100 Strangers

100 strangers

I came across the Tuna de Medicina do Porto on myself way through town this morning. At first I thought they must be Jewish or Romanian or something but they are actually Portuguese. Wikipedia says "A tuna is a group of university students in traditional university dress who play traditional instruments and sing serenades. The tradition originated in Spain and Portugal in the 13th century as a means of students to earn money or food. Nowadays students don't belong to a "tuna" for money nor food, but seeking to keep a tradition alive, for fun, to travel a lot and to meet new people from other universities."

I caught him playing Stairway to Heaven

I caught him playing Stairway to Heaven

It's impressive that these students were studying medicine but still had time to play musical instruments and learn to sing in harmony to a professional level. I guess if they ever give up the day job, they will be set!

patches cover a cloak but room to spare

patches cover a cloak but room to spare

They were not singing to anyone but could've been making money as buskers

They were not singing to anyone but could've been making money as buskers

I'm guessing the guys with more experience are judging the newer fish

I'm guessing the guys with more experience are judging the newer fish

I was impressed by the fact that they just arrived from Australia, were probably jetlagged but seemed to be singing and playing music just for the fun of it rather than hawking tourists. Even though they could've made a killing with their talent! I wish them well on their journey and next performance wherever it may be.

apparently these guys' hairdos are the result of a lost bet

apparently these guys' hairdos are the result of a lost bet

100 Strangers

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Nilu - like all dogs makes for a difficult model as dogs never keep still and it's really easy for their long noses to distract your camera's AF points and put the eyes out of focus. One or two shots focused on a dog's nostrils is ok but not when you want to nail it right on the eyes and capture their emotions.

I have my camera set to switch to one point AF on the central focus point and go for servo focus to get the focus where I want it and adjust to small movements. It might help to say "sausages" too but results are inconclusive.

 

100 Strangers

Slack Lining (despite how this picture looks, he was not falling but actually bouncing on the line)

Slack Lining (despite how this picture looks, he was not falling but actually bouncing on the line)

Slack lining is one of those modern sporty pastimes I have seen being performed in parks a lot recently. It's curious and obviously must be good for exercise, balance and body conditioning but I have never understood how you actually do it. Let alone, what happens if you fall off when the elastic rope is just tight enough to rob your of any offspring should you land the wrong way. Chatting to Nico was enlightening and watching him bouncing up and down, turning around and maintaining his balance was really impressive for somebody who has only been doing it as a hobby. I can't say I would feel comfortable giving it a go yet but at least I have a greater appreciation of the skill. Maybe I can get my son to try it out...

100 Strangers

Drum and plates

Drum and plates

shy for a street performer

shy for a street performer

Seeing Iliya beating out some captivating rhythms on the street took me back to the first time I saw a street summer performing on pots and pans in New Orleans. It's amazing the amount of sounds that can be gotten out of a plastic tub and some old saucepan lids. Iliya told me he picked them up from hostels while he has been touring Europe. I always take street performer signs with a pinch of salt but I believed him when he said he's saving for a real drum kit so he can go to university to study music. With his talent it shouldn't take him long.

100 Strangers

Sometimes I struggle to find someone to take a photo of. One day I might feel less confident, other days I can't find the person who is close enough to the image I have in my head, and sometimes a person walks past and it takes a couple of seconds before I realised I actually did want to ask if I could take that person's photo, but by then the moment is gone...

Banking style

Banking style

But when I see someone this sharply dressed, there's no hesitation! The only downside being after taking a photo of somebody this stylish, I look at what I'm wearing and cry inside.

100 Strangers

Maria Anna

Maria Anna

This morning I found the perfect spot in town where the sun rises between two tall buildings and is reflected in the windows of another. This creates a massive natural golden urban reflector at just the right height for only 5 minutes before the sun is too high. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anyone suitable for a photo before the light had gone. I was just about to head off feeling cold and disappointed when I noticed Maria Anna was walking just behind me so even though I had lost the perfect moment, I decided to ask if I could take her photo. Well, at least, I tried to ask but she didn't understand what I was saying as she only spoke Russian. After some poor attempts at communication, she graciously let me take her photo. It was only then I realised walking round in the cold without gloves didn't help with keeping a camera steady. Luckily, after taking a couple of photos I asked if I could take one more, and this one (above) wasn't a blurry mess! I guess the moral of the story is never give up and don't dwell on missed opportunities... But always wrap up warm.

100 Strangers

Fukumoto san of Dep bloc's, Fukuoka.

Fukumoto san of Dep bloc's, Fukuoka.

I took this photo in January while in Fukuoka staying at an apartment style hotel next to a hair salon. I walked past one day and was interested in the owner's style and asked if I could take a photo. I used a Pentax 67 with 105mm f2.4 lens which I really love. After waiting forever for the negative to arrive, I'm glad that this image has the medium format film look I was after. There's something about this picture that makes me think of a modern cowboy stylist that's quick on the draw with his trusty side snippers.

100 Strangers

Magnetic personality

Magnetic personality

Mike was fishing in the Main river but unlike everybody else he was hauling out metal with thick type instead of fish. This time, he'd caught a rusty bicycle, an empty safe and a skateboard. He said he'd caught hand grenades and other weapons from world war two in the past so I was glad there wasn't any explosives when I took his photo!