So many choices, so little time. Dotwell Camera in Hong Kong
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.
On my flight from Dubai back to the states I just finished an excellent book by psychologist Barry Schwartz titled: “The Paradox of Choice.” In the book, Schwartz addresses the following question in Western society: Why is it that people are getting more miserable when the amount of choices we are given goes up?
I am sure we have all experienced this problem. Whenever we go to the grocery store and want to pick up a box of cereal, we are given hundreds of options. Whenever we go to buy a new car, there are so many different companies, models, and options to choose from. Not only that, but when it comes to buying cameras we are given so many choices in terms of what type of camera/sensor (Full-frame DSLR, ASPC-sensor, Micro 4/3rds, Compact, etc) as well as a choice of lenses.
Schwartz gives solutions in the book in terms of how to deal with the over-abundance of choice and stress that it comes with. I have found this advice to be invaluable both in terms of my everyday life and when it comes to photography/buying equipment. I hope these tips help you, as they have very much helped me.
For this post, I have also included some new photos from Istanbul that I shot last year. Read More »»
Eric’s Note: I am pleased to share the work of Paolo Rabuffi, a street photographer based in Rome. Working in both color and black and white, he loves to capture the “strangeness” of Rome – while being more present in the everyday moment. Check out some of his thoughts and images below!
Paolo: I’m half Roman and half Etruscan and after several years of relocations I am based in Rome. I’m a 32 year old full-time-precarious who sometimes uses to walk with a camera in his hands.
Why photography? I dunno, it was something that grew inside of me slowly about 2-3 years ago. I can’t stop it. Someone call it “obsession”, and may be right.
I am excited to share that my good friend and fellow street photographer Satoki Nagata is featuring some of his street photography in Chicago, December 15th (Saturday). He will show a collection of his street photography and documentary work. More information about the exhibition below:
“The camera captures the moment of the fraction of a second and I found that successful images show the multi-dimensional relationships of the world through symbolic and abstract forms. I found these forms in my photography. By searching for the elements that represent reality I see around me, I can capture them through photographic media. I see the light and shadow produced by flash is the pure form of reality of people living in the city. Inside the bright light line, the significance of existence of the person appears. The image is abstract and surrealistic but also full of life and personality.”
Eric’s Note: I am pleased to share the work of Krishnendu Saha, a street photographer based in Kolkata. Krishnendu is part of That’s Life, an Indian Street Photographer Collective. He is a student and teacher of Mathematics, but has been honing his photography skills for the last few years as a way to tell the “untold stories” from his hometown. Keep reading to get a better insight about his philosophy and background in street photography!
Krishnendu: To me, street photography is a game that can never be played twice in the same way. A game that is played by me against the world, a game that I control. I decide when to start, when to finish, or when to have a tea break.
It’s a way how I react to the surroundings I am placed into at that time.
Not only that, it allows me to build relationships with different people whom I didn’t know earlier! When I go through my old archives and see the photographs, all those slices of life just start flashing on my mind. I can feel the connection with those persons present in my photographs, with those places.
(Above photograph shot on the iPhone 5 by Mike Avina)
Eric’s Note: I’m sure many of you are curious about the performance of the iPhone 5′s camera for street photography. Fellow street photographer Mike Avina has spent around a week or two with the iPhone 5, and here are some of his impressions. You can see his past feature on my blog here and follow him on Flickr.
Mike: This is a review of the iPhone 5 as a street photography tool. I am picky about my gear and I am a bit of a minimalist—so I use one old film rangefinder body with a 35mm lens and one digital camera with a prime lens equivalent to 35mm. That said, I have been following the work of several mobile phone street photographers and have been impressed. When Eric asked me to do a review of the iPhone 5 I jumped at the opportunity.
Street Photography Workshop: Introduction to Design/Composition
Calcutta[INDIA] – December 10th-14th
Eric’s Note: I am excited to announce that I will be teaching another unique 5-day workshop in Calcutta, India with NYC photographer and master composition teacher Adam Marelli. Adam Marelli has a keen eye for design, composition, and capturing “the decisive moment”. He holds a degree in Sculpture and Photography from New York University and studied at the Barnstone Studios. If you are serious about your street photography, and wanting to take it to the next level – check out this unique workshop opportunity!