What is Street Photography?

What is street photography? According to wikipedia….

“Street photography, also sometimes called candid photography, is photography conducted for art or inquiry that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents within public places. … Street photography does not necessitate the presence of a street or even the urban environment.”

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My photo photo (above) was selected and featured on instagram account @bcncollective they have a decent amount of followers, I believe the account is still fairly new and their selections in my opinion are pretty good. Also, I have not had many of my photos featured on other instagram accounts so this recognition was deeply appreciated.

However, an instagram user commented on my photo something to the extend that the photo is cruel and should be taken down despite many other positive comments. This is one of those polarizing photos that have received both negative and positive comments. I love this photo because of how overly tan she is and she sorts of looks like an alien so when I came across her I wasn’t sure if she came from out of space or if she was one of us earthlings….Anyways, due to this one person the collective decided to remove the image, instagram did not ask the collective to remove it. The photo does not show any nudity or inflicts any of instagram photo procedures. The collective removed it to be sensitive to that ONE comment.

How was I notified about this removal…well the collective messages me the next morning and my response was simply that they shouldn’t care about what people think is or is not a street photo. My advice to them was if you like a photo and want to feature it on your page, do it. Don’t hesitate if “well is it going to receive a negative response”…that’s the same mentality as “well is this photo going to get a lot of likes”….that’s the pitfall of social media, too many people are too worried about other people’s opinion.

You think Suzanne Stein would be anything if she was worried about people bashing her photographs on the homeless community on Skid Row? I’ve read a lot of mixed responses and reviews on Bruce Gilden’s book/series Faces…you think he cares? It’s his vision with a purpose and the best part is he can defend his work. He’s not taking random photos and calling it street photography.

My photo is part of a larger continuous project called Beach Please where I photograph unusual and absurd moments of things happening on the beach or of interesting people that’s at the beach. Whether on the beach or on the sidewalk, my instincts will naturally tell me to make a photograph if the colors are striking, the person is interesting (I don’t know how to explain this but something about them or on them just catches my eye), something is happening or taking place and may look nice in a frame of a second, and if the lighting is striking.

On the beach, there are more opportunities from my experience to come across something interesting that you can tie in with the beach. What I mean by that is for example, all marketing and promotional materials of Hawaii is of the scenery, lava, fire dancers, pristine beaches with super models on walking along shores…However, that is a false perception of Hawaii…Hawaii like any metropolitan city has it’s own set of issues with homelessness, traffic, and high cost of living…on the beach especially a touristy beach like Waikiki, there are rarely any super models. The beach is filled with homeless, over weight seniors enjoying their vacation or retirement, and families….very different then any promotional video you’ll see on the internet of Waikiki (check out my previous blog on “Street Photography on the Beach“). So with this project, my intention is to capture the reality of Waikiki beach which I’m sure the Hawaii Visitor & Convention Bureau would not appreciate.

Conclusion

All in all, there’s a lesson to be learned here. One, don’t give a rats ass what negative comments people make on your photo. If they give constructive feedback on how the photo could be better, then great. But take it with a grain of salt especially if you did not seek constructive feedback. Lesson two, you know what you’re intentions are, photograph with your heart, mind, and soul. I truly believe you can only make good photograph’s if it resonates with you. Yes, anyone can grab a camera, go out, and start clicking the shutter button….and have photos of anything and everything. But if you photograph with your mind, soul, and heart….which ultimately means photos that resonate with you and your initial instincts then go for it.

 
Adding this donate button. Any donation will be greatly appreciated. Your monetary donation will be used for coffee and photobooks. Mahalo

Hawaii Cars

My on-going project of abandon cars in Hawaii…check it out

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Adding this donate button. Any donation will be greatly appreciated. Your monetary donation will be used for coffee and photobooks. Mahalo

 

Interview with LA Photographer Austin Alfaro

Austin Alfaro is a young photographer who is fairly new to shooting the streets of Los Angeles. Check out his interview and his photos at the very bottom.

Hi Austin thanks for doing this. where do you live and how does this influence your photography?

