"What to choose?" is many times answered with another question: "Why choose?"
Just a quick look at the MAGNUM Contact Sheets collection will answer the second question. If these masters/monsters of photography were denying themselves already when film was precious, if they would dumb 95% of their work by circling or checking just 3-4 frames out of 24 (36), there must be a reason.
The reason is that you will be remembered for just a handful of pictures so better choose well, because no one will dig in your TERA hard drives to find your hidden post-humus masterpieces.
Another usually dismissed question is "Why the photographer him/herself was there?". The well-known transgressive fallacy of the photographers not living the moment but just mechanically registering a reality alien to them in order to explain it later, is not enough to justify their presence in the shooting location.
It must be more than this! My gut feeling, my cacophonous internal voice, is saying that they are there because they can't be anywhere else. Photographers are pushed at the brinks of the society, they are marginalised, and right so, due to a distant behaviour and a clumsy interaction with contemporary values. So they become perpetual satellites of a remote to them collective order.
Back to our pictures, Szilvia and Stela with their approach in tandem, they create a binary world, where one serves as eye witness to the other, preserving the authenticity of their vision. But most important, they succeed to bend our second nature of choosing, always choosing among equals for a favourite.
They annihilate our overrated power as viewers, to compare, to judge, to discriminate. Mind you, their ingenious images, although in identical places, light, colours and subjects, are as versatile and as ambiguous as it gets.
More on Szilvia and Stela
The absolute mystery, the "secret of a secret" applied with virtuosity.
The more I approach to see the details the less I learn about the picture.
No When, no What, no Where is revealed or guessed. Not to mention the Why, the reason behind the capturing of this particular time and space slice.
I can decode some parts but some others remain at the sphere of a nightmarish abstraction.
The geometry has a haunting rhythm as does the ghostly figure below, transparent, fused within the texture, already a shadow itself and still capable to be reflected on the wall.
The light is in pieces. Broken, bounced, weakened for a moment and then strong again.
The greys are escaping any formal balance and the shapes are denying to stay regular. The right half of the precious frame is so empty and so full at the same time, and the only refuge for this extreme visual uneasiness.
All and all I am spending a long time in front of Rafael's picture and that's the first sign of a successful image. The second sign is that, as I leave the picture behind me, I become aware that the picture won't leave me for a long time.
More on Rafael Ianos
This is the public curated Gallery of the STREET CORE PHOTOGRAPHY Group