Mumbai, Day 2

Yesterday was a long day of exploring. After the a mid-day nap I headed out to Chor Bazaar, the interpretation being ‘thieves market’. The taxi driver dropped me off, pointed straight ahead and let me walk the rest of the way. Obviously I became instantly lost and took the next hour and a half finding the location. However, as is often the case, my best photos came from the area surrounding the location I was planning to shoot.

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Mumbai, Day 1

I arrived in Mumbai last night and after a quick drink, went to bed for an early start this morning. At 5am I was up and out of bed, ready to shoot Marine Drive, an iconic location for Street Photography. I set out using the classic setup of a 50mm lens, set to f8. This set up is coined, ‘F8 and be there‘, as using this setting is most likely to result in everything being in focus.

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Pictures of a Wall

Catchy title I know, this is a blog post deemed to never go viral. Recently, I have not had enough time to do half of what I plan for. Arguably, head butting a metal door and spending Friday afternoon in A&E has not helped, an accident that ruled out weekend shooting. However, I have been walking to work, a journey that takes me past a rather interesting wall.

Go Slow. Sounds like good advice!

This technique is often called, ‘making something out of nothing‘. It can be amazing how the mundane can be transformed if looked at a certain way. These photos would also fall under the subject of minimalism (or still life for that matter). Capturing these kind of images is an affective way to practice framing, as the subjects remain motionless. The strong geometric lines would look good in black and white. However, I think the contrasting reds and yellows make a striking contrast.

This style of shooting opens locations you can go back to time and again. The same areas will look different depending on the time of day and the position of the sun. On a personal note, I can see this theme growing into something of a long-term project. Now there is an idea!

Take care and keep clicking! Chris

Five Tips for Planning a Photo Getaway.

This month I will be heading to Mumbai for a weekend of photography. Mumbai has been shot to death by photographers far greater than me, but I am hoping that I will be able to capture something new and unique. Here are some of the things I put on my check list when planning for Travel Photography.

Holy-Bull Walker

The photos for this article are part of a book project I am working on, with the working title ‘The Bangalorean’. You can hunt for more photos taken while shooting for this exciting project on Instagram, #bangalorean and #bookaboutbangalore.

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Should street photographers watermark their photos?

There is much debate on whether or not photographers should watermark, or place a logo on their photos. I am not going to sit on the fence here as I fall solidly into the NO camp. I will accompany this article with some recent un-watermarked pics!

Street Portrait. Yelahanka/ Bangalore

Most people don’t care who you are.

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Instagram adapting ‘Likes’ feature.

Instagram is testing a change to the ‘Likes’ feature. In Canada, viewers will still be able to ‘like’ an image, but only the owner of the photo will be able to see the count. A spokesman from Instagram has stated, “we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.”

My most popular post on Instagram, though far from my personal favourite.
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Starting a Project Part 3

Focus on a Skill-Set

Upgrading your skills is a sure-fire way to improve your photography. One way to do this you need to think of a goal, it can relate to how you shoot, or how you process images. Here are a number of project ideas to get you started, although I am sure many of you can think of your own. As you will see later, this relates closely to my KISS philosophy (read on!). Through focusing on just one specific skill at a time, your photography will rapidly improve

Using a flash can open up the night for photography
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Starting a Project II

Part 2. Choose a Focal Length

Street Photographers love fixed prime lenses, and for good reason. Fixed focal-length lenses are generally cheap, fast, and produce sharper images than many zooms. For this project idea, I am going to suggest picking a focal length and sticking with it. If you only have a kit lens, you can still participate, just zoom all the way in, or out, and then leave the lens alone.

Vietnam, beautiful whatever focal length!
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Starting a Project

Part 1. Choose a Location

‘The important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

Sometimes our creative juices need a kick up the backside. One way to find inspiration is to start a project. It is unlikely Albert Einstein was thinking about street photographers when he made the above quote, but thinking of a question, or being curious maybe the key to creating your next photo project. This is the start of a three part series, where we take a look at project options available to street photographers.

Lady, Hongzhen Old Street
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A Eunuch, a Princess and a Snake Catcher.

What does a eunuch, a princess, and a snake catcher have in common? They are all included in the creation of a book, based on people living in Bangalore. Through this project I am getting to work with an inspiring team of people, and am photographing a diverse range of characters. Each of the people I am photographing has a colourful tale of life in Bangalore. On this project I am working alongside three fantastic ladies, who are writing, organising, interviewing, and finding a publisher. My role is the photographer. Here is a sneaky peak…

A Street Cleaner. One of the first characters I photographed for the project.

When people collaborate creativity increases, and this holds true for photographers. Teamwork does not necessarily come naturally to Street Photographers, who are quite happy spending hours at a time alone with just their camera. Recently, I have had the wonderful company of Kaveri, a travel guru and entrepreneur. Kaveri appears to know everyone in Bangalore, tells engaging stories and knows the best places to get breakfast. Having someone tell stories about the people being photographed adds a depth to the images which I hope will be evident in the final publication.

Diane giving a blessing.

Street v Documentary

When shooting the street, there is no expectation to walk away with an excellent photo. Indeed, great Street Photos seldom happen. This differs to a scheduled photo shoot. For this project, each photograph is the result of hours of work and organisation (and not by me – I just turn up and take the photo!). The pressure is on to get it right, each and every time. This process helps to build a strong mental checklist…

  • Is the ISO set correctly?
  • Is the shutter speed fast enough?
  • Are there any distractions in the background?
Check the background!

Moving out of our comfort zones pushes us to refine our thoughts. It is imperative to have your settings correct before taking a photo. Honing this skillset will lead to greater photographic consistency. After-all, there is nothing worse that a brilliant shot, ruined due to incorrect settings. We have all been there at least once! Sleep with your camera….

Keep Clicking, Chris