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Streets Ahead – Fourth Edition – With JQ Gaines and Maddy McCoy

We’re delighted to publish the Fourth Edition of Streets Ahead, the wonderful Women’s Street Photography Column that both Maddy McCoy and JQ Gaines run and we publish every Monday. This is an incredibly exciting Column and if you would like to learn more about it, go here.

If you would like to join the Streets Ahead Flickr group, please go here – over to you Maddy and JQ (foreword by Joanne Carter).


“We would like to thank everyone for participating in the Streets Ahead Flickr group. There were many fantastic submissions and we were extremely impressed with the quality of the images. For this weeks Streets Ahead Showcase we each picked our 5 favorite images from this week’s Streets Ahead Flickr group submissions. We then wrote a little something on why each was chosen. We have to say that it was extremely difficult to narrow our decisions down to only 10 images, as there were so many worthy photos submitted. We will repeat this process each week.

We look forward to seeing your best mobile street shots.


JQ’s Top Selections This Week


Just My Imagination
by Amaeye (Amy (McGrath) Hughes)


Well, if this isn’t a perfect Hopper moment… then I don’t know what is! Amy truly captured (and presented) a most beautiful graphic composition of space, solitude and time. In addition to the beautiful lines, tones and division of space, my eyes keep coming back to the trash can and the man. The deep shadows clearly indicate that this was taken late in the afternoon (or morning)… and the scale comparison of the man and trash can give us a wonderful sense of distance.


Two Talking Women
by Misses Jones


I immediately fell in love with this photograph. Misses Jones has given us a brilliant example of how to frame a shot using a window and bars. (Alfred Hitchcock would’ve been thrilled with this… no doubt!!!) Not only are our eyes visually satisfied by the overall composition and tones, but we hone right in on the dialogue that is taking place between these two women. And I can’t help but find their body language interesting… one of them is standing quite rigid while the other one is sweeping her foot along the ground… almost like she’s nervously fidgeting. This is a gorgeous cinematic shot!


Only one of them didn’t want to be recognized.
by MartinaP.


What an incredibly surreal image! At first glance I was quite amused and intrigued with the mannequin’s life-like posture, sitting at the table with a coffee cup before her. But the more I reflected on this image, the more I was struck about the psychological content. Mannequins indicate shopping, sales and fashion.. They dictate the rules and guidance on how we should dress for trends, social acceptance and/or success. And boy, does this mannequin have some interesting body language going on! This is a photograph that can’t help but cause a dialogue with the viewer… and I just Love it!!


Musee d’Orsay
Cara Gallardo Weil


This photograph contains a lot of graphic elements that excites our visual senses… and what a beautiful image! The silhouette of the man against the clock, with the soft gray background of the city is very striking, and really captures depth (and height!!) I’ve always found that circles are difficult to dynamically crop in a square format… but Cara certainly did a gorgeous job on this. While the circular shape is predominantly placed, the strong lines of the clock’s hands encourage us to visually explore every section of the photograph. However, the outline of dots bring us right back to the circular image… reminding us about the continuation of time.


Cafe de la Mairie, Paris, February 2013
Lumilyon (Nettie Edwards)


Nettie has such a great eye for storytelling and cinema! Here is yet another capture that contains many layers of visual and emotional intrigue. Compositionally, everything is in place… there are strong lines that divide the space and help our eyes navigate the entire surface, as well as a nice distribution of tones. But what really fascinates me is the sense of depth. In the background, we see a lot of socializing going on. But in the foreground we have a man sitting alone, who appears to be lost in thought. And then there is the third, unseen layer… because we are acutely aware of the space that the photographer occupied in order to take this picture. I just think this is a great image!

Maddy’s Top Selections This Week


“Two Talking Women” by Misses Jones


I find this photo enchanting. I feel as if we are eavesdropping on lovers from a bygone era. I don’t want to look away; I want to hear their secrets.


