The street is the medium

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(c) Thierry Rakotobe-Joel, 2004 – All Rights Reserved

When it comes to Street Photography, the street is the source of opportunities. It is the medium. Each has its own unique character that yields various scenes, based on whether it is the straight, undulating, wide, narrow, quiet, busting, etc. I particularly like Joel Meyerowitz’s description of the street in the video below. He has a way of describing it that will definitely *echoes* with the Street Photographer. Try to focus on the street identity the next time you are out there

I am biased towards the video above as Fifth Avenue in New York is my one of my favorite locations. It never stops giving different scenes everyday. It is the river that is never the same every time one dives in. There are specific points along that majestic avenue that I am still continuously discovering through years, with the rhythm of the seasons: every corner, down from Central Park to 42nd, notable among them is that of 57th and 5th. The famous street photographers of past were inspired by that Avenue, and many talented ones are still working that same path these days.

There are many other locations in New York that are street photographer’s dream. I currently read Dede Emerson’s A Different Kind of Street Walker to discover those gems.

Share your local favorite street, let us know what are the particular characteristics that drew you to that location!

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Stepping into Contemplative Photography

Occasional thoughts about the practice of contemplative photography as I delve into my own practice and reflect on the process. I will try to be as non-technical as possible, but there may be times when I will talk shop as many practitioners would -I assume- discuss about their tools. This site is meant to be a mere record of my process, and I do not seek to engage with discussion with others, nor feedback. It is just meant to be a ‘thinking out loud’ record of my own journey.

I have been involved in (amateur) photography for close to twenty years. It started from the time when I picked up a serious (read: SLR) camera and continues well into the use of digital cameras. I’ve used -and still uses a great deal of films. I have amassed a sizable collection of cameras and photo equipments. But, I found myself spending a great deal of time learning and assimilating the technical side of it, more than I ought to be taking pictures. As I approach the 20th year of my on and off journey with photography, and as my interest is now on using it as an outlet for contemplative practice, I think that it is fitting to record and reflect on the next phase of my development as photographer. I want to have a record of my progress -if there is one- that I can later on look at.

As a contemplative tool, I am convinced that photography will also serve me as a way to slow down and really be present in the moment, whatever that does mean. As manley Ort described in one of her posts about the process of ‘Seeing‘ through photography, using a conversation excerpted from the movie “Smoke”” to illustrate her point.