How to Fight Friction in Your Photography

Seoul, 2009. Shot in P mode, Canon 5D, 35mm f2, Center autofocus.

The hardest thing as a photographer or artist: how to fight the friction or “resistance” of reality.

I. Frictionless camera

Berlin, 2015

A tip to make more photos: make your camera as frictionless as possible.

For example, make your camera technical settings automatic. For digital, I shoot in P, program mode. Center point autofocus. I set it and forget it.

Berkeley, 2016 #cindyproject #ricohgrii

To have less friction to make photos, make your camera smaller. If you have a hard time shooting street photos because your DSLR is so heavy, use a point and shoot or your iPhone.

I know for myself, the heavier my camera, the less likely I am to take it with me everywhere I go. Therefore I make fewer photos.

Huntington Beach, 2015. Shot on phone.

The bigger my camera, the harder to carry or fit into my bag. Therefore, a small camera is desirable. The smaller, the better. This is why I love the RICOH GR II, it fits in my front pocket. Or this is why I’m a fan of shooting with your phone– it’s always with you.

II. Aerodynamic photography

Oakland, 2015. Shot from my car.

The best way to make a faster sports car: make it more aerodynamic. Make it easier to slice the air.

A car that is a box will have to fight friction of the air. Rather than fight the air, just flow with it.

For example, a Lamborghini is the perfect car in terms of aerodynamics. It slices the wind, rather than trying to ram the wind like a Hummer.

Prague, 2015

To make yourself more aerodynamic as a photographer, several ideas:

  1. Shoot more photos during your commute
  2. Shoot close to home, avoid traveling far to shoot photos.
  3. Make good photos at home.
Prague, 2015

Also some other ideas:

  1. Lose body fat: less body fat, less weight, you can shoot longer and further without fatigue
  2. Take the stairs whenever possible: strengthen your muscles in your legs, to build strength to shoot for a long time.
  3. Lighten your bag: when in doubt, throw it out. Don’t carry superfluous stuff with you when you’re out shooting.



For less resistance in your photography, I recommend using a RICOH GR II and ERIC KIM STRAP. All black, and ready to attack.

Selfie with Ricoh GR II

No but real talk, having a wrist strap is good. Hold the camera in your hand as much as possible, if you want to shoot more.

Wear your camera like a necklace or bracelet.

Hanoi, 2017 #ricohmafia

Also when in doubt,


Often we overthink photography. Think less, and shoot more.



Hue, 2017 #cindyproject

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