I just finished reading Karl Marx’s “Capital” and “The Communist Manifesto” — and I was so amazed to see how modern a lot of his ideas are.
Learning is growth. The more you learn, the more inspired you become. The more ideas you culminate in your mind, and the more your view of the world expands.
Carpe diem. Seize the day. Today is the only day that exists, tomorrow might not come.
The other night I met one of my good friends Geoffrey for dinner, and he’s been having a tough time with his photography. He’s busy with work, traveling, and barely has any time to make photographs.
To me, creativity is all about cross-pollination of ideas in novel ways.
Just finished an action-packed weekend with my great students from my SF “Discover Your Unique Voice” workshop. I’m proud of how hard they worked to push themselves out of their comfort zones, as well as how they were able to hone their vision this past weekend. Here are my personal favorite images from the workshop:
After 10 years of shooting street photography, one thing I’m starting to realize is that I’m becoming a bit complacent with my work. I have a few projects behind me which I think are quite strong, and I think haven’t pushed myself hard enough to innovate in my work. I need to push my limits, and I want this letter to be a call for you to push your limits too.
I wanted to write you a letter on the amazing power of photography– how it can be used to empower ourselves. I want to make the point that the camera is a tool that helps us become more courageous, more creative, and more interested in the world. We shouldn’t be ashamed of our cameras, or the fact that we are photographers.
Let me share some thoughts on the importance of self-discovery in photography with you.
I wanted to share a thought with you: that rather than focusing on photography, we should focus on having a fulfilling, passionate, and fully-engaging life.
I met Peter Zhang at one of my SF street photography workshops, and was blown away by his up-close street photos (shot at 28mm with a Ricoh GR) of the changing neighborhood of SoMa (South of Mission in San Francisco). Check out how he got started, as well as his personal and vivid color street photographs:
The last day for submission to the contests is on April 20 (Today) at 23:59pm US Pacific Time.
Streetfoto San Francisco 2016 extended their due date to all of their competitions to accommodate more entries! I suggest you go ahead and do some last minute submissions and click the link for more info.
In Silicon Valley we have a saying: “Fail forward.” I think it is a beautiful saying– because it isn’t telling us that failure is okay for failure’s sake, but that we should learn from our failings, and learn how to move forward.
I just finished a fantastic “Conquer Your Fear of Shooting Street Photography” workshop in SF this past weekend. Super-proud of all the student photos, check them out all below:
Many of us started photography quite innocently— with small compact point-and-shoots, a smartphone, or a disposable film camera. The main advantage was that we didn’t need to think about all the technical settings when we made images— rather, we focused on capturing the “decisive moment”, the framing and composition as well as the emotional content within the frame.
I’ve been on a bit of a “minimalist” binge. Part of me is that I’m frustrated with all this crap I have in my life— material crap, emotional crap, and negativity I have built up inside my head over all the years.
I want to write you this letter about how being generous is one of the best “investment strategies” and how the more you give, the more you will receive in return.
Youngjae wants us to photograph the invisible. For this month’s assignment, it’s going to be wind!
(Details of joining and more info after the jump!)
I’ve been really fascinated in this Japanese concept of “wabi-sabi” for quite a while. Simply put: “wabi-sabi” is the Japanese/Zen aesthetic of beauty of imperfection, impermanence, and the natural. If you have a favorite pair of jeans that has worn into your body over the years, that is “wabi-sabi.” If you have an old film camera that has brasses over the years and shows its patina and “brassing”– that is “wabi-sabi.” If you find old and aged things as beautiful (the wrinkles of old people or decaying old buildings), that is “wabi-sabi.”
Due to popular demand, I’m excited to announce a new special 1-day Street Portrait Crash Course workshop in San Francisco (Saturday, April 30). If you have a busy schedule, and want to conquer your fears of approaching strangers, this workshop will be perfect for you. Don’t miss your chance to attend my last workshop in the Bay Area for the next 2 years (I’m going to be living in Vietnam!).
You can also see all my other upcoming street photography workshops >>.
We’ve all experienced it. It is around 9pm, and you’re about to go out. You check your smartphone and you have a mini heart attack. Your battery is only at 10%. You get “charge anxiety”– you know you need to switch your smartphone to “airplane mode” and conserve your battery for the rest of the night, just in case you need to make an emergency call or hail an Uber after you get a drink with your friends.
Kausal Parikh is one of the names the pops up when talking about contemporary street photography in India. Being the founder of the Indian Street Photography collective That’s life and balancing that with the responsibilities of being a father and an active street photographer did not seem to deter KP in pursuing self-publishing his very own photo book. Eric chats with KP regarding the photobook making process, motivations behind the book, and the current status of That’s Life.
If you’ve ever wanted to find more meaning, purpose, and direction in your photography— I recommend you to pursue “personal photography.” What exactly is “personal photography”? To me, it is a genre of photography that focuses on yourself— focuses on your personal life experiences, focuses on photographing your loved ones, and the other elements of your “boring” and everyday life.
I’m sure you’ve had this experience: you are sitting on the couch with your loved one, and you think to yourself, “This is a wonderful moment.” You then jump off the couch (ask your loved one to wait a second), and get your camera. You make a few images, and then you sit down again with your loved ones, and continue to savor the moment.
Often we feel like we need reasons why we take photos. We need a purpose; a sense of direction. But my tip for today is this: photograph for photography’s sake.
My new edition of “Street Photography 101” (Version II, 91MB Direct Download) is available for download as a PDF. I wrote the book last year, but finally updated it with better design, images, and layout. This is a great primer if you’re new to street photography, or if you want to re-learn the fundamentals.
This will be a good companion to my other recent e-book: “Street Photography 102.”
Lots of love,
I think in today’s world, we are always trying to make things more complicated than they need to be. We get more gadgets to “optimize” our lives, but it only adds more complication and frustration to our lives. We look for the “perfect camera” — but we find that the newer cameras have more features, which makes our life more complex. What I advocate instead is for us to make our lives simpler— and make simpler photos as well.
“Technology is the best when it is invisible.” – Nassim Taleb
I have these utopic dreams of a “perfect” camera. I want a camera that makes photos that are ultra-sharp, yet soft, affordable, yet fits in my front pocket, yet has tons of megapixels, yet can zoom to see anything but wide enough to shoot interiors. I want a camera that has unlimited dynamic range, that operates like a film camera (with the convenience of digital).