I have learned a few things about shooting street photography on film from my own experiences (and the advice of others). If you want to read the full list of things I learned shooting film– read more!
This guest blog post is by JT White, a street photographer based in Seoul, Korea.
JT: I get asked a lot about film versus digital.
I use both film and digital cameras. Which, depend really depends on a lot of things. It can depend on my mood or on the lens I want to use. I don’t think I really have much of an aesthetic style as opposed to a way of shooting. I decide what camera to use depending on what I have and what my subject is going to be.
While I was in Istanbul teaching my Week-Long Travel Street Photography Workshop with Charlie Kirk, we both attended an Introduction to Darkroom Film with Taylan Bagci. I hope this video can give you some helpful insight into the developing and printing process, if you’ve never done it before. The entire film is quite long at 2 hours, so I’ve chopped it into the relevant sections below:
Part 1: Introduction to Taylan and Darkroom (Beginning to 10:00)
If you want to learn about darkroom printing in Istanbul, contact Taylan at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out his website.
Jesse Marlow is a street photographer based in Melbourne, and a member of In-Public. He recently published his book: “Don’t Just Tell Them, Show Them.” The images were shot over a 9 year period on the streets of Australia and Europe and features 50 color photographs. I interview him on his start in street photography, the book-making process, and his interest in color film.
Eric’s Note: I am excited to share this interview with Todd Breslow, a street photographer and the developer of the free “Develop!” iPhone App — which helps you process your own black and white film. He loves street photography with his Leica M3 and working in analog, and lives in Philadelphia with his spouse, two sons, and two cats. When not developing film he can be found tending to his beehives or taking a bike ride. Todd works in the Automotive industry.
Check out my interview with him on how/why he made the application for the community!
Eric’s note: Earlier this year in NYC I bumped into Jerry Pena, a street photographer living in upstate NY. Funny story, he took a street photograph of me, and then I ran after him (not to beat him up) but to just chat. We shot a bit together, chatted about street photography, and I saw some of his color film work – and loved his refreshing style and aesthetic. See more of his color street photos below.
Jerry: My name is Jerry Pena and I’m a 27 year old construction worker living in upstate NY. I have a lot of time off in between jobs and street photography is what keeps me sane. I have always noticed the strange characters and interesting moments that happen on the streets of NYC and always wondered how I could captured them.
For the last year and a half or so, I have been shooting my personal street photography on exclusively film. After shooting digital for around 7 years or so, it has been a great experience so far and I have learned a ton.
When I first wanted to start shooting street photography I had a lot of fears. What if the photos don’t turn out? What settings should I use? What film is ideal? Where do I get my film processed? Or should I process it myself? What camera should I use? What chemicals do I need? The list goes on.
I am certainly not an expert when it comes to shooting film, but I wanted to write this article as a primer for those of you who want to get your feet wet (but may not know where to start). I will use my personal experiences and opinions– but of course, feel free to experiment. And if you see any mistakes in this article, please correct me in the comments below and I will revise it.
I started off my photographic career with a my a Nikon D60 two years ago. I loved it and loathed it and wished that I had something that had video mode, so I looked into entry level DSLRs and thought the Nikon D3100 sounded like a pretty good shout. After about two months of using it I felt like I didn’t look professional enough, and people wouldn’t take me seriously enough unless I had a camera to match my ability.
Had a quick chat with my buddy Dana Barsuhn, a fellow street photographer from Los Angeles and former attendee of my Intermediate Los Angeles Street Photography Workshop. For those of you geeks who are curious, he shoots B/W Tri-X film on his Leica M4, with a 35mm Zeiss Lens. Also featured in the video is his new toy, the Contax T3 he just picked up for snapshots.
Dana was introduced to street photography from his friend (host of the podcast The Candid Frame), Ibarionex Perello. Also for inspiraitonal images, check out Stanko Abadzic (one of Dana’s huge influences).
Photos by Dana Barsuhn
You can see the rest of Dana’s work in his “Los Angeles” album on his website.
Framed 2011 Book
Dana also put together a book of his street images from 2011 as a personal diary. All the images in the book were shot with his Leica M4 rangefinder 35mm film camera, captured in and around the Los Angeles area, developed in his kitchen sink and scanned to his computer computer!
Feel free to download the PDF book and share it on your computer or iPad!
Link to pdf: FRAMED 2011 – Dana Barsuhn
For more info on book or images feel free to contact Dana.
Exhibition at the “2Edgy Gallery” in Downtown LA
Dana will also be showing some of his street photography at the “2Edgy Gallery” in Downtown LA. Make sure to come if you are in the area!
- Location: “2Edgy Studio”
- Date: Friday, May 4th in Downtown LA.
- Time: 6:30-11:30pm
- Address: 456 Seaston St
Which of Dana’s images really speak out to you? Show him some love in the comments below!
I had the huge pleasure of meeting up with Kaiman Wong from Digital Rev TV a few days ago- and filming this video! It was great to finally meet Kai in person (he’s really that hilarious!) as well as the video genius Lok and the lovely Alamby who helped coordinate everything. I was shooting with my Leica M6, and Kai with his Leica M2 and 15mm Voightlander lens (super wide!).
Some people on YouTube wrote some responses regarding arranging photographs for my shots. I thought it was a legitimate question and here is my answer:
Generally I don’t ask for permission when shooting, but typically after shooting my first photograph without permission – I enjoy chatting with my subjects and getting them to pose for me. Of course once they start posing and get directed by me, it is no longer candid and thus not proper “street photography”. However in the end – I like interacting with my subjects and I feel that it is able to help me build rapport and good will. I am not so interested in only taking all of my photos without permission- as I do ask for permission at times for my shots as well.
Hopefully the video will be good to those who are uncomfortable shooting street photography, and afraid of the reactions of others. I very rarely have any issues shooting in the street, and I try to show how I interact with my subjects in the video.
In the end I am not so interested in defining what street photography is or isn’t– but creating messages and meaning through my photographs– that make statements about society. I discuss this at length at a previous post titled, “What’s Important in Street Photography?”
Anyways hope you guys enjoyed the video and will keep you updated with more stuff from Hong Kong soon!