UPDATE 9/30/10! Thanks to your kindness and generosity, I have raised enough money to finance my plane trip to Beirut, Lebanon! Huge thanks to everybody who contributed, especially to Thomas Leuthard who paid for a large percentage and will be presenting at my street photography workshop as well! I will keep you guys informed with more updates soon :)
The email I received from the Project Coordinator:
Of course you guys could all image how excited and giddy I was hearing this news. For the last few months, I have been dedicating so much of my time and energy in spreading the love of street photography for the rest of the world. I cannot say how grateful I am for YOUR support (and the rest of the community) in contributing your thoughts, spurring interaction with other individuals, as well as spreading the word. This blog and my photography has grown faster (and bigger) than I could have ever imagined possible in my life.
Excited about this opportunity, I went to Kayak and I discovered that a round-trip ticket to Beirut is ~$800. As a recent college student heavily in debt, this trip is not exactly within my budget. This is where I ask for help of you, my friends and the photography community to help achieve my dream of traveling to Beirut, Lebanon. Not only could I lead a street photography workshop that can inform and inspire the lives of others living somewhere halfway across the world, but I can also capture some amazing photographs there as well.
Cheapest flight on Priceline:
Not many of you know, but in my free time I have also been teaching a photography class at a continuation school in Los Angeles named Phoenix High School. The 25 students in my class are mostly from low socio-economic backgrounds, and have never had the opportunity to take any photography workshop. You should see their faces when I teach them the fundamentals of photography, and even take them on “photo outings” where they go out and take photos for themselves! You can see more information on a site I set up for them here. You can see how serious I am about teaching photography, and the true love of it I have.
So please help support my dream and make a donation today via Paypal! You are free to donate however much you want (Suggested Donation of $5 or more). Also, I have also recently opened a store for prints, and you can support me by purchasing some of my prints as well.
Thank you for the love and support! Please spread the word via Facebook, Twitter, and your blog! I will be forever grateful — and I will bring back some amazing photos too! :) If you do not have any money to contribute, please join my Facebook Group and invite your friends to join and help out!
In holding to my mantra of open source photography, I have decided to give away all of my presets that I use in my street photography for Lightroom 3 for FREE. Feel free to share these presets with anybody/everybody you know.
This post was originally posted here by Neal Bingham, but I thought I’d repost it here to share it with the rest of you guys. A great resource for any aspiring street photographer. Please pass it on! Also follow Neal on Twitter!
I thought it would be useful to create a topic where people can share links to resources – whether that’s tips for beginners on how to get started, interesting articles found elsewhere on the web, or just amazing examples of street photography to give us all a bit of inspiration.
In street photography, one of the popular techniques that photographers employ is “shooting from the hip.” To sum it up, “shooting from the hip” it is holding your camera at wait-level, and shooting upwards without looking through the viewfinder. One of the reasons why this technique is widely popular is because it allows you to take much more candid images of people, as they do not see you shooting them with your eye through your viewfinder, and assume you aren’t taking images. Another thing is that when shooting from the hip, you often get a much more interesting perspective as you shoot from a much lower perspective.
Although there are some individuals who are opposed to shooting from the hip and consider it as the “easy way out,” simply disregard their words. As you will soon find out, framing while shooting from the hip is very difficult when starting off. For every 100 shots you take shooting from the hip, you will probably only get 5-10 or so “decently” framed images.
Although I do not use shooting from the hip as my primary type of street photography, I will try my best to walk you through how you can effectively shoot from the hip and get amazing candid images of people.
Lately on the web, there has been a ton of buzz about the phobia that people are having about street photographers. We have been called creepers, pedophiles, and even in some cases, terrorists (as the TSA would like the public to think). Is all this anti-photographer sentiment leading to the death of street photography as we know it?
