Monday, October 18, 2010

Cross Culture

Took a 2-day break from my daily photo series. Sometimes, we need that isolated time, away from people, from the internet, from holding cameras, and just to enjoy the fine details in life without the stress of photographing them. There's just too much to capture and it's endless. I enjoyed 2 days with my family, not much of photographing, just some processing of negatives.

The photography hobby can be ironic. We shoot to share BUT yet when it comes to doing it, most of us prefer to do it alone and NOT in groups. It is at the same time a Lonesome hobby BUT a Sharing hobby. If you have a photograph taken BUT it's not shared, it's equivalent to NOT having it taken. Even if we find some friends of the kindred spirit in photography to go out for a shoot, we hardly communicate during our street-shooting. It's just too hard to focus with friends around sometimes.

However, if we restrict our photography hobby all to ourselves, we end up like frogs living in the well. We will keep thinking we are the best and there's no need to look further. We will end up selfish, arrogant and ultimately blind. When a photographer is blind to the feelings of subjects around him, his photographs will be blind. Even a plant can feel sad that it's gonna wither tomorrow and a building can feel grand when it's bathed in golden sunset!

To all you photographers out there, keep sharing! For any photos which aren't shared, it's as if you have NOT taken them.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Friday, October 08, 2010

Why I love Street Photography

Why do I love street photography and photojournalism?

Cause I seriously think photography will not have it's value today without them. In still life, commercial photography, even landscape and wedding portraits for example, shots can be possibly duplicated, depending on the control we have over our environment, subjects, lighting and tools. In real life wedding portraits, subjects change but countless bridal studios have duplicated the same pose, the same background, the same props, etc. and etc... Even in wedding event photography, photographers have duplicated similar poses with different couples, though not exactly the same, but similar. In landscape photography, if the light isn't right today, we can try again tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow... till we succeed, but the mountain doesn't move. And in studio still life photography, we have all the control we need to duplicate that cabbage shot over and over again.

The real challenge comes in street photography and photojournalism. No subjects are paid to do what you want them to do. And God doesn't always give you the best light in that moment you saw someone jumping over a puddle of water, for example...(if you are even thinking of duplicating that Cartier Bresson's shot).

It just doesn't happen. Each moment is unique. Each shot is priceless. Each subject changes. Each human ages and dies. Each detail wears out through time. The lamp post rusts. The structure gets demolished. The machines grow old. The homeless disappears. The children grow up. People migrates.

Street photographers and photojournalists being the least paid or non-paid photographers record the MOST Precious moments in life. Photojournalists risk their lives. Many street photographers go unnoticed, unpaid, unrecognized and even unappreciated.

Unlike commercial photography, the motivation is often money. 

In street photography, it's ALL about passion. The passion to keep memories. The sickness of NOT being able to let go. We want to record every moment we saw and tell it to the whole world!