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Photographer's Note

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.

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Additional Photos by Luis Afonso (luisafonso) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 957 W: 213 N: 243] (862)
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