Berkeley: the Shadow of Hippies and Students Who Once Stood Tall

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Today let me introduce you to Berkeley, California. You may or may not have heard of the small city, but the few of you who have will recognize it as the home of the hippies. And UC Berkeley. Well, you pretty much have 95% of it down, really.

Berkeley, a city across a bridge from the famed hills of San Francisco, is a city of young, liberal, food-loving students and older folks alike. Home to UC Berkeley and famed restaurants like Chez Panisse, the atmosphere is reminiscent of the Summer of Love in SF of 1967 when the scene was truly abound with protestors, students, and protesting students. It’s amazing to see the landmarks in the campus of the university or around the city leading into Oakland, as they have preserved most of the bulidings as is from the era—for better or worse.

But today, through the lens of my Leica M6 and Olympus OM-D, the scene is much darker. Not just literally, but weighed down from the financial burden of the Californian bankruptcy, layoffs are always around the corner. Students are struggling with loans they can’t pay off, or even dropping out from the stress. Entrepreneur students and aspiring engineers, biochemists, social activists still dream but even those who make it to graduation are faced with the reality of the damp job market.

Commentary: As a recent graduate myself I can attest to the difficulty of the situation: I applied to 27 different companies with a 3.7+ GPA and a flowing list of internships and a handy toolbox of relevant skill sets. Even with this strategic, calculated approach to hiring, I only heard back from 2, one of which where I work now. This isn’t to say I don’t enjoy my job, I cherish it; instead I aim to illustrate the reality that there is a growing job-skills gap and simply no appetite for those who fall in between.

But I digress. The scene is very much alive, I assure you, and Saturday mornings still correlate with lines that stretch out into the block of famous cafés and cuisines enjoyed by both Berkeleyans and San Franciscans alike. Children still roll down the fields and hills, and students smile in return. The economy hits the region hard, the zaniness of the citizens and students strike harder.

The irony of the situation makes me appreciate the beauty of such an institution (UC Berkeley) while inspiring me to try harder as a photographer to capture the fragile emotions of these people, while mirroring the almost schizophrenic duality of the Berkeley character.

If you are ever around, I strongly urge you to visit. You will be pleasantly surprised, I promise.

&&Phil

Anyone out there from Berkeley? For those who haven’t, do these photos make you want to visit?

Comment below, Like, or Tweet!

How dare you take that photo! – London Street Photography Festival 2011

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Do you have the balls to argue with a police officer? Apparently you have the right to, at least in London. In most countries, taking photographs in public is allowed (even of private property, as long as you are not physically in the property). Do you agree with the approach these photographers are taking to defend the right of their cameras and photography?

Eric Kim Shows Us How Street Photography is Done (Warning: Slightly Nausea-Inducing)

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So in case you’ve never gone on a street photog shoot before, here’s what it looks like!

I just watched this video and realized it’s a very good example of what shooting in groups looks like. As you can see, it doesn’t have to be a pervy, solo expedition. It can just as well incorporate a group (or in Eric’s case, a mob) of people who can reasonably blend into the river of people without sticking out too much.

The Shadow Photographers #8: Daah Oliveira

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Today we have a very special photographer and Internet socializer- Daah Oliveira! She is the founder of the Clicks facebook street photography group which has exploded in members and participation, and serves as an inspiration to me every day. Hailing from Liverpool, England, Daah exhibits a very unique style and a dark sense of humor. Look out for her signature Rabbit-head, and enjoy.

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Q. Brief introduction please!

A. I am originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil where I started my photographer career 5 years ago but one year ago I moved to the UK where I am living at the moment. I have started photographing bands and consequently I have got completely involved in the art’s world which I absolutely love.

