Flickr Faves with Bhautik Joshi

cement needlessly barracks

It’s hard to find a more dedicated member of the Flickr community than our very own Bhautik Joshi, aka captin_nod. Bhautik is a data scientist and a Flickr engineer whose work includes great explorations of data to help us better understand how Flickr members use the site to interact and engage each other.

Before joining the Flickr team in our San Francisco office, he was a well-known and highly active member of the community, organizing dozens of Flickr meetups in the Bay Area and wowing us with his beautiful street photography. He’s also a DIY enthusiast, regularly creating his own lenses and hacking equipment for experiments in composition, light, and tone.

His penchant for education benefits us all, whether he is teaching staff how to get the most out of their craft or writing series on camera buying guides for the Flickr Blog. If you haven’t explored his photostream, head over to his account and check his skills.

We’re thrilled Bhautik made the time to highlight 7 of his favorite photos from 7 photographers as part of this week’s Flickr Faves.
I love natural light portraits and this image is a striking example. Right off the bat, the model has an intense connection with the camera; the soft diffuse light punctuated by the harsh bright bands only serve to define the shape and texture of her face. Most of all, though the side light illuminates her eyes, the difference between left and right showing the range of color under different illumination and – most strikingly – revealing the complex texture and pigmentation of the iris.

Upside Duck

This image is so very, very confusing, which is why I love it. The number of times you have to flip this one over to work out what is going on, along with the repition of the ducks and the reflections, make this a standout surrealist image for me. It helps that I’m also a big fan of Florentjin Hofman’s giant floating rubber duck.
I’ve been out shooting with Troy Holden for a few years now and it’s always an education. Troy’s dedication is remarkable: every day he heads out and shoots an entire roll of film. Through his work he’s built one of the most comprehensive collections of photos cataloging the recent physical and social changes in mid-Market San Francisco. This shot is of one of San Francisco’s many characters – Gabriel Angelo. Downtown San Francisco has seen Gabriel around for years, watching him grow up from a boy into a talented young man. Here Troy has captured his flair for the theatrical nestled in amongst his stomping ground on Market Street. The angles and lines in this shot are wild and that’s why I count it amongst my absolute faves.

Punk Rock #1

It’s unlikely that that there is anything more punk rock than this. Nagano Toyokazu (of Bad Panda fame), who takes fantastic, playful portraits of his family. Quite aside from the tones (Kodak Portra 160! So great!), the makeshift props and obvious enjoyment that Miu is having, the photo speaks to me personally – I’m a father to a sassy two-year-old, and I’m not-so-secretly hoping that she grows up to have this much punk-rock spirit.

I’m quite fond of Can Dagarslani’s oddly surreal compositions. I love that fact that what we see here is plausible – the lines add up so that it looks physically reasonable. This is what causes the viewer to do a double-take, and that’s what’s fun about it. A shot like this looks like it should be easy, but composing it all in-camera so that it does all line up pleasingly and plausibly takes a considerable amount of skill and patience.

Blue Angel, Golden Gate Bridge

I’ve been trekking out to the waterfront to watch the Fleet Week airshow for many years. As more and more photographers head out to capture it, finding a new angle on the show becomes increasingly difficult. However, here Norman has absolutely nailed it – a combination of a steady hand and remarkable timing. On the first Thursday of practice flights, San Francisco’s famous fog looked like it was going to stop the show in its tracks. After hanging out in the windy cold, most photographers had headed home, but a few patient folks who stuck around after everything appeared to be done were rewarded richly when one of the aircraft made a low pass between the pylons of the Golden Gate Bridge. The side-on view of the plane (so it looks like its cartwheeling through), the framing, the fog, the bridge, the colours – all these come together to make an extraordinary shot.

Fleet Week Epilogue: USS Carl Vinson / CVN-70 Leaving the San Francisco Bay

The indefatigable Florian is one of the most talented photographers I know, combining extraordinary experimental and technical talents with an eye for exceptional moments. For depth-of-field, Florian lives at the other end of the spectrum to me – his shots often are of huge landscapes and objects, razor-sharp corner-to-corner. This is a classic shot of his and one of my all-time faves. After a sunny week, the fog returned just in time to provide an atmospheric backdrop for the USS Carl Vinson leaving San Francisco Bay. It’s worth zooming into this image as the details really make it. Shrouded in fog in the background is Alcatraz, and when you zoom into the deck you can see sailors taking photos. Also note that the image isn’t black-and-white; the only color in the image comes from a few tiny maritime signal flags near the bridge.