Streettogs gallery Work in Progress: Minh Nghia’s Photobook “In Transit”

Eric’s Note: Streettogs Gallery is an on-going feature and intiative by Manila-based street photographer A.G. De Mesa. Click here for more info.

A.G.: Today’s feature is a bit different than the usual. As I said in the intro post for streettogs gallery, I would also love to see if you have a work in progress. Today is extra special because we have a photo book to analyze, dissect, and share opinions. But first, I want to share what I look for in a photo book.

Streettogs Gallery Feature: Ms. Helen Hill’s Mise-en-scène

Eric’s Note: Streettogs Gallery is an on-going feature and intiative by Manila-based street photographer A.G. De Mesa. Click here for more info.

A.G.:There is a fine line between cinema and photography. Good cinematography and good photography shows when you have a good arrangement of elements such as light, composition, and subject. But more often than not, a cinematographer has total control of everything while the photographer shooting on the streets uses what the streets provide. So when a photographer is able to show cinematic street scenes, that is a feat of skill in itself. That is why you should check out Ms. Helen Hill’s Mis en scene.

Streettogs Gallery: An Analysis and a personal note of Jun Abe’s “Manila”

Jun Abe's Manila

Eric’s Note: Streettogs Gallery is an on-going feature and intiative by Manila-based street photographer A.G. De Mesa. Check out more info here.

A.G.: Coming back from a small hiatus, I’m bringing you my analysis and some personal thoughts of Manila photographed by Jun Abe and published by Vaccum Press. I would like to apologize if the images of the book is bad, the actual book is absolutely brilliant. We’ll be back to regularly scheduled features next week!

Manila, Philippines. August, 1983. Then President Ferdinand Marcos just lifted Martial Law a few years prior but still hold absolute power over the Philippines. The country was in a state of constant flux due to President’s’ aggressive development plans under his dictatorship. This dictatorship was met with heavy opposition from his political rivals. Most notable is Benigno “Ninoy”  Aquino Jr. It is in this month that Ninoy was shot dead in the then called Manila International Airport. With political turmoil and social instability plaguing the country, it was in this period when Jun Abe, armed with his camera, photographed the city of Manila.

30 years later, Vaccum Press comes out with the photographs coming from that trip.

Streettogs Gallery Talk: The importance of producing a body of work

Eric’s Note: Streettogs Gallery is an on-going feature and intiative by Manila-based street photographer A.G. De Mesa. Click here for more info.

AG: This week, let me share to you some thoughts on why having a body of work is important while showing a great work from Kip Praslowicz.

After years of studying, looking, and analyzing photographs I have to realize one thing: The body of work is the most important thing a photographer should have. However, the journey of making a body of work is not that easy. It is so consuming that at times, photographers sacrifice their personal lives in pursuit of the great work. More often than not, it results with a lot of emotional and mental stresses.  With those reasons and a lot more, why then do we need to pursue a body of work?

Streettogs Gallery Feature: Groupings of Lemuel Chanyungco’s Street Photographs

Eric’s Note: Streettogs Gallery is an on-going feature and intiative by Manila-based street photographer A.G. De Mesa. Click here for more info.

A.G.:I’ve been following Lem’s work over at Flickr for quite some time now. He is what I would classify as a classical street photographer with mastery of light, timing, and overall visual design. His terrific use of black and white reinforces that aesthetic especially when he utilizes it to for silhouettes.

I want to emphasize that Lem’s photographs are really good. Although recently, he is posting something that is really unique.

Streettogs Gallery Feature: “Surreally” by Nico Chiapperini

Eric’s Note: Streettogs Gallery is an on-going feature and intiative by Manila-based street photographer A.G. De Mesa. Check out more info here.

AG: Photography is nothing without seeing. The light, colors, shadows, contrasts, patterns. Human life in general. And it is in seeing that a good photographer will be able to replicate what was seen in a photograph.

This is one of those works that really invites you to just see.

Streettogs Gallery Feature: “The Old of Hong Kong” by Gary Tyson

Eric’s Note: Streettogs Gallery is an on-going feature and intiative by Manila-based street photographer A.G. De Mesa. Check out more info here.

A.G.: Gary Tyson is a great commercial photographer and has been in different locations around the globe. He is also the co-insturctor in Eric’s previously concluded street photography workshop in Hong Kong so I was really delighted whe he sent in a link of a collection of his street photographs.

What I usually do when a collection is sent instead of a series is I try  edit properly to show things in common. It could be aesthetic similarities, strong themes, or repeating subjects. So I pointed out to Gary a subject that continually pops up in his street shots:

Streettogs Gallery Feature: “Lost Faces” by Mikhail Palinchak Jr.

Eric’s Note: Streettogs Gallery is an on-going feature and intiative by Manila-based street photographer A.G. De Mesa. Check out more info here.

A.G.: I always defined street photography as “Photographing people in a public place with or without permission”.  That is how I go about shooting but when I encountered the work of William Eggleston, my definition shattered.

It seemed that his work doesn’t fit how I understood and read about photography. His photos are so simple, mundane, and very uninteresting. So much so that I think Eggleston’s War with the obvious is the anti-thesis of Bresson’s philosophy The Decisive Moment.

Streettogs Gallery Feature: “The Extras” by George L. Smyth

Eric’s Note: Streettogs Gallery is an on-going feature and intiative by Manila-based street photographer A.G. De Mesa. Check out more info here.

A.G.: Street Photography is rarely about someone we know very well. The subjects are usually those who are unknown to us and more often than not, we will never encounter again. The only evidence of the existence of these characters is the photograph made during that brief encounter.

In George Smyth’s The Extras, he shows strangers he encounters his daily life. It is something so simple and what street photographers tend to do but what made his work unique is that he presented his work on Bromoil prints. Bromoil printing is an alternative process where the silver from a traditional darkroom print has been replaced with lithographic ink by hitting the print with an ink charged brush for thousands of times. Needless to say, it is a laborious and time consuming process.

Introducing the Streettogs Gallery – Open for Submissions!

Eric’s Note: I am pleased to announce the great concept of the “Streettogs Gallery” — a concept by A.g. De Mesa, a passionate street photographer from Manila in the Philippines.  Hopefully his idea can help bring more great photo series, documentary series, and photo essays! 

So what is this about?

A.g.: Stemming from Eric’s piece on making a series, Streettogs Gallery is a column appearing every Wednesday wherein I will showcase street photography based photo series, documentary projects, and photography essays together with my  thoughts on the stories and the artist which could hopefully contribute to the aesthetic and knowledge of you, the readers.

I also hope to encourage a healthy discussion and show our opinions about the work presented and to judge it not whether if it is good or bad technically (an area in which Ollie’s CritiqueMe series is all about) but  rather if it contributes to the art form that is street photography and to push it further.

Read more to see how you can get your work featured here!