You’re welcome Tim. I live just outside of Los Angeles, California, in a small suburban city called Simi Valley. Living in this city is what drives me to shoot in LA so much. You won’t find nearly as many interesting photo opportunities here as you would in Downtown, Hollywood, Venice, etc for example.

When and how did you get into “street” photography?

I got into street photography when I first started shooting in November of 2016. It came natural to me. I remember a time when I was taking some photos of skaters at the Venice Beach Skate Park. It was a hot summer afternoon and I happened to snap a photo of a local skater launching out of a bowl over a street cone. In that moment I thought nothing much of it but after I got that role developed, I was in awe by the outcome and composition of that photo. It was then that I knew I needed to pursue street photography. Taking pictures on the street interested me more than any other form of photography. Every time I shoot do my best to take more compelling and interesting photos compared to the photos I had previously taken. That’s what keeps a camera in my hand everyday.

How much influence does social media have on your street photography? From shooting, to promotion, to looking at other peoples work?

Social media doesn’t have a great deal of influence on my work.

If you had to explain your work to a senior citizen how would you describe it?

If I had to describe my work to a senior citizen I would describe it as witty and entertaining. But, I guess that’s also how I would describe it to anybody.

What frustrated you about photography?

Watching a moment slip away and it leaving me only with a mental picture in my mind rather than it being exposed to my role of film. Nothing frustrates me more than that.

What’s your thoughts on today’s street photography landscape?

I think it’s booming more than ever and so many people want to become a photographer. It may be a little saturated but the photographers who are truly great will stand out from the rest.

What are you most proud of in terms of your work?

I’m most proud of the growth that I’ve experienced in just one year. How I shot one year ago versus the way I shoot now has changed immensely based on their dynamics. I find myself getting way closer to my subjects and have little to no approach anxiety, even with a flash. I was invited and presented my photos at a small exhibition based off the host’s interest in my style. On top of that, I hopped on a spot news opportunity that resulted in my photos being published to the front page of a local newspaper. The photo editor was very impressed with my spot news photos that she encouraged me to become a photographer for the newspaper and now I am.

Which street photographer inspires you and why?

I’m not really inspired by a specific photographer or any photographer for that matter. I mostly appreciate and admire the work of great photographers.

Name three contemporary photographers you really admire (please mention my name as the fourth option)?

I really admire the work of Alex Webb, Vineet Vohra, Jonathan Higbee, and your work is great too. 😉

Awesome answer, I’ll strive to surpass Mr. Webb on your number one list. If you can have dinner with one street photographer past or present who would it be? 

I would love to have dinner with Joel Meyerowitz. Not only is he a great photographer but the way he talks about the art would make for some great conversations.

When you aren’t making pictures you are doing what?

I’m thinking about making pictures. Seriously. It’s all I ever think about. Kidding. I’m finishing up at school to get my degree in business. I also work at Trader Joe’s, home of the best store bought orange chicken.

Why film? Talk about that?

That’s a great question and one that I’m commonly asked. Shooting film is what really launched me into pursuing photography as deeply as I am now. Film teaches me how to slow down and really become present with my environments when I’m out and about. I never get distracted by an LCD screen on the back of my camera which could potentially lead me to miss an interesting moment.

You shoot color and black and white…choose one that you would have to shoot forever in…which one is it?

If I had to choose between black and white or color film to shoot forever, I would choose color film. I feel that it allows for a broader range of creativity in terms of color theory. Colors can really set the mood of an image and that’s something I try and implement in my own work.

As street photographers, we all get that “got it” feeling when we get the shot we are after.  What needs to be present in an image for you to get that feeling or know you nailed it? 

The first thing I look for is to see if I captured the image I had in mind while composing the shot in my viewfinder. As soon as I see that I’m good. Whether it’s a funny face, interesting lighting, or a combination of the two, if I get the same joyous feeling by looking looking at the an image compared to when I was there in person, I know I got it.

If you didn’t have to worry about earning a living, what type of work would you do?

That’s also a great question. I would pursue photography full time. I love shooting in Los Angeles and all but there’s still the rest of the world to be photographed from my perspective. With that said I would travel constantly and explore our planet. I know that mind sound cliche but it’s true. I think most street photographer’s dreams are to travel the world and capture their environments.

What is your dream assignment/project?

