How to #BuyBooksNotGear without breaking the bank


There is no doubt that we are in an age where information on the web is fast and oftentimes free but despite that, we can’t discount the value of books. This tangible medium has helped teach men and women for centuries as it was and is one of the best way to pass information and/or stories. We are in a great era since we are seeing a great number of photo books come out year after year after for the past decade from self published ones, to reprints, and experimental approaches. Having a photo book from a photographer you look up to or a photographer whose work you admire is a treasured material. Based on my experiences, here are some ways you can build your photo book collection:

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The 5 Elements of Effective Street Photography

Stockholm, 2014

Stockholm, 2014

My friend Todd Hatakeyama recently gave me a superbly refreshing book titled: “The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking”. It is a basic primer on how to think more effectively when solving problems– and can help students, teachers, and anyone trying to learn or improve their skills.

Like always, I took away a lot from the book– and thought about the principles and how we could apply them to street photography. Here are some of the ideas I learned from the book:


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Angkor Photo Workshop 2014 Notes


(A.g.’s note/Disclaimer:

The following are the notes I have jotted down during the Angkor Photo Festival last Nov. 28-Dec. 6, 2014. I have organized my thoughts and the lessons so that it would be easy to comprehend for others.

The notes I have is most likely different from the other participants since we had different experiences based on the mentors we had, the skills we wanted to develop, and things we encountered while photographing. These notes are not a substitute for the entire experience during the workshop. I’m sharing it here since you may be in the same situation that I am in or perhaps see something different with regard to the work you are doing. I also share in Eric’s philosophy that information should be open.

With that said, I will say that the time, effort, and everything I put in working through the workshop/festival, meeting other photographers, and just overall looking and doing work made me mature and more confident about what I do. All thanks to the festival organizers, my mentors Kosuke Okahara and Ian Teh, the photographers I met who gave me tips and a few pints of beer, and my batch mates who as I type are already making great leaps in their photography.

Other notes: All in brackets [ ] are my personal opinions and notes on the things that were said or what I think is related to the lesson.)

For more info on the Angkor Photo Festival and workshops, click here.

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Free E-Book: The Street Photography Project Manual


Dear streettogs, I am really excited to share that I have (another) free e-book for you guys (because I love you) titled: “The Street Photography Project Manual

The concept behind the e-book was this: I wanted to put together all the information I knew regarding coming up with ideas with street photography projects, how to shoot it, how to edit and sequence it, and how to publish it. Here is a quick overview of the chapters in this e-book:

  • Chapter 1: Why pursue a street photography project?
  • Chapter 2: What makes a great photography project?
  • Chapter 3: How to come up with a street photography project idea?
  • Chapter 4: How to stay motivated when pursuing your photography project
  • Chapter 5: How to edit/sequence your photography project
  • Chapter 6: How to publish your photography project
  • Chapter 7: Conclusion

Free download:

This book is “open source” meaning you are free to distribute, edit, change, remix, or share this with your friends (freely and openly). Enjoy:

If you want to read the full e-book on this blog, “read more”:

Here are some other free e-books I published:

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27 Lessons I’ve Learned About Photography and Life

2014 in film: 164 rolls of Kodak Portra 400

2014 in film: 164 rolls of Kodak Portra 400

Today I turn 27 years old, thank you for all the kind birthday wishes!

I am currently in LA for the weekend, visiting some close friends and family for a quick birthday dinner, then heading back home to Berkeley early Sunday.

I am generally not the person to reflect very much. I kind of like to live life in the present moment— and don’t think too much about the past or the future. But I have found starts of the new years as well as birthdays are a great time to do some personal reflection.

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Video Lecture: Introduction to Composition for Street Photography

In this video presentation I share compositional techniques to make better street photographs (diagonals, figure-to-ground, curves, leading lines, framing). You can see all the slides for this presentation here.

Articles on Street Photography Composition

If you want to learn how to improve your compositions in street photography, enjoy these articles:

7 Tips How to Stay Motivated in Street Photography

Stockholm, 2014

Stockholm, 2014

As a part of my on-going “Ask Eric Kim” series– here is a question I have from Darren Hoyland from my Facebook fan page:

Darren Hoyland: How [do you] keep yourself motivated whilst out on the streets when you have that deja view moment of been here done that?

Hey Darren, I face this a lot: when I’m shooting on the streets and I don’t feel motivated and I feel like I’m just repeating myself. Here are some tips I recommend in terms of staying inspired with your street photography and to stay motivated:

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