27 October 2015

Happiness - is it a state of mind, a place or....

If Happiness is a place ... it has to be Bhutan. A small country in Himalayas , east of India.

Read about this Himalayan kingdom on wiki

With this post, I attempt to revive this blog. Well the intentions is to really come back to this blog and treat it as a journal of significant updates about my photography and street photography in general.

Over last 2 years (almost), i am sure the blog has suffered and would have lost following, however, its never too late for anything.

The post is about people from Bhutan and as is customary in Bhutan, let me begin with very handsome king and beautiful queen of Bhutan. Bhutanese are good looking folks, as you will also notice in the photographs.

King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.& Queen Jetsun Prema

Local - many are almost always engrossed in prayers

A young Monk.
Buddhist Nun - Shot in a nunnery in Thimpu. She laughed and told me she is not good looking with so many wrinkles. 

This post is after months. And I know photo-street deserves more. I also think its time, I collaborate with fellow photographers, that is probably the only way i will be able to do justice to the readers and to this blog. 

Share your feedback - the brickbats as well. And do drop in a message if you would like to use this space to share your views on photography.

16 February 2014

Gabi Ben Avraham - Street Photography is an adventure

Gabi Ben Avraham brings streets to life. Gabi, who lives in Tel Aviv and most of his work is from streets of Tel Aviv. Gabi's work is remarkable and distinct. His forte with light and ability to turn everyday scenes into dramatic compositions is outstanding. He is equally apt with Black n White composition as well as color and his style is probably best described as fun and deeply philosophical. We are pleased to showcase and interview Gabi on Photo Street.

Q. Tell us about yourself, where do you live and some background.
 I am 53 years old, married with three children. I work in a software company as an IT manager and live in a quiet neighborhood of Tel Aviv, the city which I grew up in, have never left and which is a part of me and my photographing

Q: How did you get started with photography and what motivated you to shoot when you started?
It all started long ago but I did not know it was "it". During the 1980’s I photographed using film cameras. Even then I used to wonder in the streets of Tel Aviv in search of the extraordinary. I then stopped and have not touched a camera for 20 years until I received a digital camera as a gift for my birthday from my wife 4 years ago. The rest is history….

Q: What gear do you use? How important in your opinion is gear for a photographer?
I started with Nikon D-90 and Sigma 10-20 mm lens but nowadays I am using a Nikon D-800 with a 24 mm prime lens. Sometimes I am using 20 mm prime lens. I believe that SF needs wide lens and I work only with prime lens, I really do not think it matters what gear you use in order to be a good street photographer. The camera is only a tool while the photographer is the main factor. My next camera will be a mirrorless camera. It is small, invisible and quiet, ideal for SF.

Q. Your preferred style is obviously street photography. Tell us about how you started street photography. What or who inspires you.
My personal style has changed and developed during time according to the exposure to the art world, other artists' works and theoretical and practical knowledge of photography. First, I was looking for shadows and reflections, I exercised some techniques and focused on different issues such as complicated compositions, working with light and finding a story with an idea, till I found my own style.

I am inspired by what I see, hear or even smell on the street, I absorb the images and let them leave after they are being "processed".
The most inspiring photographers for me are: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Alex Webb, Felix Lupa, Steve McCurry.

Q. How often do you shoot. When you shoot do you usually wait for subjects or move around trying to find interesting frames. Tell us about your style
Usually I shoot during the weekends and on special occasions. Like a fisherman who goes to his daily work without knowing what he will catch, I take my camera and dive into the streets without knowing what will happen 5 minutes later. It is an adventure. I have my favorite places and I never come with the same photos. It is always different: the people, the light and shadows, the atmosphere

Q. What do you feel about street photography in comparison to other forms of photography like travel, landscape, portrait, fashion etc. 
I believe one must find the place where he feels the most comfortable. For me it is the street. I am excited to wonder throughout  the streets towards my new adventure. It changes constantly: situations, people, light. It is very dynamic and therefore interesting. I wait for things to happen and they always do. I try to achieve photographs which are a combination of the ‘decisive’ moment with mis-context and a feeling of surrealistic disorientation. I try to make the spectator uncertain of the familiar and create a new vision of reality.

There is always a story to catch. The street is not a studio. Sometimes I stand and wait for things to converge – a cyclist, a dancer, a child – moving along. They are not aware that they are moving towards a certain object, but I am. Via the camera lens I am constantly looking around me, searching for that moment that will never return, unless I catch it. When pushing the button, I try to make some sense, restore order to the chaotic scheme of things in the composition. The components 'speak' with each other in a special dialogue, either by color, shape, or light. Capturing the elusive, special moment after which things will never be the same and making it eternal – that is my goal. Forgotten, transparent people in urban surroundings are being granted their moment of grace. The shadows, fragile outlines, reflections within daily lives that are not noticed in the busy and thick urban landscape and sometimes are even crushed by it – these are precious to me.

Q. What is your most satisfying achievement as a photographer. Anything that you are proud of.
I have just returned from Cuba and nowadays I am working on my second Cuba series. I am very proud of my first Cuba series:

Q. What are your plans for future. What do you plan and look forward to doing in future. 

 I am working on an on-going series of religious ceremonies and cults as a long-term project. I plan to travel abroad in order to make some new series. From time to time there are some exhibitions which I take part in.

Q. What is your advise to aspiring street photographers. 
Look at other photographers' works on the Web and try to build your own style. Exercise a lot with the camera, find your own Master and be open to critics.

All Photographs and Video posted here are Copyright of Gabi Ben Avraham. Copy of the content without permission is not permitted.

To see more of Gabi Ben Work visits

01 February 2014

Faces from Spiti - the desert middle land

Kunzum La, On way Manali to Kaza

Spiti happened to me in July 2013. I traveled solo to the cold desert of Spiti, and returned back with endearing memories and warmth of people.

For more than 6 months my life refused to return back. Its only now that the images have started to fade.. names of places that are on tongue tip but refuse to speak when you want them. It was thus that I thought that I should do this post.

But I landscapes and landscapes. And that is not exactly what this blog is about, so I thought of doing this post on candid portraits from the Spiti Valley.

After a 12 hour backbreaking ride from Manali, we reached Kaza, the largest town and headquarter of Spiti Valley. At height of 3650 mtrs/ 12000 ft, Kaza was the lowest altitude stop for us. Kaza town situated next to Spiti River with a growing population of 3000 is the most densely populated.This was shot on the first day we landed in Kaza. The valley was awash in golden sun light and the lady was checking her shots out on the DSLR LCD.
Local Women in Kaza

Monks / Lamas are a friendly lot and their warm smiles make them great subjects to shoot. 

Her intense look was not anger, I am sure of that. But she wasn't amused why she was subject of interest. I didnt tell her that I loved the way how the lines on her face resembled the lines on the wall behind her.

The sun is harsh, even when the temperature are cold. It is usual to see small babies on the back, while mothers work hard during the day.

A young girl in Demul village at the sundown. The cattle are returning home.

Another monk in Tabo Gompa.

These are images shot in Komic, the highest inhabited village in Asia at 4500 mtr above sea level.

Hope you enjoyed the series. Tell us what you thought about it. 

23 October 2013


A Devotee in Tabo Gompa, Spiti
The lines on her face mimic the lines on the mud wall behind, is a mere coincidence. If you believe me. The old woman is resident of Tabo, Spiti. This portrait was shot in Tabo Gompa - one of the oldest in Spiti Valley.

29 September 2013

What is Street Photography?

“Art is a lie that makes us realise the truth” - Pablo Picasso

Photograph by Elliot Erwitt