My dream project would be to document the first humans to visit the Moon commercially and their experience, so I’m crossing my fingers that happens in our lifetime. I know it sounds crazy but how cool would that be! Dreams are meant to be far fetched and set to a high standard I think, because that means all the dreams below that one are just that much easier to achieve.

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 Keep up with Austin’s future work below.
Instagram @milkyselects

Adding this donate button. Any donation will be greatly appreciated. Your monetary donation will be used for coffee and photobooks. Mahalo

Creative Street Photography Experiments

We all run into a rut in life and yes it happens in our own photography as well. If you’re having a photographer’s block or simply aren’t inspired to shoot here are a four creative street photography experiments worth trying….hopefully at the very minimum it gets you out of the house, burn those calories, get some fresh air, and allow you to start snapping away. Lets begin!

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Crosswalk

If you only have time to shoot during your lunch break like I do and work in a pretty busy district then try shooting at the busiest crosswalk in your work area. The good thing about a busy crosswalk is that there’s a lot of foot traffic. People are walking in one direction to another. Some are rushing to get to their destination…and some are not. Once you choose the busiest crosswalk with four crossing points, keep at it for at least an hour. The good thing about crosswalks is that there are breaks in between and you can look across the street to see whose on the other side and sort of prepare your mind on how you anticipate to make the photograph. You also have time to pick and choose which characters stand out to you.

And also depending on the street/crosswalk if its super busy like somewhere in New York City, you should be able to blend in with the crowd, no one will notice you even making a photograph. I promise you if you did round robins around the four point crosswalks for an hour straight you would come away with some memorable shots. This approach may be best suited for someone who hates walking aimlessly for an hour on their lunch or someone that gets easily frustrated after not seeing anything. At least when you are photographing along the crosswalks there’s no shortage of people, it’s dense, which in my opinion means there’s opportunity.

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Attend a Weekend Event

I took the family out to the Punahou Carnival (President Obama’s old stomping ground) an event that I have not been to in almost twenty years. I started to have preconceived images in my head or what I’d think I would be able to capture based off of some photos I’ve seen from others (for example Jill Maguire – check out her interview I did last year) and from my experience you don’t want to have preconceived images in your head…you don’t want to jump to conclusions because that can be very forceful in trying to make a photograph happen…then frustration builds upon after that.

Anyways, after about an half an hour in getting the kids on a couple of rides and putting my focus on them by also photographing and capturing their moments we took a quick break and the first thing that caught my attention was all the carnival attendees eating..well carnival food. The way they bit into the different foods. You had people biting into a corn on a cob a certain way, an ice cream, others slurping fried noodles in a very grotesque manner, gigantic bites into their burger. Something about it really caught my attention, I am not sure if I found the mannerism humorous but it was enough for me to start snapping away. I was using flash because one it was at night and two I wanted the subjects to pop out in the foreground while making the colors very striking. And soon after a few shutter clicks, I got into a rhythm and started snapping away. I was able to get close to people because it was overly crowded and most of the attendees did not notice me nor cared what I was doing. I would take a photo, flash goes off and people taught I was taking a photo of something behind them.

You can check out the entire series here – Punahou Carnival 2018

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Photograph Somewhere You’ve Never Photographed Before (in your state, country)

We all would love to travel at least once a year but traveling cost money and if you don’t have that luxury then try to work within your means. Drive thirty minute south, north, east, and or west from your location. Park somewhere safe of course…I mean do as much research in terms of parking, bathrooms, restaurants for breaks before you spontaneously head out and walk around and absorb the area (Street photography tips before you head out). This is a reminder that you don’t have to travel abroad to make memorable photos. Start within your own city, drive to somewhere new or somewhere you have’t really photographed within a 10 mile radius and perhaps make it a weekend excursion. I truly believe that the best photographs that you’ll come away with is when it organically happens and when you know too little than too much of a situation.

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Da Beach

If you live near water, take a walk on the beach and bring your camera with you as well. I love photographing people on the beach because things are much much slower and calmer compared to the actual streets. People are on the beach to relax, some are tourist on vacation, for crying out loud people are in speedos with their guards down already so they could care less if you make a photograph of them. People at the beach aren’t there because they have to be there, they aren’t miserable at the beach, they’re there to congregate and have a good time, get a nice tan, enjoy the sunset, and ultimately get in some of that salt water therapy!

