Toni F. Mestres

Meeting Toni F. Mestres

Toni is a street photographer I have met on Flickr.  His way of showing Barcelona is simply marvellous.  I have been following Toni’s work for about two years and each time I see one of his pictures I recognise his personal impromptu.

“Shoot as you feel. Shoot a lot. Eveyday if possible.”

Toni F. Mestres

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What is for you street photography?

For me street photography is more a style than a genre. That’s how I see it. Beyond the mere genre, it is a different way of taking pictures, more instinctive and passional, where the author’s vision is above any other technical aspect. The genre is really wide and I must admit that there are slants of street photography which I find boring and they don’t say anything to me. Not all the pictures taken on the street can be regarded as street photos. I reckon that the terms goes beyond it.

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When did you start taking street pictures and why?

I have been continuously snapping for three years. I believe I started taking pictures on streets for the sake of taking photos. I didn’t plan anything and still don’t do it. I go out the street and take pictures, as simple as that. This is exactly what I like about street photography, its simplicity, it lacks tricks, it is photography in its pure essence, without rules; the only rules are the ones you decide.

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For you, what is your best shot. Can you explain how you got it?

I couldn’t tell, but I’m sure I haven’t taken it yet and doubt whether I’ll manage someday. I like some of my pictures and a whole lot that I don’t. Each photo has its value depending on what my purpose was before taking it. If I was in search for some particular thing and I end up taking another one that will always be a bad picture, regardless how much other people like it. But what I like the most is the meaning each picture has in its whole, and not the single traits.

Any advice?

Shoot as you feel. Shoot a lot. Eveyday if possible.

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A book.

Any of the series RECORD by DAIDO MORIYAMA, or SUBWAY LOVE by Nobuyoshi Araki.

Would you recommend a photographer or group to whom we should follow?

In flickr we can find many of the ones that for me are currently among the best street photographers. Some of them are: Lee Thatcher, Still**Life, Alex Coghe, John Hornbeck, Philippe Lelièvre and Izabela Nowak. And I could go on.

As for groups, I would name Provoke and Street Photography Exhibition.

I would also like to include yours, Street Photography Monochrome, I’m not buttering you up, you choose good pictures.

The problem with many groups in flickr is that they are identical; they upload the same pictures and they seem to copy one another, and that leads to boredom. The best ones are those which have been filtered and uploaded following a specific criteria.

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