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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Free E-Book: The Social Media Blackbook for Photographers


Hey streettogs, I just finished writing a little mini e-book titled: “The Social Media Blackbook for Photographers“. I have been thinking about distilling a lot of my thoughts on social media and photography– and I hope this can be a helpful resource to you. A lot of the thoughts in the book is just my personal take on social media and how it can benefit you as a photographer. Here is a brief overview of the contents of the book:

  • Chapter 1: Why social media?
  • Chapter 2: What is social media?
  • Chapter 3: The importance of creating value in social media
  • Chapter 4: How to gain more followers
  • Chapter 5: The importance of engagement in social media
  • Chapter 6: Common mistakes in social media
  • Chapter 7: Social media strategies, tips, techniques
  • Chapter 8: Conclusion

This e-book is open-source (share, distribute, re-mix, translate, or do whatever you want with it). You can download it for free below:

You can also read my other free ebook: “31 Days to Overcome Your Fear of Shooting Street Photography

Read more to also read it directly on this blog:

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Video: How to Use a Leica M Camera for Street Photography with Craig Semetko

Check out this new helpful video by Craig Semetko (author of “Unposed“) on how to shoot street photography with a Leica M camera. Here are some of the tips he shares in the video:

  • Know the camera well enough to not think about it. Then pure seeing and personal vision takes over.
  • Study the masters, in photography and painting, movies, literature, etc. Looking at Cartier-Bresson’s work never hurt anybody.
  • Practice observing and spend a great deal of time roaming the street. You don’t need an assistant to start.
  • Every situation is different. Work fast. Act like you’re looking elsewhere and don’t know how to use the camera.
  • A sense of humor is fundamental to me, as I believe it is for most people. In my opinion, a story without humor is not being truthful–at any given moment, someone is laughing about something somewhere.
  • Do what you are passionate about. The rest takes care of itself.


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:

Video Lecture: Why it is Important to “Work the Scene” in Street Photography

In this presentation, I share the work of the master Magnum photographers (Henri Cartier-Bresson, Elliott Erwitt, Diane Arbus, Martine Franck) and share the importance of “working the scene” (via contact sheets). So pretty much– you don’t want to just shoot one photograph of a stranger and move on. Rather, you want to continue to “work the scene” and take lots of shots.

You can see the slides for the presentation on Slideshare here.

More articles on “working the scene” in street photography

  1. Debunking the “Myth of the Decisive Moment”
  2. How Studying Contact Sheets Can Make You a Better Street Photographer
  3. 10 Things Street Photographers Can Learn From Magnum Contact Sheets