Farewell Old Friend

Saying goodbye to my Olympus OM-D EM-5 M11 (2017)

This week I have said goodbye to my beloved M4/3 Olympus camera. This camera accompanied me on many adventures, but for the last 2 years it has received little attention, as I have been using my Sony A7. I am seeing the Olympus off by posting some of my favorite pics, and will be explaining a little about the stories behind each shot. This post looks at the photos I took in 2017, the year I purchased the camera.

Girl on a Scooter/ Hongzan Lu

Shanghai

The old alleyways of Shanghai are disappearing fast. This pic was captured in Hongzhen Lu, which was one of my favourite locations for street photography. When I arrived in China, the area was a busting with markets selling fresh fruit and veg. I left Shanghai three years after this photo was taken, and by then most of the streets had been demolished, or were used by squatters. Shanghai continues to bury itself and move forward in the name of progress. I cannot help but wish for what has been lost.

Noodle Time

Noodles are the ultimate comfort food. This is a scene played on many of the corners of Old Shanghai. The kitchens are usually open and on the street, which creates the opportunity for steamy street food images. I don’t think that either of these gentlemen noticed me taking their photo, so the food (or conversation) must have been good. There are photographers who believe you should always ask before taking someones photo. However, a candid photo taken discretely, will always produce the most genuine ‘slice of life’ that is found on the street.

Bangkok

Buddha

Thailand has always been a favourite holiday destination, and Bangkok provides heaps of opportunities for street and travel photography. Statues of Buddha are usually photographed in the serene environment of a temple. This Buddha was on the back of a pick up truck, and arrived outside Nana Plaza, a notorious red-light district in the heart of Bangkok. The two contrasting worlds came together for just a few minutes for workers in Nana Plaza to give their alms to Buddha.

Tattoo

Sticking with Bangkok, this portrait was taken in Khlong Toey slum. The scooter driver who dropped me off advised me to stay on the main street and to leave before dark. Heading straight down a side street bought me face to face with this heavily tattooed individual. This portrait is one of my personal favourites. At the time I assumed the tattoos were gang, or prison related. Now when I look at the photo, and the calm expression of this individual, I am led to wonder of the tattoos are cultural, or maybe a mix of both.

Bangalore

Butcher Shop

The area surrounding Bangalore’s central market is always good for street and travel photography. Meat hanging in the open air is a common sight, and is certainly cheaper than when you purchase it in the West! Nothing is wasted, and the lady on the left is preparing the hooves, which will be used in soup and stock.

Alleyway

This image was taken close to where I worked. I had been up since dawn and had not captured anything to be particularly proud of. The sun had risen and the light was getting harsh. I ducked into a small underground passageway, and stumbled upon this tiffen centre (a tiffen is a traditional tin, used to carry rice, dhal, and curry). Most food centres have a jug of water that customers help themselves to. The water is drunk without the lips making contact with the container. Strangely, I find the last or first shot of a photo shoot is often the best!

My next post will continue to feature pics taken with my Olympus, that were captured in 2018…

Take care, and keep clicking, Chris

Still Life Tells a Story..

It has been a busy week. G+ is being killed off and members of the SPC group are spreading like butter on a bonfire. Alternative sites are Flickr, 500px, Mewe, Facebook and Instagram. Well, I started on Flickr (again), and continue to post to Instagram, but really have not got into 500px at all. My current champion is MeWe, it is small and most certainly the underdog of social media. You can join the SPC group using the link below.

https://mewe.com/join/street_photographers

Still Life

pagespics (1 of 1)
Shoes
Read More

More Lens Culture Feedback

I did not win again!

Well I failed to win yet another Lens Culture competition. The level of skill in these competitions is incredibly high so I am not too distraught. In the words of Chumbawamba, ‘I get knocked down, but I get up again’. As with everything, we live and we learn.

Here are the photos I entered. I will post the review below…

Lens Culture Feedback

So there…

Maybe I will win the next one. However, some encouraging words and some valuable advice.  Off to Varanasi tomorrow, so hopefully there will be some more photos on the way.

Take care and keep clicking,

Chris

Olympus (1 of 1)

Promote your work plus news on The Collective.

