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Yanick Delafoge is a street photographer known as ‘Yanidel’. Yanidel started shooting street photography in Paris many years ago. While walking through Paris he started to get the desire to record the scenes that were unfolding before him. This led him to researching famous street photographers through books, museums and exhibits on the topic.
Yanidel initially shot street photography in Paris for 4 years before going on an 80 week around the world trip with his wife (girlfriend at the time) to shoot in different locations and further improve his photography. Yanidel documented his journey on his blog which he still updates. Shortly after their trip around the world Yanidel and his wife moved to Rosario, Argentina.
Yanidel continues to pursue street photography and while not being able to live off street photography alone he plans to try and free up several months a year to dedicate purely to shooting in Argentina or around the world.
Yanidel has had magazine publications of his work as well as large prints being displayed at Paris airports. His blog has expanded to not only show his work but also articles of street photography tips and a series on his favourite street photographers.
BELOW ARE MY IMAGES TRYING TO INCORPORATE HIS STYLE. You can find Yanidel's blog here: http://www.yanidel.net/
For my designs, I decided to try and incorporate Yanidel’s use of colour into my own street photography. Yanidel’s use of colour is what originally drew me to his work and to become a fan. Storytelling is something that I tried for as well but for this series of design I focused more directly on colour. Like Yanidel I only shoot candids while doing street photography.
To focus on colour in my street photography I went out around sunrise each morning I was shooting to get a softer light that wouldn’t interfere too much with the colour I was trying to draw out.
While out on the street I focused on colour and trying to colour match as well as using colour to help the subject of the image stand out. I did this by making use of every situation that presented itself while roaming the streets. I also found interesting locations where I would wait around for an interesting subject to come to me and my awaiting camera.
After taking the pictures I did very little alterations to my photographs which were either exposure adjustment or cropping. I don’t like to edit street photography images too much as I want the image to tell its own story without my interference, I only want to help enable the storytelling.
Yanidel’s design language consists of mainly three factors and sub-factors of these factors. The three factors are: Colour, Lyricism and Candidness.
Colour is a vital part of his design language, Yanidel uses colour to help create more diverse, engaging and interesting pictures. His love for coloured walls, women in bright clothes and a technique called ‘colour matching’ are major aspects of his colourful design language.
Lyricism or ‘storytelling’ is what helped draw Yanidel to street photography in the first place. The need of recording the intriguing scenes in Paris developed this passion of storytelling and is what led it to become a major part of his design language like many street photographers before him.
Candidness is in Yanidel’s eyes what street photography is all about. He doesn’t believe in manipulating a scene or people to get the picture he wants but rather he wants to stay ‘invisible’ and try his best not to let his presence alter the scene. By staying discreet Yanidel is able to capture more pure moments with his photography which helps strengthen his storytelling ability.
The images below are all Yanidel's work. Once again you can find his blog here: http://www.yanidel.net/
Mustard lady is a strong example of Yanidel’s colour matching. Yanidel has colour matched the mustard coat of the elderly lady with the yellow bus behind her. Colour matching creates a stronger focus on colour in the image. When looking at the image it really draws the viewer in as it is a strong and powerful attractor due to the focus on bright colours that stand out within the image.
The expression on the lady’s face also adds character and storytelling aspects to the image. This was created by Yanidel waiting for eye contact between him and the lady and taking the picture right at that moment. In this image, unlike most, Yanidel wanted to be noticed by the lady, not to alter the scene but to create a more compelling image.
Yanidel has also used the yellow line and the angle at which the bus is parked to guide the viewers eye to the lady. Blurring the background also places more emphasis on the lady and helps make her the star of the image.
Shooting candids provides a lot of difficulty as the moment can disappear just as quickly as it appeared. Despite this Yanidel uses reflections to create more dynamic images. As seen in this image Yanidel has essentially split the couple in half with the use of the water and its reflection. Yanidel has used this reflection to add more intrigue to the image which adds more to the story of the image and the scene it presents.
The blurring of the pavement between the reflection and the couple’s feet is a strong aspect of the image which helps the viewer make sense of the image and that a reflection is being used.
Yanidel’s emphasis on colour is shown by the lady’s red top which helps draw attention to the couple. Using colour to bring attention to the couple helps emphasise the splitting of the image in half and draws more attention to the use of the reflections. This takes the image from an everyday image of a couple on a bench to a creative, intriguing image that is hard to look away from.
Colourful walls are a returning theme in Yanidel’s photography. The reason for this is it uses all three major aspects of his design language in a large way.
In this image Yanidel uses the bright green colour of the building and its walls to grab the attention of the viewer. The disparity and contrast of the colour between the walls and the subject is what creates an interesting storytelling aspect to the image and helps the subject stand out despite the strong colouring of the building.
The black vent on the right side of the image adds character to the otherwise plain green building and this character matches well with the lady seen in the image. The lady stands out greatly due to her dark and pink clothing that she is wearing that matches her bags. Yanidel has used colour very successfully here to create a beautiful image with a strong emphasis on colour that helps the subject stand out.
Judgement is a great example of Yanidel’s love for lyricism within his images. It’s the showing of two very different lifestyles in the one image which creates a compelling and emotional picture. On the left is a business women who works for money and to make a better life for herself. On the right is a lady who has dedicated her life to serve others and her religion. While this may not be the truth of the image Yanidel’s ability to create these stories and thoughts through his images is one of his street photography strengths.
The lighting on the image is an important aspect of the storytelling of this image. The business women has the light shining on her dress and in front of her, which can show that she is the one who wants to be the focus and the star, the colour of her dress adds to this thought. Whereas the lady on the right, wearing ‘dull’ clothes has the light behind her which can show her sacrifices and work are leaving a trail of light and happiness.
This is an incredible piece of storytelling imagery at work and truly shows Yanidel’s design language in full emotional effect.
A large aspect of candid photography is that you cannot influence what people are wearing. Yanidel likes to take advantage of this aspect of candid street photography by photographing people’s fashion.
The clothes that the subject’s wear can create strong identities for themselves within the image which aids in storytelling. In this image, the lady is wearing a black dress with lace at the bottom while holding a baguette in one arm and talking on her phone with the other. Her eye direction also adds to her character by adding a sense of mystery to her when coupled with her clothing and the items she is holding.
The black clothing of the lady creates strong contrast between her and her surroundings especially as she is next to a man wearing a bright pink top. This helps her stand out as the main subject of the image. Yanidel blurring the background of the image also adds to this effect.
‘A Touch of Pink’ is a great example of how a little bit of colour difference can change the story of an entire image.
While this image doesn’t have many different colours or strong colours with the image it still shows how Yanidel uses colour as part of his design language. Yanidel has framed the white building to surround the lone pink building. He has also used the traffic to point and guide the viewer’s eye in the direction of the pink building. These two aspects help the pink building stand out more than colour alone would do.
Despite only being a picture of buildings and some parked vehicles Yanidel has still managed to show his design language prominently in all aspects. His use of colour along with eye-guiding traffic helps the pink building stand out and the surrounding of the pink buildings around the pink building helps build more character for the pink building. This character helps create a story and a want for the pink building to ‘do well’ despite it only being a building.
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