One of the best things about street photography is that it is like going on an unknown voyage. You just never know what you are going to find, or what shots you are going to make. Maybe a real nightmare for the average coordinator but such a treat for those who dislike any form of planning. And mind you, most other forms of photography demand heaps of preparation in advance. So there! A life shot in black and white.
Many people believe it is necessary to study arts and design in order to come up with a satisfactorily constructed picture.
But since photography is a tool for both documenting and self expression, the design of a photograph is inferior in importance. The composition of a photograph should be spontaneous to the scene and employed by the photographer’s vision not by a set of rules for correct design.
Not that a basic understanding of composition and design could hurt anyone, but don’t let that bother you too much and definitely don’t let it be the main factor when making your choices.
Next I’d like to quote an article from a young photojournalist, Lizane Louw, where she described how her passion in photojournalism has affected her life very much. This is what she had to say,
“In my job I meet many influential people. Sometimes my road crosses with a person that inspires me on various different levels. I had the privilege to meet someone that changed the way I think, that changed my spiritual perceptions and that moved me and my thoughts very deeply.
Since meeting Hylton, I have been spending many days sitting and thinking about his story. In my heart and in my mind there are so many emotions that jump around if I think about our brief encounter. I struggle to find words to describe my gratitude and admiration. I thank the creator for choosing me to take these photographs and to let my path in life cross with his. It was a privilege to speak to him.” (Quote from Source: Lizane Louw)
However, one has to remember that in some unfriendly neighborhoods, shooting on the street can be extremely difficult and close to impossible. Any attempt to take pictures would inevitably lead to unwanted attention from the neighborhood drug dealers who populated the street corners and alleys. I personally do not believe in “assaulting” people with a camera. Don’t be surprised when most of the subjects that you approached may not be willing to be photographed. Should they be blamed?
There have been so many approaches to street photography, so far ranging in their unique style, that I believe the lack of exploitation and ability to contain meaning into the image which is technically competent are the big necessities in street photography or photo journalism.
Gears: Nikon D50 and Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO
Location: Oyster breeding spot, Marang Fishing Village, Terengganu, Malaysia
Processing: White Balance, Contrast
After the heavy monsoon season settled down these 6 to 7 feet tall grass just grow like wild fire in my backyard. As much as I like them for photography subjects they are also the breeding ground for some ferocious cobras.
Nikon D50 | Leica Elmarit-R 90/2.8
The art of weaving with the leaves of the pandanus or also known as the thatch screwpine tree, is pivotal to the history of the Terengganu people, with everything from thatched floor mats, baskets to traditional thatch wall panels being made in this fashion.
The weather’s been great this past few weeks thus we can see people start flying kites by the beach.
Nikon D50 | Leitax mounted Summicron-R 35/2.0
The Terengganu state government is going to turn Kuala Terengganu into a waterfront city soon. The master plan for the Shah Bandar area is being finalised and is likely to be shown to the public later this month. “The state government will then call all stakeholders to respond,” a conservationist, who declined to be named, said.
Under the plan, Masjid Putih (Zainal Abidin) will be rehabilitated and more public places and boardwalks culminating in Kampung Cina and Pasar Payang will be created, she said. While new public plazas will take on Islamic designs, the Chinese theme in Kampung Cina will be preserved, she said. “There are proposals to build shop houses on stilts or on some reclaimed land in Kampung Cina. These shop houses will be fronting the sea and will be similar in design to the old shop houses that have the back facing the sea,” said the source, adding that houses with illegal extensions will have to be demolished.
Points to ponder:
The “guitar:guitarist, hence, camera:photographer” metaphor is a bit off IMO. Being a photographer is actually more like being a composer. You create new works, rather than simply playing/interpreting works written by others.
It was late afternoon, passed by the riverside on my way back from seeing a friend mending his yacht. The light was too beautiful to miss the opportunity of wetting my pants in the mangroves.
Leitz Wetzlar Elmarit-R 90/2.8 | Leitax Adaptor
We’re usually more concerned about what’s being served on the china, rather than the china itself. But if you ever stopped to consider how china is made, you’d be amazed — it’s actually fascinating. Porcelain, also called ‘fine china’, featuring its delicate texture, pleasing color, and refined sculpture, has been one of the earliest artworks introduced to the western world through the Silk Road. The features of porcelain lie in texture of basic body, color of glaze, decorative pattern, shape and style, while porcelain at that time had sublimed to be at the most elegant. Through the development of over 4,000 years, now it is still a brilliant art that attracts many people’s interest.
Being limited in its maximum aperture, dramatic bokeh isn’t expected; however, you can see how there is a smooth gradation between the in-focus foreground and the out-of-focus background (an important consideration). That is one aspect of bokeh character that I like most with my Leitz Wetzlar Elmarit-R 90/2.8.