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Winter selection


by Michail Moscholios

Best 5 photographers of Street Core Photography

Street Core Photography


The Street Core Photography group has been created in April 2014. Very soon it had the privilege to host photographs of some fine young talents who find in photography the means of expressing their inner world, hopes and despairs, joy and suffering, dreams and realities. We have been overwhelmed by the sensibility and the sincerity found in their creations. We want to return to them some of the delight they have shared with us, by producing this second ebook (a new edition is foreseen every six months). Special thanks to the administrators team for their passion in what we do. Congratulations to all of you. Michail

Street Core Photography

Street Core Photography

© Octavian Cucolea

Cars are such a drag in modern art photography ... they are everywhere, they are so bright and coloured (in addition nowadays we have to obscure their license plates). Try to avoid them when framing your image and you will see that they push you up to the skies. All city life is behind, in front of, or on them. It is unavoidable that at some moment we had (will have) to use them creatively. They offer volumes, reflection surfaces, some of them interesting emblems (horses, thunders, lions, tigers ... name the beast). In the present picture they are used as an entry point and as a stage for the story to take place. A very original theatrical use where the curved obscure volumes open up to reveal a bright life scene. The thunder offers the spark for the intensity to continue with the energetic posture of the girl. Indeed, the rest of it, is a summer scene on the beach, but the superposing

of the forms is very singular. An umbrella in the form of a gigantic bird, odd wooden structures over the vacationers and an impressive negative space with a bright sky deprived of any information. Or is it a huge white veil? Unlike color pictures where a blue area at the upper part of a frame is definitely a sky, in B&W the white part can be anything. Imagine the possibilities for varying the impact and the intent of an image. Finally, wherever our reading of the present image has lead us, we always come back to the elegant female portrait. Which even in its secondary placement it has so many contradictions and it rises so many questions. Is she nude? Aware of the menacing bird? Hitting the ball which could be the moon? Is she coming from 1.000.000 BC? "Car" photography at its best!

Street Core Photography

© Faisal Bin Rahman Shuvo

It took me long hours to remember where and when this scene had struck me before. Was it from a Sci-Fi movie, a Dante's Inferno revisited, a futuristic holocaust? (but then again people seem joyful). And finally it came out. It reminded me of the tiny bronze sculptures on the WWII statue at the St Pancras station in London. Not relevant all this information except the bronze bit. It is the transformation of people into bronze statues that the author succeeds in the present picture. And freezing the moment becomes sculpturing the moment.

Should be any guilt feelings in having pleasure and joy? Well some (otherwise fine) people managed to give humanity this heavy heritage too. People be warned! Sodoma and Gomora are upon us permanently. Staying in this same religiously mystic mood, I would be thrilled to see frescoes like this one in some praying places. The tight framing leaves no doubts about what the author is seeking in his incessant endeavours. The symbolism of a catharsis is slammed to our retinae and there is little we can do to avoid coming back, again and again, to this image.

Street Core Photography

© Steluța Popescu

2nd Best Picture in the Core Photography workshop (VSLO2014 Why glances are so difficult to meet and lock? Why humans the more they multiply the more they create repulsion? This picture takes down to 4 levels, the questions raised above: ... a door to nowhere ... an obscure male ... a graceful female ... an alienated couple ... young girls playing together and being alone at the same time. The figures and the stories are well separated (the perfect figure to ground). But we won't stay to the interpretations which are subjective and personal to each viewer. We would like to underline the framing, the timing and the

conditions under which the photograph has been taken. When shooting within a restricted time frame and scope of a workshop the results are rarely as they should be: The fruit of introspection, the expression of one's self, focusing and facing alone the surrounding world. The composition and the running of a practical session are everything but the ideal situation to create. The above reinforce the value of this picture which integrates successfully the proposed ingredients (surrealism, symbolism, abstraction and obsession) requested at the beginning of the exercise. Well done Steluta!

Street Core Photography

© Mihai Fodor

Shadow dancing. We should have made a "special mention" on this theme (which will do). Shadows are appealing by their duality and by their ambiguity. They seem to exaggerate our ordinary humanity taking shapes that we would never be able to imagine ourselves. They are full of surprises, they change every hour, they are chasing us as the sun strikes us on the face. The author of the picture goes beyond the first impression of a high contrasted scene and places his subjects masterfully within the frame in order to be them the real protagonists and not the playful penetration of light in the urban landscape. He also obscures the billboard which would have clearly interfered in the scene with its aggressive messages (that's what publicity is all about anyway) The boy's shadow becomes the wooden toy (Pinocchio) he always wanted (AA).

The woman's shadow fixes her hair to consent to her admiration. Or maybe it takes the courage to make that call which the real subject would never have initiated (AA). The smoker facing the near end of the frame delimits her existence and her presence here just the time of a cigarette. She soon will be leaving. Will the boy go after her? Is he making fun of her or he is just holding the line of an invisible kite? (AA). Shadows are a fast way to create abstraction and surrealism. But there are not enough. They are highly and easily obsessive and we can recreate any imaginable symbol. The author of this image knows all that and avoids with great ability the trap of an easy frame.

Street Core Photography

© Haris Panagiotakopoulos

"I am the one who guided you this far, all you know and all you feel, nobody must know my name, for nobody would understand, and you kill what you fear" Genesis (the rock group not the book) - from the album Duke - Guide Vocal. Curating a picture at the end of the VSLO 2014 is more difficult than expected. When the lights are out, when the sun is out, what remains are some fragmented existences. There is this summer effect which takes well structured human beings, sure and certain about their lives, and transforms them into vulnerable dreamers. Take the dreams of each of the human figures in this picture, add them up and you will get the energy of a calm before the storm. The sea is the sky, the emptiness is god, the humans are the believers. And at the same time they are the lost sheep, with no direction or certainty. Their

hands reaching out, their bodies insignificant in front of the immensity of the infinite and of nothingness. We had (you all had at some time in your lives) a superb week of lectures on technique of how producing dreamy pictures, breathtaking landscapes, objects of desire. I am kneeling respectfully for the masterfulness included in all this. However, I may have the chance some day to ask personally Harris: "why are you doing this?". How much energy and will had you to take a distance from the "established", the "prefabricated", the "rules", the "techniques". And maybe the answer will be: One day, at the metropolis, I have stopped dreaming. I packed and took the first boat to the open sea. Thank you Harris for the unique lesson. PS: Harris was invited to hold a short speech but it was not humanly possible.

