The Shadow Photographers #9: Josh Bulriss

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Josh Bulriss is a fellow street photographer I admire for several reasons. He has an eye for composition. Although he has wonderful content in his photos as well, the form is what really stands out in his works. You’ll see what I mean when you see the photos below. He recently did some work in Nepal that was simply breathtaking. Here is Josh Bulriss:

Q. Tell us how you got into photography.

A. When I first started traveling to Hawaii from NY, about 8 years ago, I owned a small point and shoot camera that I would take pictures of anything I saw as beautiful. When I would post them online just to show the beauty in Hawaii or showing my friends and family back home. People would always say…. “They look like Postcards” And I realized then I had a natural eye for composition. I just needed to learn the basic elements to create a great photo. That is when my journey began.

Q. How do you define with street photography as a genre? How do you identify with it (or not), and what are your thoughts on how the “genre” has evolved over the past few years?

A. I think that street photography is such a RAW and powerful genre of photography. It’s every day simplicity of beauty that most people don’t even acknowledge. When you understand lighting, composition and emotion you can make the most simple moment spectacular. So I think that street photography is taking everyday life of people doing everyday routines and capturing that moment forever. I wouldn’t really say that I am a street photographer but more of a person that likes to document moments that I enjoy. I feel that the reason why street photography is growing as a whole is because digital cameras are growing, like how photography is growing and becoming more trendy.

Q. Your single most valuable tip for budding street photographers is:
A. Take photos of what you see as beautiful, and don’t worry about what others think.

Q. Your blog has quite a variety of content. What got you started and what has it become today?

A. To be honest, I just started my blog about 2 months ago. So I am really still in the learning phase. I just try to post things that I find interesting and others may as well. I like it be something people can learn from and maybe keep them interested enough to come back.

Q. Projects: yes or no? And why?

A. At the moment, no not really. But trying to come up with some ideas for the near future.

Q. Name your three greatest inspirations (3 and only 3, not necessarily photographers/photographs).

A. Steve McCurry, Henri Cartier-Bresson, James Nachtwey

Q. What gear do you use?

A. Canon 7D, Canon 18-200 EFS lens. I travel light.

Q. What do you think is a great photograph? Content or form? Or something else?

A. I can’t think of just one photograph, so I would have to go with Magnum Photos. The most powerful photography in the world.

Q. You are part of revisedMEDIA, the same photography collective that I am in. Can you explain about what it is and what you envision it achieving? What is your opinion on what we should achieve?

A. I think as team we will get much more accomplished than being independent. RevisedMEDIA is such a great group of a photographers that I think we can all learn from, and grow as a team. I would love for revisedMEDIA to be the BIG Photography group that people really get inspired by, and young photographers look up to. It will take a lot of time and work but I can see it’s potential. We can be the Leaders of tomorrow.

Q. Shameless promotion! Go!
A. http://www.joshbulriss.com
B. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Josh-Bulriss-Gallery/193869597335457
C. https://twitter.com/joshbulriss

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Are you a street photographer? Want to feature your works to a weekly audience of 500+ people?  If you want to be featured on the Shadow Photographers segment, Like my Facebook page, and write me a request! Or if you don’t have a Facebook, you can tweet me, too. But let’s say you’re not so hot about social media, just shoot me a mail.

As always, talk to me in comments below, Facebook, or Twitter!

&&phil

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I’ve been revised: revisedMEDIA

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I’ve been revised: revisedMEDIA.

So I’ve been dropping hints that I am now part of a photography collective, revisedMEDIA. What is it you ask?

Well, what is a photography collective to begin with? A photography collective seeks to promote the works of artists, help with promotion of events, workshops, and exposure to more people in general. revisedMEDIA also happens to work with many different artists based out of Los Angeles, CA including designers and artists. The example you’re probably acquainted with is Magnum Photos, and if you’re street-smart, probably Burn My Eye.

Allow me to introduce our members:

Oracio Alvarado, convinced me to join. I agreed for several reasons:

  1. One person can only have so much influence. No matter how many followers one may have, their opinion is just one of many. Because adding voices helps amplify our work even more, we can reach out and resonate with more people.
  2. In the genre of street photography, where trademarking is discouraged, it’s hard to gain recognition and much too easy to be lost among the flood of talent. By consolidating and collectively working on exhibitions and projects, we as a whole can associate ourselves with a brand that will represent us appropriately.
  3. Last but most important! I can meet some amazing people and have a chance to work on

So how do I hope to revise myself? I feel like an abject centrality these days: feeling neglected but simultaneously having a lot I want to say. Through this collective I hope to grow as a photographer, and evolve my works of art.

