A Frame within a Frame

A friend pointed out to me recently that he really enjoys my ‘frame within a frame’ images. So I went back through my collections to find the most recent ones. For some of them I waited a few minutes for the right subject to enter my frame. Other times it all happened in a fraction of a second, I saw the moment and had to react quickly. It often results in a softer image but with greater satisfaction attached to it too.

This is also a good reminder that not everyone makes a good subject in street photography and that’s also true when you photograph silhouettes or isolate your subject in a frame within a frame.

This post is for you Dustin!

©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

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©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

Four-Legged Street Friends

Cats and dogs have always played a large part in street photography, since the early days of the genre. They continue to inspire street photographers who work on projects that always include dogs for example. Such projects can be so rewarding and fun. Pets often bring an element of humor as well.

I always tell my students who want to approach strangers in the streets to make a portrait, to go for dog owners first. They almost never refuse to be photographed with their beloved four-legged friend and complimenting their pet is always the best ice-break in street portraiture.

He is a small collection of cats and dogs that have entered my frame in recent years. Click on the first pic to view them as a slide show.

Please leave a comment. Thanks for your continued support!

Ordinary Objects are Beautiful Challenge ~ March

Week 20: Shadow patterns at an artist’s studio in Minneapolis – Week 21: A fan on my desk in Soho, NYC – Week 22: Lying on the bed in New York – Week 23: Made me think of Hemingway, Stillwater.

These are the objects, among others, that caught my eye this month. To see the previous weeks, please visit this gallery. All shot with the Fuji x100s.

Which do you prefer? 

Week 20 ~ ©Valerie Jardin

Week 20 ~ ©Valerie Jardin

Week 21 ~ ©Valerie Jardin

Week 21 ~ ©Valerie Jardin

Week 22 ~ ©Valerie Jardin

Week 22 ~ ©Valerie Jardin

Week 23 ~ ©Valerie Jardin

Week 23 ~ ©Valerie Jardin

The People of New York City in March

I just returned from a 4 day trip to NYC. It wasn’t a photography trip, it was a family vacation. My family has always been very patient with me and would never expect me to leave the camera behind. My kids grew up seeing me with a camera in my hand every day, it’s an extension of who I am. But I want to show them that there are moments that don’t need to be immortalized in pixels to remain in our hearts forever so I make an extra effort to let go a little of what has become the major focus in my life. 

During those personal trips I don’t make plans to meet any photographer friends and I only grab a shot here and there without the luxury of waiting for the decisive moment. It’s definitely more of a challenge because, as street photographers, we often have to wait for the right subject to enter the frame to get the shot we envisioned. Removing that important part of the hunt definitely complicates things. I use this extra challenge as an exercise. With so few pictures on my memory card, will I have any keepers at the end of the day? The hardest part is to be able to remain calm and not get frustrated when I miss great photo opportunities. I often have to take a deep breath and remind myself that it’s only a picture, and that the streets of NYC will still be there when I lead my next photo workshop later this year. I know some of you are rolling your eyes, wondering what the big deal is. But I know that many of you know exactly the feeling I’m talking about. 

New York is one of those rare places that I see equally in color and B&W. Here are some of the people of NYC (and other miscellaneous things) that caught my eye during the weekend.

Let’s start with color…

Peace and Justice for all at the Starbucks Reserve.

©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

Sometimes the right subject comes around the corner on a perfect backdrop as you are walking by and you can’t believe your luck. This was one of those quick shots that was well worth jumping with both feet in a puddle between two parked cars. The eye contact was the cherry on the cake, even if the focus is a bit soft on the subject.

©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

Other times you see a great backdrop and hope that the human element will be strong enough to make an interesting shot.

©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

The girl and the birds. Other times you walk by a stranger and see a story, even if it is the hair and hat color combination that first caught your attention. 

©Valerie Jardin - NYC-9

©Valerie Jardin

Three yellow cats, one with an eye patch.

©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

And a bright yellow wall. If is wan’t for the ever present smartphone, this picture would have been quite timeless…

©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

Night time and the common sight of steam rising from the NYC grates.

©Valerie Jardin - NYC-12

©Valerie Jardin

Now in B&W…

It was a windy day in Central Park, some of the paths were quite deserted and people were hurrying to get away from the wind.