Street Core Photography

© Ravi Sharma

Dried plants and alive ones at the same time. Dried human beings and alive at the same time. Uncertainty in our feelings: anguish, pity, joy? Uncertainty in our perception of reality: Man, woman, mess, order? And the thorny plants? We usually avoid them! (S)he can't be eating ... can (s)he? The image captured us far long with these questions. Questions that would remain unanswered if we were not in the process of a dialectic approach, where the artist can state if he achieved the result randomly, intuitively or deliberately. Ravi Sharma: " Everyday when I pass from this house I see her, she is nearly

90 years old. What makes me surprise is that in this age she is able to sit in the above posture to clean her teeth (she is not having a single) with neem stick. I intentionally put the throny bush in the fore ground depicting her bitter memories in life." This human portrait has the power of the contradiction, the elegance of a contrasted and well balanced B&W, and the symbolism of an unspoken universal truth: ¨We follow our obsessions to ease our fears, we fight death with immortalisation, we are detaching from a cruel reality by getting behind a viewfinder." We, the photographers are fugitives and persecutors at the same time. But then again, who isn't?

Street Core Photography

© Jordi Villalta Morro

We all have tried to capture the energy and the joy of scateboarders. Action and sport photography requires high performance lenses and cameras to freeze the player/actor and to provide high DOF for amazing portraits with extreme sharpness down to the sweat drops.

sculptures of the curved ledges. The "rules" say that curved lines inspire grace and harmony. Once more we are glad that they (we) are wrong. The anxiety and the lack of equilibrium are omnipresent in this refuge of an hyperactive and strangled urban youth.

How much respect and admiration for those who make a living out of it. However some of us might be doing it for the sake of photography itself. Strolling down to the skate spots to catch what is behind the spectacular action and the "show off".

The flatten shadows offer immortality to a couple of otherwise "perishable" existences. The symbolism of a long and sloppy road ahead of us, where a few will resing and some will take the dive is extremely well established.

For those last ones, we dedicate this picture which depicts the "reality suspending moment". The author, with just a stroke of brush, puts in the foreground the real protagonist of the scene. The alienating and deranging

Next time the flying skaters and rollers will catch your attention think about this picture and go beyond the obvious, catch the core of humanity with a delicious abstraction.

Street Core Photography

© Cristina Bazar

3d Best Picture in the Core Photography workshop

drawings as well.

(VSLO 2014

All kinds of lines are represented (curves, diagonals, jagged, crossing) and used both as form and as content.

This is a puzzle like the ones with geometric sequences when you need to find the next shape. The human figure repeats (upside down) the geometric pattern of the curtains. And suddenly they all become cloned human bodies (SciFi has much to do with our vision, for the best or the worst). The author intuitively figured out the position that the model ( Irina Ludosanu) should take in order to complete an otherwise graphical image, and give the touch of mystery and ambiguity needed to stop in front of a photograph. Geometry is the key in this picture. All elements can be reduced in simple geometric shapes. We wouldn't be surprised if the author has been doing

A very good picture to start an essay with (because the approach should be gradual and the subject revisited from all angles and in all possible settings). We cannot fail to mention that capturing the departure of the model from the scene (stepping down from the window, walking behind the tissue drop), or just a glimpse of the human presence would have reinforced the doubt and the impact of the image. Street photography is the humanity and the absence of it. We have in the meantime found out that the author has been through a very unpleasant experience during the photographic activity. Sacrifice is one of the virtues in art, and she deserves all our respect.

Street Core Photography

© Foto Grafice

"Get a good pair of shoes … and fall in love". A Magnum photographer said that? I guess many others thought and felt the same way. The author is very attached to this picture. He considers it "ludic and telluric". Simple and powerful. A girl and an animal on a sandy beach. But the author is more than a witness. He is in profound love with the visible and invisible world. His obsessive observation goes beyond the obvious framing. How many of us wouldn't we have framed the girl or the animal in a spectacular close-up? And how many others wouldn't have considered this a missed shot. How illusive! Browsing the picture we see that the negative space comes alive and takes its real dimensions and importance only with the presence of life. And the footprints of many having flown the scene … are only the proof that the photographer saw much more than meets the eye.

We even see (some of us) a goat coming out from the sand right at the feet of the … donkey? (why should we care about the identification of the subjects, it wouldn't be art photography but police investigation). No offence for the police officers, nevertheless some art education and some sensibility wouldn't harm them. They would stop enforcing the "no pictures, no trespassing, no fun, no life" signs. Is the girl offering us the world? Probably yes, as we the adults didn't know to do other than cutting (ourselves) out (of) the nature. Cutting the nature in pieces. The fragmented animal is very elloquent in this respect. If we should put a label in this picture (even if it doesn't need any) then Moss Cass pops in mind: "This earth we have not inherited it from our parents. We have borrowed it from our children." "Get a good pair of shoes … and fall in love". The second being very rare, get those shoes.

Street Core Photography

© Stan Daniel

Description is the first and essential step to arrive at a meaningful judgement. It is the moment when we collect data or facts. We answer the what, the where … we acknowledge the content and the form. Decoding pictures is a step further: answering not the What, Who, When and Where but the Why. Entering the world of the picture presented here, we may think that we are seeing a worker, in a decommissioned or obsolete industry or mine. The place seems to be where the workers are having a shower … or is it at the seaside in some infrastructures drifting away? And the first doubt is installed. Where are we? Let's call this city "Armilla" (one of Italo Calvino's invisible cities). “... it has no walls, no ceilings, no floors: it has nothing that makes it seem a city except the water pipes that rise vertically where the houses should be and spread out horizontally where the floors should be: a forest of pipes that end in taps, showers, spouts, overflows ..."

