Monday, December 31, 2012

I'm Back!

That was quite a dry spell. :))

It's been a month since I last updated this blog, and honestly I haven't had the chance to shoot SP since. Perhaps because of that very special and surprising "incident" regarding my Electronics career which happened late October that kinda distracted me from the streets. Nagpaka-studious muna tuloy ako. haha

© Julian Carlo Barbadillo || Kalyegrapiya || 2012

Despite the seemingly endless dry spell which I've befallen into, I've also been trying hard to get over it but time constraints just kept winning. And as the Christmas break have dawned, I have tried to shoot in the streets again - but to my utmost dismay, it felt like I'm starting all over again. That familiar feeling of uneasiness of having a camera pressed against my nose in the public resurfaced. I went home empty-handed with just around 10 worthless images on my card. Awkward ulit ampotek

After a day of trying, I decided to take it slow. Instead, I focused temporarily on a side project. My Smoke Photography Series. I had it running for almost a week in a make-shift studio set-up that I made on our kitchen table. It was a very calming and refreshing and addictive experience (perhaps because of the incense smoke. haha). After finishing the series (which garnered 6 final images), I decided that I'll be re-learning and conquering the streets again. 

© Julian Carlo Barbadillo || Smoke Series || 2012

*The ff. are some preparatory (or should I say, "mood-setting") steps which I did for re-familiarization of the SP experience:

1) Visited the archives of the Magnum photographers for inspiration.
2) Performed the Zen meditation technique which Sir Luis Liwanag taught me.
3) Ran through my favorite SP shots.
4) Finally went out to shoot. Tugs tugs.

Aaand I have finally re-experienced that Zen feeling of being one with the chaos, that is the streets. I honestly missed that. No more awkward eye-contact with strangers, no more sweaty hands, and such. I'm hoping that this would continue all year out!

© Julian Carlo Barbadillo || Kalyegrapiya || 2012

© Julian Carlo Barbadillo || Kalyegrapiya || 2012

© Julian Carlo Barbadillo || Kalyegrapiya || 2012

I'm back on the streets, Baby! (reiterating just because. haha) \m/

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sem-break Photos

© 2012 Julian Carlo Barbadillo
© 2012 Julian Carlo Barbadillo

© 2012 Julian Carlo Barbadillo

© 2012 Julian Carlo Barbadillo
© 2012 Julian Carlo Barbadillo

© 2012 Julian Carlo Barbadillo

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Camera settings, workflow, and a bunch of SP technicalities [Part 1]

A friend took the time to ask what my usual settings-slash-procedures-slash-technical techniques (?) on SP are, and I thought I'd just answer her through a blogpost. Para sosyal. JK.

*Shoutout: Eileen, oks na ba 'to? haha :))

Camera Settings

(1) Shooting Mode:

90% of the time, I shoot in Aperture Priority mode. That is Av on the mode dial in Canon, and A in Nikon, I believe. (Forgive me Nikon fanboys, I've yet to learn your language. :P) My choice of aperture value mainly depends on the weather and/or relative lighting (under shades/indoors or out in the opens). The following are my simple rule-of-thumbs (which I have just adapted from other streettogs):

Sunny to partly cloudy days - f/16
Cloudy days - f/11
Rainy days - f/8
Indoors and under shades - f/11 or f/8 (it depends~)

©Julian Carlo Barbadillo, Kalyegrapiya 2012

I rarely go under f/8 as I easily get bothered by the thinning of the Depth of Field (DoF) as the aperture gets wider and I worry more on getting shots out of focus. 

*Refresher note

Higher f-values mean that the aperture is opened less. (Analogy. Do the chinky-asian-eyes. That correlates to a high f-value. Do the tarsier-eyes-look. That's a lower f-value. ). 
Higher f-values also correlate to a "deeper" Depth of Field. That is, a greater amount of planar space gets in focus, as contrasted to low f-values where you get the creamy goodness of bokeh. Remember that in Street Photography, we need a coherent subject and background, thus, usually we make use of higher f-values to preserve the relationship of the foreground and the background. 

