Finding Flow

Part of street photography or art-making is about finding flow.

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Such that one is immersed in the activity.

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Such that you could forget yourself.

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And find meaning in it.

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The notion of flow – many thanks to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

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It’s about looking, constantly looking.

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Thanks for reading!

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander 35 Nokton 1.4 SC

Film: Venus 800

 

On Being Careless

To be interested in street photography is to be careless.

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The above might look better if the boats were cut out of the photograph. The subject would be clearer.

But the eyes don’t always discriminate properly.

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Found scenes are things as they are.

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Boats and paths as they are.

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A child as he is.

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There’s an accommodation of sorts.

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An ordering of nature.

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4 SC

Film: Kodak BW400CN

A Street Photographer’s Camera

I’ve been thinking a bit about the tools we use.

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A street camera is a machine for seeing.

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Frankly, any camera will do. But I prefer film cameras.

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For me, it’s a Leica M6 most of the time, because I need the meter once in a while.

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At other times, it’s a Contax TVS II, a Canon 600D (yes, a digital camera) with legacy lenses, or an Olympus XA 2, just to switch around a bit, to refresh my vision.

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I’m not adverse to using digital. But film cameras do last a long time.

Like my (2001 model) Toyota Corolla, which in Hong Kong, seems to be a mechanic’s favourite car.

It’s forgettable, reliable and replacement parts are easy to find.

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I’ve been reading about self-drive cars and their amazing electronics.

But I wonder how long the electronics would last.

Do we have to replace them the way we replace our tablets/smartphones/laptops?

I’m suspicious of planned (compelled) obsolescence.

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Would a digital camera last more than 3-5 years?

That’s the question I ask whenever I experience that rush of gear envy.

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Thanks for reading!

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4 SC

Film: Ilford XP2 400

Getting Out of a Creative Rut

Some days, it seems like things just won’t come together.

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You’re feeling blocked.

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The framing is off.

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You look up.

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You look back at people.

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You look up again.

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You try again.

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What else can one do, but try to fail better.

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And then you get the feeling that things are coming together finally.

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And you find something that makes sense, finally.

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4 SC

Film: Ilford XP2 400

2 Idiot-Proof Approaches to Street Photography with a Leica M6

So basically, I have 2 idiot-proof approaches.

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Approach 1, step 1: Set the camera to f/16 and 1/125s on a bright (or even slightly overcast) day, depending on your film ISO.

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Approach 1, step 2: adjust my 35mm lens such that the DOF scale allows for a distance of between 1.2m to infinity to be in focus.

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Approach 1, step 3: walk around and allow serendipity to do its work.

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Approach 2, step 1: focus on a brick wall.

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Approach 2, step 2: fumble with camera.

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Approach 2, step 3: allow serendipity to do its work.

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4 SC

Film: Ilford XP2 400

All that Labour

All that labour.

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Those goods on display.

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Yummy stuff.

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Sometimes we don’t see all the work that goes into work.

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We negotiate a life.

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And a city emerges.

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It’s bigger than us.

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The labour of thinking.

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4 SC

Film: Ilford XP2 400

From Place to Place It Must Mean Something

Today, we look at the act of pushing.

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All that work, all day, must mean something.

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This is us.

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We sort things out.

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We go from place to place.

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From place to place it must mean something.

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The pull of desire.

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All that pushing…

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4 SC

Film: Ilford XP2 400

What We’re Looking For

We’re all looking for something.

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There’s a gap in our lives.

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If only that gap could be filled, we’ll be happy.

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We all want something.

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Anything.

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A friend.

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A thing.

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To whet an appetite.

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After that, the world would make more sense.

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4 SC

Film: Kodak BW400CN

Geocaching and Street Photography

So, my ten-year-old son is into Geocaching.

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It’s basically a game where you hunt for hidden caches – you could then sign your name in the booklet in those canisters/boxes hidden or buried in various places in Hong Kong and the rest of the world.

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We’ve found magnetic canisters stuck behind signposts, or hidden under piled-up logs full of ants and spiders.

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You could then announce your success to the whole world and leave a few clues via the Geocache app.

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So you see, it’s killing two birds with one stone.

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I get to do a spot of street photography, and my son gets to do a bit of geocaching.

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That’s what I call father-son bonding.

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It doesn’t matter where I go as long as I’m on the streets.

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We could meander and come back to the same place – it doesn’t matter.

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Some people fish, others are into street photography, and of course, some are into geocaching.

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And we’ll have a late lunch after a morning of running back and forth.

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I suppose it’s another day in Hong Kong.

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We do what we can to preserve our sanity…

 

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm 1.4 SC

Film: Kodak BW400CN

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Follows Function

Here’s a mishmash of images of Singapore, significant to myself.

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Though the underlying theme here is about how we try to snatch something beautiful out of what is essentially functional.

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Form follows function in much of Singapore.

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Life, too, follows function: poetry is a luxury we cannot afford.

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There is one way only. The rest is barred.

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If you live with it long enough, it becomes beautiful.

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Draw the curtains.

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Poetry delayed is poetry denied.

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We are at the zoo.

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The helpful tram driver and a passenger.

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After the animal show – poetry is found after the event.

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Reflections in the MRT.

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The tree is obedient, bent in the wind.

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Perhaps something is poetry after all…

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander 35mm f 1.4 Nokton SC

Film: Ilford XP2