Follow up on my theme about the TE members I admire. To know what this is all about please read the introductory notes on the first post of the series.
Francis photography is all about the "decisive moment". I even think Adam created that category after seeing Furachan’s first posts… Like Rafal says in its wonderful article about street photography, the decisive moment is "the kind of moment that comes, and then disappears as soon as it appeared, but which in its short existence defines everything one needs to know about a situation that has just happened". Photos that embrace this spirit don’t need words to tell the story and if you browse Francis gallery with care you will uncover some of the finest examples of this, just if its exhibition here was a constant and endless screenplay. The cinematic quality of his photography is another aspect that always amazed me. Probably served by an imaginative and sensitive control of light, his photography exhales an intense 18mm feel. This means of course that composition is second nature to him. I know that some people born with and cultivate a special ability for framing this world in a highly esthetic way and Francis undoubtedly has this gift. Like all good street photography, Francis shots are filled with choice, reaction, ordinary life, fascination and emotion. He often presents us with scenes that trigger an immediate emotional response, a characteristic I don't see very often here (or anywhere else btw…) and which I find to be the heart of all good photography. Simply put, Francis is – imho – the purest street photographer on TE.
I could talk hours about his work. I guess my deepest appreciation for what he does just makes me go along… But I will stay this as brief as I can. Let me just point two more things about the man himself. Francis is also one of the finest writers around. His wonderful notes can turn an average shot into a glorious post, like he sometimes state. Well, this may have some truth in it, but I strongly believe that few read extensive notes and photography is what drives people around. Not a bad thing at all. But his writings, the way he present things, his diplomatic relationship with others, and above all the intense literary quality of what he writes makes him one of my favorite members (not only because of the photos) and a true delight for anyone who like a good chronicle. If you don’t appreciate his style, please at least take the care for reading the words.
I strived a lot to find a picture to offer Francis. It’s not easy to “be” in his shoes and having something that aspires to be a photo that portrays his style is a gigantic task. But last Sunday the opportunity was in front of me and no way was I going to let it go. I remember to read in an article about a Winogrand workshop the following passage: "He was constantly looking around, and often would see a situation on the other side of a busy intersection. Ignoring traffic, he would run across the street to get the picture." This is precisely how I imagine Francis way of shooting. I can almost see him being hit by an emotional situation and, having to react photographically to it, quickly fasten is pace to get closer to the subject, compose and shoot! That was precisely what I done here. Just like a hunter… What did the old couple thought about me? I will think about it later…
Last words for you dear Francis. Thanks for being a constant source of inspiration, of struggle, of pushing forward. Some say you pass the lines sometimes. I find it a complete nonsense. I just wish I could pass them as often as you do. Your sensitive way of seeing things, of acting and reacting, your diplomatic and helpful posture, and your intense cultural behavior will always make me a steady presence among every picture posted by you. I am counting on you for that infinite spring of surprise. Thanks.
Critiques | Translate
Floydian (30970) 2006-12-06 4:24
For sure "Decisive Moment" looking at the couple raising there heads at the same time. The funny part is of course the image to the right, makes the whole picture really comes to life....excellent in seeing this, great tribute to Francis..!!!
dragonslayero (3116) 2006-12-06 4:40
This is an excellent decisive moment, what on earth were they looking at?
Your note is excellent and I admire you for offering this sort of praise and I must also give my tribute to Francis for offering us some interesting photos.
The moment here is excellent, the composition works great, although the "bird" gets a lot of attention due to the lack of direct eye contact with the old couple.
Light conditions seems to have been in your favour, contrast is excellent and all features are clearly visible. SLightly overall dark view but still a very great shot.
leiju (1697) 2006-12-06 4:50
What an exquisite shot! And what a magnificent note!
This truly is one of those decisive moment shots, and I wonder how on earth you had the time to compose it so wonderfully, get all that detail and pass completely unnoticed! The bird on the side is a magnificent touch, giving the whole a feel of comedy or comic strip, as if he was the one who has orchestrated the appearance of something quite bewildering somewhere on top and then he is there to show 'ha! This is what I can do with humans!' :D
I thoroughly enjoy this shot that is much more than just people, much more than just an old couple, this is humanity and its creations working together.
On a technical level, I find it close to spotless. And considering the short time span you had to take it, I'll just say that it is Perfect :D
Brilliant shot, brilliant tribute, brilliant everything. Full of Life and passion, I Love it!
Fakir (0) 2006-12-06 4:50
Fine "street life" situation. Amazing pose of the couple. Regards.
Kristo (543) 2006-12-06 4:50
Cócórócócó...grande timing :-)
O Galo com aquele olho mais arregalado parece espantar-se com o olhar simultaneo do velho casal para cima. O que estavam eles a vêr ? O que terá despertado o movimento sincronizado para o céu ? Curioso sem dúvida...mais uma foto que conta uma história !
pgorod (1019) 2006-12-06 5:28
Lovely photo, Luís, a decisive moment indeed... it's a pity that these people weren't wearing more color, because I think the overall aesthethic value of the photo suffers from this lack of tonality.