©Julian Carlo Barbadillo, Kalyegrapiya 2012

(2) Metering Mode:

80% of the time, I use Evaluative metering. (that's the Canon term, I'm not sure about the Nikon Equivalent). The other 20% of my shooting instances, I use Spot Metering.

©Julian Carlo Barbadillo, Kalyegrapiya 2012

Almost always, I underexpose my shots by 2/3 fstop. Especially on sunny days when highlights are more likely to blow up. By underexposing, I get to retain highlight details, and also get an allowance for faster shutter speeds. (I prefer recovering details in shadows than in highlights. Even if noise is more likely to be amplified during shadow detail recoveries. I don't really mind the noise. I kinda like it, to be honest. Gritty.)

(3) Focusing Mode:

Manual focus is my way. Well, except in rainy days when I have to hold an umbrella on the other hand; those are the only days when I rely on autofocus.

I do zone focusing. It is a focusing technique which uses the principle of hyperfocal distance and relative sharpness. I'd better pass the explaining to Eric Kim, one of the most famous Streetogs of our time. Click his name for the video explanation of zone focusing. :D

©Julian Carlo Barbadillo, Kalyegrapiya 2012

(4) Focal length:

Since I have a crop sensor camera (entry-level), I shoot in 24mm exclusively. 24mm in crop sensors rounds up to an equivalent full frame focal length of around 35mm. Being the cheapo that I am, I used to tape my kit lens (18-55mm) to the 24mm mark. But after a while of shooting with the tape on, I decided to rip it of and clean the lens. Well, to my surprise, my zoom ring started to fail to roll smoothly and snaps on the 24 and 35mm mark. Which i was quite unsure if it was a bad thing or not. But since I can now shoot without the tape on as I can easily locate the 24mm mark even without me looking, I'd like to think of it as a perk. :))

(5) ISO

Given that my camera is set on high f-values, I normally bump my ISO to compensate for the shutter speed. My ISO settings in all of my shots range between 800-6400 (depending as well on the weather and/or relative lighting). Note that even on sunny days, I use a minimum of 800 ISO (I rarely go below that). A very unconventional setting to dive into. As I've said earlier, I really don't mind the grain and the noise. In fact, they add texture to my images in a subtle yet beautiful way (well according to my sense of aesthetics, that is. :P)

*PS: Thanks to sir Rico for asking about my ISO setting. I honestly forgot to write about it. :))
*workflow and other techie stuff would follow in the next post! keep updated! :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A break from solo shooting: New photobuddies

I might haven't said before that 90% of my street time, I shoot solo. Call me forever alone, but I don't really care. :P 

Shooting street alone is my regular dose of Zen. It leaves me tied to my thoughts and passions at the same time, thus giving me a very special sense of satisfaction afterwards. (More like the feeling of giving out that long burp after downing a bottle of Coke, or vinegar perhaps if that makes you happy.)

But then, it is undeniable that there would always be this urge to spice and jumble things up once in a while. So I decided to have an open invitation through Facebook for a street photowalk here in Baguio. And luckily, there were some who responded.

From left: Cyril, Daniel, and Gevenlie, that face-implanted column, and random strangers pretending to text so as to keep things less awkward. Too bad Darla wasn't able to come.

Cyril is a fellow engineering student. Daniel, a fellow photojournalist in the school paper. Gevenlie, Daniel's friend, a Legal Studies student. (Yee. Haha. Intriga. Sorreh. XD)

The walk was pretty much fun. We started around 7 with a short introduction to street photography by me. I was pretty excited to share my thoughts and stuff I've learned in SP from months-worth of readings and forum experiences. But nonetheless, I don't see myself as a so-called-"mentor", just so you know. SP is an endless learning process - we're always students. :)

Unwavered by rainshowers, we scoured the streets of downtown Baguio in search of photo-worthy scenarios. But as Alex Webb has said, "Street Photography is 99.9% failure", It seems that I have indeed got my mere .1% out of the 4-hour photowalk. I have gotten only one image which I like very much.

Copyright: Julian Carlo Barbadillo

So yea. It turned out that shooting with buddies is really quite a different experience. At least you get:

1.) BRAVER - with buddies, you can gather enough courage to explore places you might be too afraid/intimidated to go to when alone.