There’s a lot of different activities happening at the beach, a lot of body shapes, sizes, young and old, so there is a lot of variety to choose from and you can go at a slower pace.

You can check out a few of my vlogs shooting the beach in Honolulu. https://www.youtube.com/timhuynhphotography

Conclusion

There you have it folks, just a few simple ideas or experiments worth trying if you are having difficulty photographing the streets or if you hit a photographer’s block. At the end of the day, it’s not about the amount of social media likes and or follows. But rather about having fun with your street photography. From me I feel most alive when my brain is stimulated and challenged but also if I’m able to have an outlet to release my creativity. I shoot to get away from the daily stresses and ultimately it helps me get off my ass burn some calories, get some fresh air and be a creator. You should do the same too.

Adding this donate button. Any donation will be greatly appreciated. Your monetary donation will be used for coffee and photobooks. Mahalo

 

What If Your Favorite Street Photos Were Staged…

What if you found out your favorite photo(s) from Alex Webb, Bruce Gilden, Winogrand, Parr, etc were manipulated…staged…almost like shooting a narrative film where they had an opportunity to do retakes…re-position their subjects…or even use unnatural lighting. Does the photo and the photographer lose your respect? The definition of street photography is that the photo is taken candidly, right? Before we move any further…I am not saying these photos are posed…I am rather posing the question …What if the street photos you admired from your favorite photographer were in some fashion, manipulated…

Let’s say the photo below by Alex Webb was for example STAGED…do you lose respect for Mr. Webb? How do you stage such a photo like this? Possibly end up directing people…pull strangers off to the side and tell one person to position themselves onto the left side of the frame and hold the 49ers book or whatever it is to cover their face from the sun. Then pull aside two young lovers and have the man’s back facing the camera. And let’s position a father holding his child in the middle of the frame, creating a silhouette image. Of course before having everything aligned the photographer must experiment and have moved around subjects until he got the image he would be satisfied with.

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Personally, I wouldn’t be bothered much if some of these iconic images were staged or even slightly manipulated in any way. Again, you still need a vision to see things on the street, it doesn’t make the photographer less credible in my opinion. The beauty of a street photo is yes it’s taken candidly sometimes with only chance to snap the photo. But at the end of the day, a good photo is a good photo and you can leave it up to the viewer whether or not it was captured decisively or not. If you are left feeling more inspired after viewing their photo then the photographer did it’s job…who cares if it’s real, fake, staged, candid…that’s all politics…it’s like pro-wrestling, who cares if it’s fake…you’re entertained right? Everything you see on TV is fake anyways, what’s the difference.

Eric Kim and  Bruce Gilden produce really great street portraits, a sub category of street photography. They’re both great at identifying an interesting subject out in the public setting. Eric likes to engage with his subject a lot more than Bruce but in the end they do ask for permission. They both interact with their subjects…although it’s a street portrait… does that make it less credible because of their engagement with their subject…is it more documentary photography that they’re doing or perhaps commercial photography?

Where does one draw the line of candid and stage…

Interview with Street Photographer Daniel Huete

Check out this interview with Streetfoto mobile runner up Daniel Huete! It is quite insightful to say the least.

Can you start off by telling us a (brief) story on your background and how you first picked up a camera?

I was born in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.It wasn’t until 8 years ago (when I moved to Bangkok, Thailand) that I decided to pick up a camera, from that moment on I knew what I wanted to do and kept doing it till today.