©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

There will always be readers at the beautiful Strand book store on Broadway.

©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

Meanwhile, waiting outside the deli…

©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

We finished another busy day at the pub around the corner

©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

where I caught the musicians on a break.

©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

During the visit of Ellis Island, I was quite taken by the large windows, the symmetry and the reflections in the impressive immigrants’ registration hall. I can’t miss an opportunity to photograph a silhouette when I find a location like this. Thankfully, a lone subject entered my frame almost immediately and I caught up with the rest of the family on the tour.

©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

So, if you are a photography nut like me, here is my piece of advice. Next time you’re on a short family vacation, use the limitations as an exercise. Don’t get frustrated when you miss a great photo opportunity in the streets. Some moments are still best captured by our senses.

Enjoy and please leave a comment below. Thanks for your continued support!

The Streets of Los Angeles

I taught a 2-day street photography workshop in Los Angeles last week. I had the honor to co-lead the workshop with fellow photographer, author and podcaster Ibarionex Perello (the amazing voice behind The Candid Frame). Ibarionex lives in Los Angeles. 

LA was new to me, and I found myself seeing the streets mostly in color. Although most of my work is B&W, I don’t believe that one should get stuck in anything. Some images work both ways (and you will see some below that I posted in B&W on social media earlier) but many are clearly stronger in color.

The LA ‘fashion district’ is vibrant. The sense of fashion is debatable but I’m sure there is something for everyone ;)

©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

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©Valerie Jardin

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©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

On Broadway Street we stumbled upon an organized protest for immigration rights. Which gave us great additional photo opportunities:

©Valerie Jardin

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©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

More downtown LA:

©Valerie Jardin

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©Valerie Jardin - LA-20

©Valerie Jardin

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©Valerie Jardin

Downtown LA is full of old buildings such as these:

©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

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Color everywhere!

©Valerie Jardin

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©Valerie Jardin

The business district, only a few blocks away, is like a different world:

©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

 

Union Station was one of my favorite spots to shoot. The light coming through the windows in the late afternoon was just amazing:

©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

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©Valerie Jardin

©Valerie Jardin

I hope you enjoyed the selection, please leave a comment!

Home of the LA Phil

I was in Los Angeles last weekend teaching a street photography workshop. Street photography is definitely my first love, but I’ve never limited myself to just one genre. I love to see the world through my lens and architectural abstract photography is something I also love to do. I approach it very simply, just like I do with street: One camera, one lens. I had a little bit of time before catching my flight on Monday morning so I made my way up to the Walt Disney Concert Hall, another one of Frank Gehry’s amazing works of art. It is also the home of one of the most talented and passionate music directors in the world: Gustavo Dudamel.

I only had a few minutes and I made the best of the time and light I had to work with to give you these images of lines and curves. If you want to see the entire building, you’ll have to Google it. The clutter of the traffic and road signs doesn’t give justice to the amazing lines of Gehry’s work and I chose to leave them out of my frames.

 

©Valérie Jardin

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To see more of my work, please visit my website. Thank you for stopping by, please leave a comment below :)

Ordinary Objects Are Beautiful Challenge ~ February

Not a week goes by when I don’t photograph at least one ordinary object that grabs my photographer’s eye. This month I encountered an old cupboard basking in the sun, an elegant staircase, the dashboard of a 1958 Ford pick up truck and evening dresses hanging near a rusty store front in Los Angeles.

I also created a permanent home for this series on my website.

 

Paris, je t’aime…

I hope you enjoyed the last series of images of Paris by Night captured during my last visit in January. I was in Paris only for a few days, mostly to teach a photo workshop and immerse myself in my culture which I need to do often as I live so far away. Here are a few more photographs made that weekend in my home away from home…

©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

 

Minneapolis Urbex

I had a blast shooting some urbex photography with friends yesterday. Sorry, I can’t disclose the location, as you can tell by the decrepitude of the buildings, it’s not the safest place to be… But if you like rust and peeling paint, you may enjoy these pics.

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

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Ordinary Objects Are Beautiful Challenge ~ January

Here are a few more ordinary objects that I found particularly interesting this past month…

 

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