Early last week I blogged about my weekend trip to Philadelphia, closing out January with a story and photo of a wonderful philly cheese steak from Pat’s. Philadelphia is becoming a favorite photo destination for me, in no small part due to my friend and fellow photographer, Mohamed Flites.
Mohamed, pictured here striking a “preying mantis” pose before a video display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, was a resident of Philadelphia for several years and knows the city very well. We’re co-workers who for months engaged in small talk and brief conversations. It was a mutual acquaintance who pointed out our mutual interest in photography, though our subject matter and approach to taking photographs are almost completely different in every way.
Where I enjoy nature and travel photography, spending my days tramping along pine barrens trails, bird-watching, or searching with my wife for lighthouses or other points of interest, Mohamed enjoys taking of photos of people and scenes he encounters while roaming inner-city streets, visiting art museums, or civil war battlegrounds. And while I tend toward digital photography, shooting my subjects almost exclusively in color, Mohamed shots film, mostly black & white. Where my subjects are literal and straight forward, his are creative and interpretive.
And so we have struck up a friendship that has included photo safaris to locations as diverse as the streets of south Philly to hiking nature trails along the salt marshes of south Jersey. Along the way we’re getting to know a lot more about each other and, I think, we’re creatively pushing each other out of our comfort zones and into areas of photography that neither of us would have likely ventured alone.
Mohamed maintains a wonderful Flickr site, under the screen name tamesguida1965, where you can see examples of his photography and learn a little more about his other main interest, the American Civil War. Mohamed’s work was featured in a recent news article through our employer’s website and on a photo blog and news website after a chance encounter with another Philly street photographer.
By the way, here is a photo of that Philadelphia Museum of Art video display, a cartoon image of hands re-arranging furniture in a doll house taken from the perspective of the viewer. No…I don’t get it…but remember I tend toward literal and straight-forward subjects!