I recently created a Flickr page dedicated to all of your awesome street photography titled: “Aspiring Street Photographers.” Feel free to join and contribute your images (as well as inviting your friends to join as well!) I hope to build a well-knit community of street photographers of all skill-levels to share their photographic insight with one another, while giving constructive criticism and feedback on images. Please join and hope to see you there soon :)
In lieu of the popularity of my last post about the “100 Things I Have Learned about Photography,” I decided to make a new list that pertains to street photography specifically. Also if you don’t know, I am currently writing a book titled: “Street Photography 101,” and the excerpts are being posted here. This new list is a homage to the Street Photography 101 book that I am writing.
Note that there is some overlap of some of these points with the previous list that I wrote, but I thought it may be essential for new-readers to note. Also, feel free to critique, comment, and share this list with anybody you want. I would love to hear your feedback.
Hope you guys all had a wonderful Labor-Day weekend! I just got back from the Bay Area (my hometown) after hanging out and visiting friends and family I haven’t seen for quite a while. Was planning on doing some street photography in San Francisco, but catching a cold over the weekend prevented me from doing so.
Anyways, before I left on Saturday to the Bay, I had enough time between Thursday and Friday to work on this slideshow of my street photography from Korea last summer. What the hell was I doing in Korea you ask? Well, I decided to visit Seoul, Korea for about two months in order to meet up with some long-lost family and friends, tutor English to some kids (while making some $$$ along the way), and of course, photography.
Haha–tricked you. As there is no “best” paintbrush for a painter, there is no “best” camera when it comes to the street photographer. The camera is merely a tool, and there are different tools required for different situations and tasks at hand.
In street photography as well as general photography, photographers can sometimes become more obsessed about camera gear over actually taking photos. Photographers who are obsessed with camera gear often feel that their images are lacking due to their equipment, when their underdevelopment of photographic vision is the culprit.
Therefore many individuals fall into this trap and go on a never-ending chase in the hope that buying more expensive camera bodies and lenses will help them get better images. However most of them are quite dismayed when they realize that when they buy the newest and most expensive equipment, their images don’t get any better. Now don’t get me wrong—nice bodies and lenses can indeed give you images with better sharpness, resolution, and color, but they won’t give one intrinsically better photos.
When it comes to street photography, I like to believe that the best policy is to have the least obtrusive camera and lens as possible. The antithesis of an ideal camera for street photography would be a 1D Mark IV with a Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L lens attached to it.
Although my knowledge of cameras may be limited when compared to the 20+years plus photo veteran, I will try my best to outline the pros and cons of different cameras that street photographers use, including rangefinders, DSLRS, or compact “point and shoots”.
Rangefinders are glorified for their ability to take images without a battery, being small and unobtrusive, quick in operation, and virtually silent in terms of a shutter sound. Rangefinders are fully manual, meaning that you have to manually focus and manually control exposure through aperture and shutter speed.
The most popular rangefinder (by far) when it comes to street photography is the Leica. It carries all of the fore mentioned characteristics and has a tradition for being built like a tank with superior optics. Shoot—the granddaddy of all street photography (Henri Cartier-Bresson) used a Leica for his entire career.
Taking photos with a rangefinder is much different than many other cameras because what you see through your viewfinder is not necessarily what your photos show up as. There are superimposed grid lines showing the borders of how much your camera will actually capture which many photographers claim that gives them a sense of freedom and seeing entire scenes.
However there are obviously cons with using a rangefinder camera. First of all, rangefinders are fully manual, meaning that one has to learn how to constantly adjust for the changing lighting in an environment with aperture and shutter speed, while modern digital cameras can do this automatically. Although many advocates of using fully-manual settings do not see this as a disadvantage, the aspiring street photographer may have a difficult time constantly adjusting his or her settings.
Furthermore if one decides to get a digital Leica rangefinder, they are most likely going to drop a huge chunk of change.
It seems that nowadays many street photographers use digital SLRs (DSLRs) to take their photographs. DSLRs are massively popular due to their overall image quality, quick shutter speed, and their ability to interchange lenses, and relative affordability.