The author transmits his anguish and his obsession to record the absurdity surrounding him in the 21st century. He shoots from a high angle, climbing, hiding so that the continuum is not broken by his presence. Surrealism is everywhere … the broken wall … the tubes coming out from nothing, the hanging clothes … the soap water in the bucket. The abstraction joins the surrealism of the image by cutting off the scene completely of any context (geographical or temporal). The concrete pieces broken down like after an earthquake … suspended over nothingness. But, in the next moments of our reading, the image shows its brighter face. The one where the peaceful posture and activity of the man abandoned or resigned from a haunting reality, overcomes the anxiety of an obscure future. " ... I have come to this explanation: the streams of water channelled in the pipes of Armilla have remained in the possession of nymphs and naiads ..." ... and of the angels, as without them nothing is possible.

Street Core Photography

Š Chris Milla

Waiting. An action that sometimes we enjoy or other times we hate. It might be painful or it might be full of happiness. But no matter if we like waiting or not, it always comes to an end and always lead to a result. This woman is waiting. There is no doubt about that. But waiting for WHAT? For what is coming or for what is gone? For the future that is moving towards her or for the past to go further. She seems so calm by the look of her hands, dark nail-polish revealing a sadness at that time, but that hair running over her face sends another message, that she is not "asleep". Trapped in the middle, between light (the white chair) and the darkness (the black chair) she chooses to look for the best in a calm manner, standing still as if nothing could change the inevitable, not even the wind blowing through her hair. The symbolism of the human loneliness, the surrealism of the void and the emptiness where the chairs and the waiting room are lying on, they all go

hand by hand with the abstraction. The waiting room is isolated from its real nature as a functional part of an urban reality, the human being is isolated from its quality as a traveller and becomes a distressful subject in observation. The photographer is obsessively visiting and revisiting people found in an introspection (forced by the emptiness of the waiting time). The whole setup with no background to distract, a woman not too young but not so old, the oor pictured by few lines and the chairs giving so much meaning through their colors, makes me wonder what Chris Milla felt in those seconds. Maybe he felt the same calm on the outside, standing still not to draw attention with an obsessive desire to push the shutter or maybe none of those. One thing though is clear: he found himself in the same situation as his subject - WAITING. Waiting for this moment to happen. CURATED by Octavian Cucolea

Street Core Photography

Š Ximena Echague

I have given up trying to do street photography in the prosaic Belgium. True, Oostende was a surprise but it still remained within the tourist trap of the long beaches and of the ordinary architectural shots. And here comes the author (another expat) to teach me that I am wrong. Well, I am wrong and delighted. There was (is) a trend with conceptual colour photography. With projects trying to transmit the atmosphere of a decadent bourgeoisie. Series of photos taken in swimming pools with the residents staged in front of the camera and with the photographers in the role of a director. Very respectful results, with medium format cameras, excellent execution under perfect lighting ... the works. And here comes again the author of the present picture to remind us that all these fancy and complex projects, with the huge logistics, we simply ... don't need them. If this decadent society has a reason to be recorded and documented (for the

historians), there must be also a reason that it even exists. Or is there? A reason? The position of the human subjects is so signiďŹ cant if we want to look for an answer to the above question. Man's best friend is at the same time the only alert mind around. The photographer saw the frame materialising in front of her eyes and she didn't even have the need to lower down for a better perspective. And indeed, the surreal background is a mountain of doubts about the use of these hills of sand and construction material. The very clear context given by the product tags (Visit Oostende, Betafence, Julius Canine) is serving the opposite of clarity: It underlines the absurdity of the occidental organisational delirium. Myself, I am also leaving this frame with a question. What could be the photographer's obsession? Could it be? "Is anybody alive in this part of the earth?".

Street Core Photography

© Udai Singh

We have never considered happiness and joy as elements that determine the impact and the memorability of a photograph. Take any masterful picture, even the apparently joyful ones (the kiss by Doisneau, the kid with the wine by HCB …) and you will see that we can at most go as up as melancholy (the nostalgia of joy). We are keen to forget suffering but we are attracted by the ambiguity of joy or pain. One day we are leaving our world to enter another. Sometimes it is a long waited moment and the passage is sweet. Some other times it is forced and the taste is bitter. In the present picture the symbolism of an existence forced to change leads us to recall our fears and hesitations before the unknown, to review the important changes in our lives.

The absence of the boy's reflection, the confinement of the child by the concentric cycles, the distant observation of a surreal adult, serves at the same time the abstraction and the raising of doubts about the reality the human subject is living in. The author is looking down to the subjects that he is photographing. Even the sky is found below him on the ground. He is searching to capture continuously the conflict between young and old, pure and stained, clear and blurred, calm and unease. The excellent double framing operated by the author removes any details that would have betrayed the timelessness and the universality of the image. One day we are leaving our world to enter another. Isn't it always painful after all?

Street Core Photography

© Bernhard Grabner

Still life! Is this street photography? Once again I have the same answer to this repetitive question. Who cares? The objective is to have a powerful photograph. Nevertheless, in order to reply to the purists, yes, the absence, the ghost of humanity, is also street core photography. The relics, the marks, the devastation that the human beings leave behind are part of them. And the present image does exactly this. It testifies the absence of humanity with a scream of despair. Initially I wanted to see more of the context around the picture, but then I guessed that it would have weakened the impact of the clear message. We cannot fail to underline the masterful use of bright and dark areas. It's true, this image is not ambiguous. The questions it raises are not inherent to it but only indirect. It's a statement against the unsolicited violence and the

urban aggression. It can definitely be used for social campaigns but it has at the same time a hidden melancholy albeit the marks of violence. It has the mystery, the secret of transforming a moulded plastic into a marble statue. These mannequin manufacturers are really competing for (sur)realism nowadays. The abstraction of the shattered glass is immediate and used creatively here (inspired by many masterpieces in the same line). The author, an urban wonderer, must have seen many broken glasses around. He stopped at this one. Let's thank him for the insight and for this meditative moment of a devastated "still" life. For the PS lovers: try to have the same effect with some Plug-Ins or Filters. You will never make it (the decomposition of the T-shirt in glass fragments is majestic). Observe and feel, do not manipulate.

