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