However the downside to DSLRs for street photography is that they are relatively large and clunky, and look intimidating to the average person. Furthermore due to the fact that it has a mirror inside, it makes a loud clicking (or clunking) sound when taking photos, which can disturb the serenity of a scene. There is nothing more apparent than the loud mirror-clacking of a DSLR on a quiet subway.
However that doesn’t mean that it is impossible to use a DSLR for street photography. I currently use a Canon 5D for my street photography and in order to make my camera more stealthy, I covered up my “Canon” and “5D” logo with black gaffers tape. I feel the advantage of this is that it converts my “professional-looking camera” into any old generic-looking camera. This makes the camera look less conspicuous in public, and makes people feel less anxious when you are taking photos of them.
Furthermore, DSLRS have great high-ISO capabilities, which make them ideal for shooting at night without having too much noise in the shots. The 5D is infamous for having creating clean images at even high-ISO’s. I never hesitate to shoot my camera at ISO 1600 or even 3200 at night when capturing scenes with faster shutter speeds.
Furthermore, another huge advantage of DSLRs is the ability to interchange one’s lenses. Therefore, one can switch up his or her lenses once in a while if you want to shoot at different focal lengths.
Generally for street photography, I recommend a 35mm “full frame equivalent” lens.
Point and Shoots
There are currently a handful of high-end point-and-shoots on the market that many street photographers use for shooting in the street. These cameras tout larger image sensors, which gives better image quality as well as cleaner images at higher-ISOs.
The advantages of point-and-shoot cameras for street photography is that they are small, have a virtually silent shutter, and that they are unobtrusive. However on the other hand, many point-and-shoot cameras have shutter-lag, which can make it difficult to capture moving people without getting them blurred out.
Micro 4/3rds cameras are also a fantastic option in street photography, because of their near instantaneous autofocus, small form factor and weight, as well as solid image quality. Their image sensors aren’t as good as Aps-c DSLR sized sensors, but they still make beautiful images you can’t complain about.
So after my guest post on Digital Photography School for my “10 Tips for the Aspiring Street Photographer,” I have been getting a lot of love from the online photography community. In order to get to know you guys better (and for you guys to get to know one another better as well), why not leave a comment and introduce yourselves? Let me know where you’re from, how you found out about my site, and what about street photography appeals to you? Looking forward in hearing from all of you :)
When it comes to street photography, everybody has their own style and techniques. What interests one street photographer may not necessarily catch the eye of another street photographer. However in order for you to get a better grasp of what kind of styles there are in street photography, I have compiled a few elements that street photographers like to use to their advantage when constructing their images.
Play with Juxtaposition
Juxtaposition is a big and fancy word that artists love to use. If you are not familiar with the word, it simply means drawing a stark contrast between two elements in an image. One could use juxtaposition in his or her favor by creating an image that is interesting, ironic, or just plain uncanny.
For example, if you were to see a sign that says “get fit” and you see a woman eating an ice cream, that makes for an image with great juxtaposition. Or you can see a sign that says “get big” with a small person standing next to it.
I love typography. I played around with some new free font I picked up at Smashing Magazine and playing with color schemes from Colour Lovers and mashed this little piece up together. Leave me a comment below and let me know what ya think!
Whoever is looking for a bike, take this advice from my friend Miles’ step-dad. He was a competitive biker back in the day, and he still fixes bikes for a living. An amazing period, with a great wealth of information. Big thanks to him for helping me purchase my first road-bike, a Nishiki Prestige (pictured above) for only $175 (I talked the guy down from 200) ! It runs like a dream, and is in mint condition. Also it looks pretty sweet with the red tires and all.
Here is the original E-mail he sent me. Hopefully this will help other people who are looking for bikes themselves.
