Street Photography

Starting A YouTube Channel: "A Phraction Of A Second"

With a new year starts a new experiment and there’s no better way to really see what you’re made of than to try something you have absolutely no experience in and see how well you do. For me that’s video.  I’ve always known that this medium has always been at the top and up until the last few years or so, it’s become so increasingly accessible for the general public to be able to create high-quality content that rivals what we see coming out of professional studios. I mean, for the longest time that’s been the case for photography - just ask any grumpy pro photog and the phrase ‘undercutting the industry’ and ‘weekend warriors’ will be said a few times or ten.

I guess I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon and start kind of a vlog-esque web series focused on street photography because up until 2 months ago, I had no idea what kind of stuff was circulating around YouTube and I honestly found myself really captivated by it. I was curious to see if I could somehow merge this style of filming, along with point-of-view street photography, and post-production screen capture editing tutorials into one. Very ambitious for someone who didn’t know the differences between frame rates or even how to use any editing programs. Good thing iMovie is so intuitive otherwise it would’ve been super frustrating and I would’ve never gotten anything off the ground.

I’m still trying to figure out the best way to shoot video and stills all in one outing because honestly, it’s tough as it is to get a good shot if I’m not focused. While videography may seem to be a sibling of photography, it’s really more like the distant cousin, twice removed (whatever that means). It’s SO different you guys. What Im trying to say is that, getting my video work to match my photo level is something that will take some time and I embrace the challenge.

With any divergence from the path of stills and more specifically street photography, I feel that I will take a bit of a step back when it comes to the quality of work I’m doing with my shots. I look at it as a "1 step back, 2 steps forward" situation where hopefully the skills I learn from shooting motion pictures will somehow strengthen my still images.

I know one day I’ll look back on this video and see all the cliches, rookie mistakes, and the hack job I did on the audio, but if I consider something like this cringe-worthy in the near future, that just means that at that point in time, I’m at a much better place than when I started. To me, this is one New Year’s resolution that I hope to keep.

Anyways, enough talk (there’s enough of that in the video below) so here it is, enjoy!  

Minimizing For Maximum Potential


Lately I’ve been taking a step back from my usual way of shooting to embrace/experiment with a form of photography that I’m absolutely unfamiliar with - minimalism. As far as street photography goes, I once never considered anything without people to be “street”. As my definitions for the genre change (along with the incessant need to define everything) I start to realize that the true appeal for this hobby is the art of seeing.. differently.

What I find interesting is that I used to look at images like this and ‘not get it’. I probably still don’t. I’m not even sure if this is what it should be - I’m no art major and I feel like somehow these things follow a formula that was mentioned in page 5 of “Contemporary Art 101" but until I get my degree, I’ll have to fake it until I make it. What I do know is that pictures of banal objects in everyday life isn’t the decisive moment, it’s not full of interesting characters, nor does it necessarily contain the human condition but in a way it’s still surrounds us and often these shapes and forms go unnoticed.

To me, it’s an exercise in seeing. Trying to master something like this isn’t easy. I often even find myself having to look away or simply leave the images alone for an extended period of time because my eyes get numb to the idea and I’m no longer comprehending what I’m looking at. My goal is to be able to quickly identify these forms and incorporate them into my usual photography to give it more depth. It’s not gonna happen overnight, but hopefully in time, something will come out of this. 


It’s gonna take some effort and practice but it’s fine ‘cause changing things up and challenging myself in different ways is one way to keep things fresh - even if it’s frustrating to wrap my head around it at first. For now, consider this a snapshot of what’s going on behind the scenes as my winter hibernation comes to a close and the golden light opportunities finally return.


Mother Nature’s Hot Flashes

With the roller coaster winter we’ve been having here in Toronto this year, it’s only fitting that Mother Nature play a belated April fools joke on us in the form of the frosty white stuff.

This was the same night that Eric Kim was in town doing his workshop so I met up with the gang afterward at Wvrst on King/Portland to talk shop. When leaving the restaurant and seeing the snow come down, two things came to mind: “F-Me” and “Flash Time” (in the non-indecent exposure sense.. exposure..? ..nvm).

Having never shot flash for street before (especially at night) I figured I’d give it a shot (puns always intended). Since I had a few drinks in me already, I guessed that by this time some people might have too and may already be seeing stars as it is. 

With liquid courage by my side, and my trusty side-kick to make sure I didn’t do anything too stupid, I channelled my inner Martin Parr, thought of his “Bad Weather” series he shot in Dublin, and convinced myself that now’s as good a time as any to experiment.

So here’s the outtakes of the selects posted on my @phraction_street instagram feed from that night.


..As a side note, when taking pictures of random people through the window you pretend to know by waving at them, just keep in mind..


That the world is a small place and sometimes in the next window you may find someone you actually do know…


That’s when it’s time to put away the camera and catch up with old friends :)