Where Travel + Street Meet. A personal and widespread look into the world of Street Photography. Learn about Street Photography and Travel the World through the eyes of Street Photography. Join me as I travel the world on different photography projects one city at a time.
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Skopje, North Macedonia came in as major city #59 on my Major City project and here I’ll share a few first impressions covering the city with my camera. While only a border away in Romania, I was surprised how many people hadn’t even heard of Skopje when I told them it was my next city. North Macedonia […] The post 7 First Impressions of Skopje, North Macedonia </br> (From a Street Photography Perspective) appeared first on Shooter Files by f.d....
Skopje, North Macedonia came in as major city #59 on my Major City project and here I’ll share a few first impressions covering the city with my camera. While only a border away in Romania, I was surprised how many people hadn’t even heard of Skopje when I told them it was my next city. North Macedonia is rich with history and its capital Skopje is one of the largest cities in the Balkans. The Balkans are an interesting region to me, with Belgrade being one of the more memorable cities I’ve photographed, so I wanted to include a couple more cities here in my project. Skopje didn’t disappoint.
There’s an ancient feeling here mixed with a quirkiness that makes it interesting to explore. It’s laid-back and easy to get to know on foot, which makes it even better for street photography. Before I even knew much about Skopje, I knew about Shutka, the only majority Roma city in the world, which is located just 7 kilometers from Skopje’s center. Shutka’s unique gypsy atmosphere combined with Skopje’s own surprisingly enjoyable interest makes for a city that I’d recommend to anyone.
So here are my first impressions of Skopje, from my personal Street Photographer perspective…
While it’s not only the largest city in North Macedonia, but also one of the largest in the Balkans, Skopje still isn’t too big of a city, at just over half a million people. I walked most of it many times over, including the individual neighborhoods. This can be a good thing too, though, as you get a feeling for the city more quickly. While Skopje is a unique city, it didn’t feel too foreign after a couple days. I knew the different areas, how they felt and where I liked going, without feeling like I was missing something new by going there again. Most visitors still only hang around one small area from Macedonia Square through the Old Bazaar, but if you’re willing to walk a little and explore, you should get a real feel for the city. It’s a city that’s doable on a visit, unlike some cities that would take months to get the same feel for.
The Old Bazaar is the largest bazaar in the Balkans outside of Istanbul. It feels as much like a full neighborhood as it does a bazaar, though. More than just shops, you can also find restaurants, art galleries, museums, mosques, and more here. It’s the heart of commercial and social life in the city, as it has been for many centuries. It’s filled with Ottoman architecture, with some Byzantine architecture left mixed in.
While all the interest here makes it the main attraction for tourists, it still manages to keep its authenticity. Skopje isn’t overcrowded with tourism yet and you’ll still find plenty of local life. The cobblestone streets provide a good amount of area to explore too, while its location is perfectly in the middle of everything. I made at least one walk through the Old Bazaar every day, even if it wasn’t my destination, and each time it was enjoyable.
Šuto Orizari, often shortened to Sutka/Shutka, is a municipilaty of Skopje. After the 1963 earthquake destroyed their homes, the Roma population moved here, making it the only municipality in the country with a Roma majority, at 80%. It’s also the only place in the world to adopt Romani as an official language. So, being the only place in the world where Roma are organised politically and economically, Shutka makes for a very interesting place to explore. Around 6 km from the center, I walked to Shutka many times, shooting along the way and finishing the day up top here, before taking the bus back to the center at sunset. Gypsies have attracted a lot of interest from photographers over the years, making their way into the work of many of the greats, including Josef Koudelka. The nomadic lifestyle, the colorful clothing, the interesting culture and more. Shutka doesn’t have the nomadic lifestyle, but it does have its own unique interest added into the mix. For one, there’s a wide mix of wealth here. Big mansions and luxury cars next to shanties and horse driven carriages. It’s an odd juxtaposition that you won’t see many places. Seeing how they form their own mini city provides a unique look at the blend of their culture into an organized town.
Of course, you still have the colorful clothing and vibrant culture you’d expect too. Many of the quirky houses are colorful too and the streets are always filled with life. During the week, the odds are pretty good you’ll get to see a gypsy wedding or two. Walking bands playing music with the wedding party and friends behind is a fun sight to see. There’s a large square where many of them have after wedding celebration and dancing too. The outfits and energy are hard to beat when it comes to weddings, just make sure you come during the week if you want to catch one, as they usually don’t have weddings on the weekends like others.
