5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ask For Permission When Shooting Street Photography

"God Bless America" - Gena
"God Bless America" - Gena. Click to read more.

Photo Credit

When it comes to street photography, it is essential to capture candid moments of everyday life. This is what sets the genre of “street photography” differently from all the other types of photography out there. Although there are many talented photographers out there who specialize in capturing posed street portraits, I would classify those images as more of a subsect of “posed street portraiture” than “street photography” proper. In this post I will outline my thoughts why you shouldn’t ask for permission when shooting street photography.

Street Photography Fundraiser for Japan

Momoko Onodera prays at an evacuation center as she talks about her husband who died in the tsunami on March 18 in Kesennuma, Japan. A potential humanitarian crisis looms as nearly half a million people who have been displaced by the disaster continue to suffer a shortage of food and fuel as freezing weather conditions set in. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

Words cannot express the pain and suffering that the Japanese people are currently experiencing. With recent numbers stating that the number of dead and missing is above 25,000— it is one of the worst calamities in Japanese history. There are already many street photographers on the web who are taking their part such as the Flickr group “Charity Print Auction Japan“. Considering that they are already doing their part in donating images to fund raise, I say that we take a different approach: let’s donate hard-cold cash.

Featured Street Photographer: Jason Martini from Chicago, Illinois

"High Brows" - Jason Martini

Chicago is an amazing city with tons of hustle and bustle in the streets. When it comes to showing the soul of the city, Jason Martini is definitely one of the most talented street photographers out there. He is able to capture the people of Chicago in their natural and gritty environment doing what they do best–live. Check out more of his soulful images below and get inside his mind as well.

Is Manual Focus or Autofocus Better for Street Photography?

“Walking Along” – Santa Monica 3rd Street Promenade

Recently I asked the community on my Facebook fan page what blog post they wanted me to write about. Douglas Bain asked me a question about the advantages/disadvantages of using manual or autofocus for street photography which is a fantastic question. I have debated about this with myself when it comes to street photography. Using primarily a DSLR for street photography, I often switch between the both as they both have advantages/disadvantages. However there is often heated debate between both camps (one saying that autofocus is more convenient while the purists say manual focusing is the only way to go). I will do my best of outlining the pros of both manual and autofocus in street photography in this blog post (and will let you tell me the disadvantages in the comments).

Photo Essay: The Beautiful Decay of Detroit, Michigan

Eric Kim Street Photography Detroit Michigan
Welcome to Detroit.

The past weekend I visited Detroit, Michigan. After recently watching the Chrysler Eminem Superbowl Commercial – Imported from Detroit, I have built a fascination for the city. On one hand, it is a gorgeous and urban city with tons of history. On the other hand, the economy of Detroit is in terrible shape and it shows with the desolate feeling of Downtown. However after talking to some residents of the city, they feel proud of Detroit and feel that it is on its way back up again. I definitely think that Detroit will rise once again to greatness, considering that GM is hitting record numbers of sales (and there are talks that they’re opening a Corvette plant down there).

All in all, the city of Detroit as the city was gorgeous in my eyes–raw, urban, and cold. I hope you enjoy my images and my personal narrative of the city.

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Release Delayed Until Late March/Early April

Want to snag a hot Fujifilm FinePix X100 as soon as you can? Well unfortunately according to Engadget,  these bad boys won’t be shipping until late March/early April in the US due to production shortages (they sold too many pre-orders). Looks like we have to wait and twiddle our thumbs until it comes out.

In the meanwhile, are you as stoked as I am?

5 Reasons Why You Should Use a Point and Shoot for Street Photography

(All photographs copyrighted by Alex Majoli / Magnum Photos)

Recently on the web I came upon a quite article about Alex Majoli, a Magnum photographer who shot award-winning images in the the Congo for two weeks and Iraq for two months using a point and shoot camera. Typically point and shoot cameras get a bad reputation for only being for “amateurs” and people who don’t know how to use a “real camera.”

Currently on the market, there are many wonderful point and shoot cameras for street photography. A few notable ones are the Ricoh GRIII, the Canon S95, and the Lumix LX-5. Many street photographers I know actually prefer using point and shoot cameras for their work, rather than using clunky DSLR’s or expensive digital rangefinders. Although I primarily shoot my street photography with a DSLR, I have done a considerable amount of street photography with my point and shoot as well. Therefore in this article, I will try to outline some of the strengths of using a point and shoot camera for street photography.

