I finally got time to edit some more video from my U.S. tour this summer. I didn't shoot quite as much as I had planned, but it was still enough to create a story about two talented photographers, Brad Evans and Travis Jensen, as I got to know them on my trip. In the process I developed a lot of respect for their photography.
They spent a year shooting and then creating a photo journal about San Francisco's Tenderloin district. It's a very under served neighborhood that many consider as rough on the edges. I spent a lot of time there, but I didn't shoot too much because it can be dangerous to visit and play tourist with a camera. Travis used to live in the Tenderloin as a young man and both him and Brad have a good understanding and awareness of the area's dynamics.
Instead of showing only the bad side of the neighborhood that other photographers have emphasized in the past, Brad and Travis were determined to portray the area's positive aspects.
The book's profits are donated to a social charity in the neighborhood that helps at-risk youth living on the street.
Photographing in the street is exciting and moving. There may be many reasons to do so, as many and diverse as the the characters that anyone can discover and recognize; a new, fresh real face along with an untold story or lesson to be learned. Since I got started as a trainee press photographer back in the days in a local newspaper of Valparaíso, in my home country, Chile, in South America, I was willingly subjugated by people photography, unknown faces, characters of anonymity and ethnicity. Photographing people makes me become primitive, indigenous, and conqueror all at the same time. I feel as if I were desperately reaching out for my own civilization and a better understanding of mankind. I must confess this is the only time that - with the help of my camera - I may become more inquisitive, tolerant, and ingenuous. These people are all real, they wear no makeup and have no agenda. They are only humans with basic needs such as food, clothes, and shelter. They have time enough to give an open and honest smile both full of dignity and strength to carry on... And I have found that that they are a reflection of my dynamic and austere solitude, a quick and deep glance of our own humanity or lack of it.
MAS QUE FOTOGRAFIA...
Fotografiar en la calle es apasionante. Las razones para hacerlo son tan variadas como los caracteres que uno puede descubrir y reconocer - como rostros, como historias. Desde que me inicie como fotógrafo en una plaza como reportero gráfico en un diario local en Valparaíso, Chile me han atraído las personas, sus rostros, sus historias. Fotografiar personas me hace sentir primitivo, indígena y conquistador acercándome un poco más a la civilización. Es el único momento en que con mi cámara me vuelvo inquisitivo, tolerante e ingenuo. Sus rostros son un reflejo de mi dinámica y austera soledad; tal vez, del misterio de nuestra humanidad.
Texto y Fotografia by Alfonso A. TobarMAIS QUE FOTOGRAFIA...
Fotografia na rua é emocionante. As razões para isso são tão variadas quanto os personagens que se pode descobrir e reconhecer - como rostos e histórias. Desde que comecei como fotógrafo em um lugar como fotojornalista para um jornal local em Valparaiso, Chile I têm atraído pessoas, seus rostos, suas histórias. Fotografar pessoas me faz sentir primitivo, indígenas e conquistador se aproximando um pouco mais para a civilização. É a única vez que eu ligo minha câmera curiosa, tolerante e ingênuo. Suas faces são um reflexo da minha solidão dinâmica e austera; talvez, o mistério de nossa humanidade.
Texto e fotografias por Alfonso A. Tobar