Featured Photographers – Charles Hamilton

I have followed Charles for over 2 years. He is one of my longest standing contacts on Flickr. When you look through his Photostream on Flickr you will notice how, like so many of us, his photography has changed and developed. Like an artist he has his periods. I like so much of Charles’ work, but make no apologies for all my following choices coming from the same “period” of Charles’ photography, and apart from 1 shot all are women. Once again it has been a very hard choice to pick just 10, if you look through Charles’ stream you will see what I mean.

You can tell how Charles feels about his photography in this quote from his Flickr Profile, “…I love that rare adrenalin buzz you get when an expression, the composition and lighting and colours all come together well in a street photograph.”

Click on each image to see it larger and appreciate each shot.

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


Jasmine
Jasmine

When I first saw this shot it felt as though it was from a film set, where the actress is moved towards the camera as the shot is taken. Her face is just stunning. The pose makes her fill the shot with her arms in the air, and hands in her tousled hair. The white lacy top she is wearing makes her look angelic, but the lipstick and piercings give you a feeling that there is also a little devil there. The red lipstick stands out so well, like you would see in a Black & White shot when the colour has been popped.

This is a shot I return to on a regular basis, and in my mind the memory of it is a full length shot, and I don’t know why. Maybe it is the strength of the shot that imprints that impression of it on my mind.


Parisienne Eyes
Parisienne Eyes

This girl is just so beautiful. The clothes she is wearing add to that beauty, she certainly knows how to dress to show off her beauty. Charles has the focus spot on and the separation from the background is superb. When you study the shot you see the people just walking, going about their business, but the beauty of this shot is you don’t initially see them as your focus is so drawn to the girl. Excellent!


Girl from Lithuania
Girl from Lithuania

What I really like about this shot is the expression on the girls face. It looks so much like so many Street shots where the person has a sort of unsure look on their face.

Put that together with her reflected image, which looks a different, more serious expression, and the street muted in the background, and you have an excellent shot.


The Phone Box Confrontation
The Phone Box Confrontation

This shot gives me a dilemma. But that dilemma is what also makes it. The mystique.

The dilemma is whether Charles has p***** the guy off, or is it staged? Lots of people have suggested one way or the other, or came out and asked Charles which it is, but he hasn’t said either way. I should imaging his close friends would know.

Either way it is a great shot. The expression on the guys face, and keeping hold of the phone, whilst looking to confront Charles, for interrupting his telephone call, gives an excellent shot. Added to the mix is that the shot is taken in Glasgow, and that has a worldwide reputation as being hard.


Snaedis
Snaedis

I really like the way the girls head, with her soft skin is resting against such a hard brick wall.

The DOF is excellent with just the girl and the wall just in front of her in focus, with the wall disappearing into a lovely bokeh behind. There is a troubled look on her face that makes you wonder is her mind elsewhere?


Somali Sisters
Somali Sisters

Charles has a few shots with 2 people, but not that many, so this one stands out.

What makes this shot for me is that Charles hasn’t gone for the usual side by side shot that most people do, but has the one girl to the fore and the girl behind, and slightly, but only slightly, out of focus. This make it look as though she is watching the shot of the girl in the foreground as if she is not part of it. With what looks like a gate or a fence behind there is also a grungy feel to the shot that gives you a feeling that they are “hanging out” on the street. Brilliant!


Ssanyu
Ssanyu

“Can I just stop you and take your photo please?” That is what comes over to me in this shot. “Just stand there.” Just naturally beautiful. That is why I like this shot.


Watchful
Watchful

Wow again! This girl, Naziyah, is stunningly beautiful. The shot stands out in Charles’ stream as he doesn’t usually shoot side on profiles. The light on her face is poetic and with the ruggedness of the background, really stands out and shows her softness. With Naziyah wearing a hijab you don’t see any hair so your focus is totally on her face, and her dream like expression.

I take side profiles, and I know that buzz that Charles must have got when he opened this on his computer and thought, Wow!


Pierced and Tattooed
Pierced and Tattooed

Charles has used a doorway for the background of this shot, as he does in a lot of shots. But it is not just a background it is a foreground as well, it surrounds the girl.

Moving on to the girl, you have so much to look at. The first thing that hits you, and boy does it hit you is the colour. Then you notice the tattoos running up the neck. Then you see the piercings, and look closer and see the other piercings without any adornment. I must be honest, the last thing I realised was that she is wearing glasses, and behind them those beautiful blue eyes. Charles informs us that her name is Lola and she is a body piercer in Glasgow. I would love to get an open honest shot like this.


Argyle Street ...
Argyle Street …

This was the first shot I ever saw of Charles’ work, a long time before I even thought about “Street”. When I saw it on flickriver I just thought WOW! I favourited it, left a comment, and hit the “Contact” button, as the “follow” was called back then, so that I could keep up with work Charles was doing. A few months later I went back to the shot, and left another comment. I regularly go back to this shot as I think it is amazing.

The girl is so beautiful, and those black eyes stare straight at you, or should I say me. WOW!

The tilt of her head which shows her neck to its full beauty. The vibrant colours of her hat as a contrast to her khaki shirt. WOW!

When I left the second comment Charles replied “Some have said that the background distracts a bit? I quite like the scene behind her.” Too right Charles. That is what makes this portrait stand out so much, the bokeh is beautiful and just that hint of people going about their normal lives and the string of lights, is a fantastic background.

Another comment is “She has something special in her eyes…beautiful is not enough to describe…something very powerful inside is shown from this look.” I have highlighted the middle statement because I think those are also my sentiments.

I was going to place this shot as the first, as it was the first shot of Charles’ I saw, but as I always “Save the best till Last”, it had to go here. The shot that was being placed here is now the first.


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

To see more of Charles’ work, take a bit of time to look and admire his Flickr Photostream


4 thoughts on “Featured Photographers – Charles Hamilton

  1. I am so glad to see your Featured Photographers series back. I have found so many interesting people to follow because of the posts that you’ve done.

    You picked an excellent photographer in Charles. Those photos are all absolutely amazing. The photo of “Jasmine” really does look like something you’d see in a movie. He captures the emotion, beauty and what is unique about all of the people in these photos. I very much enjoyed these pictures and this blog post. I am looking forward to seeing what else he puts up on Flickr.

    • Tina, I have many more “Featured Photographers” to do. Like everything it is time. I thoroughly enjoy it because they are all photographers whose work I admire. When you have to work through 1000 to 2000 shots or more to find just 10, it causes a lot of frustrations for me, and I am continually changing my mind, but that I want to be sure that they are in my view the best 10. After all this is other peoples work I am using and I know you appreciate that.

      I know that each photographer will not agree with all of them, and by the same token, when viewers look at my choices, then visit the photographers stream and have a look themselves they won’t agree with all my choices.

      If we look at Charles’ shots. I only had to choose 8 as “Argyle Street …” & “Jasmine” were definite, even before I started.

      Writing this series gives three positives:
      I enjoy writing them, and we all like telling others when see something we like.
      It shows to the photographer that people do really look at their shots and appreciate them, and not just glance over them.
      It makes others aware of photographers work they may not have seen before, so they may also enjoy it.

      I’m glad you like the series Tina, and take the time to say so, and proves that the third positive works.

  2. Julián del Nogal

    Fantastic portraits, intense looks in these. Charles, I’m very glad to know your works thanks of Wayne’s blog.
    Julián

    • Thank you Julian. I agree with you about Charles’ work.

      That is one aspect I like about the Features is that it shows their work to others who will appreciate it.

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