The Collective

I am now part of a collective. It is pretty underground at the moment.  However we are seeking new members. To be honest, the aims and goals are coming together slowly, it is certainly not a ‘rush’ job. At present, the goal is to grow the group into a supportive network. If you take great Street photos and have some energy to put into a new idea, then please email me. At present we have only two spots available.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One area I want to explore more with The Collective is Documentary Photography. This photo is part of a body of work where I have explored the Cemeteries in Bangalore.

Read More

Sony v Nikon v Olympus

Yes, I realize I have to work on my titles, but putting a ‘v’ in anything to do with competing camera brands is in vogue at the moment. This week I have tried to return my new Sony Rx100iv. This camera was purchased in the UK and brought out to my home in India. Recently, while in Kolkata I thought I would try it as a super discreet camera for catching candid moments. Alas, the camera lasted a day, and the lens refused to retract back into the camera body.

pagespics (1 of 1)-3

Serious Face

Read More

Consumers, Producers and Collaborators.

This week I have spent two days looking at technology in the classroom. During this time there was a significant focus on Ipad use in schools. Many creatives, such as Trey Ratcliff are leaving Apple for PC alternatives. However, while Apple may be losing numbers in the creative industry, it would appear that they are securing a future in education. One of the ‘big ideas’ coming from these workshops is the way technology is positioning users as consumers, producers, and collaborators. As with so many situations where I find myself in a teaching and learning situation, I draw parallels with how my professional life links with photography.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Biker on the Classic Royal Enfield.

Read More

Street Photography and Markets

KR Market

KR Market

A view from above

For the last two Sundays, I have managed to be out the house close to 5 am to take pictures of Bangalore’s busy KR Market. Please don’t think of this as a definitive guide. KR market is listed as a ‘photographers dream,’ on Trip Advisor. However, it is turning out to be a challenge. Read More

Zen and the art of the Pancake Lens…

For the second time in my Street Photography life I was hit by a passer-by. The photo below shows one situation where a pancake lens can be a lifesaver, and save you the pain of having a camera stuck from your face.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Open Market, Bangalore

Pancake lenses are fantastic for low-profile photography. Yesterday I got my camera struck out of my hand by a passing guy on a motorbike. Fortunately, the camera was around my neck. However, my glasses went flying and ended up on the road. I would like to say I was cool calm and collected. I was not. The situation got a little heated and could have got a lot worse. A pancake lens plus a little bit of Zen may have avoided this situation.

A pancake lens is flat, not quite as flat as a pancake, but still sports a low profile. Pancake lenses are often of a fixed focal length, that means you can’t zoom. The laws of physics dictate these lenses have a wide-angle profile. If you read enough about photography and fixed focal length lenses you will soon hear that you, ‘zoom with your feet’. This is not entirely true, to get a close-up photo, you need to get close (duh), you cannot zoom in with a fixed lens. Here is the rub. A shot where you zoom in looks very different to a close-up taken with a wide-angle. A zoom compresses the aspects within the frame. The photo above was taken using a wide-angle lens, and this gives the characters enough space around them for the picture to work. Zooming in on this scene from further away would have made the photo a lot busier.

The above photo was taken using the very excellent Olympus 12-40mm 2.8 Pro. I love this lens, it creates sharp images and allows me to spend a little more time framing each picture. However, it is quite intrusive for tightly packed locations. The motorcyclist hit me when my eyes were pressed to the viewfinder with the lens extended, trying to capture photos of people passing on motorbikes. This created quite a target for anyone not wanting to have their picture taken. A pancake lens is much less obtrusive, and also a smaller target. Further to this, if I had been framing my photos using the screen, and not the viewfinder, I would have been much more aware of what was happening around me.

When returning to Bangalore’s markets, I will be packing my Olympus with the excellent Panasonic 46mm 1.7 pancake lens.  Alternatively, I will take the very low-profile Ricoh Grii. As always, this experience has taught me something. Sometimes locations require a low profile; a pancake lens should help achieve this. Secondly, I need to think how I respond to aggression when taking photos. When we are involved in a physical incident, our fight or flight mechanism kicks in. On this occasion, I lost my cool, flipped my lid and ‘let off a little steam,’ and this altercation could have got a lot worse. Time to meditate and bring a little ‘Zen’ into my photography….

 

Keep clicking, Chris

Learning Street Photography.

“If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.”
— Jim Richardson

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Auto Rickshaw

To become better at what we do, we need to learn our craft… Read More

%d bloggers like this: