FIRST PLACE- Michael Rababy 'Juvenile Passion on Bus'
N.Y. Photo Curator: Global Photography Awards- 'Where Photography & Philanthropy Meet' FIRST PLACE- Michael Rababy 'Juvenile Passion on Bus'
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Review by Curator Deb Schwedhelm:
"As I scrolled through the images, this photograph instantly stopped me in my tracks and took my breath away — the moment, the movement, the composition, the rich black and white processing. And to think this moment was caught while being an observer outside of a bus makes this photograph that much more incredible. To see this and click the shutter at just the right moment is so brilliant. All three images that Michael submitted are so well seen, composed, and processed — each being made at just the right moment.

A few questions for you, if you don’t mind…
I’m in awe of the images that you submitted (thank you) and had a look at your website. You have such a diverse body of work; you sure have done a lot. I’m curious what genre are you most passionate about? Do you have a genre that tugs at you and pulls you in more than others? I also saw that you published a book in 2003, American Bachelor. Are you still  photographing for that body of work or was the book the conclusion of that series? If not, are you currently working on a specific project, your “next masterpiece"? I know…a lot of questions, but last but not lease, are you still making films? Loved watching the ‘January Man’. 

I really hope this brings some new people your way because you have so much great work out there. Thank you again for sharing your work with N.Y. Photo Curator. It’s been a pleasure looking through your images and films."

Michael Rababy says, "Although I love making intimate environmental portraits, I’m most passionate about street and documentary photography.  I feel street photography is a way of documenting what I experience in the street, and if I follow a subject for a longer period of time, it becomes a documentary series.  it took me a while to figure out, but I eventually noticed a pattern where I need to document things in my life.

'american bachelor’ is a culmination of years of documenting being single in my 20’s.  the book is a valentine to that time in my life. I have many other images from that time, so I might do a sequel if there is any interest. my next book is on casino culture which I've been documenting over 20 years (god that makes me sound old). the vegas bus image I submitted is part of that series.
re: films, I came to los angeles to make films, but found photography to be more artistically pure.  fewer notes and there’s the orson wells quote that “ a painter needs a brush, a writer a pen, and a filmaker an army.”  I did a film ('still lives') where I tell a story through black and white still photos set to piano music.  I recently presented the film in a show I curated and it made me want to go back and update the images to 4k.  an SD version is on youtube - link on my website.

I would like to do more films in that style, but I have too many ideas.  I also have a feature film I wrote that I’d like to direct and am collaborating on a one man show with a comedian friend.

I’ve curated the hive gallery photo exhibit for the past 5 years and really enjoy meeting photographers that inspire me and helping new photographers by showing their work."

"I don't have much to add that the curator hasn't already covered, but I do love the timelessness of black and white used here, and also the fluidity and movement-- not only emphasizing this 'caught' serendipity-- but also the fleeting moment in their lives, which you just know will be forgotten by both, in the decades going forward-- the photograph being the only remembrance that this ever occurred.  I agree with Deb-- brilliant image." ADDITIONAL REVIEW BY CURATOR CARL SHUBS:
"This is a wonderful street photograph, capturing the spontaneous moment between the couple and the apparent counterpoint of looking out one window and into another.  There is a sense of movement and also the stillness of the people.  All of this is enhanced by the strong black and white image that strips out all the distracting color, focuses on the intimacy of the moment, and frames it in the window. Great job!"

"This street photograph appears to captures a classical decisive moment; as there is suspense knowing what probably occurred just after this photograph was captured. As in Henri Cartier-Bresson's classic image of his subject suspended mid-air leaping over a puddle as "an event that is ephemeral and spontaneous, where the image represents the essence of the event itself".
The serendipity of this chance composition is charming; the framing of the his subjects by the outside window while a second window frame appears in a reflection to draw the readers eyes even more into the the couple's tight space."
Douglas Stockdale

"This photo exemplifies the best in street photography. The photographer is invisible, close in, and invites viewers to share this intimate moment. The subjects are effectively framed by the abstract reflections in the windows, out-of-focus background, black frame, and sense of movement."
More about Michael Rababy:

lebanese-american documentary / street photographer, filmmaker michael rababy likes taking pictures of people.  he studied art history at the university of san diego before spending time in paris. taking influence from henri toulouse-lautrec and henri cartier-bresson. his ethnographic documentary book ‘american bachelor’ details the highs and lows of the single male.  his clients / credits include the VICE magazine photo book, mercedes-benz, merkley and partners, E!, the style network, fine living, people magazine, LA weekly, the village voice, time-out new york, hamburger eyes, james franco / paul mccarthy, the sundance institute, the yes men, citizen LA, and LA canvas. his street photography was featured in girlfriend confidential:LA and he was the official portrait photographer for TLC’s highly rated series LA ink. michael also curates photography exhibits at the hive gallery in the downtown los angeles arts district.
his short film 'still lives', which tells a story through black and white still photographs set to piano music, premiered at the palm springs international short film festival, was an official selection of the miami short film festival. his film ‘january man’ screened as an official selection at at the boston international film festival and the miami short film festival.  overall, his work can be described as emotionally charged poetic-realism.
michael lives in southern california with his record collection and is currently at work on his latest masterpiece.

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