Rinzi Ruiz is known for his high contrast black and white street photography from the streets of downtown L.A. but he’s been experimenting with color images lately and this one is particularly well seen. The tentatively formal framing and perfectly saturated colors create sense of place so strong that you can almost hear the slot machines jangling in the background. Hit the jump for more on Rinzi.
Rinzi Ruiz Street Photography
I was lucky enough to participate in a workshop with Rinzi in downtown L.A. last year. I found him to have a genuine curiosity about the world around him that allowed an almost tireless pursuit of his next image. Never forced or put on, but genuinely motivated by capturing the world around him.
He’s a prolific shooter and in a few short years has defined a crisp aesthetic that is universally recognized as his own style. While this urban still life isn’t typical of his work, the strong sense of presence through absense holds your attention as the face in the painting almost seems to come to life. The clinical indoor lighting adds to the sense of place and lets your eye wander back into the frame to see the slot machines purring in the background.
There’s a haunting sense of perverted tradition that carries through from the proud cowboy and grazing horses in the portait to the wood panelling that leads your eye to the cigar store indian that is only partially in frame. So many questions arise from this simple feast for the eyes.
Rinzi talks about developing his personal style on his blog:
For me a huge part of photography and in finding a personal style is in learning how to see. It’s something that’s not easy and takes some time to figure out. Earlier I was focused on learning how to use the camera and different lenses, I was focused on learning different processing styles and I was learning how to edit my photos. Through all the practicing I was also learning how to see. I’m constantly in the process of learning how to see and really learning how ‘I’ see. Learning how ‘I’ see is what’s most important to me because it’s how I believe my personal style will come about. It will be my unique take on the world and the things and people who I photograph.
What’s your take on Rinzi’s shot? Does still life / urban landscape have a place in street photography? Post your ideas in the commetns below and keep the conversation going!