What binds my choice of the ‘Famous Five’?
Through all these works and images that follow, I feel these 5 photographers smash preconceptions of photography, they work tirelessly every day, they see nothing but the exuberance of life , they don’t give a flying jiggery pokery about camera gear and without fail they make me smile…..thanks guys
p.s. In writing this I’ve realised my famous five doesn’t contain a female street photographer whom tickles me in the same way the chaps do…..do you have any suggestions?
Dirty Harry – aka Charalampos Kydonakis
Website – www.dirtyharrry.com/
I can only imagine having a complete stranger thrust their camera in your face and 1/100th of a second later BOOM the flash goes off is akin to how I felt when I first came across Dirty Harrry. I clicked through the links on his site, mouth open, eyes even wider , I’m sure sweating a little as every parameter I thought in place for ‘good’ photography crumbled into digital dust. To me his work IS bending and shaping street photography whether street photography wants to or not. Although termed as aggressive and in your face I don’t get that from the final images. I find them raw certainly but poetic, melancholic, observed and funny. Dirty Harrry knows what he is going to get from his equipment but appears to be constantly amused, bemused and startled by the variety of life and it’s peculiarities which he presents in his images. This does not come easily though as in his own words he shoots every day mainly at dusk and then all day Saturday until he can no longer walk. How can I persuade you to pop along to his site? Let me describe my favorite image ; A teenager doing a handstand against a wire fence in the dark with a wild eyed horse sneaking a photobomb…..this is no ordinary image and Dirty Harry is no ordinary photographer.
Charlie Kirk aka Two Cute Dogs
website – http://twocutedogs.com/
Would it be right to call Charlie Kirk a ‘Gildenite’? Although often enough clumped hand in hand with Bruce Gilden because of his image taking method there is something quite different about Kirk’s images, and I think it’s humor but comparisons are divisive in such a small community such as Street Photography.
Shooting now solely in film Charlie Kirk observes without commenting, he knows instinctively ( I suspect after a deal of study and practice) what is necessary within the frame, he walks right up to it and takes the shot. Simple and clinical like an assassin. I get the feeling photography isn’t a job/hobby for Charlie Kirk it is a necessary fuel for life; he’s an addict and just as being addicted to the other narcotics of life I believe you can see this driven weakness in his images which gives them a humanity missing from other photographers.
website – http://justinsainsbury.photoshelter.com/
Justin Sainsbury lives in a theme park I’m sure. This theme park is full of weirdly people doing weirdly things as they scoot, hobble, scamper through to the next ride. It has a beach in this theme park where no one ever goes swimming, it has manicured gardens where old people live like breathing statues of confusion, it has fayres and dog shows with really serious judges, its absurd, it’s surreal, and its funny. The name of this theme park? Britain! I love Britain, but not for it’s edgy contemporary Mancunian Londonites throwing rebellious vomit inducing music festival based insults across our green and pleasant land but for the gentle go about your business cos thats what Im doing weird that is my home and Justin Sainsbury sees this day in day out. His photographs are peculiar, quiet, colourful and by being just a few degrees off kilter reveal the inner disquiet much more graphically than a great deal of other Britphot. What I really admire about Justin Sainsbury’s work is the questions that often enough come up when interested in another photographer, like I wonder how he/she did that? I wonder what equipment they have? Are irrelevant, his work is about image making pure and simple.
Todd Gross – aka Quarlo
Website – http://www.flickr.com/photos/quarlo/
Quarlo does colour! Fat, thick, painted, complimentary, delicious colour. The way in which Quarlo brings elements of colour together for me is the most exciting part; it neither clashes nor is it subdued, it’s the central part of the equation and to do this he brings forth one of the key requirements for street photography; patience. I can only assume he’s rooted to the spot for hours and hours on end until the perfect addition comes wandering by and then in a flash, the picture is taken and I suspect Quarlo dissappears in a plume of magical purple smoke.
Website – http://jacksimonphotography.com/
Whoever knew people were so odd?! Apparently Jack Simon. This isn’t laugh a minute photography, not every image suggests a smile but you get a real feeling of Jack Simon himself, astounded there is this live performance art unfolding in front of his lens. Often enough saturated in colour Jack Simon’s portfolio allows you a trip to America from your armchair. Everything you expected and didn’t appears here, it’s a carnival of the mundane, a festival , a joyous jubilee of juxtaposition.