I guess it's about time I update my blog and just in case you missed it while posting it up on my other social media channels, here's a video I did in collaboration with Henry's Cameras to feature yours truly and the Fujifilm gear I shoot with.
Wow talk about being late to the announcement game. I released my Episode 002 of "A Phraction of a Second" a couple weeks back but if you haven't seen it yet. Check it out in the link below!
In the 2nd “Street Vlography” POV tutorial, we explore the technique of using a cheap kit lens for street photography and explore how much our gear matters in getting good results.
DJ Quads - "Life In Stereo"
●Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/aka-dj-quads
●Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/djquads/
●Twitter - https://twitter.com/DjQuads
"Critiques From The Cutting Room Floor"
Special thanks to @elmatic for helping me get the clips of me shooting - https://www.instagram.com/elmatic/
Edited on: FCPX
Shot with: Fuji X70, XT2, GoPro Hero 5 Session, Samsung S7, DJI Osmo Mobile
In the 1st official “Street Vlography” POV tutorial, we explore the technique of incorporating transparent objects to give a unique look while shooting street photography.
The Loyalist - "Amber" https://soundcloud.com/why_you_look_a...
Edited on: FCPX
Shot with: Fuji X70, XT2 GoPro Hero 5 Session
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!
Here's the next image up for critique. Right now I'll refrain from sharing my reasons for not posting this image but will update the post after 24hrs with the answers - once you guys had a chance to come up with your own assessments. You guys offered such great feedback with DM's on my instagram accounts that I felt that instead of keeping all this fabulous information for myself, that it would be better served to have everyone's thoughts in one place and use it as a collective learning tool for all. Feel free to leave your comments below on what you liked/didn't like about it, what could've been done better, and why you think I rejected this shot in the first place.
*update* What I primarily disliked about this image is that ultimately it's just a picture of people eating. I remember being once told that the most unflattering shots of people you could take is of them either eating or caught in mid-sentence making a weird gesture with their mouths. Street photography to me is about respecting your subjects and not making them either a spectacle or exploiting a moment of vulnerability. While this isn't the most embarrassing image you can take of someone in mid-chew, it also has nothing else going for it.
The tree shadow, while it fills the right side of the frame, doesn't fill it with anything that relates to the human subjects. On the top left corner, it's pretty dead and those sliver of elements also don't add to the scene.
Just because the light may be good, doesn't necessarily mean the subject matter or the scene is worth capturing. I was attracted to the light and how it hit the people but when you really break it down, that's all it's really got going for it.
I decided to try something new with images that I never ended up posting for whatever reason. I'm going to use them for critique analysis and share my thoughts on why they just didn't cut it for me. I hope to use this as a tool to help others as well as myself. By sharing my process, perhaps future work will not suffer the same fate and overall growth can happen for everyone!
Featured below are the previous images I shared on my instagram stories from my @phraction_street page and here's what I had to say about each:
In this shot I felt, that the entire right side was empty, the characters weren't all that interesting nor did the foreground or background elements connect in any way.
A lot of people commented that I could crop the entire right side out but I'm a stickler for keeping the original aspect ratio I shot in and extreme cropping will only make me a lazier photographer knowing that I can just fix things in post. I'm a professional photo retoucher and though I know I can do a lot of things but I'd rather spend my time enjoying photography instead of working ;)
Also check out Eric Kim's blog entitled: "10 Things Henri Cartier-Bresson Can Teach You About Street Photography"and pay attention to the section about cropping.
Here's the next image I put up for critique:
In this one I rejected it from consideration because there were too many objects sticking out of the guys' head, there were only 2 points of interest (and they're not even that interesting). I usually go for at least 3 if possible, and the red car overlap simply bugs me.
And that's where we're at so far. I wanted to put this up and future posts on something that doesn't disappear after 24hrs because I think this is something that can be useful and can be built upon even after the fact. If there are any additions or comments to any of the images you see above, please comment and share your thoughts so others may learn as well!
Area Study: Duke Of York Public School
Sometimes if I come across an area interesting enough, I’ll either stop and explore the compositional possibilities or come back when the light is good enough. Luckily this day I had both (and bonus time on my hands) so I took the opportunity to take a look around at a place that’s literally a couple blocks from my pace.
Forgive the over-use of my shadow-selfie ‘watermark’ as for most of these shots I really wasn’t trying to be in them but I couldn’t really avoid it so I do what I normally do and make cameo appearances as compositionally pleasing as possible..
Ok so I know I could’ve tilted the camera upward a bit more..
It’s been a while since I’ve gone and shot textures and random objects so it was refreshing. Also great to be outdoors after being cooped up in the house hibernating, because winter.
Not having too many people pass by I had to work with what I had which pretty much meant shadows and a discarded flannel shirt.
It also gave me the opportunity to work on some angles because I’m usually not good at abstract compositions so lately this has been something I’ve been doing behind the scenes as these wouldn’t really fit well on my instagram.
I’m not 100% sure of the story behind this place but I’ll take a stab at saying that it’s probably not in use anymore.
Finally good to see the white stuff melting (probably 90% of the reason I included the snow in this :)
The place is wide open for the public and kids could still come to play but with the new playground that just opened up as part of the revitalization project of the area, I can see why they’d prefer to go there than here.
This composition looked better in my head than what came out.
And that’s pretty much it! I’ll try to keep the super-wordy posts at a minimum and see if I can share more photo sets that I wouldn’t know where to share anywhere else. I can only fit 10 shots in the ‘gallery’ at the very top so I used that area to showcase images that might benefit from a bit of zooming in to see the details.
Portrait Posing With Phraction: (that’s a terrible title..)
There’s a common misconception that because I shoot people on the street, that taking portraits would be a piece of cake. If by cake you mean something like making an 18 layer Baumkuchen (look it up, it’s super hard you guys), then yes, it’s exactly like that. When push comes to shove though you do what you gotta do. Luckily Karyn is very patient actor/model that I had the pleasure of shooting for the streetvogs project about a month ago
Wanting to mix things up a bit from the usual candid street stuff, I figured shooting a portrait of someone who owned a pair of fluevogs would be the key. Going outside of my comfort zone and challenging myself to make mistakes is something that people do sometimes do for fun for growth and stuff. Seeing that I’m pretty much done physically growing, I might as well you know, do it for creativity. Because skillz.
I suppose that when your primary objective is to feature the shoes, one should probably do that. I decided to unintentionally be a rebel and… not. Because I forgot.. SO that happened and my only saving grace was to see if I had a full-length shot that I could crop into to get a decent shot. In this day and age where “megapixels don’t matter” has found it’s way into the average conversation, I found one time when it actually does. Albeit 16MP is somewhat low apparently, for web, it’s perfectly fine. Grainy and unsharp? You bet. But what I’ve come to realize is that the details we see in our own images (or lack thereof) are sometimes illusions compared to what the majority of people actual see - the big picture.
So here’s to refining some skills, silly mistakes, and shooting enough material to save yourself when your brain suddenly decides to exit stage right.
Oh and I almost forgot to mention… after all the effort in working on that shoe shot - I never ended up using it. I was reminded that the project was about the ‘unique souls’ more than the 'unique soles’ so all that work retouching it, kinda went out the window. But for anyone curious, here’s what the original shot, the cropped shot, and the retouched version ultimately looked like…
I got pretty excited to receive an order from www.artisanobscura.com (or instagram) to outfit my cameras with these wooden hotshoe covers and soft shutter releases that I’ve always been curious about. And who doesn’t like to get stuff in the mail?
Now far be it for me to post any “camera pron” because I’m a firm advocate that it doesn’t really matter what camera you shoot with. In fact when anyone ever asks, ‘mirrorless digital’ is my response so you know I’m not walking around with a huge DSLR or camera phone to shoot street. Everyone’s needs are different and I say don’t trust anyone who tells you what camera to buy without knowing what you shoot… and don’t take candy from strangers because, reasons.
What is important to me is how responsive my cameras are. This means more to me when capturing the moment than anything else. I got these because they’re supposed to modulate your finger pressure, thus improving your timing and it also makes you really cool (as if I wasn’t already…pff - well at least that’s what my mom tells me;)
Anyways, I’ll be shooting with these on both cameras to see if the rumours are true, and let you guys know what I find sometime
next couple weeks.