You’re currently residing in Los Angeles but only photograph when you make trips out to India? Could you talk about that.
For me it is quite difficult to photograph in Los Angeles. After photographing in India, everything here seems dull and you have to be really careful with what you are photographing. India for me its a very special place, its the place I will always come back to photograph.
You can always discover something you have never seen , something new, there is always life on the streets. Its just so dynamic.
When did you start photographing India and what about is it about India that inspires you?
The first time I went to India was back in 1994. I was 5 years old at the time. I went there for six months with my grandmother. I still actually have photos from that trip.
That was my first impression of India, I still have many fond memories of my time there.
I guess those travels made me want to come back and photograph India. It is a place where I can connect with my childhood, it holds a special place in my heart.
Has there been any major changes from the first time you’ve been in india compared to your last visit?
Yes, I can see how India is changing  and becoming more modern, but it still has the same essence.
What’s your favorite city of India?
Thats a very very hard question, there are too many beautiful cities in India.
It all depends on what you want to photograph or what you want to do.
These are some of my favorite places not in order and depending on the season.
Pushkar, Rishikesh, Haridwar , Mathura, Vrindavan, Barsana , Mcleodganj, Delhi, Mumbai and of course Varanasi.
Your photos of India are in black and white for such a colorful country. could you walk us through that?

I love to photograph in color and black and white, currently I’m working on two projects that are separated by black and white and color. For certain situations I prefer black and white specially to create a difference in mood. You will definitely see more color photographs in the near future.

Describe your style and how you approach making photographs when wandering the streets.

When I started photography I took a lot of influence studying photos from National Geographic, Magnum photos and Documentary projects from different photographers.

I mainly I shot portraits and travel photography.
There was a  moment when my photography took a drastic change it was after an APF workshop I attended in Singapore, I really have to thank my street photography mentors Vineet Vohra, Rohit Vohra and Aik beng Chia for that workshop as well as all the tips and teaching they gave me till this day.
They helped me conquer the biggest fear I had while shooting , to get close to people.They do it like no other. I can feel peoples breathing these days thanks to that. Today I try to mix street and documentary photography.

 

Who are some of your favorite street photographers?

I would say some of my favorites are Fan Ho, Alex Webb, Josef Koudelka, Martin Parr and of course my three mentors V.V R.V and  ABC.

What’s your overall goal with your travels to India? A book?

I have two zines from India coming soon. One in color and one in black and white. The long term project I currently have will be two books on India.

What keeps you motivated?
The fact that I’m doing photography that its what I love to do, traveling the world and being surrounded by good friends and people I love.  I wouldn’t image my self doing something else.

 

Favorite Indian dish?

Since we are talking about India,

Non Veg
Nihari  at a restaurant called Karims(Near Jama masjid, Delhi)
Veg
I would go with Paneer tikka Masala
And of course Chai.

 

Can I tag along with you to visit India one of these days?

Why not? You can tag along on my next trip if you are up for it!

You live across the ocean from Hawaii. Any plans to visit Hawaii?

I have always wanted to visit Hawaii but I’ve never got the chance to come.

Hopefully sometime in the near future.

 

By the way, congrats on  winning the 2nd place mobile category at Streetfoto. How did you hear about it and what was your reaction?

Thanks, Tim. I heard about it when Vineet posted that he was going to do a workshop there, so I checked the site and submitted.

I didn’t expect it, there were some really really good photos.
Its always difficult to choose the winning photographs out of so many good photographs.
Any tips for travelers and photographers wanting to visit India?
One of my tips would be that you can’t discover India in one or two weeks., you can’t see it all in six months either. Take time, let your self go, get out of your comfort zone and you will discover.

 

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Follow Daniel Huete’s work below!

 

http://danielhuete.com/

 

Instagram @danielhuete 

 

 

How to Handle Criticism on your Street photography

Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots – Frank Clark

Criticism is negative feedback and I’ve had a very small handful of them on my photography through peers and folks on social media. I’m human, sometimes it gets to me but I try my best not to let it. Criticism is negative feedback without any guidance or suggestive improvements. For example, if someone saw your photo and said “It’s crap” and not explain why the photo is crap then it’s all deaf ears to me.

However, saying that the photo is crap but yet explaining why, is constructive feedback. There’s opportunity to learn and grow knowing why your photo just doesn’t work.  I had one person say (and I won’t give any clues) that one of my photo essays was pretty good but that’s because they edited the photos down and cropped some of the images. Or said (same person) it sucks without further explanation.

I’m open for constructive feedback and I think I take it pretty well, I’m all ears and open to a discussion. I also believe in defending your work if you truly love the image and regardless what others think, if you like the photo stand by it. I actually appreciate when someone gives me their constructive feedback, to take time to either type a message or waste their breath on me, I feel appreciative to an extent. I have always believed if the person didn’t care then they wouldn’t waste their time saying anything.