But your take is as good as it could be. And the human factor (the people looking up, the Cock "looking" directly at the camera) works very well. Congratulations!
jinju (14265) 2006-12-06 5:37
thanks for quoting my article:)
I agree about Francis. Francis and I started at about the same time. I know because I started following the guy after his first few uploads and he really influenced me a lot, more than anyone here in terms ofmy street shooting, and although we shoot TOTALLY different shots now, Francis was one of the guys who pulled me into street shooting, and my bokeh stage was all Francis' fault.
What I like about your shot is the in-joke we have here. The couple looks up and we look at them and say "what the hell?" and then we look at the ckicken looking right in us with that "what the hell?" look on his face and bingo, we get drawn right into the shot.
AmiBe (6042) 2006-12-06 5:52
you know that I love this serie and this one is perfect for Francis work.
A true decisive moment, when I look at the decisive moment gallery, I don't see a lot of them paradoxically.
The chicken is a funny touch...
riclopes (35577) 2006-12-06 5:57
Poucos me fazem ler com tanto prazer, uma nota tão extensa como a tua. Como raio é que vocês arranjam tempo!!! Eu nem costumo 'falar' com o 'Furacão' (esta alcunha acenta-lhe que nem uma luva e ainda mais depois da análise aqui descrita), mas sigo-o com regularidade e ando sempre à cacta das críticas dele que são muitas vezes, uma delícia. Lembro-me do instante em que apanhaste esta imagem, como o mais "fixe" da nossa manhã e tu foste impressionantemente rápido. É por isso que continuo a disparar num aparente 'à toa', com esperança de apanhar uma destas. E agora vou ler as críticas...
Furachan (0) 2006-12-06 6:22
I WISHED I had taken tha shot, Luis, it's a real classic, and belongs to you, and to you alone.
I am immensely flatered that you should include in your "rigue's gallery" ;o) It is more than I deserve for sure...
The closest thing I've come to this icture was a CHinatown scene of Japanese scholgirls stuffing their faces in front of an enormous Golden Dragon, called "Dragon Eats".
Thank you my friend and congratulations on a fine pic, witty and so welltimed!
golden (2289) 2006-12-06 6:34
Great Capture Luis!
Perfect timing. I love the expressions of the couple and the way the chicken is looking at the camera.
Emiel_Skyfreak (3002) 2006-12-06 6:39
Good timing, funny to see these elder people look up (to what?) and see a thing I associate with you and fresh, this chicken next to them. Funny element, which also brings most colour to the scene. Well balanced compo.
Funny faces of these people..they make me smile.
Thanks for sharing. Nice serie too!
designsoul (21492) 2006-12-06 9:29
Oh Luis, this is such a wonderful tribute to Francis, whom I sorely miss ever since he has started to take a creative break. Indeed his presence here is a delight and my own daily "croissant" that I have hard time without!
Your shot, a great decisive moment, perfectly timed, is very Furachanesque in its bizarre je ne sais quoi instant when something fleeting but real happens, and a story is woven into each pixel of this great capture. Wonder what these people are looking at, but they certainly are very funny as they are juxtaposed with that comical graffiti bird behind...
Lovely tribute all the way!
from a snowy gray morning
xavshot (69835) 2006-12-06 13:28
Bonsoir et bravo Luis !
encore une belle réussite dans ce thème où tu excelles vraiement. Je suis impressionné par le travail que tu fais. Une jolie prise avec ces deux visages regardant vers le haut. Bravo, j'aime beaucoup
aralda (1240) 2006-12-06 13:53
The juxtaposition of that bird and that upward gaze of the old couple makes one wonder about what will come upon them next! That bird looks like he/she knows the answer of what will happen in scene 2.
Great homage to Francis! I enjoyed reading your words and agree with you wholeheartedly.
nwoehnl (122) 2006-12-06 14:03
Hi Luis. A very nice continuation of your theme, and a fine tribute to the man I have met a couple of times and am proud to call a friend. The photo is showing a great moment; the couple giving some bewildered upward looks and the green cartoon figure seeming to give an ironically commenting look to us, the viewers. A very witty photographic observation, and again a fine piece of writing in acknowledging Francis' contributions to TE.
euryan (8438) 2006-12-06 16:47
This is a great photograph on so many levels. I'll try to point out just a few things that I really like about it. First of all, the timing, how you were able to capture this I'll never know. The people gazing upward are interesting enough, but to have captured them standing next to that large Barcelos cock is quite remarkable. I always love when a photograph includes something that is distinct for it's area, be it a flag, or certain type of apparel, or a cobblestone sidewalk, or whatever. Anything that gives the photo a sense of place. Here the graffiti of this stylized Barcelos cock is the part of the photograph that is distinct to Portugal. I love it.