Shutka’s fame had reached me years ago after watching a documentary on this one-of-a-kind Roma city so I’d been looking forward to checking out. Luckily, it didn’t disappoint. While the documentary makes everyone out to be a larger than life character, I wouldn’t expect anything that exotic or exciting, but for unique interest in Skopje, you’ll find plenty in Shutka. The main street provides much of the interest, but I enjoyed exploring the back streets too for a look at more of the neighborhood life.
Macedonia Square is the main square of Skopje, and the largest in the country. Just across the river from the Old Bazaar, this wide open square is always lively. It’s dominated by the gigantic “Warrior on a Horse” statue of Alexander the Great, but below, the elaborate fountain of water jets attract the most attention. Its constant display of timed jets provide entertainment for locals, visitors and even dogs, who all like to run through it when it’s hot out. While Skopje isn’t the only city to have a water fountain like this, it is one of the more elaborate and active I’ve seen. It’s usually worth a stop with your camera to find some interest.
Many pedestrian streets lead here, including the famous Stone Bridge, and you’ll find plenty of shopping and restaurants nearby. The square is more impressive than most, while having a more modern look compared to the rest of the city, as recent city projects have built the City Shopping Centre and a number of modern business buildings surrounding the square. It’s also maybe the most tourist filled spot in the city, but it’s one to come for guaranteed activity and open light in the heart of the city.
Outside of the main square and old bazaar, you’re not going to find too many places that visitors venture. There’s definitely more to discover, though, and luckily Skopje’s size makes it easy to do. I was able to walk this main area almost every day, multiple times, while also exploring the rest of the city on foot too. Much of the time, I just found interest in random places and rarely got bored, even if it’s not a crowded city. Many of the different neighborhoods can be interesting and while a place like Shutka looks far out of the city, it’s really only 7km from the center, which makes everything else feel especially close. If you’re tired of the bazaar and main square, I’d just keep walking and see what you can find. Skopje is a quirky city, so there’s bound to be something random found, while not being too far away from getting back home. Walking as much as I did, especially during the 7km treks to Shutka, really gave me an inside look around the city.
Since I walked to Shutka instead of taking transportation, I went through many of Skopje’s northern neighborhoods. The life and atmosphere up here has an older, very local feeling. It’s not like the south, which is trendier and more expensive to live in, but also quieter during the day. It gives a real neighborhood feeling that probably hasn’t changed as much over time. The people are also very friendly here and you’ll find more life outside compared to some of the quieter neighborhoods. There’s a few main commercial streets with shopping activity, but I enjoyed the winding side streets and parks more. My favorite was the section between Boulevard Nikola Karev and John Kennedy, but you can find interest continuing north to Shutka too. It’s not packed activity like the Bazaar and main square, but it provides a different, more local atmosphere with its fair share of activity in spots. And its off the beaten path where tourists don’t go, which can be good for street photography.
Skopje is a major city in the Balkans that takes you back in time to a different atmosphere. Around Macedonia Square and some of the south, it feels more modern, but outside these parts you can get an interesting feel for the city. Not just around the castle walls and bazaar, but the rest of the city has this dry, older scenery that feels less touched by change. There’s a ton of history here since the days of Alexander the Great, but North Macedonia doesn’t grab the attention that other ancient places do. This leaves it feeling less polished and more authentic. Some streets are more quiet, but all over there’s little quirks to discover. You’ll see statues all over the city, from larger squares to random little spots. Even the built-up area around Macedonia Square has taken on this atmosphere in its own way, with gigantic statues and buildings looking down upon you. While exploring most of Skopje, it could be many years in the past and you wouldn’t know the difference. Its old, quirky balkan charm mixed with a little neglect makes for an interesting and relaxing city to walk with your camera.
If any of you have been to Skopje before, tell me about your experience and impressions of the city and country in the comments below! And stay tuned for more on Skopje, including some of the best Street Photography shots I captured while there.
(from a street photographer’s perspective)
Street Light is a monthly series where I showcase photography work to purchase that might not have as much visibility or large production numbers. From smaller run-offs and zines to books and crowdfunding campaigns, I’ll try to feature selections of mostly newer work that you’re not as likely to find in bookstores. Hopefully, this can […] The post Street Light : Photo Books and Zines (June 2019) appeared first on Shooter Files by f.d....
