Posted on July 29, 2018
As most of my readers know. Street Photography is the coolest of the photography genres. There are many reasons for this, but before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s look at why we are so damn cool.
However, not all Street Photographers are born equal. Some are much cooler that others. To see how you rank, please take the quiz below. Each answer has points next to it, be honest and let others know how cool you really are. Ready?
Posted on July 14, 2018
Bit of a long post here, mainly a reflection on a great adventure. Feel free to read it or pass it over. If you just want to see the pics, then here is a link…
This is a tale of friendship, family, photography, and travel. Forgive me if I stray from the narrative of cameras and the like, but photography does not exist on an island. My claim to have captured the highest Street Photo in the World admittedly relies on a relatively restrictive definition of what this genre entails. However, I will leave the nit-picking of definitions to others. I believe a Street Photo usually has to be taken from a Street (duh) and in an urban environment. Komic, a small village in the Himalayan Mountains, fits this definition as it is the highest village in the world accessible by road, sitting at 4587m above sea level.
Posted on May 11, 2018
I have a confession. I hate having my photo taken and will go to great lengths to avoid getting on the ‘wrong side’ of the camera lens. Why is this? I struggle with my weight and am a regular ‘yoyo’ dieter. My weight goes down, then I have a couple of bad weeks, and it goes back up again. A photograph can remind me of my success, or failure, to lose weight. We know photographs can lie, and photographers can frame reality to suit their own needs or viewpoints. However, paradoxically they are equally capable of recording truth. When I see a candid photo of myself, I am often inspired to try harder to achieve a healthier life, to hit the gym and to eat a better diet. Read More
Posted on May 1, 2018
What do you need for a Days Street Photography in a hot country?
India is HOT at the moment. Currently, Bangalore is subject to brief, but heavy tropical rains. This weekend I found myself taking photos in one of the Cemeteries close the to centre of town. On the way to town, the skies turned black. By the time I arrived at the Graveyard the heavens had opened, and it was raining cats and dogs. I ran to the nearest area of shelter, on the edge of the cemetery and sat amongst the gravediggers waiting for the rain to subdue. Sometimes adverse conditions lead to opportunities, and I came away with photos to compliment a project I am currently working on.
Posted on March 21, 2018
During the last couple of weeks, I have not been posting much online. I have been visiting a remote location with no wifi and a phone that ran out of credit. However, I have still been busy on a couple of projects. The photos will emerge at some point, so watch this space. Here is a little teaser of what I have been doing.
I am fortunate to have spent the last week camping out with my Grade 6 class at the Nilgiris Hills, in Southern India. As well as being responsible for student wellbeing, I also had the task of photographing the week’s events. My gear of choice was the Olympus Em5ii with the 12-40mm and 25mm lenses. I am used to using this camera for a day’s photography. However, using it for a full week, from when I woke up to when I went to bed was going to show up its strengths and weaknesses.
I took two batteries with me; one is an official Olympus battery and one a cheap knock-off from China. In general, there was always a charging point nearby. However, the life of these batteries is still way shorter than with my Nikon D7100, which can run for days without a charge. A couple of tips, turn the screen around and just use the EVF. I also turned off the image stabilization for a lot of the time; mainly when there was a lot of sunlight. Mirrorless has caught up with DSLR’s in every aspect but battery life, and the Olympus range of cameras is no exception.
The 12-40mm lens will remain my go-to choice for Street and People Photography. However, in this situation, there were times when I wished my lens had more reach. While nature photography is not my usual bag, if I see a wild animal then I damn well want to capture of shot of it. As well as a plethora of exciting bird life, I was privileged to witness a herd of wild Gaur, these are huge horned cows and are pretty dangerous. I managed to get reasonably close for a picture but would have loved a longer lens. The 12-40mm range also falls short when needed for sporting activities, such as abseiling. On the Street, I can get close to people, but with nature and sport, this intimacy is not so achievable. Olympus have a 12-100mm lens that would be ideal for this kind of camp, but I don’t think I would want to be using a lens that big and heavy every day. The strength of the 4/3’s system is, in part, due to its compactness.
I had updated the firmware and lost my customized settings, and this meant I had to set my camera up once more. Re customizing my camera turned out to be a good thing, and I am now pretty happy with my settings, which I will share with you at some point. People criticise the controls of the Olympus cameras, but time spent customizing your Olympus camera will make it sing. While away I also had a chance to play with the pixel shift technology, for some reason the camera chose to shoot in Jpeg format, which while not ideal, helped to ensure that I got it right ‘in camera.’ However, this is not a feature I am likely to use much.
Once again, I love the images captured with this camera. For a short period, I will leave the album up on this site (https://pagespics.com/nilgiris-camp/). The photos are a little different from my usual fare, but it is a great way to share the images with the students who came on camp. Again, I always shoot RAW to get the best out of my camera. To edit the multiple photos quickly, I used the synchronize option in Lightroom.
I do not usually use my Olympus for a lot of video. However, this may change as I am happy with the footage captured. The 5 axis image stabilisation worked a treat. You can see the final edited version of the movie on my YouTube channel. The image stabilization meant I could leave my tripod in the bag. Again, with Micro 4/3’s less is more! I love to travel light. My editing was carried out using iMovie, although basic, it is a piece of software that gets the job done, plus the price is perfect!
I had a great week, taking pics with my camera. I loved its compactness and versatility, and the photos look great. I would have liked the batteries to have had a better life and would have appreciated a little more length on the zoom. If I threw money at these issues, I could get a battery grip and the 12-100mm lens. However, there is no extra pay for taking photos when I am at work, so it would be hard to justify the cost. Adding these extra’s would also negate the advantage of the system’s compactness, plus I do not need either of these items for my Street Photography.
Tonight I head for a brief stint in the UK, which is covered in snow. It has been a few years (at least) since I last experienced cold weather and I own NO warm clothes. Hopefully I will get a chance get out and capture a little Street Photography.
Posted on December 13, 2017
The ancient Egyptians mummified their Pharaohs, preserving the bodies forever, all be it in a somewhat gory manner. Today there is no need for it. Our photographs will help shape history. However, with the glut of pics that flood the net every day, which photos will stand the test of time? This issue has been particularly salient to me this week for two reasons. Firstly, I have had my annual cull as my hard disk was reaching the critical point. The cut tipped 1500 images, a sure sign I need to start slowing down and taking less, but better photos. The second reason history entered my chain of thought is that I have recently visited Tharangini, a traditional block printing company in Bangalore.
Posted on November 29, 2017
“What’s the point of getting killed if you’ve got the wrong exposure?”
Robert Capa founded Magnum Photography, and as such is included in this series. Calling Capa Street Photographer does not do him or his work justice. Capa was a journalistic war correspondent. I include him in this series as his photos capture human activity and life on the streets. As Street Photographers, we can learn a lot from him.
Posted on October 9, 2017
My favourite locations…
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.
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.
A former British police barrack. Photography is frowned upon here, but if you show respect and are very discreet then nobody really minds.
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.
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