Hi Eric (I’m Tom),
I think we can do this, I’ll scour Los Angeles Westwood craigslist and send some ads to you so you can go out and look at bikes. The best deals are the late 1980s Japanese bikes, the ones you want have aluminum alloy wheels, but a steel lugged frame. I highly recommend Centurion “Iron Man”, Nishiki ‘Prestige”, Miyata 600 and higher to 1000, Fuji “Team”, Shogun “1000”, Univega several models with 700c wheels, Schwinn “Tempo” and a few other models made in Japan like”Prelude”
In the mid to late 1980s, the dollar was strong against a weak Yen, the Japanese were producing world class bikes and selling them in the U.S. at prices that other manufacturers couldn’t touch. This ended about 1990 and started about 1985 so you want to look for bikes from that time period only. After 1990, bikes became overly complicated and the frame quality declined as the Japanese economy was pulling ahead.
Another possibility is an American bike like a Trek, or a British bike like a Raleigh, but the chances of finding those (a good quality one)for $200 is slim. (keep in mind that all the companies made low-end or junky bikes during this period as well as fabulous bikes, so here are things to watch for.
#1 Frame tubing, The best Japanese steel was Tange #1 and Tange #2, there will be a sticker under the seat on the frame tube saying whatever the tubing is, Tange 1 and 2 are double-butted chrome-Moly and that is the lightest and strongest. Double butted means the inside diameter varies, towards the ends that need extra strength, the tubing walls are thicker because that’s where the stress is. The middles of the tubes are thin. You don’t want to buy bikes where the tubes are dented at all or repainted, original finish is a must. Paint scratches are O.K. but dents are a deal breaker.
At 5’11”, depending on leg length, I’d recommend a 56 to 60cm frame, the measurement is from the centerline of the crank axle up the mast to where the seat-post drops in. People selling bikes often give false measurements so you need to bring a metric tape measure.
Avoid bikes with 27” wheels, if the bike has 27” wheels, it means the bike is either cheap or too old. Make sure you get 700c wheels, on aluminum rims, with aluminum hubs, bring a magnet if you can’t tell the diff.
The deraillers should be Shimano, it’s possible that they could have SunTour, but those are most likely older than the time period we are looking for.
Bikes of this period have a head sticker, not a headbadge, (unless it’s a Schwinn)
#2, spin the wheels, there should be no wobble or hop, this is important, the wheels should spin for a long time, if the wheel stops after a couple seconds, something is wrong.
#3 don’t worry about bad handlebar tape or worn or rotted tires, those should be replaced anyway when you buy a used bike, you never know where the last owner’s hands have been and you don’t need gross stuff on yours.
#4 bring a 5mm and a 6mm Allen wrench, loosen the seat post and make sure it is still adjustable, same with handlebar neck, bikes left in the rain often get alumi-ferric corrosion in those areas and get stuck, and you don’t want that. The seat post clinch bolt is usually only turnable on the chainwheel side remember, one side does NOT spin. Sometimes people put the clinch bolt in backwards though, so carefully try the other side if the bolt on the chainwheel side does not spin easily.
Lately I have been trying to contact a bunch of Los Angeles art magazines to have them feature my work. One of the magazines that contacted me back was Juxtapoz magazine. I was lucky enough to get featured as their “pic of the day” on their site. Hopefully one day I could get featured in their paper-back magazine. Below is a screenshot of their site.
Hope you guys had a great weekend and are ready for the rest of the week!
Anyways recently, I had the great pleasure to write a guest blog post for a photography site called “7×5.” I wrote a somewhat easy-to-read post written very colloquially how a beginner can get started with street photography. Definitely not the most eloquent or comprehensive guide, but an interesting read I still think anyways! I got lots of great feedback on Twitter about this post at @erickimphoto as well!
So on this day, I decided I would do something fun with my street photography, which was to ride around on my road bike and take photos. I have never done this before, but I thought– hell why not. I then pondered where I wanted to go take photos, and I settled upon going to Hollywood to take some photos. I then packed my Timbuk 2 Commute 2.0 messenger bag with some water and my camera, and hopped on my bike, not sure where this journey would lead me.