Ripped From Reality No5: More Wishful Thinking by Liz Traynor


I wish I were smart enough to have come up with this concept. It’s a wonderful piece to spend some time looking at. It’s an image that says as much or as little as we choose to take from it. It is a poignant commentary on womanhood today, it is fun fluff: you choose. It’s just so damn smart.


Anti-Social. by Michelle Robinson


If I had happened upon this gem of a scene, I’d probably have been so excited that I’d have somehow messed it up. I feel as though it took some nerve to get this photo. I’m impressed that Michelle kept a steady hand and nailed the shot. Really splendid.


Street Chase by Tracey Renehan


When I first saw this image I actually got giddy. It is fantastic, Tracey!

Image deconstruction: I am curious if this was a straight shot or was there some post-processing done? Was this image perhaps decim8ed*?

* App called “Decim8”


Looking Forward Looking Backward, Looking In Looking Out: Paris February 2013 by Lumilyon


Lumilyon searches for the rabbit hole that will take her to the hallway of human lineage. She sees the door to the beautiful garden of antiquity, and they always let her enter…



Join the Forum discussion on this post

JQ's background is in painting and printmaking at the Pratt Institute, she also owned and operated a Books Arts & Textiles Studio in NYC. Three years ago JQ discovered mobile photography and her work has been exhibited in a number of exhibitions around the world.


  • Michelle Robinson

    Firstly, what a great job JQ and Maddy!

    Secondly, it is an honour! I love all the selections and am really proud to be amongst them.

    I think Liz Traynor’s piece was just so striking! It will be one that I will remember for a long time to come, and like you said: I wish I had thought of the concept! I am still getting used to the idea of app-ing street photography – but am learning thanks to Tracey Renehan and her encouragements on EyeEm to submit to the album “App’d Street Photography”.

    Thank you for featuring “Anti-Social” – and yes, I am pretty brazen! ^^

    Well done all. I am so proud to be amongst you and most of all, Nettie, your versatility is amazing!

  • MartinaP.

    First of all, I want to thank Maddy McCoy and JQ Gaines for the work you’ve done. This column is so interesting and inspiring.
    Second, thank you for featuring my picture “Only one of them didn’t want to be recognised”. I am very proud to be part of such an amazing selection!

  • Tracey Renehan

    Streets Ahead is a fantastic initiative and is what prompted me to join Flickr. Thank you, Maddy & JQ for adding my image to your amazing selection. Each image is fantastic and work to be admired and studied. Your commentary is brilliant.

    Yes my image was decim8ed (Vortron(Redux effect)). It’s so funny, that it made you giddy, as I was giddy myself after hauling heavy grocery bags, chasing him through a shopping centre and half way up the stairs to get the shot.

  • lee atwell

    such wonderful and thought provoking images! i loved reading your commentaries JQ and Maddy!

  • Catherine

    Incredibly diverse and wonderful set of images! So much intrigue and magic woven through these pieces… Excellent once again JQ and Maddy!!

  • JQ Gaines

    Thank you all so much for your wonderful support to this women’s collective… it really is inspiring to see everyone’s work and to be part of this enthusiastic group of women!! And, to be honest, I couldn’t help but smile while reading Stefanie’s comment “Girl Power!”… It reminds me of the phrase my 9 yr old daughter and her friends constantly say: “Girl’s Rule! Boys Drool!” Of course, as a parent, I have to remind her that her brother doesn’t agree… but inside, I’m giving her a “4 thumbs up” 🙂

    I look forward to seeing your work every single day, ladies… thanks for sharing!!

  • Stef LP

    @jq Gaines …glad u caught the tone of voice that was stated in.
    Not sure who started that phrase, might have been powder puff girls…lol
    But every once in a while gals need that affirmation. 🙂

    @tracy renehan
    You have paid the photographers price! (Running after a shot loaded down with your own load) that investment is what makes for brilliance.
    …and your editing is spot on, it’s kept subtle ….thus making it a very effective street impression . So glad u joined Flickr .