Yesterday's post brought me to the reasoning over why mediating (fabricating may be the more exact word) the story of my subject bestows on me a higher chance of getting a better snap. An intuitive conclusion is that the process allows me a specific idea on the tone befitting the final image. Street shots happen and complete in a split of a second, and so I may not go through this process exactly step by step. But with it I become more aware of the importance of being connected to the subject to hopefully retell his or her story (which I fabricated from the facial expressions etc.) in a shot, hence doing the composition and exposure for an intended effect. At any rate, this practice is probably better than just shooting aimlessly in the street, which I, for sure, sometimes do too.
Saturday, 20 October 2012
Friday, 19 October 2012
When we come across a person in the street, no matter young or old, chances are that he or she catches our attention so much so that we hold up the camera and fully press the shutter release. But has it ever happed to us that the person we snapped is not what met our eyes? I mean, have we ever contemplated the story behind our subject – why he looks so puzzled; why she is standing there and then with an empty gaze; what makes him call the street home, so on and so forth – before snapping a shot? I do sometimes. And probably this practice somehow has an impact on what I interpret to be the right moment, background and lighting conditions to complete some of my street shots.
Wednesday, 17 October 2012
If you've ever visited Hong Kong, it is likely that you came across old folks piling up discarded cardboards in the street. Why, you may ask.
Hong Kong put in place a mandatory pension scheme for the population for just around a decade. Although the British administrators came from a welfare country, they didn’t really bring in their suitcases the same welfare regime to the oriental world. When the Brits were at the helm here, only the society’s most underprivileged were given a bare minimum of social welfare protection. The British colonial rule was widely known to be move along the line of treating Hong Kong "a borrowed place on borrowed time". If there was any serious thought about welfare, it had to be only for the benefit of the administrators and their homeland in the occident world.
So we have lots of old people who are living beyond their means after retirement. Without any pension protection, they go out in the street and find a intuitive way to make a meager income by selling recyclable waste to waste recyclers. But unscrupulous recyclers are not uncommon in their experience because more often than not the scales for measuring the weights (and therefore value) of the waste they collected have been found tampered. These seniors are old but not stupid. As a counter-measure and to do justice to their own hard work, they will usually dampen the cardboards to make it weigh heavier before bringing to the recyclers.
Tuesday, 16 October 2012
The mother was holding the baby, staring into the blank by a bustling road for some time. The worry filled her face with an empty expression. I couldn't possibly understand what hardship or difficulties she is facing. Almost paradoxically, a little helping hand could be a big help to her. I gave my blessing in my heart as I moved past her; I should have gone up to her and asked if she needed help.
Monday, 15 October 2012
Recently I read and tweeted an interesting article cautioning photographers about the points to note in taking part in photo contests. I happen to have a well-known artist friend who has been repeatedly invited to be an adjudicator in relevant contests. From his experience, there are quite a number of organisers who he suspected have their eye more on grabbing either rights or money or both than on promoting the art. With reference to a particular real-life example, the artist revealed that an organiser could actually make a handsome profit from a payment-required contest after deducing the administrative cost and prize expenses.
Incidentally, some months ago, I stumbled upon a website of a local photo contest. Interested, I went through the terms and conditions only to find that participants were required to use the designated paid service (of an organising partner of the contest) to order a "photo book" (for putting in the participant's photographic entries) for entering into the contest. It just sounded too suspicious to me. I personally think it wise to shun any contest which asks for a fee in any form.