Q. First off, what got you started in photography? In street photography?

A. When I finished high school I wasn’t quite sure of what I wanted to be or what course to study at University so I decided to take one year break and enjoy myself as much as I could. Then I did, I had these friends which had a band and was always following their concerts. At first I was only helping them with all I could do and eventually I became a stage assistant. After a while the band started to become quite famous and they decided to record their first DVD. The photographer that was working with us also knew a lot about video and he was in charge of taking care of the DVD’s production. He knew how much I loved photography and then he offered me to stay with his DSLR camera and try to use it and be the photographer for that day. I had never used a DSLR camera before so he quickly taught me the basics of how to use his camera and I was thrilled for that. When he sent me the photos that I took on that day he also said to me that I should definitely go for it and become a photographer because he loved the photos of that day and kept thinking on what he said then I decided to enroll in a photographer course on the followed year. I’m glad I did because photography is definitely my passion.

Street Photography at first was only a project that I wanted to do because I had never imagined myself going on the streets and taking pictures of random people. When I decided to research all about street photography I realized that I had all the wrong impressions of what street photography was about and it was much more interesting that I thought it could be. I watched loads of documentaries, read many blogs and websites and after a while I decided to go with a friend to our first day of street photography session and I absolutely loved it. I realized that street photography wasn’t all about going to the streets and shooting every moment that happened. I only started to shoot street this January and I think I am still experiencing more and more… I noticed things that I don’t like, for example shooting portraits, it just don’t work to me and I thought that street photography was that, taking pics of people on streets. I’m glad that I was wrong.

Q. Do you mainly just shoot in black and white? What attracts you to B&W that makes your photos special?

A. When it comes about my street photography I try to mainly use B&W. I believe that the B&W adds an atmosphere to the photo expressing better what I want to show on my photos.

Q. It’s very hard to see the faces on your subjects, making the photos somewhat eerie and yet enigmatic at the same time. Do you do this on purpose? And why do you do it?
A. When I first started into street photography world I was in a period of experiencing every type of street photography in order to try to find which style would be more applicable to me. As a result, I realized that I don’t really like shooting portraits because it doesn’t say much about my style which I consider being more artistic and gloomy. I rather have one subject in my photos than being in the middle of busy places. It makes my brain stop and I completely close myself to think in a good photo to shoot.

Q. Why do you love street photography? What aspect attracts you to it?

A. I love being able to show my style on my photos, I love going in a street session and not knowing what to expect and how exciting street photography is. The aspect that attracts me most is the fact of how each photo tells a history by itself. I truly get in love for each of my photos because of the story that each of them tells to me.

Q. I always ask this: what’s the most interesting story you have from shooting?

A. Luckily (or not) I don’t have many stories to tell. Maybe there a few ones in which isn’t that interesting to other people but it doesn’t mean that they aren’t interesting to me. The story that I will always remember is when I was out in Liverpool shooting and I went down the docks in a Sunday which is a busy day there with loads of people. I was only resting my feet in one of the benches when I saw this couple arguing but at first I was just watching them and seeing how ridiculous the girl was being for flipping over the guy, hitting on him and when he said to her he was leaving she started to cry and ask him sorry, so he sat down and she started everything again… they did that for ages. I was quite scared of shooting this moment but I started to think that if she was doing that in public she probably wouldn’t even see me taking the picture of them… so I did. It was a funny moment and always will remember the scene as if they were in front of me right now. Other funny moment to me is when I recognized someone on the middle of the streets and I try to think where I had seen that person before, then I have a click in my head and I remember that I have a picture of that person.

Q. What subjects do you like to shoot? Or any specific locations? Why?

A. I like open places with good backgrounds and good illumination. Because I love the game that you can do with the lights, the shadows and shooting in an open place helps to call all the attention to the details. As I said before, I don’t like busy places because it is the complete opposite of my style.

Q. What gear do you use?

A. I use a Nikon D7000 with 50mm lens and for my blur/motion photos I use my 18-135mm.

Linda Wisdom- from Clicks

Q. You helped found the group Clicks on facebook; tell us more about why you made it, what it is, and so on!

A. At the first the group was created for a competition that I ran on my fan page. The theme was B&W reflection and loads of people were participating of it. Most of these people were street photographers so when the competition was finished I decided to rename the group to B&W Reflections and most of them kept participating of the group even after the competition closed.

