How to Shoot Layers in Street Photography

Recently I’ve been trying to add more complexity to my work— to shoot more layers. Shooting in layers is more challenging than single-subjects, and requires more visual gymnastics, and luck. Below is a brief guide on how to shoot layers in street photography — and why you might want to try it out:

The Street Photography Code of Ethics

Dear friend, Sometimes you might feel guilty photographing your subjects. Sometimes it feels wrong. Sometimes you feel wrong and dirty. What is the most “ethical” way to shoot street photography? For a quick summary, I think street photography comes down to the golden rule: don’t photograph others as you don’t want others to photograph you.

How to Capture Emotion in Your Photos

The two things which I think make a great photograph: composition and emotion. There are tons of articles and videos online about how to compose and frame a good photograph. But how do we capture emotion and soul in a photograph?

Hanoi Diary #6: Living in Airplane Mode

Dear friend, I’m currently at “VPRESSO” (my favorite coffee shop in Hanoi), and it is storming outside. Seriously raining buckets, with thunder booming in the air.

5 Things I Love About Digital Photography

I recently got my film Leica MP serviced at Steve’s Camera in Culver City, LA (highly recommended). I have also been focusing on shooting digital (on a Ricoh GR II) for the last 2-3 months. Before that, I was focusing primarily on film for the last 2-3 years.

What if You Never Regretted Anything?

If we never had any regrets in life, I think many of us would be a lot happier. Regret is the demon of the past which holds us back. Regret is fear that debilitates us from future action. Regret is letting the phantoms of past actions continue to haunt us for no good reason.

What is the Focus of Your Photo?

I was going to write an article on the benefits of shooting autofocus versus manual focus— but realized that is kind of a waste of time.

100 Photography Tips for Beginners

Dear friend, If you’re new to photography, it can be quite daunting. There is so much information on the internet about photography, but a lot of “mis-information” as well. If I started photography all over again, this is the advice I would give myself.

How to Find Happiness in Your Photography

Dear friend, I think if you’re like me— you want to be “happy” in life. You want to be happy with your photography, with your friends, relationships, and creative endeavors.

Shooting Street Photography in Hanoi with Chu Viet Ha

In this video, I hit the streets of Hanoi with Chu Viet Ha, one of my favorite street photographers from Hanoi. I get footage of him shooting, talk to him about his photographic process, and also share some of his best images. Follow Chu Viet Ha Flickr Instagram Facebook  

How to Take Better Photos

One of the most Googled search phrases on the internet (regarding photography) is “How to take better photos.” Considering so many people search that phrase, I wanted to share some of my personal thoughts on how to take better photos, and what does it exactly mean to take “better” photos?

Film Photography 101

Dear friends, If you’re interested in learning how to shoot film, start with this guide: Film Street Photography Manual Introduction to Shooting Film in Street Photography What I Learned Shooting 100 Rolls of Black and White Film What I Learned Processing 164 Rolls of Film After Waiting a Year My Experiences Shooting Medium-Format Film in… Read more about Film Photography 101

Technology Won’t Fix Your Problems

We all have problems in life. Some of us are overweight, depressed, or tired all the time. Some of us lack creative inspiration, skills, or outlets for our work. Some of us lack motivation, willpower, and strength to take action in our lives.

There is Never a Perfect Time

There is never a perfect time for you to take action. There is never a perfect time for you to workout, to photograph, to spend time with your family, to write a blog post, or to read. I feel once we acknowledge this, we would get a lot more meaningful work done in our lives.

Can You Go Higher?

We all impose limits on ourselves. We lack faith in ourselves, or make excuses. But ask yourself: “Can I go higher? Have I really hit my limits yet? Can I push myself harder?”

Mixing Prose and Pictures: An Interview with Stephen Leslie on His Latest Photobook, “Sparks”

Editor’s note: Last time Stephen was on the blog was over 5 years ago. So it’s nice to welcome him back! This time he shares with us his latest work,a photobook titled Sparks. He also shares with us a very interesting short story at the end. Give it all a read. All photos by Stephen Leslie. Interview… Read more about Mixing Prose and Pictures: An Interview with Stephen Leslie on His Latest Photobook, “Sparks”

“The City of Angels”

Cindy and I would love to share with you our latest creative collaboration: “The City of Angels” by Eric Kim, Haptic Press limited edition art portfolio.

Pushing Belgian Photography Forward: Interview with BSPF 2016 Head, Daniel Oshi (and BSPF contest reminders)

Editor’s Note: Today we have Daniel Oshi of The Brussels Street Photography Festival. It promises to be a great Photography event highlighting the beautiful city of Brussels and a special insight to Belgian Photography. I talk shop with Daniel and he invites us to join in their contest (more info at the bottom of the… Read more about Pushing Belgian Photography Forward: Interview with BSPF 2016 Head, Daniel Oshi (and BSPF contest reminders)

Don’t Waste Your Potential

You were put on this earth for a reason. You have a gift to share with the world. Whether that be your artistic skills, your interpersonal skills, or your idealism. Don’t hold back and waste your potential.

How Do You Create the Most Value For Others?

I once read some advice that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s dad gave him: “Be useful to others.” I think it is one of the best ways to find “success” in your life, and to contribute value to the rest of humankind.

Don’t Give Up On Your Dream

Life is short and cruel if you don’t follow your dreams. It is easy to be stuck in the cubicle and work a job you hate for 40 years, to await retirement (that might never come), in the hope that “happiness” will happen in the future. My suggestion: don’t give up on your crazy dreams… Read more about Don’t Give Up On Your Dream

Hanoi Street Photography GoPro POV with Ricoh GR II

In this video, I walk around with my GoPro mounted on top of my Ricoh GRII, and shoot a little street photography in Hanoi. I try to work on layers, and “working the scene”, and even taking some photos of people shooting selfies of themselves. More videos to come!

Street Photography Composition 101

If you want a quick introduction how to shoot better composition in street photography, check out this video. I distill 3 main street photography composition techniques: Leading lines Depth/Layers Triangles You can also watch my longer more in-depth composition presentation below: For an in-depth look, download my free e-book: “The Street Photography Composition Manual.” Street… Read more about Street Photography Composition 101

How to Get More Followers on Social Media

I have a lot to thank to social media for my “success” in photography and this blog. But what is social media good for, what is it not good for? How do we get more followers, but why do we need more followers?

Fulfill Your Potential

You have an inner-potential that you’re just waiting to unlock. Don’t wait for others to give you permission to fulfill yourself creatively. Start today, and know that you have no limits.


I think as photographers and creatives, we can learn a lot from scientists. Scientists, when trying to discover “truth” — they experiment. They don’t always take conventional wisdom for granted. They challenge pre-existing beliefs, and see whether it is correct or not.