Gone....but definitely not forgotten.
In this post we pay a tribute to Wayne (Just Ard) who sadly passed away a year ago today. Not only was he a friend to many in real life and online, he was also the main founding member of our Flickr group, which in turn led to this group website & blog, that to this very day still inspires others to go out into the streets and capture life as it is.
His idea of forming a street photography group and seeing where it would take us and our photography has certainly paid off and brought together a close knit community of fellow street photographers.
It is in this post that those photographers who knew Wayne, either in real life or online, have chosen an image from the vast selection in his Flickr Photostream and also added a few words or thoughts about his photography and/or how he inspired them in their photography.
One for the ladies
It wasn't that easy to choose an image because I had some others I loved very much too.
But this one really fascinated me.
I like the softness of the light and I also love the bokeh rounds in the background.
The light on the face is really lovely and his eyes immediately caught my attention. I love the pipe in his mouth and I love the expression on his face.
I think it's a nice guy.
It's also nice that he has some spots on his face.
The way Wayne placed him in the picture is also well done. The composition is very nice.
I have looked at Wayne's photostream a few times over this past year as Wayne was, and still is, an inspiration regards to my interest in street.
Why do we as street photographers take and post an image? I like to think we are looking for an interesting look, emotion, interaction between people, comic situations, good use of light, composition and so on... All this can be found in Wayne's photographs. When Wayne started following me and commented on my photo's it was a real compliment and a drive to improve.
I know Wayne liked a good bench shot and so do I, so I have chosen Synchronised Smoking.The two ladies mirror each other so much it's untrue. The timing of the shot is spot on, both ladies hands raised to their face. The composition strong, rule of thirds, camera height and angle, One of those magic moments. I hope you all enjoy the image as much as I do.
Time flies so quickly, already one year now since he left us. He is still in my thoughts, at least each time I go for a photographic walk, when I look at the "five fall into adventure group", or the website.
I just can't forget his good-heartedness, his enthusiasm, his humour... As a photographer, he knew how to make someone smiling just by approaching people with a smile and a good joke.
So I choose this picture, for the smile this young woman gives to him, and to us. Please go to see the album "The Pretty &" : it's the way Wayne looked at women, so kindly... I wish I could have seen him in the real life, and I miss him a lot.
When I read what he wrote below the picture, "The last image from me for a while, so I thought I'd leave you with a smile"......it's heartbreaking.
She's not the driver
It's maybe technically not the best one, but although I never met Wayne personally, I think it shows very well, as a lot of other photographs do, that he was a very smart guy. The peoples reaction on this photo and many others is always very kind, so must also have been Wayne.
Trough this photography work Wayne will always stay with us no matter where he is.
Reflections from the Heart
I kept scrolling and scrolling, trying to find something that I really loved and that really represented how I thought of Wayne and I realized that every picture was a joy.
The way that Wayne got people to respond to him, with huge smiles, was very representative of who he was as a person. I really admired his work and respected his opinion. His suggestions on my photography and even my old website were invaluable. I learned so much from him and looking at his work makes me both happy and sad. Happy that I knew such a wonderful person, and sad because he was taken from us too soon.
Almost every picture had people smiling, either at Wayne or in general. It was indicative of the way he saw and lived his life. He just wanted to be happy and to have others around him be happy. He is truly missed.
Brenda & Olive #17 & #18 100 Strangers
This was taken on the day Wayne and I met up with each other in Bath. Along with Martin and Ian it was memorable day of photography and chat. I found Wayne so easy to get on with which he demonstrated so well when chatting with Brenda and Olive.
My only regret is that we never got to meet up again.
A sneaky mouthful
When I was checking the first pages of Wayne´s photostream on Flickr I had a slight smile on my face. I came across some nice photographs of crocodiles and butterflies and holiday beaches with sea views. Who would expect him to move his focus on to the world of street photography at that time?
What a great choice he made! Wayne has proved to be excellent in the observation of human characters and in the art of capturing life and humanity. His huge photostream speaks for itself.
I would like to draw your attention to Wayne's image "A sneaky mouthful"
The street musician is probably packing up his stuff. The woman on the left seems to be drinking under time pressure & her stance is really funny. The slogan on her plastic bags says "let's feel good"....that puts the cherry on top! Perfectly mastered "Decisive Moment", Wayne! I only regret that I discovered this picture too late to tell you how much it appeals to me.
Please don't put me in the bin!
Taking a look back through Wayne's photostream, I think the really interesting thing is how his photography changed and grew over the past 5 years. Anyway, without getting too philosophical, it's got to be something that makes me smile.
The Married Woman
I never got an opportunity to meet Wayne in person, but he was always very friendly and encouraging online. I first encountered him in the first Photingo challenge - I'd already been keen on street photography, but it was that challenge that solidified my love for it.