I always see amazing pictures on my feeds and I keep a folder on my computer of pictures that I like or I used to post on a friends’ wall a picture that I knew that they would like so I started to think ‘why not create a community page and share this with more and more people?’. This was the main reason why I created CLICKS’ page and I enjoyed that I had the group already there and decided to change the name of the group as well. Everybody in the group seemed to love the idea and then people started to post more, new people started to participate of the group and it is really motivational to see all these interaction going on over there. I also wanted to make a good group of friends to share experiences, critiques, knowledge, etc.

Q. Any links/pages/portfolio you want to share with us?

A. FB page: https://www.facebook.com/daaholiveiraphoto

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/daaholiveira

Clicks Page: https://www.facebook.com/clickstreet

Q. If you had to pick just one piece of advice to give aspiring photographers/street photographers, what would it be?

A. To go out and shoot street with no rules on mind or fear. Experiencing is the best way to learn.  🙂

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&&Phil, love those pictures? Share this article, comment, like, or tweet it!

Which is your favorite?

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Hey guys, I’m submitting my works to the B+W Photographer of the Year contest, just to see if I can make it =P

Here’s the hard part: I can only choose 3. Which are your favorite 3?

The little girl who could

Boy, Pondering

Lost in the City of Light

The Children of Light 2

XXL

The Coming of Age

Stride

Just Married

Into Forgetfulness

smile

Float Me Away

Bubbles or Kiss

They Live in Another World

A Fragile Bond

Let’s go on an adventure

Still Life with Boy on Wall

Il Bruno, Il Macho

Thanks so much!

&&Phil

As always, please comment below, like, or tweet! The more the merrier!

The Shadow Photographers #7: Ali “Waxy” Waxman

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Hey there street photographers! Today I have a very special treat for you guys: Ali “Waxy” Waxman in the next segment of the street photographers. I have interacted with Ali online and I have been constantly impressed by her work. Based out of Pennsylvania, Ali has an extremely unique style to his shots, experimenting with various flash triggers (for extremely fast exposures) as well as long exposures that lead to interesting results. Look for his exhibition information at the end of the article!!!

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Q. Nice to meet you! A brief introduction?

A. My photography work explores the relationship between a consumerist desire and daytime ESPN.

With influences as diverse as Timmah Sinclair and Halsman to Building Crusher and Peter Yumi, new insights are generated from both simple and complex structures.
Ever since I was a pre-adolescent I have been fascinated by the unrelenting divergence of the mind. What starts out as vision soon becomes finessed into a dialectic of distress, leaving only a sense of dread and the dawn of a new reality.
As subtle forms become undefined through frantic and personal practice, the viewer is left with a new agenda of the undefined of our era.
Q. What got you into photography?
A. I am a second-generation photographer. I acquired my technical expertise at the side of my father (whom I’ve never met), a renowned “glamour” photographer in NYC’s heyday.
I refined my technique and expanded my creativity while shooting sports teams for Hershey Schools, weddings and pushing the limits of my equipment and squeezing out every bit of creativity in them.

Q. You have a very, very unique style of street photography. What’s the story behind it?

A. The shaky face project began at the cross streets of Second St and Walnut Sts in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. A somewhat juxtaposition of life. On one side, there sits a Hilton Hotel where Jaguars and Mercedes are being valet parked. On the other side of the street is home to the bus station. Where people beg for money and the homeless are fed by the food not bombs kids. Kids that are seriously struggling themselves, but giving everything they have for those less fortunate.

