The black and white “street portrait” is a staple in photographic expression. Many young photographers insist on moving to big cities so that they can wander the streets and try to capture poignant moments, unique portraits, weathered faces. Just like many of the textures I photograph, the object is to take the ‘everyday’ or ‘banal’ and figure out a way to transform it, through the camera lens, into something meaningful. With street portraiture, unlike photographing inanimate abstract details, the object is to try and tell a story, to find something emotional and authentic.
It’s not always easy. Life moves faster than one might initially think; put a camera to your face at the farmer’s market and try to make a good, candid photograph of even just one person. You’ll notice that everything around you is a whirlwind. Children run around, people walk into your frame, or people notice you and begin to behave differently (it doesn’t matter if they’re attracted to being photographed or repulsed).
This is probably my favorite portrait taken during this particular trip to Mexico.
It was entertaining to learn that this statue of Paul Bunyan has a Yelp! review, which is about as nonsensical as the statue itself. I never looked into why or how this fifteen foot fiberglass statue arrived at the intersection of Glenn & Stone, but I definitely had to photograph it – this time with my Fujica Half vintage camera, on vintage film stock from the 1960s, on vintage photo paper from the 1960s. The film and photo paper was fogged from age, but I rather enjoyed the distressed look of the final print. Not a lot of trees for a lumberjack in Tucson, but he’s definitely become a landmark.