Roy Rozanski dived for unique characters and atmosphere at Carmel market in his hometown Tel Aviv.
Roy, please introduce yourself briefly.
My name is Roy Rozanski (38). Born and raised in Israel. I am an IT guy during workdays with a 9-5 office job and an aspiring street photographer by weekends for the past couple of years. My main “hunting ground” for street photography is the wonderful city of Tel Aviv.
I am influenced and inspired by great photographers such as Martin Parr and Elliott Erwitt and I try my best to incorporate their style into my own photography. I am always looking to represent the street life through my own looking glass. In my personal photographic way I try to capture the light and motion at its colorful way.
I like to shoot with mirrorless cameras or compact ones (currently own Fujifilm X-T1) with very wide prime lenses. Like the famous Robert Capa’s saying “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough” I try to get as close as I can without the use of zoom and it comes with its own perils since people react differently when you get close to their private space. But the rewarding captured shot, which is always around the corner, keep me passionate for street photography.
You are based in Tel Aviv, a cultural and economic hotspot. How is life in Tel Aviv different compared to other Israelite cities?
Tel Aviv is my main “hunting ground”. It possesses a highly versatile street life packed full of different vibes, sounds and smells. Even tough Tel Aviv is a small town in comparison to big vibrant metropolis like New York you still can visit the seashore, the market place and the vibrant street life in one sweeping photowalk and find in all of those locations unique characters and interesting situations to photograph. The people here are very warm hearted and, in general, tolerant to your camera pointing at them.
What are you favorite spots for Street photography in Tel Aviv and why?
There are several major places for street photographers. The big markets – Carmel in Tel Aviv, the fleas market in Jaffa. And both port areas in Tel Aviv and Jaffa. All those places are jam packed with photographic potential for great shots. My favorite spots are the seashores with its promenade and the Carmel market.
You chose to capture people on Carmel market. What was your approach when capturing this series?
First I looked for the right staging area to work with. At this time of the season, the light entering the market creates a lot of “light traps” so you are almost guarantee to get unique atmosphere for your shots. Then I looked for unique people or situations to cross my path and enter the “light traps” and all I had left is to wait and be prepared. Following the challenge restrictions I try to capture what I can in the short amount of time that was given. I hope I did OK.
Photos © Roy Rozanski
Did the limitation in time and location somehow influence your photography?
Of course, Street photography is in a way all about probabilities so the amount of time you put roaming the streets is in direct proportion to the amount of good photos that you can produce, as long as you know what you are doing. So the fact that I had limited work time really forced me to try different photography tactics and be more sharp and focused.
Is there anything to consider or to take care of when photographing on the streets of Tel Aviv?
In general the people of Tel Aviv are very welcoming towards foreign tourists so I don’t predict any problems when taking photos around the city. I long found out that a smile will get you a long way so I suggest trying to smile a lot to people in the street so they can be at ease and leave their guards down.
Do you have any insiders’ tips for people visiting your city?
Don’t read tourist guides as they are not intended for street photographers. Just roam the city in freestyle, try to absorb the sounds and smells that surrounds you and try to incorporate it in your shots. Your best shot could be when you turn left just out of your hotel so be prepared at all time.
Where can we find more of your work?