Rydell Tomas street photographs capture a mixture of contemporary and old America. Drawing from classic photographers while making his own voice, Tomas's work keeps American street photography going. Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Tomas's zine "American Dream" details Tomas's adventures in downtown Atlanta in July of 2017.
What photographers inspire you?
Photographers that influence me are household names in photojournalism and/or portrait photography. Henri Cartier-Bresson, Steve McCurry, William Klein, Greg Miller and a very old photographer named Edward S. Curtis. They are my favorites.
You seem to draw a lot from classic street photography, can you elaborate on that?
Compared to a lot of the content today, photos back then had a lot more to say. You can tell when photos are forced, or authentic. I want to make things that are real, something that only myself could envision.
Do you think working with film gives you an advantage in street photography?
Yes, I feel like working with film tremendously helps my workflow. Film is more forgiving with overexposure. Once you get adjusted to reading light you rarely need a light meter. Working with film gives you more control, control over your equipment gets results.
Your zine is titled "American Dream" why use that title?
I titled my zine "American Dream" because I feel we live in a false reality. Someone who hasn't visited the states has an idea of what life is like here. Atlanta; like many other major cities, is culturally rich. There's no way you could envision the life until you experience it first-hand.
Where do you think street photography is going?
I feel like street photography is moving towards greatness. The internet connects a lot of the artist making photos, and with the increased popularity of analog photography, it's going to continue growing!
If you can give advice to any photographers afraid to shoot on the streets what would it be?
Just make the photo. Most of the time you get into your head that people are going to react negatively. You attract the energy you put out. Approach people with confidence, you'd be surprised by what happens.