Street photography is the hottest trend these days. It become in vogue around the same time Flickr is at its peak. Then, I begin to see workshops. From Los Angels to New York, London to Tokyo. More workshops, more seminars on the subject. Every street Continue reading
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Markus Thompson, found a Canon EOS 1000D while he was scuba diving in Deep Bay, outside of Vancouver. After Thompson pulled the Sandisk Extreme III 20mb/s 2GB SD card out of the camera, he discovered that not only he could recover the images, but that they revealed Continue reading
Someone on Flickr wondered why I recently chose the Olympus XZ-1 and Olympus PEN E-PL3 to shoot street photography while I had other cameras like the Canon EOS 5D MKII, Leica M9, Fujifilm Finepix X100, etc. The reasons were that both of these Olympus cameras were light in weight, small enough to fit in my cargo pants pocket, they could produce high quality images and they were small enough to not look intimidating. Most of all, they didn’t make those clueless security guards think I was a terrorist.
In my opinion, street photography is all about fun. No matter if I were documenting life or shooting for fun, I did my best to avoid drawing attention. Attracting cops and security guards would ruin a good day shooting. Attracting robbers were even worse. Since 2005, I’ve been walking the streets with the Canon PowerShot Gx series, Nikon CoolPix Px series, Sigma DP-2, Ricoh GR Digital series, Ricoh Caplio GX200, Leica D-LUX series Olympus PEN E-P2. Each camera had their own quirks and joys to use, but as technology grew, I’ve found Olympus compact digital cameras best fit my street shooting style.
While the Olympus XZ-1 offered a high quality, bright zoom lens, the PEN E-PL3 proposed a wide range of legacy lenses as well as superior AF lenses from both Panasonic and Olympus. With the tilt LCD on the Olympus PEN E-PL3, I could easily compose a shot from hip level or above the head without cutting off some heads or missing a good scene.
The photo above showed what I currently carried around with me—as you noticed, I didn’t even use a camera bag. From left to right,
- Olympus PEN E-PL3 with M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1,8 lens
- Extra batteries for my Nikon 35Ti
- Note book to scribble down locations, names, thoughts, technical info
- Audio-Technica ATH-EW9 clip on wooden headphones
- Sharpie Fine Point pen
- D.Zuiko 1:2.8 f=17mm lens
- Extra batteries and class 10 SDHC cards
- Arista ISO400 BW and Fujifilm Neopan SS
- Nikon 35Ti
- Cheap Army surplus messenger bag
With these two camera, I could mix in with any crowd and gather as many shots as I want on my day out. I sometime threw in my bag a light jacket, a shemagh, a Zoom H4n recorder, my iPad and the bag still weighted under 5lbs. I figured once I get my Apple iPhone 4s, the weight of my messenger bag could become even under 3lbs.
In conclusion, my main goal for street shooting was collecting as many usable photographs as I could without drawing attentions and attracting troubles. If Eugene Atget, George Hendrik Breitner, Robert Doisneau, Diane Arbus, Henri Cartier-Bresson could live with those old analogue cameras and manual focus lenses, I should not have any reason to complain about these high tech compact digital cameras. Just shoot!