Peddler selling reading glasses at an opposition May Day parade in Quito
Peddler selling reading glasses at an opposition May Day parade in Quito

The Dandy Dozen: My 12 Favorite Street Shots For May 2015

The shot above was taken during an opposition May Day parade in Quito last month. I covered a handful of demonstrations while in the Ecuadorean capital, knew what to expect, and decided to focus some attention to what was happening on the fringes, which at times was even more interesting.

The man had an audience of thousands, but none were in the market for reading glasses. Not even at three dollars a pop. By the time he moved on, his expression turned grim. That departure from the scene remains one of the most poignant memories of that morning and afternoon that I spent walking among tens of thousands of people.

It’s also one of my favorite street shots snapped during the month of May, leading off my monthly dandy dozen street shot compilation which I began in late April. (It’s here if you missed it.) I’m happy to report that for the fifth consecutive month, none of the subjects flung sardines at me or punched me in the crotch. Not one.

As I mentioned in my monthly round-up a few days ago, May was the proverbial whirlwind, a month that began and ended in Quito and Bogota respectively, with stops in Doha, Qatar, and Madrid and Toledo, Spain in between. No, not the most conventional route. But I made it. And collected a few reward miles, too.

Most of the images here are from Quito, but there are also a few from my first days in Bogota, my current base, from Toledo and Madrid and one from Doha –for memory’s sake.

For post-processing, I continued experimenting as I did last month with a with a set of classic film presets I bought from Elephant Gun, an international collective whose work I’ve grown to admire a great deal. Make some time to check out their projects and track them down on Instagram. You won’t be disappointed.

In the meantime, enjoy. As always, feedback is welcome, encouraged, and very much appreciated.

Recycling collector, Bogota
Recycling collector, Bogota
Street vendor, Bogota
A street vendor on his way home. Candelaria, Bogota.
Working Street Photographer, Plaza Grade, Quito, May 2015
Working Street Photographer, Plaza Grade, Quito, May 2015
Wandering the narrow cobblestone streets of Toledo, Spain.
My friend Danijela wandering the narrow cobblestone streets of Toledo, Spain.
Hat and bag peddler, Quito
A hat and bag peddler also working the fringes of the anti-government May Day Parade in Quito.
Happy Club, Quito
I was waiting for them to look at me and smile. Or look mean. But they did neither. Quito, May 2015.
Pro-government May Day March in Quito 13
Two girls watch as a May Day parade passes by their home in Quito.
Newspaper vendor on Calle 12, Candelaria, Bogota
Pachamama Contigo Luchamos, or, Mother Earth, we fight with you. A street vendor on Calle 12, Candelaria, Bogota
Graffiti wall, Malasana, Madrid
The Finest Wall in Madrid’s Malasaña neighborhood.
Graffiti in Doha, 12-May-2015
Graffiti in Doha. May 2015
Pro-government May Day March in Quito 07
At a pro-government May Day parade in Quito.

The lead photo serves as today’s Pic du Jour, the blog’s 508th straight, and as the entry for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge whose theme is vivid. As I mentioned above, the man’s single-minded focus and urgency remains one of my most vivid memories from this year’s international workers’ holiday.

All images © Bob Ramsak 2015. All rights reserved. High resolution images available.
For stock or editorial use please get in touch.
For print purchases please visit here; for greeting cards and post cards here.
If you’d like a print or card of an image not yet listed in those portfolios, let me know. I’ll be happy to make it available.


  1. Great layout, gets a bit busy down the bottom of your front page. I was looking for a follow button but got confused, you seem to integrate lots of platforms together. Think I could learn a bit from you. Thanks for stopping by.

    1. Thanks Chris, and thank you for stopping by as well. The layout is fairly new so I’m still playing with things. Agree that it needs some more tweaking towards the bottom. Cheers and happy shooting!

  2. these are fantastic images, so well seen… love the hat seller photo… quite a contrast there lol 🙂 the man passing by the yellow wall and the five women, one of them waiving at you… these are all just great showing slices of the life going on there…

  3. Great images but even better, wonderful site! Like someone said above, I’m gonna learn (& steal ideas!) from your organization/formatting. I particularly like the way you insert text in your pictures, not sure if my WordPress theme allows that or perhaps I have to create that in Photoshop. Looks like I had better get started, thousands of blogs to read… 🙂

    1. Thanks, John, much appreciated. As for the captions — that positioning is the default for my theme. I didn’t like it at first but it’s starting to grow on me.

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