Street photography is an art form that focuses on the human condition. Private moments are shared in public places. Framing and timing distinguish this medium from other types of photography. Emotions, environment, and the capture of a moving moment are key aspects.
The Nocturna Studios will feature this art form at a special event on Saturday, Aug. 15, from 2-7 p.m.
Gallery owner Peter Batista had a soft opening at the Finesilver Building, 816 Cameron Street near the IH-10 and IH-35 interchange, in April. “Our goal is to promote local artists, primarily the unknown artist,” he said. “We want to pull the artist out of the garage and into the spotlight.
“Street photography means different things to different people,” Batista added. “We want to see the artists’ visions. The photographer goes out into the town and captures the image that captures his eye. … When we look at photographs, we look at the image from behind the lens of the photographer. We see the world through their eyes.”
The exhibit will be a glimpse of the street through the eye of the camera. “Our walls will be a collage of street photography,” Batista said.
A lot of the art will be black and white. “If the subject has on a colorful shirt, the viewer may focus on the color,” Batista said. “But if the photograph is in black and white, the viewer may see the expression on the subject’s face or notice what is happening in the background.”
Most of the art will be from photographers in San Antonio. Blue Hernandez, founder of Street Keepers, gave guidelines to those submitting.
Photographs will be prints only; customers should not expect framed art. Images will be 11” x 17” with a one-inch border. The subject focus is to consist of street photography, urban exploration (urbex), and urban/cityscape.
Within these narrow guidelines, more than a dozen photographers will submit up to three images each.
Adolf Acosta, Alan Penuelaz, Andrew Medina, Aphro Oner, Cory Rodriguez, Joseph Fitzpatrick, Justin Diosdado, Michelle Gonzalez, Nico Garza, Rene Amado, Vince Gonzalez, Adolph Lopez, Joe Aleman, Blue Hernandez, and others will exhibit the best in local street photography.
For photographer Rene Amado, the end result of his work is sometimes a by-product. “Days like today when I’m really stressed, just wandering around with a camera gives me relief,” he said.
Amado was bitten by the camera bug in high school but his interest in images began earlier.
“I first started with drawing,” he said. “It grew into graffiti, then into video, and now photography.”
Amado learned to shoot from the hip so his subjects don’t feel posed. His Canon 70D model travels with him through mud and alleys, abandoned buildings, and now art galleries.
“I like to find little things that people don’t look at,” Amado said. “I like to walk the streets looking at stuff others pass by – like the way razor wire shines against a grainy building.”
Cory Rodriguez often accompanies Amado searching for the urban essence. He uses a Sony A-58 camera.
“I’ve been into photography about one and a half years,” he said. “In November, I started shooting street photography.”
Rodriguez said he used to shoot models but now his interest is primarily urban.
“I like interesting surroundings,” he said. “I once climbed up 33 stories of a building under construction in Austin to take a city-scape. I like doing stuff like that.”
Amado and Rodriguez welcome other photographers to join them in exploring the urban landscape.
“Rule number one is ‘Don’t die,’” Amado said. “You’ve got to be very careful when exploring abandoned buildings.”
Their group, Street Keepers, has an organized event every month. “And we have unorganized events sometimes every week,” Amado added.
Find Street Keepers at their website. And visit the Nocturna Studios for the street photography exhibit Aug 15. But beware; the camera bug may bite you!
*Featured/top image: An example of the street photography that will be exhibited at the Street Keepers Gallery show on Saturday, August 15. Photo by Blue Hernandez.