Dina Alfasi: Candid Portraits Taken on Trains

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All images by Dina Alfasi. Used with permission.

Photographer Dina Alfasi is from Israel. For a living, she is in Engineering Architecture. “I’m not a professional photographer – but for me photography is a way of life.” Dina tells the Phoblographer. “It’s like an additional sense that allows to tell a story through my eyes, my perspective.” Her photographs on EyeEm showcase captivating portraits of ordinary folks on public trains. On Instagram, she is the main contributor behind the #mydtrainmoments hashtag.

“I have a dream to host people from various disciplines and ages, casual passersby and celebrities, accompany me on the train, tell about themselves while I photograph them.” says Dina. “Moments that could be published regularly in the newspaper, Web site or a book.” She continued to say that they provide a fascinating perspective on the people and cultures and provide added value to my photographs.

Dina was pitched before in previous interviews as being an iPhone only shooter; but instead she uses her phone and dedicated cameras. This stems from her love of photography and using Kodak cameras when she was younger.

Phoblographer: Talk to us about how you got into photography.

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Dina: Already as a child, I loved to photograph. I owned a Kodak camera, film of course, that we received as a gift from my Australian uncle. When my son was born 12 years ago, I bought my first digital camera, and start to document his early years as a baby. The most significant change that happened to me was when I purchased my first iPhone (iPhone 4s). It’s opened up a whole new world of photography and editing. The Accessibility and the large various of the editing applications, fascinated and intrigued me. Now I’m using the iPhone 6 and love it!

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Phoblographer: What made you want to shoot portraits on the train?

Dina: Every day I get to work by train. For two hours every day I’m in a place with different people. At first, to pass the time, I was just observing them and trying to guess where they’re going, what they are dealing with, what their own story. Along with this observation, I noticed intimate moments and the special lighting on the train. And so I started to take photos in secret, and I was surprised with the result.

Phoblographer: So walk us through this experience, you see a person being bathed in great light, you photograph them, what’s next? Do you interact with them?

Dina: All the portraits I shoot, taken without the knowledge of the subjects. These photographs could not happen if they were aware of the camera. Even after shooting I don’t inform my subjects because I use the train every day, and if people are mindful of this, I’m no longer will be able to photograph those spontaneous moments. To gain these results it is important not to notice me.

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Phoblographer: What message do you try to get across with your images?

Dina: I attempt to convey emotion and story. Each person is a world, each with its own story. With photography and editing, I try to pass it away as I see from my perspective. Happy moments, sad, funny, moments that make thought or feeling to those who view the photo. Every day human moments.

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Phoblographer: You only use the iPhone. What apps do you use? Have you ever thought about getting a dedicated camera?

Dina: I also have a Canon D100 and Leica D-Lux6. But most of the photographs are taken with the iPhone.

I always love to explore and discover new apps, and use the good between them. I am known among friends the one that can find suitable applications for their needs. I get dozens of requests to help the operation of applications and photo editing advice. I am always happy to help and I enjoy the challenges. The Applications which I use most often are Snapseed, Vscocam, Enlight, Stackables, Filterstorm, and Mextures.

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