Tokyo is filled with bicycles—all sorts of bicycles. They range from trend-setting fixed gear bicycles to plain ‘mamachari’ (or old lady bike in other words), to hi-tech carbon fiber one-off syntheses of technology and art that could be straight out of a cyberpunk video game. Their multitude of variations-mutations-customizations keep me on the hunt, but what obsesses me is not their uniqueness but their ubiquity—their commonalities.Read More
These days, when I’m leading street photography workshops people often ask me: "what if someone gets angry when I take their picture?"
It’s an interesting question based on two assumptions. The obvious assumption is that people are likely to get angry when being photographed. The less obvious one is that people have a good reason to get angry—that being photographed in public is something to get angry about.Read More
Recently, a friend told me of a photographer for whom he wanted to work. The seasoned fine art photographer, in his 50s, took a look at my friend’s 5x7 prints, taken on an assortment of digital and analog cameras, and said "these are not photos. Wait here." The man left for a moment and returned with a huge print mounted in a heavy wood frame. "This is a photograph," he said.
This anecdote got me thinking: what exactly is a photograph? Is it a physical object? Is it a record of light on a substrate? Is it merely information? Or is something more than that?Read More
In its methodology, photography can be reduced to a series of decisions which determine the exact characteristics of each photo. When conducting street photography, in particular, the opportunity to make these decisions is limited. The process begins slowly, with lots of time allowed for selecting gear, setting the camera, and so on. It then advances to a fast stage with little time for the photographer to react—the actual moment when the photograph is taken. This is followed by another slow stage after the decisive moment in which the photo can be edited and processed.Read More
I've seen a lot of discussions on various forums explaining that we should talk to our subjects before taking their photo. This approach works well and can be very effective. But this method is not without its flaws, because it forces the subject to interact with the camera in a self-conscious way. Let's break this down.
There are two general approaches to street photography: a candid approach and an interactive one. The first is an attempt to capture the subject in way that does not influence the subject's behavior. In the second approach, the photographer is known to the subject and this awareness dictates how the subject behaves.Read More
Have you ever cursed your camera for missing that special moment in the streets? Do you ever struggle to get the subject quickly in focus before the fleeting moment is lost forever in the aether? Well then why not try manual focus? Below is a brief guide to a few key manual focus techniques that can help you capture the decisive moment.Read More
I often get questions about the camera that I use and the editing process I employ. Since many of you would like more detail than just the make and model, I would like to give an overview of my gear and editing methods. If you're interested in my shooting process, I have written a more detailed explanation. Anyway, let's start with the gear.Read More