I enjoy shooting both sides of the street. And because my daughter was cast in a play not far from this cross street at Open Stage of Harrisburg, I had to be there twice a week for her rehearsals.
Let me tell you, getting complete strangers to allow me to photograph them is challenging enough…having COMPLETE STRANGERS shake their face like a dog shakes off water has got to be the hardest thing to do. EVER!
Because, this is not an isolated environment. I approach people at the bus station…where there are loads of people… Or getting out of their BMW’s….where the valets are waiting for their keys…
AND…I get a lot of people who tell me to piss off…OR…a lot of get that camera out of my face reactions…but I also get the coolest people ever to comply.
It’s getting them out of their comfort zone. Letting them go nuts of a few minutes…and I am so thankful I am there to capture the zaniness!
Q.Why the strange expressions?
A. I encourage the people I shoot to let loose for a few minutes…to relax all the muscles in the face and then shake it crazily from side to side.
Q. What is your most interesting story from shooting strangers on the street!
A. One time, I took my daughter with me to an area near a train station. I wanted to get some shots of people waiting for the train. So, I set up near the platform and began randomly shooting…
Quite soon after I began, I was approached by what looked like someone who worked on the trains. He was dressed in a florescent jumpsuit and was wearing a hardhat. He asked what I was doing. I told him I was taking pictures…
He then asked for my passport. (not sure why he asked for that rather than some form of ID)…and that made me crack up laughing. He was really mad that I laughed at his request and got loud with me…
He insisted I give him some ID…
My daughter looked really scared and intimidated by him. I responded by asking him for ID…I told him loudly, “I don’t know who you are too…If you show me identification, I will do the same.”
He was so shocked by this, he walked away.
Moments later, he returned with his ID in his hand. I then showed him my drivers license and told him, I mean no harm…just want to take pictures…
He was much more calm and asked me how long I was going to do this…I knew it was not a good scene, so I said I was wrapping it up and would leave in a few minutes.
He said that was okay and let us stay.
I used this as a tool to teach my daughter that just because someone tries to intimidate you into something, they are not always what they appear to be. You should always ask for their ID as well.
Q. Describe your workflow real briefly. From shot to website, what’s your process?
A. After importing into Lightroom, I usually do all my major changes and corrections there. Then it’s onto Photoshop for finishing touches. I also heavily use the nik collection as well. Fantastic plug ins for PS!
Q. What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
A. Currently, I am digging shooting sports in a creative way. But, I also love portraits, street photography and photographing my family!

Q.Your use of long exposures are very interesting. How exactly do you use them?
A. This technique was taught to me by an extremely talented photographer names Os Ososment. I simply created my own niche. When shooting my entended exposures, I like the use of props, and try to get an image of the subject acting way out of their usual personality.
These are difficult to shoot and take a lot of time to get it just right.
Q. Your weapon of choice? (camera, lighting, etc.)
A. I shoot Canon. My lenses include a 30mm 1.4, 60mm 2.8, 70-200 2.8 and 10-22mm. As far as lighting, I use a novatron light kit and my flashed are 430exii and 580exii. I also use triggers and remotes…
Q. If you could give just one piece of advice to budding street photographers, what would it be?
A. Develop a thick skin. And learn how to defend yourself. People are crazy on the street!
Ali has an EXHIBITION COMING UP! Make sure to check out his work directly if you’re in Pennsylvania! You go and mention my name now, so I can get brownie points.
EDIT: I, for unfathomable reasons, referred to Ali as “she”. That has been fixed, sorry! *shameface*
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&&Phil
Message, Like, or Tweet!

The Shadow Photographers #6: Minyoung Lee

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Hey guys, I know I haven’t been writing as much. But you see, I’ve been productive. I’ll be writing a smashing article about shooting street photography in SF very, very soon.

But today we have a new guest shadow photographer– Minyoung Lee! She exhibits very interesting colors and patterns with none other than her lomography camera, the Lomo LC-A! Hopefully she can inspire you to shoot film on a very, very low budget. (She also has a very unhealthy obsession with her cat, who is a frequent subject for her photography.) But don’t laugh at the toy camera until you have seen her pictures– they are astounding.

Without further ado, here is Minyoung Lee.

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Q.Brief introduction!

I earn a living as a facility engineer for a major oil and gas company in the New Orleans area. My day job consists of talking to operators and fixing broken equipment for an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. I love learning new things, seeing new sights, hearing new stories, and snuggling with my not-new cat. Just your normal, right brain dominated, super-analytical, suburban hipster engineer.

 Q. How did you get into photography?

I was always a very artistic person. Some of my earliest memories consist of drawing animals for my friends and family or writing the next great classic novel. Naturally, I also tried experimenting with photography. I joined a photography club in middle school and started shooting with my father’s camera. I think I won a few awards from my school art contest with the camera, but I was not able to actually fall in love. I had a hard time grasping the concept of composition and editing. Frankly, I was very bad at it. My photos never seemed to “look good.” It was only after I learned about toy cameras that I actually started enjoying photography. The images were very unpredictable. I was finally able to relax a bit and have some fun with shooting photos. The photo was creating itself instead of me trying to force it out of the machine.