2.) More confident - you really don't have to worry about what others say when you're with a buddy/ buddies shooting. You know what I mean, those voices of strangers seeing you shoot streets that you imagine in your head. (or maybe it's just me)

So yea. I'm looking forward to shooting with them again. And with new photobuddies too. Perhaps, you. ;)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Rain + Umbrella + Camera + Streets

For most photographers, rainy days are no-shoot-just-stay-at-home-and-browse-9gag-days. But for streetogs, rainy days are days-to-shoot-and-die-for. Or something close, like cotton-candy-on-sundays-under-the-golden-hours shizzle. 

Seriously, shooting the streets during rainy days are almost zen-like. Well, at least for me. The rain brings about both advantages and disadvantages to the streettog. Let me enumerate some, okay?


1. Invisibility. 
Most people are too busy/concentrated/irritated on their efforts to ward off the rain from their precious bodies that they don't really pay too much attention to strangers taking photos of them face-to-face. Really. I swear no one gives that much attention to me when I shoot in the rain. I feel most invisible during these days. *smug face*

©Julian Carlo Barbadillo

2. Characters. The rain seems to be nature's open invitation for unique characters to go out and roam the streets. You can encounter a variety of weird and funny-looking rainwear fashion, faces with stories that complement the rainy mood, etc.

©Julian Carlo Barbadillo

3. Mood. Rain and fog provides a full-landscape makeover which proves to be a temporary cure to overfamiliarity to a place. The mood that accompanies rainy days are so much fun to exploit and to play with  to create some pretty interesting photographs.

©Julian Carlo Barbadillo


1. Camera-Handling. Unless you have weather-sealed cameras, this won't prove to be too much of a problem. But for us low-enders, extra care must be given to prevent our cameras from being soaked and rendered useless. Well for me, an umbrella does the job. But it limits my handling. An umbrella on my left hand means that I can't use manual focusing, or I can't brace my camera well to prevent camera shake. I normally rely on autofocus in these situations. Pre-focusing just won't work for me in these handicapped times because subjects do tend to pop out in every proximity possible - without my left hand on the focus ring, missing money shots would really be a pain.

2. Camera-handling. I just have to make sure I made the point. :))

So yeaaa. Shooting in the rain is a must try, and must be a habit for streettogs. Promise! ;))
*Check out works of Danny Santos II, a Singapore-based Filipino street photographer. His Bad Weather Project won so much acclaim in the international Street Photography scene! I'm a fan of his. :D

Sunday, July 8, 2012

8th of July Streetwalk

After two long weeks, I finally had time to shoot! Woke up early and finished my laundry before scouring the streets. But when I started my walk, that dreaded feeling of over-familiarity with places that I've always been covering started to manifest. Seriously, that's one of the direst enemies of streettogs. 

Over-familiarity with a place hinders the ability to perceive and recognize interesting patterns, scenarios, and moments that would rather be momentous for one who is not as familiar with the place. I wandered for almost an hour on my regular route and got nothing. Dang,  I just wet my armpits (I was even wearing grey! Talk about greyscaled armpits. Haha. Gross. Sorry). 

With no inspiring scenarios in sight, I decided to go and grab some breakfast at Jollibee first. There I tried to do the Zen meditation technique which Sir Luis Liwanag had taught me. The technique supposedly clears your messy brain (due to overthinking and what not) and lets your it work faster afterwards. Something like a Cache Clear in internet browsers. So yea. And not so surprisingly (as I have already tried that for so many times), I finally got rid of the over familiarity and got some pretty nice photographs. Yey! :))
But not for so long. I really felt the urge to get lost. I mean to wander off track, to places I have never been. So I decided to brave the city market's alleys and found rather nice scenarios. I even felt invisible as the vast number of people busy with their own businesses weren't paying attention to me. Hoho.

So the following are my picked photos from this photowalk. Hope you like them! :)

"Light the way!" [no offense meant. hihi]

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Life Event: A humble recognition from the OES forum

It has been a very busy and tiring week! I'm just being sneaky enough to steal some time to write about some pretty awesome stuff that happened in the past few days.

