Featured Photographers – Ammad Canon

Ammad hails from Vancouver, Canada. Again he is a Street Photographer. His photos are not only from Canada as you will see, as he is lucky enough to travel. Obviously there are a lot more shots on his Flickr Photostream, and I would recommend you stop by there and look through.

All the photos in this post were taken by Ammad and are copyrighted to him. © Ammad Canon


Wudu- The ritual of cleaning before prayer in Islam
Wudu- The ritual of cleaning before prayer in Islam

I had never seen an image like this before. I was aware that Muslims wash their feet before prayer, but hadn’t thought about communal areas for this purpose in Muslim countries. This is just a normal everyday image to so many people, but was an eye opener for me and has placed another piece of knowledge in my mind of other religions and cultures. The image impresses on me how things we take for granted or see everyday, may be so unusual to others.


a selfie and a cutie-Paris
a selfie and a cutie-Paris

What I like about this shot is you get a shot of both the couple one side of the window and Ammad taking the shot. Usually we get either the people in the window or sometimes the photographers reflection, but in this one it’s more like an overlay. You can refocus your eyes and see either the couple or Ammad. Tweaking the vibrancy when editing could bring out the couple or Ammad, but not doing so in this instance has given us this great image.


The pleasure of street photography :)
The pleasure of street photography :)

Well most of us have been here, where somebody doesn’t want their photograph taken, but not usually so aggressively. What amazes me is the guy is so aggressive to Ammad, yet he uses a public place, blocking access to communal facilities and maybe filling peoples ears with sounds they don’t want to hear. He then expects passers by to give him their hard earned money. I have to wonder what his attitude to people who give him money is. A very aggressive but thought provoking image.


P4170019-Edit
P4170019-Edit

This is a lovely image. Focusing on the player, but with the open piano in the foreground leads your eye into him. So much more detail and interest than if the cover was down. It makes me wonder if he is playing the piano or tuning it. Although similar they are different skills, and that is even recognised by someone like me who is tone deaf.


The next GQ cover-Feel my Abs
The next GQ cover-Feel my Abs

Ammad has titled this to focus on the guy in the forefront. It takes you straight to him, then you look through the arcade with the pillars directing your eyes into the distance, where you see others walking or using their phone. I really like images that take you into the distance, so maybe that is why I like this so much.


Yoga exercise pays off
Yoga exercise pays off

Ha. Ha, Ha. Is the first thing to come to mind when seeing this shot. We can all get into some weird positions to get a shot, and also capture others doing so, but this girl really seems to know the angle she wants. Not concerned by passers by or anything else, even Ammad taking the shot of her. Saying that, she must be a gymnast or contortionist to get in this position. I think I’ll stick to just kneeling!


PB120099
PB120099

Composition is the key. A lot of time in Street it is hard to get the composition you desire, due to several things, people getting between you and the subject, the subject changing their stance or moving completely, but when you have the time, composition makes the image. Ammad could have cropped in to these girls, but in doing so he would have just had 2 girls sitting together. The image in this way shows that they had probably been there a while, with the empty bottle to the side, and sitting on what could be someone’s doorstep, and is much more pleasing to the eye, as you see the situation they are in as opposed to just focusing on them. When I saw the shot in Ammad’s photostream on Flickr it jumped out at me. That was due to the composition, so I had to enlarge it and was so pleased I did.


The masters of Jazz
The masters of Jazz

It’s all in the detail. I’ve been told, and read for years, “Get in close, get in close”. Then when you do, people say, “that would have been better if you showed more”. In this instance it shows the aged hands of someone. Also looking at the saxophone, (how do you know it’s a saxophone you ask,) well I am well up on my instruments, or it may just be that I saw the image next to it showing the guy playing the saxophone, maybe you’ll want to see it now to satisfy your curiosity. You can see the saxophone is aged, like the hand, so leads you to wonder how long have they played the instrument, and how good are they, assuming with age that they are probably very good. So getting in close has created this fine image that I have spent a long time looking at.


India
India

This image totally embodies how I see, and the media portrays, India. Had working people struggling to make a living. Forget Health & Safety, where you need a specific tool for a specific task. They don’t have that luxury. They have to use what is available to them. In the UK, anyone transporting items like this would have a van to carry them in. The days of actually using a bicycle to carry anything is long gone. It makes you appreciate how hard so many people have to work to make a living. You can see in the image, that the men look tired, and the state of their attire, that they probably work long hard hours to make a living. The image is also composed well. You follow from the front man along the line of them, then onto what they are pushing. You also see to the side, the vehicles, so you can see they are pushing across a busy road. This is excellent photography, when it brings home to you the struggles that others have, just to survive.


Smile of India
Smile of India

I see this shot and it enforces my image of what life in India is like for the majority of the people. A nation of very proud but poor people. Although life must be so hard, she still smiles for the camera whilst holding her child. Also I notice her eyes. They look glazed, maybe with an infection or the start of cataracts. For all I know this lady may not be in poverty, but that is what this image portrays to me.

I haven’t put these shots in any order, apart from leaving the two most thought provoking shots until the end.

Thank you Ammad for allowing me to use your photos on the Blog.


To see more of Ammad’s work, take a look at his Flickr Photostream


4 thoughts on “Featured Photographers – Ammad Canon

  1. Tina

    You’ve chosen a wonderful street photographer to feature on your blog. I love “The Pleasure of Street Photography” because we all have been there. Sometimes, no matter how respectful you try to be, people just get really angry. I also loved “Yoga Exercise Pays Off”. We’ve all seen people get in crazy poses like that. I one time saw some guy flat on his back on the ground, in the middle of a busy sidewalk in Manhattan to get a picture of the sky. I was thinking to myself, “Dude, just tilt your head back. Do you even *know* what has been on that sidewalk?” (Can you tell that I’m a germaphobe? Haha.)

    • Yes, Tina, the whole point of the Featured Photographers is to to show the shots of the photographers work I like, so that others attention will be drawn to it, and also to give comment on individual shots that with the way flickr is now, cannot really be done.

      We don’t usually get reactions as strong as this one, usually the gruff face.

      The girl is what I had in mind when I took the shot of the girl bending to get the shot of the cathedral in the “From a Bench in Bath” post.

  2. I feel like a Photographic Neanderthal after reading this and it makes me wonder what I’m doing in photography in the first place :0)

    I don’t think or notice half the stuff you write about on images. When I look at an image and say ‘oh I like that!’ or ‘wow that’s a nice sharp shot’ or ‘cool pov’……….maybe I just like what I see but don’t take the time to ask myself why.

    You really know how to put things across which makes these posts all the more interesting.
    Well done.

    • Hey Grant don’t feel so bad. 🙂

      I see comments where people say “I love the way the light hits that” or “A fantastic juxtaposition” or the suchlike, and I think, I never thought that. I think it is the power of our brain. We look at a shot and as you say think I like that, and move on. Other shots we don’t look long enough.

      There are 2 reasons why my words with the shot look good and it looks like I have really studied the shot. The first is that I like a shot and then really look at it when adding it into the post. The second is our brain. It automatically tells us we like a shot as I have said above, but when it comes to writing it, we have to use so many words to convey what our brain takes a milli second to work out.

      So don’t beat yourself up. Find a shot you really like in one of my posts and write a comment on why, you’ll see what I mean.

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