Q. What’s it like being a Lomographer? It’s a very analogue and “unprofessional” path, not to mention very uncommon.

Quite honestly, I do not consider myself as a photographer at all, nor do I take myself very seriously. The photos I take are horrible in professional standards. For me, taking photos is more like a therapy session. Taking photos with a toy camera takes a lot of time and patience. Not only am I unable to see the photos at the site where it is taken, but also I actually wait for the entire roll to finish, take the photos to the lab to be developed, and scan the said photos on to a computer to actually see them. It could be weeks or months before I actually see the photos that I have taken. The whole process is laughingly inefficient in today’s digital standards. So many steps to go through, so much trust put on random strangers’ abilities. This whole process of trusting the lab tech not screw up photos, the process of waiting, the process of realizing a photo turned out completely differently to how I planned it to be—all of this goes directly against what an efficient modern professional is expected to be. Taking time to let go, letting things be, and savoring the beauty in the imperfect—Lomography is the best therapist as it taught me all this.

Q. What’s different about lomography, as opposed to just a normal point-and-shoot (e.g. with a cellphone cam)? Or vs a DSLR?

Lomography images reflect a memory of a situation better than a normal camera would. I always felt that photos taken with a normal camera felt very cold, and now I realize why this is so. When I remember something, I do not remember it crystal clear, like how a camera would remember something. A memory is hazy and distorted. Sometimes, someone else can add something into the memory and change what really happened. Much like an image shot with a toy camera. The images can arrive to you out of focus with light leaking in, or scratched at the edges by an inexperienced lab tech.

Q.What do you think about when you shoot (if at all)? What is your strategy for when you take out your camera to shoot?

I try to take my camera and film everywhere I go, just in case I run into something interesting. I used to forget and regret this all the time, so I finally made myself a small camera bag with all my three toy cameras and tons of film. The bag always sits right at my doorstep and is the last thing I grab before heading outside. As with what I think when I shoot, I try not to think of anything, which can be hard for someone who thinks for a living.

Q.How do you identify with “street photography”? What does it mean to you?

I do not believe in setting a stage for a photo, especially since the world is already full of interesting things and situations just ready to be captured in an image. Having a camera ready lets one become more aware of one’s surroundings rather than just speeding past it day by day. There is just so much beauty all around us that can be missed and I try to capture as much of it as I can before it withers back into hiding place.

Q.What’s the happiest moment you’ve had while shooting/printing your photos?

I absolutely love scanning photos. The whole process of turning brown negatives into something colorful on screen is absolutely enchanting. I mean, how can all those different shades of brown transfer into so much information? After the photos are done scanning, I barely even look at the stuff that actually comes onto the screen. Only after some time when I start looking through archives for some home decoration project or for a photo-blog interview do I realize, hey some of these photos turned out really cool! I guess realizing your photos did turn out pretty cool is also a pretty cool feeling.

Q.A word of advice to budding photographers who are afraid to try out film/lomography?

Have fun! Film is one of those interesting media in that you can either chose to have complete control in your photo, or you can completely let go. Different types of film will interact with different camera bodies in so many different ways. It is almost as if you have an infinite number of cameras to play with. Shooting with film does cost a lot more compared to digital since you would have to buy the film (usually online), then process and print the photos (also available online or at your local lab/drugstore), but once you realize the dept and integrity of color you can produce from film, it will be very difficult to go back to digital.

Q. Any interesting stories from your shootings? (w/ people, or doesn’t have to be!)

During the Tennessee Williams Festival, I was walking down a random street on the edges of the French Quarter, trying to find where I parked my car. I came across a street performer using the tinted window of his Honda Pilot to put on make up for a show that evening. He was one of those performers who paint their entire bodies gray/silver and pretend to be dancing statues whenever someone places a dollar into his bucket. The moment was so candid and delicate, but I unfortunately broke it by scrambling to find my camera from my oversized bag. (I did not have my handy camera bag ready at this time.) I did ask the guy for a photo and he posed (for free) for me. He gave me a V sign on the photo but he did mention his normal was to give everyone there a big Finger. He also offered me some weed but I graciously declined. Honestly, the photo would have turned out awesome if I was able to take that candid moment, but then I probably would not have been offered any drugs.

