Hong Kong Lucida

A Thinking Street Photography Blog

Loosening Up in Street Photography

I’m a bit of a maximizer (as opposed to a satisficer) when it comes to choosing/doing things.

I try to find out all there is to know before making a decision.

When it comes to execution, I try to go through the various steps in my mind in order to get everything right beforehand.

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Which is why zone focusing and street photography is such a re-creation for me.

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We’re working with a circumference of acceptability.

Is good enough good enough? There’s motion blur here which adds to the sense of movement.

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I was close enough, but it doesn’t mean I could see clearly.

And if we don’t always notice everything around us, why should we demand a photography that sees everything accurately and in sharp focus?

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On the other hand, how much loosening up can one do before one loses discipline?

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There’s a spectrum here, between trying to get everything clinically right and hence losing the moment and operating without some sort of discipline, as if one is holding a camera for the first time.

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Sometimes, good enough is good enough in street photography.

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Try to get everything right and one might lose the “street”.

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There’s that tendency to overthink and hence lose the art.

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On the other hand, one must possess discipline in order to lose it.

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So my job is to learn everything I can, and then forget all I have learnt.

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Imperfection is an art in itself.

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And so is perfection.

And perhaps art is about improvising and about knowing how to move back and forth between perfection and imperfection.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Summicron 50mm Type II

Film: Ilford XP 2

 

 

 

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9 comments on “Loosening Up in Street Photography

  1. some people know to express the mood of street in every way – from the hip and when focusing through the viewfinder, when everything in focus and when Aperture is very high or there is some total motion blur. some people know it without to learn.
    but most of people just deprived this feeling and never will know this..

  2. The Wandering Musulman
    January 5, 2015

    Hey Eddie, thanks for stopping by and liking my piece on Halal Hong Kong. As a result I’ve found your intriguing photography. Looks great, I’ll be back for more!

  3. Keith Goldstein
    January 5, 2015

    Problems arise in street photography when one over thinks the process. Not everything in life can be taken in steps. Sometimes you’re on the bus making local stops, sometimes you’re on the express bus. Photographing life on the street is about feeling and reacting to the ebb and flow of humanity. Nothing is certain. Nothing is given. Being open, being free, looking, feeling the moment. Reacting to your emotions and instincts.

    • eddietay
      January 5, 2015

      Yup – serendipity is definitely important as well.

  4. angelinahue
    January 6, 2015

    Well said: Try to get everything right and one might lose the “street”.

  5. johnnythegreek21
    January 12, 2015

    Yeah, right time, right place, camera out (or not, depending on your luck/preparedness) is pretty much it. Ultimately, the best photos in life don’t seek perfection, they seek life.

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