January's top picks on Raw Urban Shots

Besides being behind the camera, there is no other more pleasing aesthetic experience than consuming high quality photographs. That's pretty much why we do what we do. We are deeply committed to delivering a constant flow of meaningful street photographs that actually stick in your memory. Today we want to take our craft to the next level, by handpicking three photographs that really stuck in our minds during this January 2020. We waited a bit for doing this curation since we wanted to be the most objective as possible. But that's not it, we are also giving a comment on each photo (a sort of feedback or critique if you wish), justifying why have selected just these.

Photo by Mattia Passarini

It is impossible to avoid feeling uneasy when watching this amazing photograph. The point of view is so dynamic that you immediately become part of the scene while watching it. The prosthetic tooth in this shot is the perfect example of what Barthes meant by "Punctum" in his book titled "The Lucid Camera". And there is no doubt that the image doesn't limit itself to yelling at us; it actually attacks our minds. Composition and color treatment are superb, and there is nothing in this shot that helps on distracting the viewer's attention from the story inside the scene.

Photo by Sean Hazen

Sean Hazen

Photography has the power (or the disadvantage) of transforming our three-dimensional reality into a bi-dimensional one. We have become so used to this feature that we rarely perceive much of that flatness when watching a photograph nowadays. However, this beautiful image has the power to evoke a sense of that three-dimensional reality in which we human beings experience the material world thanks to a peculiar point of view, and some clear elements of graphic design (like silhouettes, circles and lines). Everything in the background is so flat and well framed, that the human element in the photograph feels like an actual three-dimensional object. The effect is powerful, and if that wasn't enough, the composition in this image is extraordinary. And of course, if you look closer, you'll feel all that texture that detaches the background from whatever digital retouching can provide (nowadays) to us.

Photo by David Alan Harvey

David Alan Harvey

When it comes to color in street photography, there is quite a general consensus that few colors tend to get along way better than colorful scenes. But on some rare occasions, vibrantly colorful street photography can see the light. Of course, this is a great example of this last idea, but is not the colors what makes this such a meaningful picture, is the composition that it has. Having a human element involved in the frame is always a good way to go when trying to tell a story. My cultural background could blinding me on this one of course, but this is an aesthetic statement of how child labor breaks childhood apart. Again, this is my subjectivity speaking, but if the kid is there selling these balloons (how else would have so many of them?), we could all agree that all the leading lines from the threads are a powerful symbol of how this labor is incisively ripping or cracking his childhood in such a gentle way that it actually feels normal. In a way that the kid is still there, but his childhood can't be easily perceived thanks to all these tensely converging lines falling directly from the products he has been commissioned to sell.

Extremely nice material has obviously been left behind. And that is the main reason why making a "Top X List" of something is always a painful (yet rewarding) process. We apologize beforehand of course, since this selection definitely left out a lot of great photographs from great talented people across the globe.

Written by Federico Alegría
Article licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
International License. 2010 - 2020.


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