Streettogs Academy No. 18 “Adapting to the Elements” Results and Analysis

Photo by Joel Mataro (SA 18 Community's Choice)
Photo by Joel Mataro (SA 18 Community’s Choice)

Since I’m super late for this one, let’s just head straight to the Results and Analysis!

Photo by Joel Mataro
Photo by Joel Mataro

Not surprised  about this one to be honest. I know Joel and he is one of the most hard working street shooters here in Manila. Look at how he controls the contrast here and composing the triangle properly. But more than the form, look at the expression of that kid as the little fella clearly appreciates what the adult human is doing (which I’m assuming is the mother). It’s charming, nice, and black and white appropriate.

Photo by Chris Voss
Photo by Chris Voss

Photography works best when we look for what stands out. Sometimes, it doesn’t have to be blatant or in your face. It’s as simple as spotting the odd one out. This photo by Chris, which really looks like a film still, is a great example. In a see of umbrellas, a newspaper might suffice. I like the little details about her as well with her jewelry, bag, and expression. The overall photo fits the assignment as our main person on the photo is adapting to the elements.

Photo by Chris Comier
Photo by Chris Comier

From one Chris to and a cinematic looking from to another, Mr. Comier’s photo here is distinct among the pool because of the mood it sets. It’s as if it was a still from a movie or even a crime comic. What makes me curious about this picture is the central figure. Why is he (or she) standing in the middle of the snow and not seek cover under the bridge? It’s a mystery to me. Also, do note the art on the walls of the tunnel. I like the sillouhouttes there, it perfectly complements the central figure.

Photo by Youngjae Lim
Photo by Youngjae Lim

Sometimes, adapting to the elements is as simple as using your own biology. I like the lines of this photo and the subtle color of the woman as opposed to the heavy blacks of the frame. Speaking of frame, her glasses immediately draws attention to her eyes which is the opposite of the man beside him who moved his head to the side. Interesting tidbit is the difference in their headphones. It looks simple but I like the meatiness of the image.

Photo by Michele Berlingeri
Photo by Michele Berlingeri

One of my teachers in photography told me that good photographers is that they have dirty knees. It is of course to get those lower angles. (In the age of flip screens on cameras, might not be as relevant but I digress.) Michele got this one great by going low making sure the line is in the middle of the frame making the folks walking stand out. Also, so much depth! Technical aside, the I like the content of the image with the folks going around their day despite the minor flooding which clearly fits our assignment.

Photo by John Jade Leung
Photo by John Jade Leung
Photo by Kim Allen
Photo by Kim Allen

Look at these two approaches by John Jade and Kim. The pictures are both black and white, both dealing with foot prints in the snow, and both at a great high angle. Kim went for the classic “put a dark element on a bright background or vice versa” approach thus directing all your attention to the central figure. John’s on the other hand shot it on a very high, almost drone like point of view. It was about the foot prints on the snow and the place the people tread. That is why I don’t mind that the people are on the top corners of the frame. The lesson here is find the best possible approach in showing what you want in your images. At the end of the day though, make sure it is great looking photo. Both of these are.

Photo by Salih Cengiz
Photo by Salih Cengiz

I always believe in keeping it simple. Usually, taking it too simple might have a tendency to be boring but if you execute it right and processing/developing the photo properly, you can end up elevating the little details like what Salih did here. I like how the detail of the wall pops, the scarf pattern, the hand gestures, and fur on the hood. That’s it. Very simple and straight forward.

Photo by David Abal
Photo by David Abal

It’s refreshing to see a Juxtaposition that doesn’t use advertising. I like how simple and careful the composition is on David’s image. The blue strip of light he is resting on seems to say the he is “connected” and that blue is also present on the other side of the frame. Of course the highlight is the curved lines popping out similar to a WiFi signal or ripple effect of a sound. Simple and careful makes it more than just a photo of someone sitting on the floor drowned in his phone.

Editor’s Choice

Interesting crop of images we have for this assignment. Adapting to the elements is not just about weather but also being able to make do with what we get with our lives. By having the resilience and patience to get through the bad or though times to get to the best times. With photography, that happens a lot. We don’t have the energy or time to do actual shooting or we are not content with our shots and equipment but when we adapt and learn how to adjust, that’s when we do and get to our best. You don’t even have to reinvent the wheel, maybe you just have to close your eyes, take a pause, enjoy it, and then keep going. Just like the main subject in this assignment’s editor’s choice:

Photo by Youngjae Lim

Congratultions to Youngjae

Just like before, email me at contact@agdemesaphoto.com and let’s discuss the next assignment!

Honorable Mentions:

Chris Voss

Chris Comier

Michele Berlingeri

Closing Thoughts

A few things:

First, The past few assignments, i’ve noticed that those who become community’s choice after a few assignments becomes an editor’s choice! Which is kinda nice.

Second, I’m about to launch there the informal peer reviews exclusive to the group. Not so much critique but again, more of to help each other with our work. Full mechanics will be there. It’s also a nice way to keep the interaction going in between assignments and I think it’s about time to push each other and it’s a great place to see the direction where you work, project, or narrative is going.

Third, I wasn’t the best moderator this past month. I took up a new job early this year as a Special Projects Coordinator for a photobook library here in Manila. Which is really amazing that i’m surrounded by photo books all the time. However, the work suddenly jacked up and I didn’t anticipate that. So I’m rereading a book Eric recommended to me from way back called, Essentialism by Greg Mckeown, listening to some tapes on efficiency and personal perfomance by Zig Ziglar, and practicing the Pomodoro time management technique. Point is, i’m trying to make it up to you guys and gals and trying to get better as well.

So yeah, only way to go is up!

If you want to join in, just go to the Streettogs Academy Facebook Group! (or read my introduction here)

In behalf of your moderator, Fabricio Santos, we would like to thank you for participating in this’s assignment and hope you will join again in the next one!

May the light shine bright wherever you are!

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