Q. Do the colors of lomography films inspire you to shoot in a certain way or certain subjects?

When I first started shooting film, I just bought the cheapest film possible and did not really care. Now that I experimented with different types of film, I realize that the film affects the photo even more so than the camera does in every aspect. I try to take the “right” type of film when I am going on planned photo shoots to what I am trying to take. If I run across a situation that is perfect for the film that is loaded onto my camera, I commence a wild shooting frenzy. Expired film is also fun in that they tend to produce really wild images that cannot be forecast at all. Sometimes they turn out with a lime green tint, sometimes neon orange, sometimes they have giant holes punched in a random location. There is never a wrong situation for expired film.

Q. What inspires your photography?

Contrasting color, furry animals, and old things. Film photos, regardless of the manufacturer, are layered with warm color, and the depths you can achieve from the film are just very difficult to duplicate with digital images. I do not think I have to justify my love for shooting furry animals. Furry animals are cute. In terms of old things, I am especially fond of ruins, graffiti, and old architecture. I could not have chosen a better place to live than New Orleans.

Shameless plug:

I consider myself a non-public persona who is too lazy to keep a website or blog, so I do not really have a public portfolio or anything available right now. However, I have a very public private Facebook life. If you would like to get to know me better, feel free to send me a message via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/twotwobird). If you would like to offer me an awesome engineering job, search for me on Linkedin (hint hint).

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&&Phil: Comment, Like, or Tweet. The choice is yours. Your reward? A delicious cookie.

The Old

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Look at this:

What is it you ask? My family found this worn out letter/note in the chest of things my grandfather (paternal) left before he passed away, along with the Leica M3 he left. That there’s written in his handwriting: a perfect cursive. The photo behind it was left with it, a photo of my grandmother in her youthful years. My grandfather was laden with history, layer after layer: living under the Japanese occupation during his childhood, fleeing to the US after the IMF crisis in South Korea, and living out his days in a quiet house in the States. I don’t know what you see from this photo, but sure wish I could have spoken more about it with him before he left for a (hopefully) better world.

What do you see in this photo?

&&Phil: Like, Tweet, and comment.

The Shadow Photographers #5: ASI/Olive Random

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A person of many aliases, ASI, or Olive Random, is a full-on iPhoneographer and aspiring TV writer. Adhering strictly to the iPhone, and the Hipstamatic app, Olive presents her quirky visions and “frame” of the world through the medium of the 3″ screen. Although many people these days are obsessed with the sharpness and the color calibration of every photo, Olive uses the high saturation of the app’s filters to her advantage. I had a chance to sit down (online, of course) with her for a chat about her identity as an iPhoneographer.

Q. What got you started in photography? What is your relationship to it?

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with photography. My father loved taking pictures of his only daughter, but I hated having my pictures taken. Many father-daughter arguments have aroused from my refusing to stand next to some famous monument! I didn’t go near a camera for the longest time. Long story short, I grew up, went away to college, started writing, and truly began to appreciate and be inspired by the visual medium around me, including photography.

I also moved around a lot when I was little, and traveled quite a bit when I grew older, and there is just something about photography that is intrinsically tied to travelling. The desire to document the new, the strange, and the familiar burns when you’re exploring a city. Now that we’re so easily able to share our experiences online via social media, I think we’re even more motivated to go off and wander around with our cameras— or in my case, an iPhone.

Q. As an almost-exclusive iPhoneographer, what are the advantages and limits of shooting with an iPhone?

Finding the “good” or the “right” camera can be an incredibly stressful and a daunting process for amateur photographers. Also, cameras and lenses ain’t cheap! Despite the naysayers, I think iPhones (especially with the advent of 4S) can be the perfect substitute camera for the casual photographer, and more than enough to satisfy your photographing needs if you are yet unable to find or afford the perfect camera.