The 30 Most Inspirational Street Photographs on Flickr

Recently I asked on Facebook and Twitter for your best street photographs on Flickr. I reviewed the entries carefully, and chose the 30 most inspirational street photographs that showed either exhibited the decisive moment, the beauty of everyday life, or powerful imagery. Congratulations to everybody that made the final cut! Read more to see the other winning images.

Knee Boarding : Chained from hand to toe

Chained from hand to toe by rhohit

The Poor Man’s Leica: Fujifilm FinePix X100 Sample Photos, Unboxing, and Review

Fujifilm Finepix X100
Fujifilm FinePix X100 by Pieter Franken

Over at Steve Huff’s blog, street photographer Pieter Franken gave his first impressions about the Fujifilm FinePix X100. He is originally from Holland and currently lives in Tokyo (where he was able to get the camera). Although he already has the Leica M8 and the Leica M9, he comments that it is a great companion camera (not nearly a replacement for either). All-in-all, Pieter gives the X100 a glowing review and mentions it is great for High ISO, the silent shutter,  as well as the compact size. Read the review for more in-depth details.

Pieter Franken also has a plethora of sample street photographs on his Flickr as well (which look great in my opinion). Click more to view the sample street photographs, as well as the unboxing and review.

Featured Street photographer: Michael Martin from Manhattan, New York

Eric’s Note: Michael Martin is an incredible street photographer from Manhattan, New York who captures touching images from the people around him. The strength of his images not only are shown through his consistency, but also through the colorful portraits he captures as well. You can truly feel the energy of the city that he lives and breathes. Read more to check out this exclusive interview with him below.

"Discretions" by Michael Mann

Street Portraits vs Street Photography: What’s the Difference?

Beirut, Lebanon. Click to read more.

Recently my friend and fellow artist Jacob Patterson asked me on Twitter what I thought the difference was between street portraits and street photography. It was a fascinating question, as there are many debates and inconsistencies on the web about the differences between the two. In this article I will outline my thoughts on the differences between street portraits and street photography. Not only that, but I encourage you to read on and chime in this debate as well.

“Something beautiful” – Black and White Street Photography in London by Ore Huiying

Recently I came upon this Vimeo video on Invisible Photographer Asia. The storytelling in this black and white street photography slideshow is incredible, and the music really makes it memorable. Check out the video and make sure to check out Invisible Photographer Asia for more great street photographers from Asia!

Who is the most inspirational Asian street photographer that you know? Leave a comment below and tell us who, and leave a link to their site!

Featured Street Photographer: Josh White from Seoul, Korea

Eric’s Note: I first stumbled upon Josh’s images per-chance on Flickr. Having shot tons of street photography in Korea myself, I was especially drawn to his images. Through his images, Josh is able to show a candid and insightful look into life in Seoul. He has a wonderful skill of freezing certain moments in time, allowing the viewer to tell the story as they see fit. Keep reading to see more of his images and get an inside look on how he shoots street photography.

Josh White Korean Street Photography. Click to read more.

7 Bright Ways How to Shoot Street Photography at Night

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"Together in the Rain" - Seoul, Korea. Click to read more.

On my Facebook fan page, I asked my readers what they wanted to have a blog post on. There were several of you who mentioned an article about how to shoot street photography at night. Van Gogh once famously said, “I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.” I definitely feel that the same applies in street photography. I love shooting at night, because I feel that is when you can capture the true soul of the urban jungle–when street lights illuminate and people are on the prowl. Keep reading to see more tips on how to shoot street photography at night:

Exclusive Interview with Joe Wigfall, New York Street Photographer

Eric’s note: I got a special treat for all of you guys out there. I was fortunate enough to get an interview with renowned New York Street Photographer, Joe Wigfall. Joe is best known for his black and white imagery of New York City and a WNYC Street Shots feature of him “shooting from the hip” which has already racked over 60,000+ view on YouTube. Out of all of the street photographers out there, Joe is definitely one of the most humble and soulful. Check out this exclusive interview with him and become inspired by his images as well.

"PALEASE" - Joe Wigfall

5 Ways How to Deal with Pissed Off People (after taking their photo)

Turn that Frown Upside Down!
"Turn that Frown Upside Down!" - Los Angeles. Click to read more.

A question that I often get from my readers regarding street photography is how I deal with people who are either disgruntled or pissed off after I take their photo. Fortunately enough, I rarely get approached by people after I take their photo. This is due to the fact that I often avoid eye contact with my subjects, and carry myself if I was taking a photo of someone else.

However I still have encountered people who get pissed off after I take their photo. Therefore I came up with some things that I have done which helped me deal with these people. Read more to see tips that you can do when encountering upset or belligerent people.

Join the Urban Photo Collective!