When heading toward Hollywood, I decided to ride down Westwood Blvd, and headed up Santa Monica Blvd toward Century City. The first thing I passed was this awesome wall on the side of a liquor store. I hopped off my bike and took a couple of snaps.
In front of the store.
I then headed to the back of the store (where there was more dots), hopped off my bike and thought it would be a great thing to model. It is a 1980’s Nishiki Road bike and it rides like a dream. Here it is lookin all purty with the awesome art in the BG.
A vertical shot.
Another mural I saw while riding by. Discrimination? HELL NAW!
I then headed into Beverly Hills, where I saw this awesome portrait of who I believe to be, Kobe Bryant.
As I kept on biking, I came upon a car rental in Beverly Hills. Supposedly it’s “Black and White” (ie full of ballin cars)
Some cool street art I also saw:
I love the dystopia-like look of the below image.
Man, American Apparel is getting more and more trashy.
Checked out some of the stores near Fairfax.
Lots of fun.
After biking around and taking so many photos all day, I was getting pretty damn hungry. I asked one of the locals where I should go to eat, and he highly recommended “Canters,” a local deli that has been around for more than fifty years. I went, and took a seat. The waitress asked me what I wanted, and I told her what was popular. Without even flinching, she struck my menu with her stubby and muscular pointing finer, which was aimed at the Pastrami Sandwich. Quite shocked, I jumped back and said I’d get one. She asked me what I wanted to drink and I automatically said “Coke.” Little did I know that Coke was going to cost me $2.50 (damn).
Anyways, the bad boy came out. And OMG… it was the most amazing pastrami sandwich I have ever had in my life. Perfectly juicy, and so soft and meaty. This photo just makes me drool thinking about it.
Oh yeah– I also wrote an essay about “Street Photography in Los Angeles.” I still gotta type it up and post it here.
After a bomb ass meal and getting a ton of writing done, I headed down Fairfax and came upon the Supreme store. Pretty sweet stuff in there.
Biked some more, and got my favorite image of the day below.
After a long days of biking and shooting, went back to “The Lab” where the magic happens. I still have so many photos to process…but stay tuned for more fresh street photography from Los Angeles.
An old image taken by Charles Choo while we were shooting street photography in Seoul, Korea last summer. I had tons of fun with the guy, and this is an image of us drinking a beer in the middle of the day in public outside a Korean “7-Eleven.” Got to miss the good times in Korea…
About a weekend or two ago, on a lazy Saturday morning, I decided that I was going to take photos that day–although not sure where or how I was going to get there. I therefore planned that I was going to check out the LA MOCA, and then took my stuff and jumped on the first bus that I could find.
However while I was on the bus, I saw something interesting on the side of the street, and got off my bus way too early. After taking my photograph of what I wanted to, I realized that I was lost in the middle of nowhere. However I just walked around the streets, meandering where I wanted to go next.
I then jumped on another bus and got off on the metro stop in the middle of Korea-town. I never took the subway in Los Angeles before, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do so. Therefore I jumped on the subway, still not quite sure where I wanted to go. I looked at the map, and Chinatown was on the list. I had heard lots of interesting things about Chinatown in Los Angeles, yet never had the opportunity to go. I then thought to myself, “Why the hell not” and headed toward there.
I had never been to Chinatown before, so I kind of followed where the streets lead me. However I was quite pleased to say, it was a great opportunity for street photography. The Chinatown area was very quaint and quiet–with a few people strolling in and out of the area. If you look at the below images, you will also see they have an interesting “film” look to them. I recently made a new preset based on one that I downloaded online, and I quite like the look. I feel it gives that “dreamy” look that I felt when I was experiencing the place.
Hope you enjoy this little mini-photo essay of Chinatown in Downtown Los Angeles, through my eyes.
My full-series of Jacob Patterson, a Los Angeles based artist who specializes in graffiti, shoes, and street art. A truly amazing and inspirational artist and person. I look forward in collaborating with him more in the future.