Street Core Photography

Š Nilanjan Karmakar

Do you like bets? Is there someone who wants to bet that (s)he can do better than the author presented here? Yes, Picasso did better in cubism. But that was a long painting process. Here, the fragmentation of reality is performed using the mirror in a sumptuous way. The photographer does not limit himself in spotting the emerging scene. He approaches the subject gradually (probably with a continuous shooting) in order to get in-his-bag the outstanding frame. His state of alert is such that he never leaves the subjects out of his viewďŹ nder (hence the eye-level shot). And the result is more than rewarding. A frame in frame, yes, but what an entry into a parallel world. Apart the unrepeatable surrealist creature (I challenge, you the readers, to try to reproduce it. IMO in vain), the contextual information is provided by the image step by step. Nothing is obvious and yet everything is so "ordinary' taken separately.

Where ends the world and where starts its replica? The author bravely avoided the crop which surely would have created the "perfect" puzzle, but which would have prevented us to "walk" through the image and discover the mysteries while interpreting the factual information. The modern Atlas carries on his back his burden but at the same time, through the mirror, invites us to have a dierent look at his surrounding reality. Where the revamped facades melt with the walls in decay. Where the colours compete in tenderness. Where another Calvino's invisible city is inhabited by Muses. And when we are about to leave thinking that we saw it all, the questions are coming to protect the secrets of this photograph. Why the scarf around the neck in a hot day? How the arms look like legs? Are these electric wires or dry branches, or both? Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the best photographer of all? Could be you!

Street Core Photography

Š Foto GraďŹ ce

The clarity and the certainty of the message are overwhelming: "I am here! And I was waiting for you. For you to come and make me rise again from my ashes." But the ambiguity of who exactly is the messenger (the boy or the photographer) is overpowering the certainty. Who is saving whom in this (in fact in any) masterful image? Does the photographer liberate the subject stealing his soul? Or does the subject, with his innocence, unchain the photographer from his painful quest? Landscape photographers, we invite you to come and see what a memorable and surrealist rural setting means. Portrait photographers, come and see how a glimpse of a human being becomes the strongest of all faithful representations, no matter its minimalism. Documentary photographers, come and learn how a single image contains in just its 4 corners a whole series of images like any of your projects. In the present picture the background is skewed as if preparing for its vortex on the way to another dimension. In reality this, familiar to all of us, bucolic

landscape is used to communicate with the viewers using a common language. Couldn't this be our parents' village or the no man's land we once 'found' by mistake deviating from our regular routes of life? And then there is the secret, shy smile of a child, eyes looking up front front head down in a submissive posture. Arms and body, merged as if dressed with a black veil, emerging from nowhere. This alone, this highly graphical and expressive human portrait could stand as a great photograph. Cut and pasted in the disturbing background it becomes a masterpiece of recomposing a new reality. The plasticity of the author's vision transforms the paved with stones and arid path into a point of no return. The same path of no return found in Munch's "The Scream" and in Koudelka's "Jarabina". Exceptional ďŹ gure-to-ground, lead-in lines and impressive visual paths guide us through the multiple readings of this majestic frame. Who said that it is impossible to go beyond Koudelka!

Street Core Photography

© Martin U Waltz

I had a hunch ... Great photographers are people who had a near-death experience (Bresson), they have reached the deepest of the depths ... or simply they had the courage to avoid mediocrity by flirting with madness. We rarely have nowadays life threatening conditions and we tend to justify our apathy with the "I got to make a living" argument. Here is a couple of million bucks! Which passion you would have followed until the end of your days? If it is photography then start thinking backwards, move back in time and fit it in your everyday life today! We are presenting this time a picture of Martin's. But we mostly present the author. Because, even if the models and the cities and the sceneries are precious in every aspect, a photograph is, before anything else, a piece of the photographer. Berlin is a great city, but try to find a Martin's picture with the wall, the TV

tower or the Brandenburg gate. There ain't, because he is on his own personal route, out of tourist paths, out of flattering behaviours. How many times we said "look at these mannequins, they look so real!". Well, "look at these human beings, they look so fake"! Can Martin take the fragments of his reality and transform them into plastic toys, into unreal figures, into surreal stories? He absolutely can because he is not trying to please anybody. Not even us! Martin captures in single shots the obsessions of a whole society, the secrets of endless nights, the extreme dress codes and fetishes of a whole generation. Extremely symbolic (on values, on humanity, on despair) enjoy street photography made by a perseverant and insightful photographer!

Street Core Photography

© Vasile Dorolti

A photograph which contains all the answers is a documentary picture. And a rural moment usually has all its elements decoded nowadays. The behaviours are known. Even the contradictions are well established and studied and deciphered by the society. A wedding in the village! Men and women standing and watching separated. So what? So many documentaries or our own experience have already made us not having any surprise in watching this phenomenon. It is familiar, explained and accepted (or not). Are there any mysteries left in this world? The author is exploring this very question. In Frank's Americans we do not know any more "whether a jukebox is sadder than a coffin". In Vasile's image we do not know any more whether the bride's joy is any lesser than the women's determination or the men's ambitions.

The symbolism of the inherent despair just before the ultimate happiness (same as the fear just before the heroic act) is treated by the author with a touch of lightness and humour. The spirits (of the distilleries) are gathering to help the fairy-like bride overcome her outmost and unspoken fears; her hesitations in front of the ruthless mirroring of her future life in the eyes of the villagers. The white veil with its blinding bright abstraction captures all our attention just enough to lead us to the dark clothes, faces and looks of the gathering. All human figures are perfectly detached from each other and perform their own role in a majestic staging that only Koudelka knew how to "direct". Why wedding photographers do not take some unpaid time to try to create similar masterpieces? Did they stop dreaming … or hunting the unattainable? Let's hope not.

Street Core Photography

Š Atko Foto

Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother did ever stand up? If she did, then probably her back would have been the one pictured here with the same sharp focus, clarity, and precision.

the author? I think we should, because sooner or later we will return to the picture to have a closer look. Because albeit the disturbing truth behind it, we will not be able to ignore it. And this is the power of a captivating frame.

The paradox is that the author sees his subject with the required emotional distance but the shot could not be closer than this. And neither could be more decisive in capturing the dialogue of the two female hands still striving. The marks of time have never been more eloquent.

The picture's surrealism blurs the lines between art and life, between objects and events, between frontal and rear. The "pathos", the passion, the suering but also pity are ubiquitous. And the time present becomes a message from time past and vice-versa.

The geometry of the image, the grace of the subject's posture and the total absence of context confer a universal character to the photograph (for a second it was fashion photography, then portraiture, then documentary, then all of them again).