Also remember to keep in mind, everyone has the right to their own opinion. That’s the beauty of this country, the freedom of speech. So that we can have dialogue and come to an mutual or better yet…a better understanding of both perspectives.

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To take the advice or not

The way I see constructive feedback is 1. What would make the image work better instead or 2. From the perspective of the viewer, how it’d be a better image. There is no right or wrong in street photography but there is good, better, and just not there. I think most people don’t know how to give good constructive feedback, for photography good constructive feedback is saying this doesn’t work but I’d be curious to see if a particular subject passed back or if you got lower it’d add more emotion or mystery to it.

For me even if I receive good constructive feedback I won’t always adjust to their liking’s or to use less words…agree. But I am appreciative of their feedback and thoughts (never know you may learn something new). You got to remember even if Bruce Gilden gave you feedback on a photo you truly liked and he chewed it up to pieces (like he did to mines in San Francisco) and he pointed out why it’s a weak photo, etc, and with over five decades of experience, a Magnum photographer, the list goes on…Even he has a particular style he likes or prefers (plus I don’t think Bruce Gilden ever complimented anyone’s photos besides his very own).

Imagine if someone asked you to review and critique their photo and there’s parts of the image that you do or don’t like about it. You’re giving your opinion  based on your own experience, personal fondness of what type of photos you cater towards. If photographed a scene that included vibrant colors and had a very minimalist aesthetic to it and you ask a fellow photographer that loves black and white photos, that tends to incorporate layers and lots of people in their frame…they probably won’t appreciate your photo compared if another photographer presented photos that shared the same ideas and have similar taste in style.

That’s why I believe in not having a style. Lots of photographers talk about having a style to call your own, to separate from the pack, or to use less words…branding. For me I just shoot what I like, what catches my attention and keeps me curious. I don’t want to be pigeon hold to one style or one way of shooting…I’d get bored too quickly.

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Conclusion

Be open to other opinions. Take what you can learn and filter the rest. People giving criticism online and social media are likely to be more harsh with their feedback because they can hide behind a screen. They’re not dealing with an actual person right in front of them. Think of customer service, when someone calls and make a complaint versus making a complaint in person at the store. Nobody wants to cause a scene at the store and go viral on Facebook. Even if it’s someone you know, their critique online will be much different in person.

ultimately, my advice is to always follow your gut, be true to yourself, you can’t please everyone the only person you should be pleasing is yourself. Life is about taking the bumps and bruises and just picking yourself back up and keep on keeping on.

Defend your work, stand up for it if it’s something you like. Don’t let the opinion of others demoralize you. And don’t change because society tells you to or the feeling of pressure from your peers. Change when you’re ready to change, when you’re ready to take that leap of faith whether that’s in your photography by changing up your approach and style…or if that’s in life where you need to subtract old friends that are nothing but toxic or if you need to move to another country for a change in scenery. Do it by your own terms, create your own destiny, write your own narrative.

Tim Huynh Contact Sheet Volume 1: Legs!

Aloha Everyone,

I wanted to create a contact sheet to share with you folks on how I capture and process my images. This one titled “Legs” is one of three photos that will be published in this year’s World Street Photography 4 book (you can purchase book here).

I saw this giant advertising board at the new Waikiki International Market Place and it caught my attention because of how simple it was, a giant sexy leg of a woman (I assume) and the fact that it was in black and white. I knew I could create something out of this with a lot of mixed reactions of people walking by. This is when visualization and the use of imagination comes in handy when you are able to juxtapose or visualize what may come about. I usually don’t hang out in a particular area for more than 10 minutes, I don’t have the patience. Below are the contact sheets.

Contact sheet Legs 1

Contact sheet Legs 2

Contact sheet Legs 3

I didn’t get the overly dramatic moment that I had wanted to get. I was using flash so it helped draw attention to me as people were walking by and were curious as to what I was photographing. No person or animal was harmed in this event, there was no altercation, people kept on walking and didn’t say a word.