I got in contact with Jacob, and he gave me a tour of the “ThinkTank” in Downtown Los Angeles, an art warehouse he is currently building up with fellow artists. We talked, chilled, grabbed a burrito (thanks Jacob!) and I told him that I would snap him a few photos before he left. This is the product of literally 5-10 minutes of shooting.
Serendipity. One of the most beautiful things about street photography. Stumbling upon something totally unexpected, but so intrinsically unique and beautiful it cannot be put into words. All of your sensations tingling, giving all of your sensory features a feast from a thing or a place that you have never known existed.
Serendipity. A reward for being adventurous and daring. Taking the road off the beaten path. Not being a dumb tourist and following everyone else like sheep. Being a nomad; thirsting for new sights and adventures.
Serendipity. Being in the present and on the prowl, like a jaguar in the streets. Disregarding your “common sense.” Taking the “scenic” rather the quickest route.
Serendipity. Your own little jewel. Taking it and forever keeping it in your box of memories. Taking a photo of it for a keepsake and making it immortal. Wanting to share it with the world, and wanting others to experience a small slice for themselves as well.
Serendipity. Living life without a map. Spinning around in a circle while closing your eyes, then throwing a dart on the map—determined to go wherever the hell it lands.
It is not the destination, stupid. It is about the adventure.
Serendipity. Taking your time and being patient. Not rushing to the nearest attractions but appreciating the beauty in the mundane. Looking for ordinary things, rather than the large and glamorous.
As a street photographer, you must jump into experiencing serendipity. Grab nothing but your camera and storm out into the streets, and letting your curiosity lead you.
Was able to meet up with the famous Jacob Patterson over in Downtown Los Angeles, in the Fashion District where he is working on his art. Was able to snap a few photos of him. Since I’m super tired right now and cannot process all of these images, I’d like to at least give you guys a sneak peak.
“What do I want out of photography” has been a question I have been grappling with for the last few weeks. When I was still in school, I had barely any time to even practice my photography, let alone contemplate what I wanted out of it.
However now, after graduating college and having more free time than ever, I have found myself in a quite stagnant position—sort of a limbo. Having always been so busy, I didn’t know what to do with myself with all of this free time. I then started to fill up all of my free time preoccupying myself by going out and taking more photos, working more on my website and blog, as well as participating more on Flickr and my friends’ blogs. However it seems that by the end of every day, I feel unsatisfied and wanting for more.
What do I want out of photography? Money, fame, prestige? Well I’m definitely not in it for the money. I have noticed that the more my photography gets involved with money, the less that I enjoy it and it becomes more of a job than a passion for me. Is it for the fame?I doubt that I will ever be as famous as Henri-Cartier Bresson or any of the other great street photographers without being a full-blown photojournalist or anything of the sort. The prestige?Sure I love attention (as does everyone else in the world) and enjoy having my work appreciated. However, I don’t want to ever become an “elitist” of any sort, congregating with snobby photographers and self-proclaimed “artists.”
I know I want to spread my love of photography to others. I love being a teacher—especially when it comes to photography. Nothing gets me more excited than teaching the basics of photography to an eager beginner. Being one of the co-founders and the president of The Photography Club at UCLA was one of my greatest joys. I want to give the gift of photography especially to those who do not have access to it, be it social or economic reasons. Something along the lines of “Kids with Cameras,” a non-profit situated in Calcutta, India which teaches children in the red-light district photography, while providing aid and support as well.
Although being a photographer is a very individualistic practice, it is beautiful to participate in a community as well. It is impossible to say that a photographer is completely original in his or her photography. He or she will always draw inspiration from other photographers merely by looking at the photographs of others. Like what Pablo Picasso said, “Good artists copy, bad artists steal.”
They say that money doesn’t buy happiness. To bridge this into photography, neither does the number of views, comments, favorites, or subscribers that your website or Flickr has. In real life, it is not the number of friends that one that dictates their happiness and satisfaction with life, but rather the few and powerful connections that one has with his close circle of friends. Therefore it must not be the popularity that one has with their photography which brings them satisfaction, but the support circle that they have with their friends, family, and other fellow photographers.