Allegedly photography liberated painting from literal representation of reality and pushed it towards abstraction. If photography will ever take the same direction it will not be based on conceptual photographs but on images as the one presented here.

But should we surrender to the obvious nostalgic and melancholic intent of

Street Core Photography

© Ivan Maranov

E la nave va! But where? In Fellini's surrealist movie the dream was clear and straightforward. But where is the boat in the picture heading to? And why is it filled with so many contradictions? The despair and the prayer, the dream and the nightmare, the longing and the impatience. The photogrpaher is not trying to understand the world. He is just collecting it. And what a collection of reality suspending doubts. Could it be a "boat of distress", a vacationers ship, or even the Argo of each one of us? All subjects are equal and the author is looking for beauty in any ordinary situation. His "heroism of vision" allowes to him, and to us, to reflect more than a couple of seconds on our own life voyage.

The prow becomes a cradle to protect the innocent and the "different". How many of us still reject a comfortable seat for an uncomfortable steel spot under the sun, the salty water and the sea wind. Ivan is seeking the abstraction and the juxtaposition that will give his vision of the world. He is keeping enough context for us to share with him the voyage but he is masterfully limiting and focusing the scene to the human figures, which become the real engine that powers this artificial trip. A cyclical and looping doubts generator. Next time you'll hop on a boat during your supertourist** holidays, leave your seat and remember for a minute that you have seen nothing until you have tried to photograph it.

Street Core Photography

Š Udai Singh

The famous Raghubir Singh dierentiates Western and Indian vision in photography by seeing "angst, alienation and guilt" expressed by monochrome in the former and "deep inner source" in the philosophy of rebirth expressed by colour in the latter. Today with his pictures, another Singh comes to put his mark by going beyond and further. There are no pre-established theories in art photography. Udai is using B&W to equally express joy and sadness, poverty and dignity, rebirth and ephemerality. The author, among a crowd of individuals, chooses to connect these three beings. And most of all he chooses to capture the maternal gaze upon a lost youth. Hesitation and surprise for the caring woman, melancholy and reverie for the young man.

The odd appearance of a symbolic animal accentuates the surrealist atmosphere inherent in every picture that pays equal importance to all of its elements. The lines and the shapes created by the position of the subjects preserve their geometric harmony even when the image is reduced to its abstraction (by rotating it, blurring it, or distancing it). The author is quite aware of the strength and the weakness of photography. Its instant participation in, and at the same time alienation from, our lives. He knows also that the secret of photography is to be so powerful as to anaesthetise explanations. A superb photograph of guilt!

Street Core Photography

© Emi Cercel

A huge contradiction. Three elements, a curved man, a steel window and a gravel street. Take them in any possible combination. They will fight each other. They will never create harmony or equilibrium. Because they are so alienated one from the other. In attaining the perfect abstraction the author includes in the frame some secrets. So powerful secrets that we know from the beginning that we will not be able to answer. This effect is so obvious that many of the viewers wouldn't even bother to stay at the picture. It is a lost case for their intellect. But who told them that photography addresses their intellect? Inspirational photography should activate our senses and "the visual impact should be such as to nullify explanation." In the present image there are viewers that will stop at the human figure and

they will wonder whether it is a reflection or seen through the glass. Is he inside in a glamorous atrium? Or is he outside his steps leading him to nowhere? Others would ask where the photographer was placed in order to see this particular perspective in his surrounding world. How he suspended the certainty of a window, how he "fixed" this steel structure on the ground? Things are not what we think until they are photographed. Only in 1878 a picture of a galloping horse broke the inaccurate representation in paintings showing both front and back legs extended. The proximity of the vantage point and the photographer's choice to include, exclude, ignore, underline the elements in his frame, that's what is all about in the narrative poverty and the symbolic power of the picture. "To quote out of context is the essence of the photographer’s craft". Szarkowski

Street Core Photography

© Wong Chunli

In SCP we have suggested no colour unless it adds to the impact/information, no puddle reflections, no billboards, unless you can go beyond all these stereotypes. Here is your bright guiding example of how to go beyond. How creativity will never stop evolving. How the photographic eye will see even more and better by using less and by connecting the unrelated. Art photography is not a matter of perfection, of sharpness, of expensive gear, of technically impeccable pictures. And, trust me, there is an M9 behind the present image. Some critics would argue that photography is an ‘uncertain’ art and that many published photographs by Masters, seem like work that could have been done by another gifted photographer. This is the whole point. The mass of work is not important. The single masterpiece is. Anyway, stop worrying. No critic will ever recognise art in photography.

The present image is the result of an obsessive quest for the "unseen", the futile, the frame which the naked eye will never stop upon. The symbolic and surrealist juxtaposition of human fragments is only possible through the photographic vision of the author. And down there (in Calvino's invisible city Argia) below the puddles and the dirt "the dampness destroys people's bodies, everyone is better off remaining still, prone … but we can sometimes hear a door slam". The principle of "aesthetic rightness" is another myth and the image does not have to be beautiful in order to convey a message or to have an impact. In any case aesthetics change in a changing world and our sensorial capabilities (cultivated or not) never remain the same. If photography (as many say) is closer to poetry than to painting or to cinema, then meet the author of this dramatic monologue, Haiku and lament at the same time!

Street Core Photography

© Emi Cercel

Brassaï's Paris is gone long ago. Like old friends' photographs which "exorcise some of the anxiety and remorse prompted by their disappearance, so the photographs of neighborhoods now torn down, rural places disfigured and made barren, supply our pocket relation to the past" (S.Sontag On Photography) Our pocket relation to the past? I don't think so! What is captured here goes beyond places or time. In the present image we smell the cheap wine of the Vinarie (Emi's answer to "Why"), we hear the street noises, we fly towards the neon light. The doubt is spread everywhere. We are doubting about the virtues of the subjects, they are doubting about the photographer's intentions. The scenery itself is taken out from a movie setup, or reality beats fiction once again? The author is not hesitating in front of the absence of all necessary ingredients for a technically perfect picture (light, angle, time). And by taking

the risk he succeeds to produce a superbly atmospheric picture. The contradictions, the mute dialogues, the ambiguous conversations are omnipresent. A transparent frame where all the elements are in focus and they revendicate their part of the story. We would agree that the aesthetic nature of photography tends to neutralise the distress and to anaesthetise the morals by stimulating the senses. Nevertheless in the present picture the distance taken by the author has miraculously the opposite effect. The photographer becomes the main and only defender of those distressful figures. And the only observer and faithful visitor (Emi has visited the place over and over again attracted by its reminiscent post-communist character). Brassaï's Paris is gone long ago. But the same mood, texture, melancholy, can still be found today in other places. Welcome to Emi's little Paris, photographed with virtuosity, and most of all, with perseverance.

Street Core Photography

Š Delia Herman

Best Picture in the Core Photography workshop VSLO 2014 (VSLO 2014 Symbolism can be operated under any circumstances in photograpahy. However, it unleashes its real power only in unstaged street photography. Staging a photograph is a serious endeavour. It takes vision, resources, models, lighting, directing capabilities. Those who are successful in such an attempt they have great chances in professional photography. But, be warned, no staged photograph will ever attain the highest levels of ambiguity necessary for captivating and locking the uncertainty of the viewer. A staged picture quickly enough unveils the mastery of the photographer to put everything at the right place. And yet there is much more in the spontaneous, unstaged, obsessive photography. Something that no staging would ever be able to attain. It oers the "reality suspending moment". When there is no certainty whatsoever

about the elements, the circumstances, the actors or the tools that have been needed for the creation of the image. Everything seems random and still in equilibrium. Fragile but incisive. Ordinary yet compelling. Photogrpahs like the present one are serving as an example for the others to study and to recreate whenever they will need a similar impact. But this will remain the blueprint. The archetype. Street photography creates in fact archetypes. The metamorphosis here is complete and immediate. The beer tables become church stalls, the child's waiting becomes prayer, the ray of ligth becomes mystic. The absence of context is serving perfectly the abstraction and when the reading stops, the questions are starting to fall. The details (sand, plastic shoes) are eloquent but the power of the symbolism is such that we prefer to ignore them and share the perpetuity of the doubt as opposed to the futility of the certainty.

Street Core Photography

© Galia Nazaryants

"… the work of the camera lets us down. Shapes peter out in muddy darkness, volumes are elusive, streaks of light arrive from nowhere, neighboring items are not clearly connected or separate, details do not add up." Nevertheless, " … human perception is not a recording instrument. Visual perception is pattern perception; it organizes and structures the shapes offered by the optical projections in the eye … yielding the visual concepts that make pictures readable." Rudolf Arnheim, Nature of Photography The above "key" to reading images is highly needed to decode the present image. The objects of this mostly still life are numerous and with high conceptual meaning (which should have eased interpretation). However, the "streaks of light" underline a generalised decline, and the furniture's position suggest a tragical and instant disappearance of the occupants. Both of these last affirmations confer an unwanted documentary aspect to

the image but which is overcome by its complexity and its majestic "passive" framing. The image ends in this ruined humanity but the frame works outwards to the world extended beyond the 4 corners. The human figures placed as abstract fragments of an already fragmented reality contribute to the above expansion of our visual perception. The re-composing of destroyed or cruel places is very dear to the author presented here. Her dedication and persistence have no substitute for going in person to the places that will give shape to her dream. She goes beyond the inherent surrealism offered by the change in time of the photographed objects. And she does this by combining different time stamps in a single frame. A message from time past (the burnt home) to time present (the humans of the scene) which in its turn is already time past. An ugly reality dignified and superbly turned to moving through the attention of the photographer.

Street Core Photography

© Gabi Costea

Today we would like to talk about pragmatism … in art (photography). Pragmatism is breaking up with passion, with the one and only (barely controllable I admit) emotion who makes us breath, hope and dream. Peacefulness, stability and certainty are difficult to combat. And by no means through quixotic attempts. Anything hopeful or romantic in a way that is not practical would fail in the eyes of the pragmatic fellow human. Similarly, photography consumers demand a specific product which the professional photographers are trying to deliver. But there are professionals who still can find the force to keep an eye for the love of their life. And when they do it (when they do not abandon the muse for the sake of a surpriseless reality) they produce magic images as the one presented here.

Where none of the rules or the prerequisites is respected. Where the only drive are the dreams and the nightmares of the artist. The parental joy, the unreal observer with his obscure look, and the eyes of the elegiac woman, are much more than a majestic composition. They represent the whole world, an entire life, the complete internal vision of the author. Of any author I would dare to suggest. What is abstract and symbolic cannot communicate easily. But when the noble message of passion is finally delivered to the pragmatic viewer (and this can only be done with obsessive perseverance) there are 2 lives that are completely changed. The messenger's, by finally reaching and embracing his ultimate judge and admirer, and the viewer's, by realising how unwise s(he) was to pass by and ignore a (guiding) light just because it seemed distant or weakened by Chronos.

Street Core Photography

© Roberto Iosupescu

Back in the analog era, sometimes the negative film was exposed by some accidental opening of the back of the camera. Or just because the image was the first frame shot (one or more takes were doomed to be lost). A cool bet was always to make 26 or more takes out of a 24-exposure negative film. Some other times the best picture was at the very last piece of film. And the wrinkled roll-end was giving some abstract effects to the composition. The negative spaces of unexposed or totally burnt areas were quite important. Barthes in Camera Lucida considers the "superimpressions, anamorphoses, deliberate exploitation of certain defects (blurring, deceptive perspectives, trick framing)" some of the surprises (or performances) of the photographer. He missed the negative film-roll defect and its deliberate exploitation? This "defect" is what Roberto's negative space reminds me of. It is so present covering the 2/3 of the image and thus becoming the main subject of the picture. And yet it is full of random surprises and texturised multiple coatings.

The abstraction is overwhelming and unavoidable in a natural way. Going further in our reading of the photograph, the road scene limited in 1/3 of the frame makes its glorious come back with a moment of distress and solitude. The foreseeable emotional impact of an empty wet road and the graphical effect of the white lines, are also given with a twist. With a couple of brush strokes made by the lane and the windshield crack. The surrealism of the landscape is ingeniously avoiding the stereotyped foggy atmosphere. The contour of the rocky masses seems fading, for one moment in the fog, and the next moment in the steamy window. In one single frame, Roberto breaks many stereotyped approaches (the rain drops, the fog, the road, the car windshield). Excellent example of going beyond the obvious, the easy, the flattering frame.