I chose photo #10 because that was the best reaction I got out of the 23 attempts. The couple did not make eye contact with me as I clicked the shutter which was good but also they seem more effected by the giant leg. It almost looks like the man is sort of closing his eyes or not trying to look at the giant leg that’s flashing the couple. The framing of attempt number 10 is the best too. I tried many variations as far as framing, shoot it with no foot, shoot it off to the side, eye level, play around with the actual heel hitting or aligning with someone’s head like in photo number 2. I tried as much as I could within my ten minute patient bar. I also think converting the photo into black and white helped elevate the images it almost looks like the couple blends in and are a part of the advertising display.

Well, if you guys think another attempt was a better shot or if I should have tried a different way to work the scene, please let me know.

Thanks for reading and keep shooting!

Why I will never go back to a Canon or Sony Camera

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My first DSLR camera was a Canon 50D (2010). The camera produced great images, a lot of cool features, it was also built as a brick. I sold the camera because my wife bought me a Canon T2i because I was majoring in Film. Same specs for the most part compared to the 50D. Not as bulky but still would weigh on you after a carrying it around for a few hours.

A few years later, I upgraded my camera, looking for the best of both worlds in finding a camera that could produce high quality video as well as inphotos. So I bit the bullet and invested heavily into the Sony A7s (along with all the accessories, lenses, metabones adapter, movCam cage, etc). I really liked the camera and the features were a massive upgrade from my T2i (read my previous blog on “Less is More”).

Freelance video projects were slowing down and all I was working on was my street photography before I clocked into work. I told myself that spending $4,000 plus dollars to just take photos of strangers in public was not a smart financial move.

My friend recommended that I look into an Olympus camera. They’re much more afforable, the lenses are much cheaper as well. Their cameras are a lot lighter and compact, some of the cameras have a retro look (like the OMD-EM5ii, which I own). I sold all my Sony gear with the accessories to a friend, got in contact with someone on craigslist who was selling their olympus camera and a 25mm 1.8 lens (equivalent to 50mm) for just one fourth of my camera budget and I’ve been shooting with the same set up (sold the 25mm, only shoot with 17mm lens) for the past 2 years, and I love it.

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Liberation

First off, I don’t get paid by any camera company nor am I sponsored (maybe one day =]). I think any small compact camera makes it feel liberating when taking photos. Especially if its a point and shoot camera, no lenses to worry about. Less stress about focal length and don’t have to lug around different lenses and multiple camera bodies. The Olympus m5ii did just that for me, it allowed me to just focus on what’s important…and that is photographing what’s in front of you, catching the surreal, comical, interesting, strange moments without all the hassle of megapixels, lenses, and being Captain Obvious by letting everyone conspire that I’m part of the Hollywood paparazzi crew with my giant DSLR setup.

If you feel this way with your canon, Nikon, or any camera, I would recommend to try them all out before investing a good chunk of change into one system. I would prioritize the ergonomics of the camera and how it feels in your hand when you’re out shooting than putting specs and megapixels as the top priority. More pixels, more problems.

Plus now a days, you don’t need all those pixels unless you print your work. But if you just shoot and upload onto the internet, with most people viewing your photos on their smartphone, a full frame camera is overkill. Heck, an Iphone or Samsung is more than good enough.

Ask yourself, what am I going to do with this camera. How am I using this. Is it for work, for fun, for real estate shots, am I shooting sports, people in public settings, weddings…

I also love the color rendition that comes out of my Olympus M5ii than my previous camera bodies. It’s more richer and with more contrast which I prefer to have on my images.

More Pixels More Problems…

Cameras and other technology are very accessible now. you don’t need a high end camera to make good photos. In any subject of photography not just in street/candid photography, you’ll need to recognize and anticipate a moment. And that will come with time and experience. If you have a 20 megapixel camera and want to upgrade to a 42 megapixel camera, that won’t improve your eye or improve your instincts when you go out and shoot on the street, or in the field for a wedding or sporting event.

Recognize…Anticipate…Take the photo.

Thanks for reading. Keep shooting!

For more insights on digital cameras & DSLR’s visit the resources below!

Digital camera resource: https://www.reviews.com/digital-camera/
DSLR camera resource: https://www.reviews.com/digital-camera/dslr/