One of the things that Wayne taught me is that street photography doesn't always have to be about capturing dramatic moments or clever juxtaposition. He could do all that of course, but he was also incredibly skilled at taking street portraits. People are interesting in their own right... we all have stories. Wayne understood the power in capturing a person's face at a candid moment, and isolating everything else so that the viewer could focus straight in on it. It helped that he was a master of black and white processing. His street portraits were beautiful to look at, but also looked incredibly natural.
One of his photos that sums all of this up is The Married Woman......
There are a lot of things I like about this photo. From a technical perspective, the depth of field is just perfect. In what could have been a very chaotic frame, he's kept just enough of the background to see what's happening without it distracting from the woman. She's totally dominant in the frame, and my eyes are immediately drawn to her. The lighting is perfect and she's pin sharp. She's right there in front of me, and I get an opportunity to stare at her for as long as I want to - something that I can't do in real life without being creepy.
I can only imagine what she's thinking, and I do start to imagine - the more I look at her face, the more questions I have. Is she nervous about something? Maybe she's about to have a secret liaison? Maybe she's remembering something? What could it be? Is it a look of regret? What small thing did she do this morning that she now regrets?
Faces are powerful storytelling machines, but we often can't hear them when we see people for a second or two in the street. A good street photographer is on the lookout for these stories, and captures them so that the rest of us can explore them at our leisure.
Wayne helped to teach me that.
At the Hairdressers
Wayne was one of the first people on Flickr who wrote constructive encouraging comments and feedback on my very early street pics. What I always found most pleasing was that he often praised photos that I particularly liked myself but that hadn't always got the attention I felt they might have. His encouragement was very useful in my gaining confidence in street photography.
I've picked this pic of his as we exchanged comments several times about snapping strangers in windows and this is a good example of Wayne's.
This is one of Wayne's I really like, I like the symmetry and the simplicity, it's a great shot.
Wayne was a great guy with a fantastic sense of humor, and I still find it hard to believe he's gone. Most of you will know he and his wife Irene came to stay with us a couple of times here in Rome where we had a wonderful time.
I always remember the first time I took him into the city, he couldn't believe it, he just walked round with a permanent stupid grin on his face he loved it. I also include one of my shots of Wayne when a local nutter took exception to him as he was walking past.
It still makes me laugh now, but that's what Wayne did when you were in his company, he always made you laugh, and I miss him terribly.
Where does one begin when trying to express their feelings of sadness, happiness and gratitude all in a few lines, about someone who came along unexpectedly and created one of those 'Life Changing Moments' in their life?
I've had 3 of those moments in my life. The first was when my parents got me into the Army Cadets at the age of 12 which then led to an enjoyable career in the Army at 16.
The second was when I was stationed in Germany, my room mate wanted me to go out for a pint with him, but I had no money. He lent me 10 Deutsch Marks so I could have a beer or two with him. It was on that Sunday night at the pub that I met a young German girl. It's that very same girl who I will be celebrating our 26th wedding anniversary with at the end of this month.
Then there was Wayne. I posted an image on Flickr which had nothing at all to do with street photography, but Wayne spotted it and left a comment. I then went to his photostream and started asking him questions about his street photography....the rest is history.
I'm obviously very sad that Wayne is no longer with us and that I never got to meet him in real life. I will forever have the feeling that I've missed out on a great opportunity to meet such a sincere and friendly person who I really got on with, even though it was only through emails & Flickr.
I'm happy that I did post that said image which led to our friendship and that turning point in my life. There's not a day goes by now that I don't think about or do something connected to street photography. It's more of a way of life than a hobby.
As for the gratitude....I have so much to thank Wayne for. Not only for his inspiration & encouragement on my street photography, teaching me the ins & outs of Word Press, and our joint venture of PHOTINGO, but also for the advice he gave me in matters that were not of a photographic nature. He really was a great person to talk to when I was down.
There is no way that anyone could pick a single favourite image from Wayne's collection, there are just so many top quality shots to choose from.
The image I have chosen is linked to a moment, about a couple of months ago which, I'm not ashamed to admit, brought a tear to my eye.
I was watching a TV documentary on Chris Coleman, the manager of the Welsh international football team. During the programme they showed a bird's eye view of the open top bus driving through the crowded streets of Cardiff with the team players celebrating their huge success at the Euro 2016 tournament.
I immediately remembered this image and realised that Wayne was down there, somewhere in the crowds, in his glory. He was so chuffed with the team's performance and enjoyed writing about it in the emails we exchanged.
So much for a few lines....I don't think there will ever be enough lines to sum everything up about Wayne. He was such a lovely guy who has left a big space in many of our lives.
Thanks for everything mate.