Street Light is a monthly series where I showcase photography work to purchase that might not have as much visibility or large production numbers. From smaller run-offs and zines to books and crowdfunding campaigns, I’ll try to feature selections of mostly newer work that you’re not as likely to find in bookstores. Hopefully, this can be a way to help talented photographers get their work seen for purchase, while also helping readers find great work they didn’t know was available. So, check here to find what’s out there, much of it before it’s gone. (All monthly selections will be added to a permanent page, organizing them together so you can check anytime)
And if you have a new photo book, zine or crowdfunding campaign, or if you’d like to recommend another photographer’s, please comment it below. (no e-books/e-zines, please)
*I had more trouble than usual finding new work to showcase this month, especially when it came to books, which I had to leave out for the first time. So, please help me help you, and others, by commenting or messaging me new work to feature. Thanks!*
(Selection information quoted from links)
Gary is 44 years old and has been injecting heroin since he was 15. He drinks a number of tins of strong Polish lager every day and sometimes smokes crack. Maree is 24 and doesn’t use heroin – she smokes crack and also drinks lager daily.
For eight months, between February and October 2018, I visited Gary and Maree weekly at their flat.
-John Bolloten, March 2019
Warning: Contains images of drug use and nudity.
292 x 212mm
Numbered edition of 200
b/w digital printing
Photographed between 2013-2018 this zine is the first publication of my project ‘Off Quay’, which focuses on the areas surrounding Sydney’s most famous landmarks. The images depict everyday occurrences amidst the settings of the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, and ferry wharves. It is in these locations that people from all ages, backgrounds and walks of life are corralled into the same condensed, public space. Tourists marvel at the beauty of the harbour, while locals glide by on their daily commute seemingly immune to the charms of their surrounds. When a ferry docks, wave after wave of people come streaming through and the chiaroscuro light serves as a disclosing tool that exaggerates and magnifies the sheer chaos and multitude people caught up in this daily ritual.
Second Printing Available Now
40pp/ A5/ staple bound/ edition of 100/ signed
ANTIbody Vol. 1
A.C.C.G. (The Anti-Collective Collective that isn’t a Collective Group)
52 pages. A5-size.
54 photographs. Full color.
Each copy comes with a little print of the cover shot (by @didi_s_gilson )
*Free @tourdogs zine with every purchase of ANTIbody Vol. 1.
First edition of 100 copies
Price: 15 euro
Featuring the work of @a.c.c.c.g members: @bouwebrouwer (The Netherlands) – @didi_s_gilson(Australia) – @henningspettersen(Norway) – @dialekte.be (Belgium) – @josephallenkeys (UK) – @kylesouder_(US) – Lee Sternthal (US) – @mat198_1(UK) – @mikemccawley (US)
one hour roll
collective photography magazine
9 artists shooting 1 roll in 1 hour
Josh Sinn | @cadillacranchdressing
Bouwe Brouwer | @bouwebrouwer
Rebekah Teague | @rebekah.film
Nico Quéré | @princeofwetland
Chris Nesseth | @chrisnesseth
Ben Molina | @thebenmolina
Cat Byrnes | @catbyrnes
Jacint Juhasz | @ jac1nt
Ed Ntiri | @ntirie
If you have a new photo book, zine or crowdfunding campaign, or if you’d like to recommend another photographer’s, please comment it below…
After Almaty came major cities #57 Bucharest, Romania and #59 Zagreb, Croatia on the Major City project. I’ll be discontinuing this 33 photos series on the blog very soon, but I’ll explain why along with exciting details on something new I have planned in an upcoming post. For now, though, I’ll share a last few additions of this […] The post 33 Street Photography Photos from Bucharest, Romania and Zagreb, Croatia appeared first on Shooter Files by f.d....
After Almaty came major cities #57 Bucharest, Romania and #59 Zagreb, Croatia on the Major City project. I’ll be discontinuing this 33 photos series on the blog very soon, but I’ll explain why along with exciting details on something new I have planned in an upcoming post. For now, though, I’ll share a last few additions of this long-time series here on Shooter Files.
So here’s 33 photos from my time covering Bucharest and Zagreb…
For more info on Bucharest and Zagreb, be sure to check out my first impressions from a street photographer’s perspective (Bucharest / Zagreb). And stay tuned for one of my City Street Photography Guides to both cities, as well.
Have you photographed Bucharest or Zagreb before, or do you plan on it someday? Let me know about it in the comments below.
And let me know which photos you like best too.
The post 33 Street Photography Photos from Bucharest, Romania and Zagreb, Croatia appeared first on Shooter Files by f.d. walker.
Zagreb, Croatia came in as major city #58 on my Major City project and here I’ll share a few first impressions covering the city with my camera. My project focuseson major cities, not tourist cities. Many times there’s some crossover there, but in Croatia, its coastline has blown-up recently when it comes to tourism, leaving in-land Zagreb off many […] The post 7 First Impressions of Zagreb, Croatia </br> (From a Street Photography Perspective) appeared first on Shooter...
