For a long time I’ve seeked “happiness” in my photography and life. While I still don’t know what “happiness” is, I know what makes me unhappy.
Archives for July 2016
One thought that I’ve been thinking about: why do we “need” more likes or followers? Do we desire more likes or followers because it boosts our self-esteem? Or because it helps validate our photography? Or because we want to gain more power, fame, money, and influence with our work? Or a little bit of everything?
Dear streettogs, here are the slides that I used during my “Street Photography 101” presentation on Day 1 of the Adobe Live-Streaming Workshop. In this presentation I talk about how to conquer your fears in street photography, practical tips, and show some of the contact sheets behind my favorite photos.
You can also download the PDF for free.
Also check out my other free street photography presentations on Slideshare.
Dear streettogs, if you didn’t have the chance to watch my free 2-day live streaming street photography workshop with Adobe, below are the videos. If you want to learn how to conquer your fears, find your style in street photography (and see me breakdance and do really bad freestyle rapping), watch the videos below:
Part 1: How to Conquer Your Fears in Street Photography
Part 2: How to Find Your Voice in Street Photography
Apparently in the Marines they take great pride in having the “shittiest equipment” with the least amount of support. They pride themselves in being able to get by with less. They make up for their lack of equipment through their hustle, determination, creativity, and hard work.
What if we could do the same in our photography— to pride ourselves in the fact that we might not have the best camera, lens, or equipment. What if we can achieve our creative greatness with “less”?
I feel one of the best ways to stay inspired and motivated with your photography is to focus on a project. To take lots of random photos of anything and everything often leads to a body of work that is cluttered, un-focused, and uninteresting. In this article I will share some of my personal thoughts on how you can create your own photography project idea.
When I started street photography, my biggest barrier was myself. Specifically— my barrier was my fear of shooting street photography. It was all in my head.
We all know the feeling— having to do something without wanting to do it. The feeling of going to the gym and meeting a gym trainer against your own will. The feeling of having to do extra “busy” work while you’re in school. The feeling of having to stay late at your job, even though you’re done with work, only to appease your boss.
There are a lot of things in life that feel like chores— why make your photography one of them?
I recently read an eye-opening book: “So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love” — in which the author argues against the “passion” hypothesis (the idea that you should follow your passion). The author argues that following your passion often leads to failure.
(A.g.’s note: Today’s interview is probably an interesting one. John Milton is a citizen of the world. His travels has brought him to some of the most uncommon places for travel. He answers Eric’s questions and shares some of his experiences on the road and what pushes him to keep going)
Thank you so much for your patience and support as Cindy and I worked to prepare the last batch of Henri neck straps. We received a lot of great feedback, and have made the newest batch a little bit longer in length and the leather of the neck pad softer. This run is limited to 100 straps, pick one up before they sell out:
For International Orders (outside of the US), you can order here >>
Dear streettogs, I am super pumped to announce that I am hosting my first free live-streaming street photography workshop on July 19-20th (12-3pm Pacific time) on the Adobe Twitch Channel >>
The workshop is a two-day affair, and streamed live (so you can ask me any questions or feel free to interrupt me during my presentations). July 19th will be focused on how to conquer your fears in street photography, and July 20th will be focused on how to work on your own personal projects and discover your own personal style.
Also through the event (starting July 19th) I will give honest feedback and critique to some of your street photos with the hashtag #StreetPhotoJam on Instagram/Twitter on July 19th).
The “snapshot” is a word looked down with disdain and hatred. No photographer wants to hear that his/her photos look like “snapshots.” We want our photos to be respected, appreciated, and seen as “art.”
But what if there is a benefit of making snapshots in our photography— and what are the joys of making “snapshots” in our daily lives?
SA 19 Editor’s Choice Evandro Nunes de Oliveira wants us to explore faces and places!
(Details of joining and more info after the jump!)
I’ve pretty much shot RAW all my life. There are so many benefits of shooting RAW– in terms of how much flexibility you have with the files, as well as the raw data in the files. However, as time goes on, I’m starting to lean more towards shooting JPEG– and I’m starting to realize the benefits of shooting JPEG.
I remembered when I was sitting in my cubicle, dreaming and lusting after a digital Leica M9. I imagined after buying it, all of my life’s problems would be solved. I imagined the camera would inspire me to be more creative, brave, and inspired in my photography. I imagined how cool I would look in the streets with a Leica over my shoulder. I also imagined how much more people would “respect” or admire me, simply because I had a Leica.
What is a photographer? A photographer is an individual who sees beauty in the mundane. A photographer is an individual who walks at a slow pace, experiences life fully and vividly, and can capture fleeting moments with precision and poise.
A photographer is an individual who is always grateful to be alive, to have a pair of eyes, and to be able to visually decipher complexity in the world.
A photographer isn’t graded by how many cameras, lenses, awards, or books he/she has. Rather— a photographer is graded only be him/herself. A photographer never judges his/her work by how many likes they get on social media— a photographer judges him/herself based on how much personal satisfaction their photos bring them.
I don’t know about you— but there is nothing I hate more than being a tourist. When you’re a tourist; you feel trapped. You do what everyone else tells you what you should do— rather than doing what you personally want to do.
There are a lot of ways we can “de-touristify” our lives, photography, and creative processes.
I recently got back from my honeymoon with Cindy from Mexico city (amazing city, highly recommended) and finally we have some time to decompress, reflect on our wedding, and look through all our wedding photos (shot by Neil Ta, Brandon Phan, and video from my cousin Regina). And having all these photos— we wondered; how would we best immortalize our special day?
In today’s modern world, procrastination is seen as a negative thing. It is seen as a “disease” that needs to be eliminated. Thousands of self-help books, blog posts, and podcasts encourage and teach us how to overcome procrastination — and get more things done.
But what if there are certain things that shouldn’t be done immediately— and should be left undone? What if procrastination can be a good thing (in certain circumstances)? What if procrastination can actually help us be more creative in life and our photography?
I wanted to write you this letter on how to liberate yourself in photography— by photographing what interests you rather than what you think other people will be interested. It means to make your photography more personal, and to make your photos a reflection of who you are as an individual. Remember; photos are always self-portraits of yourself, not of your subjects.
(A.g.’s Note: Today’s guest post on the blog is by Vincent Tam. He’s an inquisitive and persistent photographer. He’s sharing with us his insights and research on how to produce quality work and how he tested this research with the backstory of getting the photo above. All photos and text are by Vincent Tam.)
Vincent: I had a massive misconception about great photographers. I thought every shot they take must be great. This is not true. Magnum photographer Alex Webb reportedly shot ten rolls of Kodachrome film for his famous Istanbul barbershop photo. He says “street photography is 99 percent about failure.” To improve our odds of making great photos, does it make sense to simply shoot more? As it turns out, in his 2016 book about how non-conformists move the world, Adam Grant tells us the most predictable path to quality is, in fact, quantity.