Inspirational Street Photographers #1

Alex Webb

“Most of my projects seem to start as exploratory journeys with no visible end in sight.”
— Alex Webb

Recently I have had one of my photos compared to the work of Alex Webb. This compliment was praise indeed and came from an accomplished photographer, who has spent a significant amount of time as my mentor and teacher. It is amazing how a kind word can help push us all to create further images.

Tiffen Center

Contrasts of Colour and Light.

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Ricoh Grii Rumours…

The best camera for Street Photography

My Grii has broken. The Ricoh has long been one of my favourite cameras for Street Photography. And rightly so. It packs a large CMOS sensor into a package that will slot into your pocket. It has a sharp fixed 28mm lens, and it is cool. My Ricoh was probably the only cool thing about my Street Photography setup as I often spend far too long editing photos, am not afraid to crop and will venture into using lenses of different focal lengths. Also, I shoot colour and not black and white. While out taking pics, I have even worn Crocks and socks at the same time.

Ricoh Grii

The Ricoh’s Colours are not for everyone. But I like them.

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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

Street Photography Tip

Something From Nothing

Serendipity. It happens, you lift the camera to your eye and everything falls into place. The perfect frame. Except sometimes it does not. Here is where you can fall back on making, ‘something from nothing’.

Still Life Hongzhen Lu

Something from Nothing. Hongzhen Old Street

Blend In

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5 Tips for better Street Photography

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” 

-Henri Cartier-Bresson

Focused Practice

Bresson stated the above in the days of 35mm film. With digital media, 10,000 photos are nothing. Malcolm Gladwell wrote that 10,000 hours is the time needed to succeed. A recent article in Peta Pixel took this idea further, making the point that repeating what we do does not necessarily lead to better photography. Practice needs to be skills based. Here I will tell you five skills to work on that will make your Street Photography better.

Ladies selling pottery in front of a temple. Auroville/ India.

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Morning Glory Street Photography

Why you need to get up early for Street Photography. A personal story of a succesful morning. Thanks to Matvey Z for planting the idea of writing this!

Early Mornings

Scratching sounds awoke me at 5 AM. Next to my head was a small puppy, rescued from the streets just five days previously. He needed to get outside, quickly. On returning from our brief walk together, it became apparent my snoring had led to me being evicted from my half of the bed, a morning of romantic spooning was not on the cards. With the Internet down, I found myself with little to do and in a situation that called for an early morning photo walk.

Yellow Portrait

Portrait and study of Yellow, Bangalore

Morning Light

Street photographers are often a lazy bunch, we like afternoons and evenings, capturing images in the dying light. However, mornings are a fantastic time of day. The light can be beautiful, and people are just waking up and may be caught unaware by the photographer. Calmness can reside in places that will be in chaos later. I had to remind myself of this as I sat in my Uber, worried, as the skies opened up and the rain started to pour. At this point, thoughts of bed were sorely tempting. Lady luck was with me though; the rain stopped as the car arrived at my chosen location.

Photographing Slums

I had chosen a slum area north of Bangalore’s centre. As expected, it was quiet. Five minutes into my ramble I was invited into a home. Grandmother was cooking a rice breakfast, Mother holding child, sisters coming and going and father waking up. For a small place, it was extremely busy and a photographer’s dream. I resisted the urge to start clicking and managed some form of communication. Coffee was served, which I hesitantly sipped (and it turned out to be just fine!). Finally, photos were taken. I have since printed these pictures and will return with them as gifts. The room was small and dark, and I had to crank up my ISO. I am pleased with the pictures, and they will provide a reminder of my morning photo walk.

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Festival Photography

A Festival Photoshoot

Drumming was heard not two minutes from leaving the house. The noise quickly escalated, and I found myself in the middle of a religious throng. Photography heaven ensued. Groups of worshippers walked by, gripped by religious fervor, whipping themselves into frantic dances driven by rhythmic drumming. Drummers and dancers led colourful Gods, mounted on trailers and tractors. Streets filled with residence offering pumpkins and coconuts, which in turn were taken by the priests and smashed in front of the gods. Colourful faces called out for photos, and I quickly became covered in blue powder paint (as was my camera, which appears to have survived).

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I moved quickly after taking this photo!

The puppy, unfortunately, had to go and is with a family now. I will have to find another way to get kicked out of bed. Mornings are a time often neglected by Street Photographers, but it is a time of day that can be pretty awesome. I came home with a set of pictures I was proud of, and my hit rate was higher than it has been for a while. So, mornings – give them a go. The early bird may catch the worm yet.

Take care and keep clicking, Chris

Shanghai Street Photography Locations

My favourite locations…

The Bund_ChrisPage_1402-Pano-Edit-Edit

The Bund

The Bund (Closest Metro East Nanjing Lu)

Possibly the most iconic City View in the world and one I never became tired of. The best times for photography are sunrise and sunset. However, it becomes very crowded in the evening, so an early morning start may be best. TIP – the photo below was taken from the bar at Hotel Indigo. Get there are the start of happy hour, buy a drink and set up your tripod.

Yangshupu Road (Line 4)

Exit with the river behind you and turn right, then explore the lanes and alleys that open up on your left. Be quick, this area is rapidly being demolished. As construction moves in to new areas a whole micro culture develops that caters for, and comprises of immigrant workers. TIP – there are lots of cool abandoned areas to explore, but they are pretty unstable. Take care and wear good shoes.

Hongzhen Lu (Closest Metro, Linpin Lu, Line 4)

There is only really one block of this area remaining. The area that was regurlary frequented for prostitution now demolished, but there is one thriving lively community left. Generally, if you are respectful, people do not mind photographers.

Linping Lu (Line 4)

If you have been to Hongzhen Lu then you can walk around the area behind this station. If you walk all the way to Yangshupu Lu, mentioned earlier, you will have covered a lot of Old Shanghai.

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Nanjing Road (East, Line 2)

Forget Nanjing East, instead head up towards Peoples Square, heading through the alleys on the left hand side. Be suspicious of anyone too friendly here.

Longchang Apartments

A former British police barrack. Photography is frowned upon here, but if you show respect and are very discreet then nobody really minds.

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Longchang Apartments


Fuxing Lu (Xiaonanmen, Line 9)

Not too far from the tourist trail of Yu Garden lies this little gem. The builders were here when I last visited, so it is either being improved or torn down. Wonderful lanes and alleys to explore. A personal favourite!

Moganshan Road (Nearest Subway  Jiangning Road, Line 13 or Zhongtan Road Line 3/4)

Head here for Street Art in one of the few places graffiti is tolerated. TIP, the Jade Buddha Temple near-bye is well worth a look.

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Moganshan Lu


Pudong is a vast area and considered not ‘the real Shanghai’. However, there are many great locations. For the Skyscrapers and a slice of high life, stop at Lujaizui. Wuzhuo Avenue (Line 6) is another area that is undergoing modernisation, and there are some great tumbled down streets and alleys that can be explored. Luoshan Road is another area, that if you explore, will reveal some older housing alongside the river, revealing a very different viewpoint from the tourist river towns.

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Keep Clicking, Chris



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