Eric’s Note: This week I am pleased to share the work of Mike Aviña, a street photographer based in Northern California. His images have a strong film noir style, and exuberant swagger. Check out his thoughts about his work and images below.
Mike: I like taking pictures, obviously. I think it is rooted in some sort of drive to capture and freeze reality and hold on to a piece of time—probably ultimately not a healthy instinct but if it is channeled well maybe I can make some strong images. These thin little slices of time we get in pictures are difficult but the shots that work are sort of like gasoline on the fire. I can’t really explain it more than that.
The hardest thing is balancing the one or two kinds of riffs I really like (environmental and street portraits) with the slow process of building a full visual language sufficient for long term projects and coherent photo essays. I constantly work at both; expanding my tool kit and sharpening the one or two kinds of approaches I really like. I engage people a lot and talk to them—but I also shoot more candid photos. It’s important to be able to do both but the distinction isn’t that interesting to me. Unless you are hiding in the bushes or using a spy camera I think there is an element of performance for almost all street photos. I wouldn’t go so far as staging images, but the cinematic quality of the street interests me.
Below is a video slideshow of shots captured on BART and other mass transit in Northern California in 2010 and 2011.
Follow Mike by checking out some of his links and features below:
Which of Mike’s photos speak out to you the most? Let us know which ones are your favorite by leaving a comment below!