Street Core Photography

© Foto Grafice

Many photographers continue to search for the quiet revelations found in chance moments on the street, the "trouvaille", the lucky find. Some cities are not anymore attractive for street photography. Take Paris for ex. the small streets with their warmth have gradually disappeared. The suburbs with pavillons and barbarous residences have sucked the life out of the centre. It was (is) a massive expulsion of the neighbourhoud spirit and of the "flâneur" (the street photographer by definition). This will be happening with many other cities presently attractive (Bucharest, Athens, Constantinople). That is why the "flâneur" takes some times (more and more actually) the pastoral ways. Corneliu does this in a regular and persistent way. And the result is impressive. The present photograph has been taken some short time ago, it bears however an irretrievable past and a melancholy conferred only by images taken at the very beginning of the photography. The story of the

survival of a photograph is an unpredictable one. The authors are always wondering about their images: "By whom and how will it be looked at? How long will it survive in consciousness? Will it be one day in a publication, an exhibition, a private house, a museum?" We cannot know! But we can assure the author that the picture has entered irrevocably our memory. As Kafka said: "We photograph things in order to drive them out of our minds." ... and we would add .. and it's a miracle whenever they enter the viewers' mind. Try to close your eyes when looking at this picture. The details will take their full meaning. Is this image abstract (blindness), symbolic (the lost innocence), surrealist (the mythic unicorn)? Absolutely! But above of all it is the proof that the ethos of photography (in learning us how to see intensively) is so close to poetry. Purifying our senses in order to perceive again the living world around us.

Street Core Photography

Š Diana Maria

"Elle est morte et elle va mourir" Barhtes would have said, as he did for the 1865 photograph of the young Lewis Payne who tried to assassinate a US Statesman. Alexander Gardner photographed him in his cell, where he was waiting to be hanged. While there is always a defeat of Time in historical photographs, the same may happen in contemporary images. There is an imminent fall in the present picture. The devastated human being is oering probably her last gesture of grace. Diana chose to capture her with the eyes shut and with a slightly tilted perspective. Already the equilibrium was fragile, as fragile are also the dried plant branches and the tormented body of yet another widow. The background could not be more supportive in the surrealism of the image.

Yet the perfectly passive frame (ending at its edges) gives no information about nor any hints to imagine what is there beyond the decayed wall. The author is conscious of the eeting emotion and the irrevocable vanishing of the "perfect" moment. She does not hesitate to take the risk of an instinctive and unprepared shot and the result proves her right. Would any of the "eminent" critics continue to claim that a body cannot be cut at the joints or that tilted images are imperfect? I am sure that they would never admit that they have been hypnotised by the abstract and tragical interlace of a human being with the old vine, both appearing to have roots in the concrete. A great moment of suspending reality and transposing our comfort into perplexity.

Street Core Photography

© Piotr Kutolowski

Maybe it's the xmas wine but I see angels all around. And I keep venerating them even if probably this is another mirage, another futility, another illusion.

The confrontation of moods and worlds (running versus idling, rational versus dreaming, confidence versus uncertainty) is clear and omnipresent.

Angels are messengers. Both of good and evil, and the author knows how to create the ambiguity of a fallen angel.

The present picture full of symbolism and deprived of context is so discreet and yet so appealing to our most intimate emotions.

Good or evil, hope or despair, a promising beginning or an imminent divide … the choice is ours. There will be viewers who will choose to see the warm face against a cold window, the worried eyes waiting for words which arrive always a little too late. Some others will detect the dilemma of the woman/angel/messenger before sending her (phone) terminal message of yet another ungratified infatuation.

Who wants to be saviour or the ultimate protector? What should we do when an angel asks for a chance, a second chance, patience and humility. All those virtues that only angels can provide.

Street Core Photography

© Björn Larsson

Winogrand, Friedman, Bresson? Any of these could have been the author of this picture. And we cannot but agree with S.Sontag when she claims that "many of the published photographs by photography’s greatest names seem like work that could have been done by another gifted professional of their period." Bjorn is relating that "I I took the picture in 1957, when I was 15 years old. The boys lived next door. Took it with a cheap Agfa Isolette 6x6 folding camera. One year later I bought my first 35mm camera". No Leica Bjorn?! We cannot underline enough that GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) will never have a positive impact on creativity. Enjoy the infinite DOF, the freeze of the gestures and the pallette of greys of a "cheap folding camera". How a teenager shoots such a glorious picture and most importantly how he

recognises its value and decides to keep it? Our aesthetic values and feelings are there by intuition and a natural talent will always be able to spot a meaningful frame. We may cultivate our visual literacy but it is obvious that in Core Photography the less the exposure to theory the more the chances for an original expression. The picture works in several levels. The symbolism is served by the younger boy's struggle to catch up with the natural force of the admired brother. The steel structures are offering a play of abstract shapes. The car (already collector's in 57) and the hanging jacket are conferring the time surrealism of a mutable and vulnerable youth. The shoemaker's (Sko maker) boys? Grattis Bjorn!

Best 5 photographers of Street Core Photography


Street Core Photography

IVAN MARANOV Surrealism and photography: A twilight art "Street is the most interesting place in the world. You can see 1000 changes in 10 seconds - faces, gestures, conversations, interactions. And if you have your magic tool - the spring trap, your camera, you can trap this moments and take them with you forever. The strange thing is, when you look at your trapped moments a little bit longer, you can see that this is yourself trapped in, your mind, your vision, your soul." In the above words, Ivan is tackling surrealism in photography (by trapping the world, by duplicating it). But mostly he is addressing it with his pictures. S.Sontag, in her essay On Photography claims that "Surrealism has always courted accidents, welcomed the uninvited, flattered disorderly presences. What could be more surreal than an object which virtually produces itself,

and with a minimum of effort? An object whose beauty, fantastic disclosures, emotional weight are likely to be further enhanced by any accidents that might befall it? It is photography that has best shown how to juxtapose the sewing machine and the umbrella." The juxtapositions of Ivan are naturally surrealist with no unnecessary theatricalization. There are no accidental catches but then again everything is an accident sensu lato. And there lies each photographer's personal style. We carry with us all our mistakes, joys and dramas. Similarly, when we are shooting, our fears, shyness, courage or lack of it, define ourselves and our style. Don't get rid of them, don't change, don't betray your obsessions! All images copyrighted: Ivan Maranov

MARTIN U WALTZ Time is ... Berlin! We have much talked (and we continue to talk) about surrealism in Street Core Photography. Yes, we are militants of it ... especially in an era where everything has been said and everything has been photographed ... And yes, we consider that the shift is to break the ties with "classical" and traditional street photography. To try to decompose instead of composing, to let the intuition (the pathos) lead us to slicing time with a picture. But this very last element - time itself - is surrealist without the least of the eorts from the photographer's part. Time is irrational and mysterious, brutal and kind, painful and liberating ... in its own. Through photographer's eyes Now becomes Past.

