Today I went to Little India and if I thought that this city had a smaller personal space around people, I have to completely reconsider the theory. In Little India there was no personal space at all and after a while I had to get out and breath some fresh (better say open) air.
Arab Street was awesome because I had the great pleasure to talk and make friends with some of the local carpet sellers. I asked them to pose for me in front fo their shops and the results were great.
I landed yesterday in Singapore to visit my friends Lisa and Simone. I’ll be here for a week and beside my job I will spend a lot of time taking pictures in the street. Today was my first day and I went to Chinatown. In a few hours I found out three things about this awesome city:
Different perception of personal distance
Studying martial arts I learned that every person feels a personal bubble around himself. When someone enters that bubble we feel awkward and we raise up our psychological defenses. The more dense the city, the smaller the bubble. For this reason getting really close to people, while taking pictures in the street, is very easy in Singapore.
Different relationship with food
In chinatown the food is everywhere and saying hello to your live crab before his final trip to the kitchen is very common.
People are really open
As soon as I raised up my camera to take pictures of his booth, this man started to dance for me and wanted to pose with his roasted duck. I’m so excited about the amazing adventures I’m going to have during the next days in here.
Let’s say that the weather was not on our side but we had some good fun.
I had the chance to share some of my tips on how to be creative, have fun and get some good picture to be proud about.
Creativity through constraints
Every time you feel a lack of creativity, give yourself a rule. Limits can help you to get creative, lern more and explore things that you would never try otherwise. For instance force yourself to shoot with a prime lens, or just use a specific focal length of your zoom lens. You can decide to spend the entire day at f2.8 or just shooting round objects.
Every time you narrow down your possibilities, you start to explore the niche and you will find new inspiration. Try out this trick, and let me know!
Forget your display
Even if you have a top camera, the LCD display sucks. I was really disappointed that even a super duper camera like the Leica M9-P had a pretty crappy display glued on their back. But why do we look at the display so often? To check our latest shot. We check the light, the colors, the composition, the exposure, etc etc. And then we take decisions. We decide to recompose the shot, to take another one, to try with another aperture, etc. So basically, we take decisions based on what we see on our display which, as mentioned before, is really bad in term of quality.
For this reason I strongly suggest to narrow down what the display is telling you: Shoot RAW and set your camera to BW. You will always be able to edit the pictures in full color but you visualize the picture in black and white. Then, if possible, put your histogram on.
This way you have all the information you need to take wise decisions for your next shot: composition and exposure. The only two things that you can really change straight away when you take pictures. Colors, white balance and contrast will be fixed later on your computer screen, that in the worst case scenario is at least a hundred times better in term of brightness and color balance.
Your camera is tougher than you think. Don’t worry about a few drops of water on it, you really need to get extremely wet to get troubles. Just take some plastic bags with you and keep on shooting even in the rain.
I spent a few days in Cologne at Teymur‘s place and I fell in love with a new camera: Fujifilm X100 limited edition. So I decided, after a few hours out taking pictures in the street, to come up with this blogpost with the purpose to summarize my fresh experience with this new camera, compared with my trusty Nikon D90. There are many other blogpost about the X100 out there, so if you are interested specifically on that camera I strongly suggest you to have a look at the full review on DPReview and definitely at the complete review by Zack Arias.
Always with me
I always carry a camera with me, and when I say always I mean every single time I go out. Carrying a DSLR is not easy, even considering that my D90 is not a huge monster like a D3S. I don’t even use the additional battery grip, but it’s really tiring to hang around with such a camera all the time.
I wanted to find a camera much more handy to carry around and with the Fuji X100 I think I achieved my goal.
My D90 is always equipped with a wide prime lens during the day, like my 20mm f2.8, and a 50mm f1.4 at night; considering that the ISO performance of this 3 years old sensor are not so extraordinary, having a fast lens when it gets dark it’s very convenient. I definitely love prime lenses and I’m well use to them, so I don’t miss any zoom capability in my X100. It’s equipped with a 23mm f2.0 that becomes a nice 35mm equivalent in full format. The perfect lens for street photography.
The X100 is beautiful by itself but I wanted to get spoiled a bit more and I bought the Limited Edition that comes in a gorgeous black wooden box, complete with it’s external flash and with a super nice leather pouch that gives the camera an additional retro kick. It’s really wonderful looking to carry around.
Let’s compare pictures
I dare you to guess which pictures are from the D90 and which are from the X100.