Monday, December 22, 2014

Old San Juan—Fuji X Style

Happening across this woman headed to her quinceañera, there was no choice but to shoot in color!
Puerto Rico is an exceptional place to be a flaneur with a camera. Founded in 1521 by Spanish settlers, and a territory of the United States since 1898, Puerto Rico is an historic jewel in the Caribbean. The port city of San Juan provides an ideal background to explore street photography.

San Juan has great statuary and architecture.
Continuously in operation as an active port for nearly 500 years, San Juan’s Spanish architecture rivals European cities with its blue cobblestone streets, brightly colored masonry homes, public squares, and massive walls and fortifications. With tropical weather year-round, the people are active and friendly, with a relaxed and open approach to life.

Castillo San Felipe del Morro draws the crowds.
Cafes and coffee shops abound, and the ocean is a constant feature of the background. The bright light is filtered through numerous palms, illuminating the town in beautiful light.

Bathers through the palms.
Triangles and lines—San Juan is a gestalt paradise.
I took the Fuji X100s and X-E1 down to Old San Juan for a few days to check out the achromatic possibilities of such a colorful town. The contrasty light and the rich textures of stucco and brick lent itself nicely to the Fuji Monochrom. Although I was pleased with the achromatic results, there were a few occasions that cried out for color. The Fujis, of course, superbly handle color.

New friends can be found anywhere in friendly San Juan.
Old San Juan is such a perfect location for street photography that I will be hosting a two-and-a-half day intensive course in February 2015. Using an 8x8 square block grid of Old San Juan as our palette and combining lectures and work on the street, we will concentrate on fundamental art and psychology principles to raise your visual storytelling to a new level and provide you with tools and insight which will immediately improve your photography and give you new paths to pursue as an artist. Among other things, we will cover: habits of an artist, methods of storytelling, surrealism, proxemics, and translating the technical aspects of camera and lens into visual emotion. The course work will culminate in a group book, telling each participants’ story of San Juan.

Vibrant colors abound.
My main site has more information on the February course.

A man escapes from the wall art to go for a stroll.

In the unlikely event of heavy weather . . . .

Puerto Rico has excellent local grown coffee. The cafes are the perfect spot to observe the culture.

Photographers grab the sunset on the beach in Condado.