So there is this facebook forum/group called On Every Street (OES), a street photography forum with members/street photographers all around the globe. And there is this contest held by the group called the "OES Hall of Fame". Every month, photo entries are submitted by uploading them to a container album and are deliberated upon by the administrators of the group (who are experienced international street photographers). The best for each month is granted a spot on the Hall of Fame itself.

I joined the June HoF contest. And luckily...

My entry for June's OES HoF contest. My personal favorite as well. 

Man, this is my first award/recognition in the field of Street Photography! I felt so humbled and overwhelmed when Marco told me the news. I dunno, after all the efforts on learning and practicing SP, things like this would really prove to be a pat on the back, a reward and an affirmation that I'm on the right track Baby I was born this way. Though I don't really see myself as an awesome street photographer still. I feel that awesomeness in SP can not be measured by a single photograph, but by a consistently high-quality-jaw-dropping-knee-melting body of work. And that's my goal. :)

So yes. Just wanted to share the news. Hihi. Thank you all! Thank you again, OES family! And most of all, a big thank you to the Almighty. :)

Friday, June 22, 2012


Lady Luck was on my side today! :) The sun was a'shining as I was a'striding downtown Baguio. And I even happened to chance upon scenes which carried a certain degree of rhythm amidst chaos. The following two  photos are what I'm referring about. 

Copyright: Julian Barbadillo

Copyright: Julian Barbadillo

I don't wanna talk more about the photos, I'll leave the appreciation and criticism to you guys. :D 

The Unending Battle Between B&W and Color

There goes another misconception that street photographs must be exclusively in Black&White.

I believe that this misconception is rooted to elements which were exposed [pun intended] to the very origins of Street Photography and Photography itself: the ever humble film and paper. I won't dive into SP history stuff, tho, I'm not really good at remembering dates and names really. There are tons of resources out there on the net that would tackle those accounts better than me. ;) Anywaaays, going back to the topic: At the time Henri Cartier-Bresson (HCB) and friends (otherwise called THE Magnum Founders) were scouring and photographing the streets and doing projects about the post-war Earth, technology was far from its peak and all they had were cameras and film rolls which could capture light intensities ONLY. 

In other words, color capture was impossible. 
In other other words: They had no other choice but to shoot in black and white. 

Thus, the world was seen in black and white those days. It just happened that HCB, who lived in a world where red was grey and blue was lighter grey, was later on renowned as the Godfather of SP; naturally then, his works (and of many others in his time) defied the years and has had the power to influence even the youngest generation of street photographers. A strong influence and symbol of standards seen in, guess what?, black and white.

Thus it has lead us to somehow (even subconsciously) think that street shots must be in black and white. Well I do think that HCB himself would disagree. If color film were already existent in their era, I bet my lowly camera that HCB and friends would have shot in color. Or atleast not exclusively in BNW. And we'd think differently about the issue if ever.

But then, it is indeed undeniable that B&W images have a certain "xfactor" that we could not resist. But color has its own lineup of advantages and "charms" as well. So I think it would be fair to discuss and dissect both the methods.

*Advantages of B&W: 

1. The removal of the color stimuli arouses the mind to search and appreciate geometry, patterns, textures, symmetry, and relationships of the elements in the frame.
2. A sense of "rawness" is induced by B&W images (well at least for me).

Tried to emphasize the textures by eliminating the colors of the photo. Copyright: Julian Barbadillo

*Charms of Color:

1. Moods are much easier portrayed with the help of colors and their associated psychological interpretations. For example, a photo tainted with the primary colors invoke a sense of joy and even intensity. A photo dominated by blues seem to convey a gloomy atmosphere. 
2. If used properly, color could invoke what I call "eyegasms". You know what I mean. :))

A captured soul. I can't just dump the colors out of this photo. Copyright: Julian Barbadillo

And then again another question is raised: When should I use B&W or color?

