A software engineer during the week, Evyatar Dayan goes out on the streets of Tel Aviv most weekends and stalks photo ops. His patience and his eye for composition result in dramatic, droll and delightful pictures he posts on social media for the fun of it.
“I wander around with my camera trying to think a little outside the box and see things that use a little bit of imagination, humor or sarcasm,” Dayan tells ISRAEL21c.
Many of his shots capture contrasts or similarities that most of us would miss as we walked by.
“You need to manipulate your mind a little and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. You need to focus on something that looks like something else and wait for something else to come along,” he explains.
“I often start with half an idea, like a background wall, and wait for something to blend with it in a way that will say something or be funny,” Dayan adds.
Dayan, 42, has been doing his Tel Aviv street photography as a hobby for a decade, but he has loved taking pictures since he was a child growing up in Beit Shemesh.
He uses a Canon 5D Mark IV camera today, “but seriously it’s not important — I can take a good picture with my phone,” he says.
Dayan says he posts the pictures just to get reactions from people. The vast majority are positive – typical comments are “awesome,” “genius,” “fantastic.”
“I’ve had some people who contacted me to buy photos, but this is not my goal or my livelihood,” he emphasizes. “The process is great for me; it’s like therapy.”
Because his photos are spontaneous and candid, he never asks permission from his subjects before clicking the shutter. Most of the time they ignore or don’t notice him although sometimes people have asked him not to take their picture.
“Probably 50 percent of my photos that I publish, people in the photo recognize themselves and write to me asking for the picture. Usually they’re happy about it. Only twice they asked me to remove it,” Dayan reports.
Dayan, a new father, said his favorite pictures are those “that are a little hard to explain or you don’t see the point immediately.”