Wonderfully written tribute as usual.
ribeiroantonio (22637) 2006-12-06 22:53
Como seria fastidioso repetir tudo aquilo que já foi dito sobre este trabalho, não vou certamente fazê-lo agora. Mas, não quero deixar de te felicitar e agradecer o facto de continuares a maravilhar-nos sempre que colocas uma nova foto. É também um enorme prazer ler as tuas notas, e a homenagem de hoje ao Francis não é excepção. É sim EXCEPCIONAL!!!
PS, gosto muito de ver o casal de boca aberta a olhar para cima e gosto também dos grandes olhos do galo.
brevbrev14 (140) 2006-12-07 3:31
Hi Luis. a great homage to a great man, friend and photographer!
THis image is a very good tribute and fantastic note!
broglia (3598) 2006-12-07 6:26
Hi Luis, wonderful tribute - I'm sure he will be very flattered. It actually made me laugh out loud (causing some strange looks from the people in me office!) The whole theme is a truly excellent idea and I look forward to seeing more. Tell me, was this a single exposure or did you take multiples and choose the best ? Best regards, Roberto
nicoz (1979) 2006-12-07 6:32
This is a truely awesome shot! Beautiful note too! The end of the 2nd paragraph suits perfectly your photo. So it's double hat down for
1) taking such a good photo
2) Taking it in the style of someone like Simon
This should be red smiley worth 4 points ;-)
AiresSantos (56155) 2006-12-07 9:19
Não me quero repetir mas de facto foi no momento certo. Excelente captura, uma foto de elevada qualidade: cor, luminosidade, definição...
Um abraço e BFS
bantonbuju (51781) 2006-12-10 3:36
it couldnt have been easy - to dedicate something to your today's suspect, but you "performed" really well,
what comes to my mind immediatelly is the whole range of different grimases, dofferent poses that he captured, immense set of observations, as he says in his today's post - street is his laboratory;
this is a fully deserved tribute;
Vato_Law (12720) 2006-12-10 14:07
... e o excelente trabalho de homenagem aos membros que mais te inspiram continua e de forma cada vez mais perfeita. Não mantenho muito contacto com o Francis mas espreito muitas vezes as suas fotos e esta tua alem de muito bem conseguida consegue recriar muitos dos detalhes que ele costuma apresentar.
A vista deste casal a contemplar qualquer coisa acima deles e o desenho do galo ao lado deles é simplesmente delicioso!
mlopes (494) 2006-12-11 10:34
It is all about Francis :)))
It even look like Francis there on the right eheheh
Well done Luis, i really like your "eye" this is very clever.
stego (24030) 2006-12-11 19:23
Tal como dizes, boas fotografias "de rua" não precisam de palavras para contar e fazer imaginar histórias. E falar delas também é complicado, embora esta não se aplique só a fotografias "de rua". Aliás, esta é uma das principais razões porque não comento fotos tuas e me limito a vê-las (outra é a quantidade de críticas que sempre tens, o que é natural e merecido, mas me fazem sentir algo redundante - "que raio é que vou eu dizer que não tenha já sido dito e redito?").
Vale a pena "perguntar em voz alta" para onde é que eles estão a olhar? Ou porque é que o galo tem aquele ar de quem está a gozar com a situação?
PS: A nota também está muito inspirada!
vapours (8264) 2006-12-12 21:07
Fantastic scene here Luis, the look on the mans face on the left is quite amusing, and the chicken on the right just adds to the quirkyness of the scene. Technically perfect, and I also have to agree with everything you've said about Francis, one of my few favourites on this site.
scalerman (26900) 2006-12-15 15:11
Luis: one would have to spend alot of time on TE to really get the spot of your 'usual suspects' series. It's a clever, engaging, community-building idea. Aside from that, this is a brilliant 'decisive moment' shot. Great stuff. regards, c
ElAprendiz (30) 2007-01-25 17:01
Y que es lo que observan ???
Foto curiosa y llamativa, con un perfecto encuadre, buena composición.
jsbedard (0) 2007-02-01 11:37
Original portrait! I like the expression in the face of the people, we are curious to know what they look. The graffiti add a "crazy" touch to the picture, that I like. Maybe the contrast could be adjusted a little, but not so much. JS
MarcT (20964) 2007-10-29 8:09
this an excellent picture and, most of all, thank you for writing this about Francis. He deserves it.
- Copyright: Luis Afonso (luisafonso) (862)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2006-12-03
- Categories: Daily Life, Decisive Moment
- Camera: Canon EOS 30D, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
- Exposure: f/4, 1/200 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): The Usual Suspects [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2006-12-06 4:17