Street Photography (2017/ 2018) - 7

Photo Sutapa Roy

Curator of this competition: Michael Ernest Sweet

Michael Ernest Sweet Michael Ernest Sweet
Michael Ernest Sweet is a Canadian writer and photographer. Michael is the author of two street photography books, "The Human Fragment" and "Michael Sweet's Coney Island" both from Brooklyn Arts Press. His instantly recognizable street photography is known for its gritty up-close depictions of humans in their natural habitat. Michael has been awarded two of Canada's highest civilian honours - The Prime Minister's Award and The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal - for significant contributions to education and the arts. Michael Sweet lives in New York City.
Homepage |WSP profil
The Human Fragment by Michael Ernest Sweet – WSP Recommendation
“Like a modern-day Weegee, Michael Ernest Sweet proves conclusively that photography is not quite yet a lost art. Utilizing composition, texture, and depth of field to capture his public and frankly open subjects, his work makes you long for a time when photographers were valued for their style and eye.” – Bruce LaBruce

“Michael Ernest Sweet’s photos are not sweet at all – they are rich and investigative, with a unique voice that speaks of presence, mystery, and selectivity – a highly personal vision.” – Jay Maisel

you can get this book here (click)

First curator's choice
Congratulations Elisa Distefano!

Will the suffereing ever end?

Will the suffereing ever end? Will the suffereing ever end?
Michael Ernest  Sweet
Michael Ernest Sweet:I have no idea what's going on in this photograph and that's why I love it. Mystery is great. I want to read a picture like a book and this one allows me to do just this. The composition is also nicely balanced - the eye is drawn around the image. This photograph makes me ask questions, simply makes me want to talk about it - what a feat in this day and age. I see (and judge) thousands and thousands of photos a year and for an image to make me go away and continue to talk is surely a winner every day of the week. Photographer, bring me more like this one! Fantastic job, you've got eyes!

 
 

 

Second curator's choice
Congratulations Mateusz Grabowski!

Untitled

Michael Ernest  Sweet
Michael Ernest Sweet:This image reminds me of Michelle Groskopf's work and that's a compliment. There is also a little Martin Parr present - a good mix to be sure! I admire how the photographer was able to give us, almost, a picture of the man's face without showing us the man's face. Yes! Cut off heads my dear photographer - something I've perfected in my own work for many, many years. Give us the story without the eyes, for eyes tell us too much.

 
 

 

 

Special Mentions

Michael Ernest  Sweet
Michael Ernest Sweet: The photographer titled this piece "Big Brother is Watching You". So it seems, yes. The photo does truly remind me of a sci-fi scene from Orwell's era. There is just enough blur, enough focus, enough white and black to make it all work. This was an image well seen and well captured. Be proud, photographer!

 
 

 
Michael Ernest  Sweet
Michael Ernest Sweet: Many viewers will not like the fact that I have included this picture in my special mentions. What's so special about it they will say. Ah, but there is a lot that is special about this image. For those who don't know this is why your photographs have faded into nowhere. There are too many photographs of brightly colored walls with shadowy people lurking about (mostly products of skillful Photoshop manipulation), even greater in number are the images of umbrellas and people jumping puddles or playing with pigeons. This stuff is shit because it has nothing to say - the images are merely produced by people copying others - people making "Oprah Books". I'm not impressed. But this image! This image was well seen. The green door on the left balanced by the green bush on the right. Now, add a splash of color by way of a strange cord dangling into the scene. The cord brings mystery to the image. Why is it there? The unusual amount of "slack" in the cord suggests something sinister - something creepy. There is an odd mood that accompanies this picture and that is why I love it - for how it makes me feel nervous.

 
 

 

Congratulations Melvin Anore!
Devotion

Devotion
Michael Ernest  Sweet
Michael Ernest Sweet: Feet! What a great photograph. Well seen. And kudos to you for getting down on the ground. There is a timeless quality that oozes from this image. And why is that man in the front sporting such unusually elongated feet? Is it an aberration of his body or of the lens? Whatever the case it is this strange aberration that make the photograph. There are questions in this photograph. Why are they in line? Why no shoes? Good job photographer, bring me more like this one.

 
 

 
Michael Ernest  Sweet
Michael Ernest Sweet: Weird doll faces are always creepy, but this image brings that to a whole new level. Normally, I am not a fan of street photographs of truly static things. For example, I am tired of looking at street photographs of billboards and advertising (even if they are combined with some half-witted attempt to create irony). This capture, though, works for me as it draws me in. I want to examine all those tiny faces and read each one's emotions carefully. There is so much of the same here, in some way, and yet nothing is the same from one face to the next. This is an example of a street photographer going off script and doing it well. We need more of this. Less of people on cell phones, please, and more of these strange scenes of which our world is littered. Let us look at those for a while.

 
 

 

Congratulations Nicoletta Guzzo!
Cats

Cats
Michael Ernest  Sweet
Michael Ernest Sweet: Cats! The great thing about this photograph, and the fact that it features cats, is that I know for certain, absolute certain, that it is a truly candid image. I mean, who can choreograph cats? No one, that's who. This image also makes me instantly think of street photography's golden age. The image could be a Henri Cartier-Bresson of a Martine Franck (those two were married you know!). I love the symmetry in the photo, the balance, the classical atmosphere. Normally I am the last one to select this kind of photo in a contest. I prefer to award the photographer who is edgy, anxious, and who takes risks. That said, I just kept coming back to this image as it really presents a feeling that I thought was long lost in contemporary photography. It's hard to make a good "classic" image these days. Everything you attempt to photograph has been done before and likely better. Is this the best cat street photo ever made? No, but it's not too damn bad either. I like it. Good job, photographer. Well seen!

 
 

 

 
 

 

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