A photographer that only seeks fame is doomed to be miserable. It is a never-ending quest, as there will always be a photographer more talented, popular, or skilled than oneself. This is definitely a path that all photographers should avoid at all costs.
Focusing on having a relationship with a close circle of photographers is crucial. The support that a photographer gets from others is the energy that continues to drive one another in going out and continuing their photography. A photographer that walls him or herself in without any support from others is a photographer who will have difficulty pursuing his or her art.
In writing this, it seemed that my vision has been clarified. I guess to find the true meaning of my photography, I need to do what I (as a sociologist) have always known, but lost sight of. That is to create community, teach, and share.
After hours of editing, choosing photos, and syncing the music, I was finally able to put together a slideshow of my black and white street photography from Europe. With the help of my girlfriend Cindy I was able to visit Paris, Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, Venice, Prague, and London. After sorting through 40,000 photos of my entire trip, these are my favorite and most memorable images.
The soundtrack is from Amelie:
-La Valse D’Amelie
Also feel free to check out this gallery to see a (more complete) portfolio of my images from Europe.
Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think!
Cindy and I took the bus from Chicago to Madison, where she is currently studying foVietnamese for the summer. I stayed there for a week, and was able to meet all of her friends as well as get amazing local food (thanks for the recommendations Cydney!) and check out some of the local sights.
Initial thoughts about going to Madison: “Wisconsin? What the hell is there? Just a bunch of cheese and cows.”
After coming home from Madison: “Damn I’m going to miss this place. I wish I could have stayed longer.”
Coming from LA, Madison was a complete 180 for me. Instead of being full of smog, traffic, and crazy drivers– Madison was full of fresh air, bikes, and friendly people. Whenever walking around, I would always get friendly “hello’s” from the locals while being able to soak in the feeling of “community” that permeated through Madison.
See Madison was a bit like a bubble…but a really nice and pleasant one. It is the ultimate college town, with students taking bikes and mopeds to class, hanging out at cafes and restaurants after class on State Street, which is a huge street which connects the campus of the University of Madison-Wisconsin to the Capitol Building. Interestingly enough, cars are not allowed to pass through this area, which makes it extremely pedestrian-friendly and bike-friendly as well.
Life seemed to run at a very comfortable pace in Madison. I never felt rushed or anxious during my time here. This brought me an inner-calm which I cannot put into words. I could easily see myself living there–grabbing an ice cream cone on a hot day, heading to the lake, and relaxing with a beer-in-hand, while reading a nice book with Cindy by my side.
Anyways daydreaming aside, I whole-heartedly enjoyed my experience there and highly encourage other people to go visit. It is right next to Chicago as well–so you could get a 2-for-1 experience! Anyways, onto the photos:
First place on the list: Husnu’s. A local favorite, and the first restaurant that Cindy took me to. A turkish-and-Mediterranean joint, and Cindy couldn’t quit talking about the olive oil there (which was divine).
Afterward, we went to “The Daily Scoup,” which is Madison’s most famous ice-cream place. Cindy kept on raving about the ice cream there, and it did not disappoint. Creamy and full of texture… oh man I already miss it.
Then we headed to Cindy’s dorm– where I was able to meet all of her friends and also make some food in the communal kitchen. We seriously hung out there 90% of the time, just cooking, talking, chilling, and hanging out.
While I was in Madison, I promised to meet Cydney over at Material Lives. We met over the internet and had never met in person, but we were down for the challenge! We met over at Dotty’s Dumplings, another of the local joints. It was a great pleasure meeting her, and I even documented my feelings about the experience over at my wordpress blog. Long story short, she was an awesome and amazing person, and she really gave awesome tips about Madison while we were there. She was even generous enough to lend Cindy one of her bikes!
Surprisingly enough, Madison is full of hipsters. And along with hipsters are lots of cool and trendy vintage shops. Me and Cindy were able to check out a few.. and had a great time in the process!