Being born in the digital age, I have been an exclusive digital shooter since I got interested in photography. It's a shame I haven't tried film yet. But I'm planning to do so soon. Anyways, being a digital shooter as I am, I have learned a simple rule of thumb concerning this somewhere in the vast web of info we call 'internet', too sad I can't remember where exactly. But I'll gladly share it to everyone nonetheless (well if you won't really find this corny or plain common knowledge. 'Cause I found this very influencial to my workflow).

"If color isn't adding interest to your photo, drop it."

Hence, I never shoot in monochrome (never a BNW jpg straight from the cam) and just convert the photos to BNW according to my desire. But, I normally end up with a greater count for black and white photos after post processing. I dunno, maybe I'm more of a BNW shooter. :))

ANYWAYS! This had been a looong post, so I'll just share some name of photographers whose works are worthy to review and are relevant to the post. You might as well see the issue in a much lighter way and even learn more from their photographs. ;)

*Some renowned BNW Streettogs:

*Some Color Shooting Streettogs:

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Fathers' Day '12 Streetwalk

I thought I'd go out and shoot exclusive Fathers' day-themed street shots today but later shrugged the idea off, thinking that shooting fathers on their very own special day is too mainstream. Haha. JK. I still had one decent shot which might fall under the theme. I find it quite sad, though.

This photo goes out to all the dads out there whose children has gone ahead of them in heaven.

I dropped by a Jollibee branch to grab some breakfast and saw the guy on the right as I was looking for a seat. He seemed to be sad and tulala (lost in thought). I decided to sit a few tables away from him thinking that a good scene might reveal in front of me with him as a subject. And I was quite right. After some minutes while I'm in the middle of my meal, a mother and her son occupied the table in front of him. The mom left her child for a moment to get some utensils, I think. And that was when I got to take the shot above. The guy staring at the boy with pure sadness in his eyes. Makes me wonder where his children are, and why he's all alone. Dang, it must be heartbreaking for him if what goes on my imagination is true.

So yea. Moving on! after my meal, i continued to stroll downtown for around 2 hours. And, luckily, I got some pretty nice photographs. I dunno, but I was amped up today. Maybe because I've been waiting for so long to shoot again (school deprives me of shoot-time. ugh) and I only got the chance today. Yea. The following are those "pretty-nice-photographs" for me. ;)

Curiosity is what drove me to shoot this photo. Questions ran in my mind as I saw this cat. Where's his owner? Pano kung jejebs o iihi ung pusa? Bakit pa sya sinama ng amo nia? haha. I'm not really accustomed to shooting scenes without people on them, but I personally think that this may pass as a street photo in the absence of the literal human element. 

Manong was quite a character. He's a street vendor with the swag (if that would make sense). The graffiti on the wall of his stall complements his character very well. (I'm not implying anything about 'weed' ,though. hehe)

Just a bunch of tourists. Quite interesting to see quirky patterns in mundane scenes, isn't it? :D

Saw this very colorful backdrop and instantly got the idea to wait for a character which would stand out against the vivid colors. And he is what I got, a monochrome-dressed man. Good enough! :D

Friday, June 15, 2012

On Critics, Critiques, and Criticisms

[SPOILER: This post might sound a bit unstructured, cluttered, and random. Sorry for that. My brain has just survived a battering in engineering school so bear with me. Will fix this later <3 ]

Well they say that "Critiques & criticisms are essential to your growth as a photographer." But I add (my basic principle in dealing with the dreaded C-words),

"As much as critiques/criticisms are important, choosing which to absorb and whom to listen to are just as essential. The least you'd want is to be lead astray by people just as blind as you."

*Other thoughts my mind had stumbled upon regarding critics/critiques/criticisms:

1. Criticisms are hard to the heart. 
2. Critiques are bittersweetly fulfilling.
3. Know your critics and respond to them accordingly. Respect goes a long way, for real.
4. Drop your ego, and learn from pros. They might really talk harsh, but endure, shut up, listen, and learn.
5. Don't make excuses for your shortcomings. You're just making yourself look even more futile. Again, shut up and listen, and take time to ponder if what was said really makes sense. (e.g. "Masyado kasing mabilis 'yung pangyayari kaya di ko nakuha ung peak moment". *rough translation: "The scene flew by so fast I didn't have time to catch the peak moment").
6. Cirique others the way you want yourself to be critiqued. The Golden Rule just applies to any situation. ;)

*In case of confusion:
1] critic (noun) - one who expresses a reasoned opinion on any matter especially involving a judgment of its value, truth, righteousness, beauty, or technique.
2] critique (noun) - a detailed analysis and assessment of something, esp. a literary, philosophical, or political theory.
3] criticism (noun) - the expression of disapproval of someone or something based on perceived faults or mistakes.