Stay tuned for our first project.

&& Phil

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Photokina 2012 Aftermath- What does this mean for Street Photographers? My thoughts.

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So the dust left in the wake of the tornado that is Photokina 2012 is still settling down. DPreview is even calling it “arguably one of the most exciting show for years.” But what does that mean for us street photographers?

Full Frame is Here to Stay. And more are coming.

The above pictures Leica M, along with the Leica M-E are just two examples of dedication to the full frame. Others include the Sony RX1 and the a99, since DSLRs are still relevant. Companies have fought out the Megapixel wars long enough, and consumers are now smart enough to realize that cramming a sh*tload of Megapixels doesn’t mean anything anymore (ahem, I’m talking to you Nokia).

See this video by the Verge:

As the Leica representative mentioned, bigger sensors mean shallower depths of field. This means that you won’t have to resort to a f/1.4~1.8 lens in order to achieve that shallow depth. More importantly, at our common apertures (f/8~11), depth of field will be more noticeable and combined with new technologies, we will be able to get ever so closer to the 35mm film’s dynamic range (millions of shades of grey, and hundreds of thousands of more colors).

The Sony RX1 in its miniaturized, Full-Frame glory. Would you drop $2799 for it?

Companies are Fighting to Be More Accessible than Ever to Us. More options than ever.

The prototype of the planned Olympus 17mm f/1.8 lens.

More and more, street photography is being recognized as a niche. That’s both good and bad. Bad because it’s becoming more and more a colloquial and common term, leaving more room for misinterpretation of the category (I’ve seen some very poorly so-called “street photography” groups with nothing but landscape photos). But the good is that companies are catering more and more to the segment of street photographers. Take the Olympus 17mm f/1.8 lens that’s in production: it’s a clear understanding that photojournalists and street photographers clamor for the 35mm equivalent.

Fuji introduced the X-E1 and released firmware to speed up the X-Pro 1:

Fujifilm as a company is setting a great example by listening to the feedback of their customers. Granted, their company is still recovering from a decade of obsolescence, as their execution still is a bit shabby (release a half-complete product, then fix: as evidenced by the X100, X10, and X-S1), but they make it right. They understood the speed of the X-Pro 1 was not suited for street photography, but fixed it to be suitable enough for street photography. That is the power of the consumer and photographer, we who choose the tools in this competitive brand landscape.

The OM-D E-M5, my current primary camera, also is a model of response. Having heard the call for a better sensor, faster AF, and a retro styled camera. In fact, it’s become one of the best cameras on the market for street photography because of this smart, targeted response to photographers.

Those who ignore our demands are quickly becoming obsolete.

I won’t say much. Hasselblad tried to defend its Lunar system,  a repackaged NEX system for the price of a cool $5k.

Those who try to market their way to photographers who demand a specific set of features won’t work anymore.

The same goes for companies who decide not to innovate, or create new things as excuses to claim they’re innovating. Samsung, in the Verge video above on larger sensors, argue that they want to optimize for their smaller sensors. On one hand it’s great that they’re to perfect what they do, but that’s evolutionary, not revolutionary. Being stuck with smaller sensors, they will never appeal beyond the amateur photographer. If that’s their target segment, that makes business sense. But innovation is all about breaking the barrier and trying something that doesn’t seem to be possible technologically.

Even Pentax, who is struggling to understand consumer needs with their infamously (and somewhat uselessly) tiny Q system, is trying hard to re-position their products by the needs of the consumer. This is what we need to see in the photo industry.

In the words of Louis C.K, “Everything’s Amazing and No One is Happy.” For us street photographers who demand depth in our photos, quick function and focus in our cameras, it’s an exciting time for us in this world.

&& Phil

Talk to me and follow me on Twitter @philhanphoto. (<-hey isn’t that a new username?!)

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And as always, comments below. Disagree? Agree with my thoughts? Let me know!

P.S. I’ve also joined a photo collective, revisedMEDIA. Check it out! Inspiring photos abound!

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!