Getting fat at a Gyro’s joint (supposedly pronounced “Euros”– who knew that?)
Walking around State street….
Cindy and I going to eat–when suddenly it started to pour like hell.
Going to visit the Capitol Building.
Beautiful architecture inside.
Walking alongside State Street, checking out more of the sights.
A quaint little boutique shop Cindy and I came upon–full of color and life.
Words could not be truer:
Studying at the amazing library at the University of Madison-Wisconsin. They even have robotic shelves that move when you push a button!
In Madison, they have a bike recycling center in which they take old bikes, fix them up, and then paint them crimson-red and hand them out practically for free to students. Cindy was able to borrow this from one of her friends, and she let me ride it around for a day or two. Do not let the looks deceive you: although it looks broken-down, it actually rode very comfortably. A great way to check out the local sights of Madison.
One of the posters advertising their exhibit for the “Triennial” that they have–in which many Madison artists exhibit their best work.
Inside with their beautiful architecture.
Photos taken from the roof. Downloaded a few cool presets from PresetPond.com, a site with free Lightroom 3 and Aperture plugins.
A picture of the Orpheum, one of the classic old-school theaters.
More of the amazing architecture–with the light coming in.
A portrait of one of the helpful guides at the museum. I told her how impressed I was by the modern art at Madison and how it could rival some of the exhibits in Los Angeles.
What I especially loved at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art was that it wasn’t too big, but not too small. At times museums can get so exhausting because there is that obligation to check out every single exhibit. However in about two hours, I was able to check out almost all of the exhibits pretty well-indepth, with some energy left to go exploring for the rest of the day.
A cute kid who was “working” with his grandpa (in the background).
In front of the Capitol Building with Cindy, having a picnic after grabbing some Five Guys, which is one of the best burger joints that I have ever visited. The burgers and fries (imho) are 10x better than In-and-Out’s.
The Juicy Juicy Insides.
Ton of people out for Madison’s “Outdoor Concert.”
Cindy Posing outside.
A beautiful sunset on the way back to her place.
So long story short… Madison is pretty awesome. Go check it out.
Two weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of heading to Chicago for the first time in my life. My girlfriend Cindy at the time (and currently still is) studying Vietnamese at the University of Madison-Wisconsin, and after being away from one another for a month, decided to meet in Chicago. I flew over from Los Angeles and Cindy took a bus from Madison and we both rendezvoused at the airport. After that, we were able to spend an entire wonderful day in Chicago, while eating at the “Taste of Chicago“, which is one of the largest food festivals in all of Chicago which happens once a year. We also met up with my cousin Holly who lives in Chicago, and she was able to show us around Millennium Park as well as some local food places.
Anyways a quick rundown of my impressions of the city: It reminded me of a mini-Manhattan, except with more greenery and better-tasting food. I got a great vibe from the city, as it felt alive, dynamic, and full-of-soul. Also it was great to visit a place where two of my favorite rappers (Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco) are from. I can truly see where they got their inspiration from in creating their music about the city (Chi-town) that they love.
Didn’t have too much time to take photos, as I was busy eating the amazing food (the deep-dish pizza is not hype) as well as taking in the environment. However I was able to grab a few snapshots which illustrates my impressions of the city.
The next day Cindy and I headed to Madison, where I stayed there for about a week. Photos to come…
One thing that I have always wanted to do was design T-shirts and maybe have my own little “Street Photography” line. Maybe Urban Outfitters would eat this stuff up?
I always have been fascinated with design–especially typography. I still definitely am a huge noob at it, but I think that it is something that I enjoy doing. What do you guys think of these graphics that I made? Could they look good on a T-shirt?
Version 1: White
Version 2: Black
Tell me what you guys think! Leave a comment below :)
So I ran my first “Show Your Favorite Photos” mini-contest on my blog today, in which anybody could participate by uploading their favorite photos to my Facebook Fan Page. Here are the gorgeous images of the people who participated and links to their sites (if they had one).