So yea. I hope those random chunks of info meant a thing or two anyway. Thanks and much love! :))

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

This is my first favorite street shot taken during my debut street photowalk with Sir Luis Liwanag. I really like the "candidness" of this shot and the variety of facial expressions and gestures present inside the frame. Beginner's luck, I guess. :3
I was drawn close by the geometric design of the pile of boxes, but was drawn even closer upon noticing a foot peeping out of a gap. I dunno, but the way the foot breaks the geometry of the boxes adds a striking and even mysterious appeal to the photo for me. Or maybe It's all in my head. :)) whatevs.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A common misconception about Street Photography

So it has always been assumed by many that Street Photography is the easiest photography genre/method. You might think it's just about going outside and shooting anything and anyone just as long as you're on the streets. 

Hell no.

As far as I've observed, there are two types of SP noobs, and, IMHO, they are the most accurate reflection of the difficulty of this method. They are:

(1) The trigger happy. He who shoots obsessively and fails to remember the basics of his photography once out on the streets. He shoots random strangers and scenes and even cityscapes and what not without paying attention to composition, lighting, balance, exposure, and all those technical stuff. And yet proclaims his works as SP solely because they were shot on the streets.
           *difficulty faced: keeping on track with the rules of photography amidst the spontaneity of SP

(2) The paranoid shy type. He who can't lift his camera up to his eye around strangers even when a grandeous moment is unfolding in front of him for the fear of being called a creep/try-hard/pedo/manyak/spy/noob (denial. we all know the feel). He often misses to shoot the decisive moments, instead he just watches them come and go (with a twitch in his heart, knowing those moments will never repeat themselves. ever. again).
                                          *difficulty faced: uneasiness in shooting in public spaces

Or you can be fluctuating between these two types. Depending on your mood and confidence level. Just like me. At first I was the shy type. I even sweat heavily when I was outside with my camera slung around me. Man, the tension was unbearable. haha. But then I got over it but got too trigger happy. Which I later realized was just as bad.

"drop mo muna ang word na STREET at mag focus ka dun sa kakabit nitong word na PHOTOGRAPHY. Alam mo na marahil kung ano yun. Once na ma-master mo ang 2nd word na yan, para mo na din na master ang SP dahil ang SP ay Photography in its simpliest form."
*rough translation:"(referring to street photography).. For the meantime, drop the word STREET and focus on mastering PHOTOGRAPHY, instead. Once you've nailed that, SP will be much easier to do since SP is photography in its simplest form."
                                                                    -Leanne Jazul (Founder, Usapang Kalye)

*This was the most influencial advice I got while trying to learn SP. And the one that made me realize how difficult SP truly is. It was one of the comments of Leanne on a photo which I posted on Usapang Kalye (more commonly known as UK, an FB forum which critiques works, and discusses and teaches SP in the most straightforward [read: brutally honest] way). And it was what pushed me to revisit and rediscover the basics of photography in the context of the streets - rules of composition, lighting, balance, visual literacy & design,etc,  which all the while I thought I have already mastered. Honestly, the lessons I've learned from UK made a great impact to my SP learning process. The streettogs there were the ones which made me realize my wrongs and lead me to the right track (since I was once mislead and went astray. haha). So yea, BIG THANKS to UK!  

Hope you got my point, BTW. In case not, I repeat, SP is not easy. Go ahead and see for yourself. ;)

Friday, June 8, 2012

DON'T Play the "Size Game" in the streets

The infamous quote of "longer is better" does not apply to SP. We're talking about lenses here, btw. :P 

There are a few reasons as to why I think telephotos and SP would never mix. They're basically immiscible. Like oil and water; north and north. Some of these reasons are picked up from readings and discussions, others I just realized myself. But I'll just summarize them into three.

