The Street Makes Sense

The thing with Shamshuipo is that one could walk slowly amongst pockets of crowds.

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You could flow along comfortably.

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Even if you stop, there’s space enough for you to do so.

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So many people and things to look at.

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Hope and dreams of finding a space.

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The street belongs.

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The street can disintegrate.

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The street makes sense, if you keep looking.

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander 35 Nokton 1.4 SC

Film: Venus 800

 

 

Tsim Sha Tsui at Night

So here’s TST at night.

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Everyone has a place to get to.

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Spotted.

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Someone’s waiting.

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Someone’s looking.

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Someone’s packing.

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Someone’s unloading.

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Boxes that have lost their purpose.

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The mannequins and model are more alive than actual people.

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We’re all shadows in a cave of our own making.

 

Behold the Fuji X70

Yes, I usually succeed in not buying another camera. But this time it’s different. Of course.

It was either the Fuji X70 or Ricoh GR II.

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It was Eric Kim’s review that made me go for the Fuji X70. It’s “a Ricoh GR with Fujifilm colors”. Fantastic!

This time I have my wife’s blessing, as I’ve convinced her that I need a digital camera for street photography at night, as I have 3-4 hours to kill while waiting for my son (as his designated chauffeur) on various evenings.

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Here’s the obligatory “me and my shadow” shot.

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There’s a whole genre of cat photography to be found on the web.

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I’m trying my best to resist taking another shot.

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I’m still not instinctively comfortable with the 28mm focal length – I’m too close this time.

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Here, I’m slightly further away than I realized – the 2 men should have filled out the whole image. I’m still thinking in terms of 35mm.

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The articulated screen allows me to be more stealthy – I can’t imagine doing this even with my Leica M6. Raising it to the eye would make me feel too conspicuous. Not to mention that fact that my usual ISO 400 film would not be fast enough given the lighting conditions.

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The Daido-inspired (poetic?) blurry shot. I think I can get away with it because of the wonderful film simulation colours from Fuji.

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The touchscreen framing via LCD approach does allow for various angles.

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I could do the “spray and pray approach” as well…

I sense a new book project in the horizon … maybe I can convince my wife … one book project, one camera …

Buy my book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Streets Are Busy

When streets are busy, they look like this:

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No one notices the guy with the camera:

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People are too preoccupied:

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Work work work.

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Sell sell sell.

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Buy buy buy.

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Go go go.

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Thanks for reading!

Camera: Contax TVS II

Film: Agfa Vista 400

 

Art-making

Street photography is about found action.

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It’s when you realize the environment is a material you could draw from.

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It’s arrested action.

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There’re inadvertent art displays.

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Someone positioned these just so.

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The goods are guiding our eyes.

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The entire environment is for consumption.

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Colours are for sale.

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Shoes are waiting.

Thanks for reading!

Camera: Contax TVS II

Film: Agfa Vista 400

 

Singapore Vertigo

Singapore can be vertiginous at times.

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You look up.

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You could lose your balance.

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It’s a culture on display.

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A culture that wants to be legible.

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It wants to be read globally.

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To be taken seriously.

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There’s an official stamp on everything.

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We see what we are supposed to see.

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A people on display.

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No one can truly be at rest.

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We keep on looking.

Camera: Contax TVS II

Film: Agfa Vista 400

 

 

Street Thoughts

I don’t want to over-intellectualize things, but after doing this for a few years now, I’ve come to the conclusion that for me, to take street photographs is to think on my feet.

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When I came upon the above scene for example, I am reminded of how much culture depends on physical toil that is too often, invisible. We marvel at the Great Wall of China, at the pyramids in Egypt, and of course, there’s an invisible history of physical toil involved.

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I like the way signs are re-appropriated for other purposes. The full-size image of an air hostess welcomes you into the shop, which is closed for lunch. I make it a point to come here every time I’m in Singapore, to check out some of those NATO watch straps.

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The deployment of trees is part of the city’s architecture.

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The trees frame the building. Living in the city, we tend to forget that it is ultimately nature that frames human activity.

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Something we do every day, waiting at a pedestrian crossing. One of those insignificant yet ubiquitous experience that characterizes urban life which we tend to forget.

Thanks for reading!

Buy my latest street photography and poetry book!

Camera: Olympus XA 3

Film: Ilford XP2