For me, it’s also all about accessibility and convenience. An iPhone fits in my pocket or hand, and it takes very little effort to turn it on, fire up an app, and take a picture. Because owning a smartphone has become so prevalent, very few react to it when you whip one out, making it easier to take pictures without drawing attention… as opposed to a “proper” camera, which is a little more conspicuous out on the streets, and many tend to shy away from one. (Of course, a professional photographer knows how to work around that!)

Q. What subjects do you like to take? Why?

I like primary colors. I like discovering geometrical shapes in what is otherwise commonplace or mundane. Seoul, where I currently live, is an incredibly dynamic and colorful city, always filled with people and cars and neon lights and loud music.  Yet from time to time, you come across a space that invokes utter loneliness. I often try and see if I can capture this. Sometimes I’m successful and sometimes I’m not.

Q. How do you identify with the phrase “street photography”?

I think many, if not most iPhoneographers, are “street photographers.” It’s only natural when you’re taking pictures with a device that is built to be ultra-mobile, and allows us to do things on the spur of the moment. If anything, using smartphones to take pictures truly embraces the “candid” and the “documentary” elements of street photography.

Q. What is your shooting philosophy?

Hmm. I don’t think I have one. I’m a pretty casual photographer. In fact, I’m really just a writer who likes taking pictures.

Q. Fantastic colors. What colors do you like to blend? Your colors have a very unique personality.

Thanks! I want to say the colors are all my doing, but much of the credit goes to the iPhone apps I use and the filters that come with them. I love to use filters that mimic lomography cameras, which results in intense, vibrant colors with vignettes. I’m all about grainy, moody, dream-like pictures that invoke a sense of nostalgia.

Q. What inspires you (in general, or related to photography)?

MONEY! Just kidding. As someone who makes a living (or trying to) by making up stories, I’m always on the lookout for inspiration. I follow lots of photography and illustration blogs, as well as consume ridiculous amounts of television and film. Stories are my drug, and a good photograph always tells a story.

Q. What gear, what apps do you use?

I own a now-ancient iPhone 3G, which has a pretty crappy camera and an outdated firmware, so I haven’t been able to explore too many new photography apps. I’ve tried Instagram, Camera+, and Photoshop Express, but I’ve stuck with Hipstamatic the longest. I love the unexpectedness that comes with being able to choose/customize from many types of film, lenses and flashes, to create a unique combination – much like a real lomography camera. Hipstamatic feels more “real” in that sense, while most of the apps like Instagram have you taking a picture first and then applying a filter. Then again, Instagram is free!

Q. Say some words of encouragement to beginning iPhoneographers around the world!

The iPhone can be anything you want it to be. Including a camera! Practice taking pictures with the iPhone without letting its slick surface slip out of your fingers during an important shot. Show off your best photographs on your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or the social networking site of your choice. Repeat, repeat, repeat. We’re now more connected to the rest of the world than ever before. Take advantage of it. But most importantly, surround yourself with those who inspire you. Keep your camera close, and your enemies clos— uh, nevermind.


Find me on Twitter at @thetissuetalk, where you can follow the glamorous life of an aspiring TV writer sitting at her desk all day long! I also have a Tumblr page where I upload my photographs.

Thanks for having me!

&&Phil: Comment | Like | Follow

Hey there, I’m not dead. (And joined a Facebook group to prove it!)

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Hey there street photographers,

I, surprisingly am not dead, I’ve been busy, and I have a good excuse, so there.
Yes I unfortunately am still waiting for the Olympus OM-D to arrive. It’s taking bloody ages and I’m just not about ready to take out my camera on the iPhone out for a project instead… Until then I’ll just have to keep watching camera porn (SFW, rest assured) until I receive the glorious word that my camera is skipping happily over to my place.

But fear not, I have been productive. I am writing up a Shadow Photographers segment for tomorrow, and have finished interviews. Stay tuned!

For today, I shall introduce you to this: Black and White Street Photography

Aside from my Facebook group, this group has a really nice pool of photos growing, and unlike a Flickr page where you have to go in to actually see the photos. Go join and share your B&W photo!

-Phil