(1) Viewers quite feel detached and uninvolved in photos made with teles (the reaction might be subconscious to an untrained eye, but it's there. ). As streettogs we'd like to replicate the very atmosphere & mood of the situation we photographed, but delivering a photo which makes the viewer more of a spectator than a participant is not the best way to keep on track.

(2) Streettogs are not paparazzis/creeps/voyeurs/etc. There's this quote which basically nails the point down. "Creepiness is directly proportional to focal length". We're not on the streets to capture things from a distance. We are there to capture beauty, art, and moments as we experience them. In that way, our viewers will also feel the spontaneity and decisiveness of our photos. Hopefully. Well it's not that easy, really. But that's a point.

(3) Invisibility is an undeniable advantage in SP. And having a humongous cam and lens setup hanging around your neck simply fails to deliver that advantage. Telephotos draw too much attention. But too much attention is the least that we would want. We'd want to be as unobtrusive and as discreet as possible in shooting. In this way, we could capture the "rawness" of the scenes as they happen. 

So drop the long lenses and keep up with the primes. A 35mm on a full frame sensor or film cam is the ideal setup for SP. That is what the masters have been using since Henri Cartier-Bresson. 24mm on cropped sensors rounds up to almost 35mm on full frame, so they are just as good. If you have no primes on hand (like me!), kit lenses are fine. I just tape the zoom ring to a constant 24mm focal length and voila! instant prime lens! They just make me feel less intimidating and more discreet! Plus, the field of view of these lenses replicate a normal human field of vision. The point of attention of our eyes and some field periferal are included in, making a raw replication of what the photographer really saw. 

*More on the advantages of primes on next posts. Thanks for reading! And keep updated! ;)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

On Influences [pt 1]

Let's start with the firsts.

The first street photographer I've ever known was Sir Luis Liwanag (also a photo- and videojournalist). I might have seen works of other street photographers before but it seemed that I didn't bother knowing who they are, or that I wasn't really interested in SP yet when I stumbled upon them, or maybe I was just plain busy harvesting likes from my random artsy hippy photos then. 

Me and Sir Luis

I first heard about Sir Luis when a friend's brother messaged me last November telling that Sir Luis will be holding a street photography workshop (Wide Open Streets) here in Baguio. The brother was so enthusiastic about telling the news so I thought, this might be something. Intrigued by his name (srsly! haha. Astig e!) and the workshop itself, I looked him up on facebook and found his works. I was awed. His street photos were full of life and soul. Heck they even made me laugh! His sense of humor and eye for oddities were so evident in his works. I was an instant fan. Too bad I wasn't able to join the workshop because of two reasons: (1) I was out of town and, (2) I've got no pesos to pay. *facepalm* So I just resorted to studying his works and trying to imitate/emulate/chocolate them. But to no avail. I had no idea what I was doing back then. I even used an 18-200mm on the street and shot voyeuristically! (More on why telephotos are "bad" in SP on later posts)

One of my first futile attempts at SP

Clueless to the errors I was doing, I continued shooting SP the wrong way. Until, months later, Ate Rina, the chief photojournalist of our university school paper, informed me that Sir Luis will be a guest speaker/lecturer in a journalism symposium organized by them. Without any questions asked, I opted to go! 
*fast forward to the symposium* 

Meeting Sir Luis was like meeting a celebrity for me. I was such a fan boy. :)) I wasn't really surprised that he's so easy to go along with. It just reflects on his works. He lectured about reportage/photojournalism and showed a bit of his works on video, too. We even got to join him in a photowalk the next day, even though that wasn't really included in the symposium programme. Sabit lang kumbaga. But that's when he actually taught us SP. He was so generous in giving ideas, as if every little secret that he knows about the field was made available to us, nonworthy beings. I learned much. But I I knew I had to learn even more. A half-day's worth of lecture/photowalk is simply not enough. Someday, I'd join his workshops. :D

*Following are shots taken on the said photowalk.

[... pt 2 ...]