Zagreb, Croatia came in as major city #58 on my Major City project and here I’ll share a few first impressions covering the city with my camera. My project focuseson major cities, not tourist cities. Many times there’s some crossover there, but in Croatia, its coastline has blown-up recently when it comes to tourism, leaving in-land Zagreb off many lists. Zagreb still brings a decent amount of tourism with its historic upper town and attractions, but I included it because it’s Croatia’s capital and largest city. I wanted to see more than the beach tourism and Game of Thrones attraction. What I got was a city that won’t blow you away with unique interest, but has plenty of charm and enough variety to make for some enjoyable street photography. Zagreb has old character, activity, and a local atmosphere. While I wasn’t in love at first, I left being surprised at the interest and photos I came away with. If you’re coming to Croatia for the coast, I wouldn’t leave too quickly if you’re using Zagreb’s airport as a gateway, especially if you enjoy street photography.
So here are my first impressions of Zagreb, from my personal Street Photographer perspective…
Many tourists opt for Croatia’s popular coastline over its capital and largest city. Croatia’s tourism has skyrocketed recently due its coastal beauty, old character and of course, the HBO series Game of Thrones’ popularity. For many, it’s gotten out of hand as places like Drubnovik have become crowded, expensive and touristy. Zagreb might not have the castles on the sea, but it still contains much of that Croatian character, all with a mix of big city and more variety of life. Also, its location makes for an easy quick trip to Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana, which isn’t a bad idea if you have the time.
Not everyone wants to go to the sea or deal with the higher prices, but many still enjoy Croatia’s character and in Zagreb, at least, it’s still cheaper than Western Europe. So, around the old town, especially upper town, you’ll still be surrounded by tourists. Partly due to quick and cheap flights, Zagreb has become especially popular with Germans, who come to enjoy beer and food on the picturesque old town cobblestone streets. And picturesque is a good word for this area, but for many, including myself, it can feel a little too polished and touristic. Everything contains that old character, but in perfect condition, while being lined with cafes, bars, restaurants and souvenir shops. Still, the upper town is definitely worth walking up to for some beautiful atmosphere and street photography. There’s character and activity.
My 100 City Project is completely focused on major cities, which brings a lot of questions on why from others I meet. They feel most major cities are boring and that I should be going to the most touristic cities, but that’s one of many reasons why I decided to focus on major cities. Because others don’t. I’m not doing this for fun like they are, either, and I’m not looking for tourism. I’m looking for cities with a wide variety of layers and local life for me to capture. And that’s where major cities shine.
On the surface, major cities might look like another busy metropolis, while those tourist towns show you what’s special as soon as you arrive, but underneath they usually have much more to offer. Tourist towns show you all their cards up front, while major cities play with many decks of cards that take time to go through. And this is what gives Zagreb more of a variety of interest compared to its more famous coastal cities. There’s no Game of Thrones’ castles here, but there is a bustling city of neighborhoods, history and variety. For street photography, I think that makes it worth a stop if you’re in Croatia. It has its fair share of tourism, but also its fair share of local life and variety to explore with your camera.
Ban Jelačić Square is Zagreb’s central square and its center of activity. From morning to night, it’s always busy here. Honestly, it’s one of the more consistently active squares around and makes for a great point to keep coming back to for street photography. It’s right in the middle of all the tourist attractions and old town atmosphere, but it’s also a center for the locals so you can get an interesting mix. It’s a popular meeting point for the city’s social life too with some 19th-century architecture for added atmosphere. With the city center foot traffic and a popular trolley stop here, the crowds quickly change too. When you’re not finding much interest in Zagreb, then it’s a good spot to come to.
Just steps above the square, you’ll also find the famous Dolac Market. Traders from all over Croatia have been coming here for nearly a century in this elevated space between the lower and upper towns. While touristy, it is a very colorful market with picturesque character. My favorite time here is around 3 pm when sellers are slowly packing things up, locals are picking up free leftover produce, and the light is getting better for all the bright reds and yellows.
One of the longest streets in the city, Illica has been a main road in Zagreb since the 15th century. Running almost 6 km through the northwestern part of the city, you can feel its age contained in its character. A mix of shops, businesses, markets and more lining the old street, while it also passes through a few nice spots to stop for more street photography. Its east end starts at the popular central square, BAN JELAČIĆ, and then goes west, while also passing a nice little flea market, among other interest. I like ending at Črnomerec and shooting for a while because of the interesting activity the light rail and bus stations here attract. If it’s sunny out, Illica is especially good later in the day because of how the sunlight shines east right down it the whole way.
