Eric’s Note: I first stumbled upon Josh’s images per-chance on Flickr. Having shot tons of street photography in Korea myself, I was especially drawn to his images. Through his images, Josh is able to show a candid and insightful look into life in Seoul. He has a wonderful skill of freezing certain moments in time, allowing the viewer to tell the story as they see fit. Keep reading to see more of his images and get an inside look on how he shoots street photography.
1. How did you get started in street photography?
Honestly, I have been taking pictures for a long time. I’ve always been drawn towards street photography, as I truly enjoy the stories that can be found in people. I always found myself wondering about people. I saw them for only a second, but wanted to know more. I captured them, so I could create my own story.
I suppose when it comes down to it, I love storytelling. Street photography is storytelling in its purest sense.
2. How do you shoot in the streets?
I pride myself on the ability to anticipate. I really hate the idea of shooting 30 frames in quick succession and picking the best one. There is no decisive moment in that, it’s hypocrisy. I wrote in a recent blog post that it’s like fishing with a grenade. I don’t understand it, nor ever will. That’s not art to me. I don’t use memory cards bigger than 1 GB, and often shoot film to keep myself honest. I don’t want to come home and weed through 300 frames to find 3 I like. I would much rather have 30 frames, of which I like 28.
3. Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in people. Perhaps that sounds cliche, but I cannot answer in a more honest way. It doesn’t matter where you are, people are the same. I mean that, in the sense that we all have basic needs and set out to obtain them. Everyone has a story, and I find inspiration in telling it through my lens.
4. What do you love most about street photography?
The thing I love most is how it allows me to get away from myself. To clarify, I mean that it gets me away from the stresses of my own life. It’s liberating, walking the streets with my camera. In those moments I don’t have to worry about anything, side from f-stops and shutter speeds. It’s a wonderful thing. Street photography in general, doesn’t require anything in particular. You don’t need a $10 000 camera or professional lighting set up. You just need yourself, and a pinhole camera.
5. What is the #1 tip you have for aspiring street photographers?
Buy a manual focus film camera. Anything will suffice. Too many times, I shoot with people and watch them fire off frames at 6 frames a second without any care. They don’t frame, nor compose. It’s sad in a way. They know they can go home and delete the 400 junk images they took that day. Buying a film camera, will force you to think about what you’re doing. You have to focus, thus, forcing you to frame properly. Also, because you are limited by the roll of film each press of the shutter equates to money spent. It can be a good way of forcing yourself into choosing what you shoot more carefully.
What do you think of Josh’s images? Show him some love and leave a comment below!