November 13, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Behind the click, episode 2: Mannequins

A series of recollections about the Why behind the photo. The fragments and questions that come with it. All at once or one after the other. The story seeds that follow before and after the photograph is made.


Woolwich market, 2018. © Ioana Bîrdu

There is a certain mystery surrounding mannequins. It's there every time I'm near them, a secret life they live and we, oblivious, just pass them by. Replicas used to display, they are in fact observers, witnesses of our world.

The eight above, I wonder what is it they've lost; that empty space above their chest. Is that the reason for their contempt?

And as I make their portrait an unsettling thought takes shape - what if they know I know? 

Episode 1: The fish stall

Episode 3: The black cat

November 12, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Behind the click, episode 1: The fish stall

A series of recollections about the Why behind the photo. The fragments and questions that come with it. All at once or one after the other. The story seeds that follow before and after the photograph is made.


street photography, street story

Woolwich market, 2018.

First comes the smell. Pungent and salty. Then the man, his face hidden behind the stall and it makes me think of all the other faceless people who prepare the food we  buy.

It’s afternoon when I make the picture and I don’t know how long he’s been there. He doesn’t come there every day. Maybe it’s just a part time job. What else does he do the rest of the week? Does he have a family? Kids?

Through the viewfinder I notice the reds and the blues that repeat themselves along the frame, foreground and background, in layers. His hands, protected by plastic red gloves now look like claws, for he himself is turning into a fish. Behind him, the woman with oyster hair thinks about a dream she had last night.


Episode 2: Mannequins

Episode 3: The black cat

July 12, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Chupa photos II

Did I tell you how much I love this camera? Which camera you say? Why, this little baby of course:

Ioana Birdu

I must admit, I find it hard to use the big, heavy Nikon when photographing on the street after this little fella. Here are some selections from the last two films I shot.

Ioana Birdu, street photography

Woolwich Arsenal, June 2018.

Ioana Birdu, street photography

Woolwich Arsenal, June 2018.

Ioana Birdu street photography

Woolwich Arsenal, June 2018.

Ioana Birdu street photography

Woolwich Arsenal, June 2018.

Ioana Birdu, street photography

Woolwich Arsenal, June 2018.

Ioana Birdu, street photography

Woolwich Arsenal, June 2018.

Ioana Birdu, street photography

Woolwich Arsenal, June 2018.

Ioana Birdu, street photography

Woolwich Arsenal, June 2018.

Ioana Birdu, street photography

Woolwich Arsenal, June 2018.

Ioana Birdu street photography

Woolwich Arsenal, July 2018.

Ioana Birdu Street photography

Woolwich July, 2018.

Ioana Birdu, street photography

Woolwich Arsenal, June 2018.

Ioana Birdu, street photography

Woolwich Arsenal, June 2018.

Ioana Birdu street photography

Woolwich Arsenal, June 2018.

Ioana Birdu

Puppy, June 2018.

Ioana Birdu portraits

Enzo, June 2018.

Ioana Birdu Street photography

June, 2018.

Ioana Birdu Street photography

Stratford station, June 2018.

Ioana Birdu Street photography

June 2018.

Ioana Birdu Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens, June 2018.

Ioana Birdu Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens, June 2018.

Ioana Birdu Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens, June 2018.

Ioana Birdu Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens, June 2018.

Ioana Birdu

Kew Gardens, June 2018.

March 29, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Barcelona

street photography ioana birdu

street photography ioana birdu

street photography ioana birdu barcelona

street photography ioana birdu barcelona

street photography ioana birdu barcelona

street photography ioana birdu barcelona

street photography ioana birdu barcelona

street photography ioana birdu barcelona

street photography ioana birdu barcelona

street photography ioana birdu barcelona

October 13, 2017Comments are off for this post.

Phone Photography II

Another series of photographs made with my phone with the VSCO presets I used to edit them. 

Processed with VSCO with x1 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with b5 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

 

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

See more phone photography

September 6, 2017Comments are off for this post.

I’m Starting to Really Like Street Photography

phone photography

I have a confession.

I have a crush on street photography.

I'm still far from being a good street photographer but I decided to start documenting my experiences and see how I evolve. And maybe, if there are any street photography enthusiasts among you, it might be useful to you as well. 

street portrait Istanbul

Portrait of a man on the streets of Istanbul, 2011.

 

street photography Turkey

Man in Turkish carriage picks up a bag of carrots to feed his horse. Istanbul, Turkey 2011

First, a short personal history with street photography

Looking back, I think I began to find interest in street photography since my first days of Erasmus scholarship. I spent five months in Turkey, a country full of colors and contrasts and wonderful stories. The thing is, I was so engrossed in everything the Erasmus experience brought my way, that I didn’t rationalize it, I just photographed.

