Monday, 29 November 2021

Book Projects In The Pipeline

 The dreary winter months are upon us, and the impracticality of international travel (at least to the countries I'm interested working in) seems to remain for at least a few months more. Consequently, I'll be starting to get my thoughts (and image files) together and produce two or three photo books during that time.

Washington Square Park during the winter months will certainly not see the activity we've seen during the late Spring, Summer and even a little beyond that. However, I've amassed enough photographs of the scenes I've seen during the past 6 months or so to self-publish a substantial coffee table photo book. Tentatively titled "Washington Square Park: The Center of Universe", I believe it will provide a record of this daily extraordinary gathering of humanity.

Another photo book I'm thinking of is that of the many portraits I've made of the interesting people I met in Washington Square. It might be a stand-alone book, or I may decide to include the portraits in the above photo book...interspersed amongst the scenes. 

The third will be of the "models" I've photographed in the streets of SoHo in New York City or elsewhere.

Friday, 26 November 2021

The Sisters | Nyangath & Thanowa Lual

The Sisters is a collection of photographs of Nyangath and Thanowa Lual; both originally from South Sudan, and now models, college students and entrepreneurs in New York City. In recognition of their heritage, I chose a Dinka soundtrack titled 'Malaika" by the South Sudanese singer Alijoma Mabil.

The photographs were made in the streets of SoHo, New York City using a Fuji GFX50S/45mm and the Fuji X-Pro2/18mm.

The Vimeo version is below:

Monday, 22 November 2021

Portraits | "Fleur De Soie"


"Silk Flower" (or Fleur de Soie in French) is Bianca's Instagram handle. She -a student in the Fashion Institute of Technology- agreed to pose for me near Washington Square Park...against black doors of a NYU building. It was an impromptu studio background, and with the ambient light of a late afternoon resulted in the above portraits.

I used a combination of Iridient Developer to process the RAW images, and then processed the resulting JPEGs using my go-to image editor ON1 with a LUT portrait preset, and then applying a smoothing layer.

I used the Fuji GFX50S/45mm to photograph Bianca. More of her portraits can be viewed here.

Saturday, 20 November 2021

East Meets West | Meg Tsai

"Remember the sun touches the East before it can reach the West...."

In sociology, the East–West dichotomy is the perceived difference between the Eastern and the Western worlds. Cultural and religious rather than geographical in division, the boundaries of East and West are not fixed, but vary according to Meg Tsai shows us so well.

To underscore this concept, a photographic project was born. With the involvement of Meg Tsai, two photo sessions took place in the heart of Manhattan's Chinatown and in SoHo, the center for high-end boutiques and fashion. Urban street wear for the former and the traditional qi pao (or cheongsam) for the mix-up the so-called boundaries between East and West.

And East Meets West is also on Exposure....larger sized photographs.

east meets west by Tewfic El-Sawy on Exposure

Monday, 15 November 2021

Nimika Thapa In SoHo

I photographed a few frames of Nimika Thapa in Washington Square Park a few weeks ago, and followed through with her on Instagram as to whether she'd be interested in a spending a couple of hours posing for my cameras in SoHo. She was and here are the results of the session.  She is currently a junior at NYC's Hunter College, studying human biology; an interdisciplinary area of academic study that examines humans through the influences and interplay of many diverse fields such as genetics, anatomy, nutrition and sociocultural influence. 

She is also an aspiring model who seeks and finds inspiration from everyday life. I hope my photos will help her to realize that aspiration.

Note: I'm not a fashion photographer at all...but I apply the lessons I learned from years devoted to travel and documentary photography to it as best I know how. Naturally, it's a pleasure to be working with beautiful women, and I enjoy "capturing" their beauty and presence as much as possible...however, "travel meets photojournalism" is in my bloodstream and I'm impatient for the prevailing travel restrictions and associated impracticalities to ease.

Larger photographs can be viewed in my Exposure gallery:

Nimika by Tewfic El-Sawy on Exposure

Friday, 12 November 2021

Thanowa Lual In SoHo

Having met Nyangath in Washington Square Park (see previous post), and arranged with her to meet in SoHo for a photo session, I was very glad that she was accompanied by her sister, Thanowa who is also a model and an entrepreneur.

Also originally from South Sudan, Thanowa is a model with BTWN Model Agency. Her Instagram is here.

I used my Fuji GFX50S and a 45mm 2.8 Fujinon lens, as well as the X-Pro2/18mm.

I will soon produce a multimedia gallery of her photographs, and in the meantime here's a gallery (larger images) of Thanowa on my Exposure website.

Thanowa by Tewfic El-Sawy on Exposure

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

The Gorgeousness of Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park never ceases to amaze me. In the space of two hours, the number of gorgeous and/or interesting physiognomies passing though it or resting on its benches is nothing short of extraordinary.

And to me, who recently and frequently drops in to photograph either scenes or impromptu portraits, it's an eye opening transition. Just a few months ago, some of the "regulars" were just subjects for my lenses...but after my being a "regular' myself, they've become -if not straight up acquaintances- people with names, backgrounds and occupations. I exchange greetings by way of fist bumps, a few encouraging words if they're selling their craft, the peace sign...or just raised eyebrows in acknowledgement.

I noticed Lila (top) regally walking in the Square, and photographed as she sat near the fountain. She makes and sells jewelry on Etsy as "Lavander Rain".

The middle photograph is "Pooka" whose smiles attracted a handful of other photographers (but I saw and photographed her first). She lit up the Park with her exuberance. She has a song track on Soundcloud.

Lastly, hanging around with a group of photographers I met Gass Wild, (stage name of Tom Edwards) an English Rock'n'Roller, singer songwriter, guitarist and drummer who plays in NYC band Love Pirates. A couple of people passing by our group asked me if he was Keith Richards of The Stones. He can be seen here performing "Lockdown".

Book Projects In The Pipeline

  The dreary winter months are upon us, and the impracticality of international travel (at least to the countries I'm interested working...