Here's the first group of photos chosen by our celebrity mystery judge (who is real—this is not misdirection from the trickster Ed.). We're keeping the identities of the photographers under wraps during the commenting. Please don't comment on your own photo or acknowledge it.
Unfortunately, I had to disqualify several of the Judge's picks because they weren't accompanied with a description. It was one of the entry requirements after all. —Ed.
"A friend of mine runs a traditional auto repair shop. My visits there are a delight as I get to chat with my friend and his dad, check out the machinery (they are always working on some interesting vehicle) and discover new photographic opportunities. This pic is from 2009."
"Funeral Home Guys. Manhattan, summer of 1975, my first experience in the Mecca for street photographers. Days and nights stalking the streets, subways, tourist haunts and parks, snapping photos of virtually everything. Intense immersion—shooting, developing, contact printing, rinse-and-repeat every day. Most images were in the styles of my street photo heroes of the time, but this picture of parking lot attendants stood out from the rest, mostly for being less chaotic and for using distance to make the image what it is."
"When our daughters said they wanted their room painted pink, we told them they'd have to help with the work. Leah, our three year-old, took the assignment seriously. Her technique may have left a bit to be desired, but her attitude more than made up for it."
"Seattle, 2012. I came across this salon scene during a busy Friday evening neighborhood art walk. These two seemed oblivious to the activity on the sidewalk and completely engrossed in the impending haircut."
"Taken in the original Bankers Life building in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1977. Doing a yearly tear-down and maintenance routine on an old ammonia compressor that had been converted to R-12 freon.
"Really hated this job, especially 'punching' the two evaporators and condensers seen in the upper left of the photo with a long rod with a brush on the end of it. The man in photo, co-worker Mike Wagner, is checking bearings.
"Photo taken with a Pentax H1a and Kodak Panatomic-X rated E.I. 64 developed in Rodinal. The main lighting was a four-foot, four-tube fluorescent fixture mounted on a two-wheel hand cart."
"I've been working on a photography project for the past year on prostitutes in the Dominican Republic, specifically Sosua on the north coast. I learned about Sosua through an ethnography of the women who come there, their motivations and hopes and dreams, by Denise Brennan. What was striking about the story Brennan told was that she didn't characterize the women as victims. Of course, choices are limited in the DR for women to make a decent living, but she describes women with agency, with plans, and with a purpose. When I went there, as I got to know the women, three in particular, I learned this to be true. I also learned that they are, like you or me, disarmingly ordinary. This is Dahiana."
"Outside a downtown construction site: denizens of a lot-line graffiti mural mark time, looking on uneasily at the progress of the adjacent lot's foundation work."
"This was taken last summer in the International District of Seattle, on a lunchtime photo walk. There's a great little Vietnamese deli around the corner from where I work, and when walking past I saw a great opportunity to capture the girl making sandwiches (banh mi) and intermingle the reflection from the street behind me. This was taken with an Olympus OM-D using an old Canon FD 50mm ƒ/1.8 adapted lens."
"Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, June 2013. People tend to be pretty vocal about advertisements. I get that, especially when you have a flight to catch at 4 a.m. Then again, it's just people doing their job. I hope this lady had fun. Looks like it."
"I am French and the photo I joined here has been taken in 2003. That is a scrap cutting operation in a steel mill in Italy (I am working in the steel mill industry)."
• • •
Your comments are solicited and welcome. —Ed.
(Thanks to the Judge)
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[For a change, I'm not featuring any comments in these posts, to avoid possibly "steering" the discussion of these pictures. To see what readers have had to say, please click on the "Comments" link below. —Ed.]