In the following years I focused my attention mostly on portrait and event photography and every once in awhile I shot things I found interesting on the street. 

Then a year ago I moved to London and the feelings sparked again, this time stronger. And that's why, I decided to act on them and see how far I can go.

phone and street photography

So what is it about street photography that makes me enjoy it so much?

Mainly, street photography enables for me another way to create and tell stories. Stories that I can shoot anywhere, anytime, with any camera.

There are also other reasons that make it worthwhile for me:

I learn to pay attention 

In the past I used to find it hard to get out of my own head. I commuted from one point to the other in a ghostly like mode and when I got to a certain destination I couldn’t recall one single thing I saw on my way. That’s not necessary a bad thing, especially when you want to disconnect, but it also meant I missed things.

Street photography teaches me to be more connected with the outside world and to appreciate the beauty in the mundane. I don’t need to go to far away locations to find beauty and to experience brief moments of joy. Often a closer, more attentive look teaches me so much. I notice how people walk and talk, their posture or their mood in that particular moment. I see funny and interesting scenes that play in front of my eyes like a short movie.

ice cream seller

Ice cream seller, Sakarya Adapazari 2011

Mannequins, Birmingham 2017.

I get to know myself better

In an interview, Neil Gaiman says he needs to write things down to learn what he thinks about something. Similarly, my street photos show me what I pay attention to, what I find beautiful and interesting or not so beautiful. Ultimately they show me a glimpse of my reality.

phone photography

Chris in sunlight

phone photography

Chris blending in

kebab shop turkey street photo

Men preparing and selling sandwiches and shawarma in Sakarya, Turkey. 2010

kebab shop turkey street photo

Men preparing and selling sandwiches and shawarma in Sakarya, Turkey. 2010

Street photography makes me more visually curious and pumps up my creativity. Looking at my photos I discovered I'm very interested in colors, shapes and lines. How they combine, how they point things out or how they create a certain mood. And how I, as an active observer, sometimes build up, become part of that scene and transform it.  

 

street geometry

Self portrait on the street

istanbul lights

City lights, Istanbul, Turkey 2010.

The process challenges me

In street photography you can observe passively or get involved. Right now I find myself in the first category.

“Taking a portrait of someone – be it man or woman – starts with a conversation.” – Martine Franck

The passive position is easy, comfortable. For example now I’m covering family workshops at the V&A museum. I go where I'm supposed to shoot, get close to the kids and their families, observe and document what’s happening. It’s easy because all those people know what I’m there for, they accept me from the start and I don't need to make an effort and get out of my comfort zone. 

The challenge on the street for me is to go over my social anxiety, get closer, connect with people and create powerful images.

My main fear is that someone might get aggressive or do something to my camera. That never actually happened and talking nice to people, smiling or telling them why I took their picture always helped. But to be honest I rarely get close enough. The fear is still inside my head. So everytime I go out I try to be a little braver and do a little better.

Blending in

Man on a street in London

street portrait

Portrait of D on the street

Finally, I found these little exercises to be helpful and maybe they'll be useful to you too. 

  • chose something to pay attention to for several days - like a color, a geometric shape or shadows; you don't need to photograph just observe.
  • leave your headphones in the bag and listen to the sounds of the street, look at people, eavesdrop on conversations.
  • shoot more than just one photo of a scene, change your perspective, find the best composition
  • the smaller the camera the better --> try shooting with your phone for an entire week
  • follow the light

And most importantly enjoy it!

August 31, 2017Comments are off for this post.

Phone Pictures

I love shooting on phone because:

  • it's a camera that's always with me
  • it's small and easy to carry
  • it has good quality
  • it's unobtrusive
  • it's mostly point and click
  • makes me focus more on composition and framing

All the images below belong to me and are taken with an LG Optimus LII and an Iphone 5s. They are processed with the VSCO app and Lightroom.


phone photography

Chris

phone photography

Chris

phone photography

Chris

phone photography

Chris

phone photography

Chris

phone photography

Chris

phone photography

Chris

phone photography

Alina

phone photography

Dinu

phone photography

Shop window

phone photography

Summer time

phone photography

Chris

phone photography

Chris

 

phone photography

Chris

phone photography

Chris

La Palma, Spain

phone photography

La Palma, Spain

phone photography

La Palma, Spain

phone photography

La Palma, Spain

phone photography

La Palma, Spain

phone photography

Self

phone photography

Chris

phone photography

Chris

phone photography

Chris

phone photography

Chris

phone photography

Chris

phone photography

Chris

phone photography

Cricket game

phone photography

Alex

phone photography

Alex