Street Photography-Ybor City, FL

Hello everyone and welcome to my first ‘Street Photography’ post! This is something a little different from what I usually present and I hope to make a series of ones like it. For the first time I am featuring a series of collages as well as featured solo images. The other night I viewed the video ‘Another Day with Jay Maisel’ on http://www.kelbytraining.com/, Jay is a famous New York City street photographer and I was inspired to give it a go myself. I have been to Ybor City many, many times. I usually go there once a month to shoot models with my photography group. I have also gone just to take pictures of whatever interested me, especially when I first moved to the area but this time I got so many more shots than I ever have before because I was looking at everything in a different way. I long someday to travel and do this sort of thing in Italy, Spain, Australia, etc of course but we all have to start somewhere.  For those not familiar with Ybor City, it is located just outside downtown Tampa and was founded in the late 1800’s by Cigar manufacturers and was populated in the beginning mostly by immigrants from Cuba, Spain and Italy. Today it is known for its historic feel, assortment of interesting shops and restaurants as well as being a popular party town on the weekends.  On this trip to Ybor I came away with a wide assortment of photos and I didn’t even cover half of the ground I would have liked to so there will probably be a part 2 to this post eventually. This first collage features a cute dog ( I had to get one in there somewhere!)  a flower, some pottery in the window a colorful stool that sits outside the Alaskan Taco restaurant and the word Love  🙂

This was one of the first photos I took after parking my car-I got lucky spotting this lady bug crawling on these leaves-It is only the 2nd time I have seen one since moving to Florida and I really liked the way it looked against the green of this plant.

Ybor is filled with art and many historic (or historic looking) buildings and light fixtures. There are a series of saying built into the walkways which is where I captured the photo of the word ‘bewildering’, I chose it because bewildering is just a cool word that doesn’t get used often enough.

The second floor of this building features windows with no rooms behind them. I remember seeing one similar in Montreal when I was there several years ago. I was really hoping a bird or plane would fly by when I was standing across the street composing this shot but no such luck this time! What was funny is that I could tell some people were very confused as to what I was taking pictures of, they didn’t see anything interesting there at all which is just sad. I find myself to be the most present and conscious when I am taking photos-I am forced to focus on what is in front of me and my mind is not anyplace else but in the present moment.

In these collages I was striving to provide a mix of the industrial/historic feel of the town along with nature and the life within it. Often when people ask me what I like to photograph I am tempted to simply say ‘Anything that is alive!. I could never see myself concentrating on still life (funny the subjects of still life usually are not alive at all) or architecture though I find it interesting. I love coming upon the little sparrow in the above collage-I was on the 2nd floor of an area called Centro Ybor and he was hanging out on a ledge. That is also where I took the photo of the brick street-looking down over a walkway. There are so many great textures in this area!

It was also from the 2nd story walkway that I captured this image.  I had never noticed it before. I noticed several things on this trip that I had never seen before which was what was so much fun about it.

I have walked underneath the item on the left here who knows how many times and never noticed it. I have no idea what to call it or what it is but it looks to have been hanging here for a very long time. If it could talk I imagine it would have some amazing stories to tell. The photo on the right is of a 2nd floor balcony on 7th that still has Gasparilla beads hanging from it-again I had not noticed that before.

On the other hand I always do notice the window on the right side of this collage. It stands out to me because of the red glow produced from the light inside. For some reason it makes me think something interesting is going on in there.  The oregano, pepper, and cheese shakers on the bottom sit on the outside counter of the Pizza place-New York, New York Pictured below.

They have great pizza here, I guess I should have taken a photo of the piece I had for lunch but I was too hungry!

I had never given this clock much attention either. It has a rather spooky look to it and is also decorated by beads. Reminds me of the clock that was hit by lightning in Back to the Future. I wonder what it was like in Ybor when it worked? And now for my favorite shot of the day:

I snapped a quick series of this man from across the street when I saw him looking out the window of this restaurant. It has the look of a painting to it though that was not my intent with the post processing. It is really more from the glass I believe but I love the effect so much! I find it somewhat difficult capturing truly candid photos of people sometimes, they too often see me when I do not want them to. In this case I happened to be in the right place at the right time.  Finally I will end this post with a self-portrait I took of my reflection in a window. I hope you have enjoyed these photos! I think my next target will be Clearwater Beach and the surrounding area.

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2 thoughts on “Street Photography-Ybor City, FL

  1. I love it! You did a great job! I have been in Ybor so many times and I only recognized a few places – I enjoyed seeing the “undiscovered” Ybor through your lens..

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