While it is the country’s largest city, and one of the largest in the Balkans, Zagreb still isn’t that big. I walked most of it, with much of the south being very quiet, and there’s not a ton of areas of interest to explore. So, for visiting with your camera, it’s probably best to spend most of your time walking the upper town, city center and south not further than the train tracks (Glavni Kolodvor). Below that, the streets get quieter, and for a visit, I wouldn’t advise too many places to go for street photography. Heading east from the area I did advise, though, you can find more interest. All in all, most of my days included similar walks once I knew the best places to go. While not overflowing with interesting places to explore, Zagreb does provide a walk friendly city with more than enough for street photography.
If you were to ask me about visiting Zagreb, that’s what I would reply. Zagreb is a nice city. It’s nice to walk, the old town and architecture is beautiful, there’s enough city life to keep you interested and the people are friendly. You get a mix of Croatia, history, beauty and bigger city. But at the same time, I can’t say anything really stood out for me in comparison to other major cities I’ve covered. I have nothing bad to say and enjoyed my time, but other parts of Croatia along the coastline will appeal more to most visitors for uniqueness. For street photographers, though, Zagreb might win out due to more variety and less tourism. For a major city during my project, I’m still happy I covered it. The city and people do have character and it’s an easy going city to shoot. It’s a nice city.
If any of you have been to Zagreb before, tell me about your experience and impressions of the city and country in the comments below! And stay tuned for more on Zagreb, including some of the best Street Photography shots I captured while there.
(from a street photographer’s perspective)
The post 7 First Impressions of Zagreb, Croatia </br> (From a Street Photography Perspective) appeared first on Shooter Files by f.d. walker.
I’m happy to release my full workshop schedule for the second half of 2019. They’re all set and I’ll be leading them in some of my favorite cities in the world for street photography. So, check them out and sign-up before they fill (limited spots). I look forward to seeing many of you there. All Previous […] The post 2019 Photography Workshop Schedule appeared first on Shooter Files by f.d....
I’m happy to release my full workshop schedule for the second half of 2019. They’re all set and I’ll be leading them in some of my favorite cities in the world for street photography. So, check them out and sign-up before they fill (limited spots). I look forward to seeing many of you there.
2-Day Street Photography Workshop in London, United Kingdom JULY 20TH-21ST : LONDON, UK STREET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP WITH FORREST WALKER I’m excited to announce a 2-Day workshop I’ll be leading this July 20th-21st in London, UK. Read on for more details and how to sign up… This intensive two-day workshop will focus on photographic vision and seeing more. […] The post 2-Day Street Photography Workshop in London, UK appeared first on Shooter Files by f.d....
I’m excited to announce a 2-Day workshop I’ll be leading this July 20th-21st in London, UK. Read on for more details and how to sign up…
This intensive two-day workshop will focus on photographic vision and seeing more. You’ll learn to see more photos when out shooting, how to put together what you see into the photo you want to make, and improve your editing process. We will work together to accomplish these goals through a variety of lessons covering a variety of work, reviews of your own work, editing sessions, activities and plenty of shooting throughout the streets of London. Led by international photographer Forrest Walker, this workshop will be an immersive and educational experience in one of the world’s greatest cities for street photography.
Places are strictly limited, sign up early to avoid disappointment
*We will break for lunch daily and all are invited to dinner and drinks afterwards for more interaction
This will be an intensive and highly involved two-day workshop led by someone who’s photographed over 100 major cities across the world inside and out. London still stays at the top of my list for street photography and I’ve spent countless hours exploring its endless streets of interest over the years. With a 5 participant max on the workshop, you’ll be able to get the most out of our time together in this great city.
The full two-day workshop experience includes a mixture of daily photo walks, photo critiques, interactive lessons, editing sessions, and discussions. A major focus will be on photographic vision and seeing more. You’ll learn to see more photos when out shooting, how to put together what you see into the photo you want to make, and improve your editing process when looking through your work. There will also be a lot of walking and photography, with myself fully involved each step of the way to make sure you get the most out of our weekend together in London.
Good walking shoes, camera(s), lens – between 50mm and 21mm equivalents preferred, sunscreen, water bottle, cool and comfortable clothing, laptop with appropriate processing software installed (Lightroom, Capture One or Photoshop), spare batteries and memory cards, notepad, pen, and mobile/ smart phone.
Places are strictly limited, sign up early to avoid disappointment
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