head in wonderment about. Hopefully more of the same in the future. Thanks for reading :)

Comments

LOVE THIS!!!

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Alex fisher 8 September 2017
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