Note: The following blog post is by Fokko Muller, a street photographer inThe Netherlands. Check out the awesome Urban Photo Collective he is a part of, and join in on the fun!

Urban Photo Collective

The Urban Photo Collective (UPC) started almost 5 years ago in the city of Rotterdam (The Netherlands). The founder Thamar Kiemel (@thamar) was taking urban shots in Rotterdam with a friend. The idea arose to do that more often with a group of people. Just because it’s fun to go on the streets and photograph together.

At this moment the Urban Photo Collective has more than 250 members spread over 8 Dutch cities:

Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Arnhem, Tilburg, Groningen and Emmen.

Each month a group of passionate photographers join to take photos in their city according to a collective theme.

Leica M9 Titanium Unboxed In All Its Sexiness

The Leica M9 Titanium (only $26,500 in the US)

If you thought that the Leica M9 was expensive, check out the limited edition Leica M9 Titanium. The difference? There has only been a limited quantity of 500 Leica M9’s produced, and each are individually numbered and packaged with a Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 titanium lens. Oh yeah, and it costs $26,500 (compared to the $6900 Leica M9). Only the seriously wealthy and eccentric photographers can probably get their paws on this, but for the rest of us commoners, we can still dream. Check out this unboxing video below.

Why You Should Always Use and Abuse Your Gear

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A true photographer's camera.

I have always been a firm believer that photographers should use and abuse their gear. This means that you shouldn’t be scared to get little scratches and minor nicks in your camera when you are out exploring for photos. This means that you shouldn’t handle your camera like a newborn child. This means that you shouldn’t worry more about the warranty than actually taking photos. This means that you shouldn’t leave your camera at home in fear of getting in stolen.

5 Reasons Why Digital Will Make You a Better Street Photographer

Click to read article
Click to read article on Yanidel's Site

My good friend Yanidel (an accomplished street photographer from Paris, now on an around-the-world trip in Argentina) wrote a great complementary opinion to my original article “6 Reasons Why Shooting Film Will Make You a Better Street Photographer“, titled: “5 Reasons Why Digital Will Make You a Better Street Photographer“. He brings up many fantastic points in his article, and I highly recommend everyone to read it.

So now you have read both sides of the picture, which do you prefer–film or digital? Leave a comment below telling us how you feel!

Fujifilm FinePix x100 Camera. Truly Gorgeous.

Fujifilm FinePix x100 Sample Photos Live!

Fujifilm FinePix x100 Camera. Truly Gorgeous.
Fujifilm FinePix x100 Camera. My next camera for street photography.

My good friend and fellow street photographer Tom Kaszuba just informed me that Fujifilm has their FinePix x100 Sample Photos live on their site. I have taken the liberty of showing you some photo samples which show how awesome a camera it can be for street photography with its pancake 35mm f/2 lens. Keep reading to see more pictures of the camera, as well as the hot and new sample photos!

6 Reasons Why Shooting Film Will Make You a Better Street Photographer

Click to read more
"The Look" - Hollywood, Los Angeles. Shot with my Contax IIIa Film Rangefinder.

Recently I have been shooting more street photography with my Contax IIIa Film Rangefinder. Although I still prefer digital for street photography in terms of convenience, security, as well as flexibility– I have started to learn the merits of shooting street photography with film.

I am not  film purist by any means, as I am still relatively new to shooting street photography with film. Furthermore, I have not yet processed my own film before. However if you have not tried to shoot street photography with film before, I hope this article will help inspire you to do so in order to break out of your comfort zone and continue to develop.

Featured Street Photographer: Laurent Roch’s Decisive Moments from France

Note: Every week, I feature street photographers with great skill and soul. For this week, I decided to feature street photographer Laurent Roch from France. When I first stumbled upon Laurent’s work on Flickr, I was thoroughly impressed by his gritty black and white portrayals of the city. In his images, you see a great deal of symmetry and balance, which cradle solid compositions. Not only that, but the man knows how to really work The Decisive Moment.  Want to hear where he finds inspiration and how he shoots on the street? Read his exclusive interview below and be blown away.

"Parking" - Laurent Roch

3D Street Photography: The Future?

The Panasonic Lumix 12.5mm f/12 3D G Lens. The future is here!

Recently my friend Jimmy Hahn sent me a link of the new Panasonic Lumix 12.5mm f/12 3D lens for the Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras: the GF2, G2 and GH2. When he first posted the link on my Facebook, I was taken back by how odd and funny it looked. Upon closer inspection, I was fascinated to see that not only is it a prime lens, but it is incredibly thin as well.

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