Cross-continental street photographer documents urban beauty
Gabi Ben Avraham plays with light and shadow to make his uncanny photos.
Gabi Ben Avraham is what you might refer to as a late bloomer. The father of three girls didn't take up photography seriously until a few years ago, when his wife gifted him a digital camera. But he's made up for lost time; his gritty and playful photos have been exhibited in solo shows in California and Cambodia and group shows around the world. He's also been welcomed as a member to elite street photography groups TheStreetCollective and APF Collective.
Ben Avraham could have used his camera for all manner of things, but he was immediately drawn to the streets of his hometown, Tel Aviv, Israel.
"I think what characterizes me is that I love taking photos of people in urban surroundings since there is always a story to catch," Ben Avraham told From The Grapevine.
His method is one that requires patience and no small amount of observation and foresight.
"The street is not a studio. Sometimes I stand and wait for things to converge – a cyclist, a dancer, a child – moving along. They are not aware that they are moving towards a certain object, but I am," he said.
Ben Avraham keeps to a steady routine. He works for a software company during the week and spends his weekends on the street shooting. This hunt for the perfect picture is both an outlet for a him and a way to bring order to the often frantic pace of urban life.
"When pushing the button, I try to make some sense, restore order to the chaotic scheme of things in the composition," he explained. "The components 'speak' with each other in a special dialogue, either by color, shape or light. Capturing the elusive, special moment after which things will never be the same and making it eternal – that is my goal."
For this artist, who carries his camera with him wherever he goes, the world has become one big ball of inspiration. Ben Avraham recently visited New York, a city he loves; Los Angeles, where a daughter lives; and several European cities, all visits which netted beautiful images. But, inevitably, it's Tel Aviv he returns to time and time again.
"Tel Aviv is the city which I grew up in, have never left and which is a part of me and my photographing. It is my hometown," Ben Avraham said, adding, "In Tel Aviv I am familiar with the streets and alleys and many corners carry nostalgic memories for me. I like the beach and what happens there, especially during the afternoons, the people, the markets and to play with the light and shadow."
MORE FROM THE GRAPEVINE: