Xi Men Ding is also called as the “Harajuku” of Taipei. It is a pedestrian shopping haven, the place is packed with shoppers or tourists. It is a good location to do street photography.
During my short stop over at Taipei recently, I decided to shoot some street photos at Xi Men Ding. For this trip, I shot with my Fuji X100T. The X100T is small and compact camera, it allows me to shoot with discreet. Here are a few selections from the trip :
Xi Men Ding is truly a street photography heaven. There is plenty of subjects and motives. I hope you enjoy the photos presented.
Shot with Canon 5 Dsr 24-70 L (Hand held and shot without a tripod) ISO 1600 F5.6 1/25 24mm
A sudden overcast of dark cloud started approaching the area, I shot the photo just before raining. The warm and colourful neon light together with the blue and grey overcast sky created an interesting scene.
Recently I had the opportunity to travel to Taiwan for some business matters as well as some leisure time to do street photography. I brought along the Olympus E-P5 (with EVF2 attached) body and two lens (Olympus 17mm F1.8 and the kit lens 14-42).
Throughout the 5 days trip, I really enjoyed using the Olympus E-P5 to shoot street. Why ?
1. The system is very compact and not too visible to the subjects or people that I intend to take candid shots. (Click the photos for larger and sharper view)
2. The autofocus of the E-P5 is fast and accurate especially with the Olympus 17mm F1.8 (equivalent to 34mm) lens. The camera is able to get good focusing on the subject even on a low light environment.
3. The camera is able to produce superb jpeg files. The files are sharp, rich in color and details.
Here are the additional photos captured with the E-P5 system:
I travel frequently to some coastal cities in People Republic of China (China). I discovered that it was tough to do street photography at these places. People are intimidated of being photographed. The following picture illustrates a common reaction by the subjects.
“Face of Discomfort” is another common reaction of the subjects.
I even tried to communicate with the subjects by starting a conversation or asked for permission to take photos so that the subjects would not feel intimidated. On many occasions, the moment the subjects realized that I am a street photographer and would like to snap a photo him, the subjects walked away and “disappeared” from my viewfinder.
Another common reaction illustrated by the following picture; the fruit seller disappeared from the store upon seeing me pointing the lens on her.
On a few occasion, I do meet friendly people that allowed me to photograph their activities. There was motive for granting me the permission. The following photo illustrated what I mean :
The very “business-minded” owner was trying to promote his product, the best biscuit in town. After the friendly photo session, I ended up buying a few packs of biscuit. I supposed there is “no free lunch “.
I once met with a fortune teller when I was roaming around the old alleys of Quanzhou. I saw him seated at the roadside with an interesting gesture. I hesitated to photograph the subject, I fear for unpleasant reaction.
The fortune teller upon seeing me he invited me to snap a few portraits of him. He said out loudly in Chinese, “come take a few photos of me and post the photos on the internet so that I would be famous, it will bring me more business….”
Was it the culture of urban Chinese that caused the intimidation ? A man with a camera that capturing photos at street is perceived as somebody from the “big brother” that is potentially “hazarded”. Or I am a lousy street photographer who had yet to acquire the skill of street photography.
Recently I shot a series of portraits of workers at a charcoal factory. The photos were shot using the Leica M with the 35mm Summicron ASPH. I had the intention to use also the a 50mm focal length lens but due to the dusty environment inside the factory I decided not to change lens. (Click the image for sharper resolution)
Recently during my business trip to Quan Zhou at People Republic of China (泉州，福建省), I found this very old barber shop at Zhong Shan Street. According to the local, this shop is about 100 years old and during its golden time of 1950’s to 1980’s, the barber shop served many prominent people, including businessmen and political figures.
(Click the photo for Sharper view)
These days the barber shop is showing signs of dilapidation, the metal on the barber chairs are corroded and the fabric are worn down.
The master barber was winding down after a hard day’s.
During his prime, he used to be a “hot shot” barber serving VIPs who needed to make appointments to get his service.
Nowadays the patrons are mostly senior citizens.
Seeing me aiming my camera at her, her spontaneous reaction was to cover up her face. I ended up with an out of focused shot.
During my photography trip at Yangon, I shot a couple of rolls of Fuji Pro 400H using the Leica M7. I mainly shot with aperture priority mode by setting the aperture that I wanted to use. The metering of the M7 is quite accurate. I did not want to bother about doing manual metering by setting both the shutter speed and aperture. When I shoot with film, I tend to shoot very slow. Firstly, film is costly. Secondly, there is no instant review that make you shoot and delete later attitude. I am presenting the 10 best shots out of the couple of rolls that I shot at Yangon. Your comments are welcome.
Yangon Railway Station is another amazing place for street photography. There is plenty of photography motive at the platforms, where commuters alighting and embarking the trains. I peeked into one of the train coach and saw the seats are made with solid wood. Ouch ! must be very painful for long distance travel. (click the photos for sharper view)
Commuters at the train platform:
Food seller at the platform:
A boy and his sibling roamed around the stationary trains :
On the 2nd day of my stay at Yangon, I went out to do street photography. I started my walk along Sule Paya Road and headed to Theingyi Plaza via the Mahabandoola Road and ended my walk at an Open-air Market. Yangon is really an awesome place for street photography ! People are very friendly and most of them do not feel intimidated being photographed.
Unlike other major cities in this region, Yangon is free of motorcycles.
Many of the public buses are operated with very old vehicles. The old vehicles created a very unique view at the city roads.
I was on a business trip to Yangon on March 2013. I decided to spend time doing a series of street and landscape photography at this people friendly city. After checking into the hotel, I headed to the first location, the Shwedagon Pagoda.
The following photo was captured at the eastern gate of Shwedagon Pagoda. The sun was at the far end of the horizon, it cast a long shadow on the pedestrians.
The magnificent view of the pagoda as the sun casted its last ray of light.
There was plenty of photography motive and subject inside the temple.