Martin is "collecting" Berlin over time. And this poetic collection of his will undoubtely gain its surrealist character in the coming years. And it will generate the melancholy (the ambiguity of feelings by excellence) which makes or breaks a picture. If "the Operator's (photographer's) key gesture is to surprise or shock" (Barthe's Camera Lucida), then Martin takes this gesture further by transforming today's life scenes of an ever changing Berlin, into "puncta"! As a contemporary Paraggi, he "cuts from the mobile continuum of a day, temporal slices, the thickness of a second." All pictures copyrighted: Martin U Waltz

HARIS PANAGIOTAKOPOULOS The active frame where the scene starts from the margins and develops towards the inside part of the image is one of the main characterstics of street core photography. Fragments of subjects or objects (usually human parts) appearing at the edges of the frame give the information that the scene forms part of a much wider world. Harris masters this contemporary aesthetics of non-aesthetics. He simply breaks from photographic tradition. By putting order in the obvious chaos the street photographer does not in any case compose or engineer a frame. He simply resolves the image! As Harris himself perfectly illustrates: Photography

brings questions to his answers. Harris' photography is teaching us a new visual code, And to paraphrase S.Sontag, his photographs alter and enlarge our notions of what

is worth looking at and what we have a right to observe. Pure core contemporary street photography. All pictures copyrighted: Haris Panagiotakopoulos

FOTO GRAFICE Photography is appropriating the world and it makes it obsolete at the same time. A blessing and a curse. "A capitalist society requires a culture based on images. It needs to furnish vast amounts of entertainment in order to stimulate buying and anaesthetize the injuries of class, race, and sex." (S.Sontag On Photography). Corneliu does exactly the opposite. He "saves" us from the paralysis created by the "aesthetic" invasion. He is capturing the bare essential of the human being in front and around us. He transforms people's vulnerability into a powerful presence. I am convinced that his subjects' lives are metamorphosed the moment they realise "how they look photographed". Swarowski is claiming that Cartier-Bresson’s ‘decisive moment’ was not decisive because of some particular event but because in that moment

the flux of changing forms and patterns was sensed to have achieved balance and clarity and order – because the image became, for an instant, a picture. Corneliu, a scientist and a philosopher, finds a picture in "every" moment. Moved by postcommunism realities, minimalism and daily obsessions he does not hesitate to capture literally everything ... … including our admiration! Doing very good pictures is very rare, doing exceptional images is almost impossible. And anyway, not with that rhythm. In our humble and limited opinion based on the Group's submissions, Corneliu is the most talented street photographer in Romania. All pictures copyrighted: Foto Grafice

UDAI SINGH River of colour ... in B&W. Many have sustained that monochrome is not for India. That the colour is inherent in the philosophy of rebirth dear to that culture. Others said that the most successful use of black and white in India is when a full tonal range is used to transpose all colours (and still this is just a psychological metaphor for colours); that psychological empathy with black is alien to India. Some also think that India is full of ‘‘readymade pictures’’ and that pictorialism is unavoidable. Udai demonstrates that nothing is obvious or "readymade". You will observe how different is his approach from the one of the "supertourists", famous and unkown, who photographed India. He is an admiror of paradox and of contradiction.

He puts in doubt the cornerstones of his culture (beauty, nature, humanism and spirituality) without betraying them. He captures joy, dignity and celebration of life, but at the same time he is aware of the sadness, the poverty and the ephemerality of life. As Udai is saying: To me photography is like writing poetry with the light, the camera and the lens! And we will never have enough of the lyric poetry inherent in the life of India! All pictures copyrighted : Udai Singh

Guest Photographer Björn Larsson Bjorn is confessing: "I can give you a short story: My interest in photography started when I saw pics taken by US photographer eugene Smith and his work over three years documented Pittsburgh. I decided to be a photographer. I think his pictures (and his darkroom work) were outstanding. For 4 years I worked at a studio/photoshop (almost without any compensation, almost a rule back then) and learnt darkroom techniques and light setting in the studio. After my military duty (in the air force) I worked as a free lance photographer for 5 years, then returned to another studio. For 20 years I have photographed everything in an x-ray film factory. But my greatest interest have always been for people in different situations but with the touch of "quality in mood and light setting" so to speak. Many of the old Magnum-photographers in the 50s and 60s have always stood close to my heart"

At the same time: “… photographs actively promote nostalgia. Photography is an elegiac art, a twilight art. Most subjects photographed are, just by virtue of being photographed, touched with pathos. An ugly or grotesque subject may be moving because it has been dignified by the attention of the photographer. A beautiful subject can be the object of rueful feelings, because it has aged or decayed or no longer exists. All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt." S.Sontag On Photography Bjorn is presenting with his pictures the European "luxscripta" during the 50's, 60's and 70's and we cannot but feel the resemblance with the work of famous photographers from the other side of the Atlantic in the same period of time. All pictures copyrighted: Björn Larsson

Administrators Street Core Photography Michail Fotografia

Adrian Andrunachi

Vali Dima

Ioannis Stamatogiannis

Gabi Costea Gabi-Costea-Photography/320526791338856

Rafael Ianos

Foto Grafice profile.php?id=100004147575145

Diana Maria

Street Core Photography

Blackpixel Whitepixel

Street Core Photography

Back cover photo, graphics and layout: Š Gabi Costea

Street Core Photography Winter Selection 2015  
Street Core Photography Winter Selection 2015