One of my biggest pet peeves is when people tell me “You’re camera takes great photos!” It really irks me every time I hear that. It’s like cooking a delicious gourmet meal and your guests complement the stove, or completing a 42k marathon and your friends think it’s because you wore great shoes, or writing a bestseller and your peers think your macbook pro had something to do with it. The fact is, it takes so much more than just a ‘great tool’ to produce great outcome.
Once in a while, I get to capture a photograph that makes my heart leap. A “keeper” that would be part of my few photos that I would be really proud of. This is one such photo.
Last September 2009, Fleecircus and I started a project to create a collective portrait of the different personalities you can find in the streets of Singapore. Equipped with 2 cameras, a mounting board, and a bit of determination, we walked around Orchard Road, picked out one face after another, and asked if we could take their picture. “It’ll just take 5 seconds” was our usual excuse. Some said no, but most said yes. We did this every saturday for two and a half months, and now we have 446 faces at 5 seconds per face.
I’ve been shooting street for almost 2 years now, and looking back at all my “keeper” shots, the feeling when I took each and every one of these photographs is still pretty vivid in my mind. I may not remember the settings for the camera, but the thought process I had at the moment of the shutter click I can still recall. And every time I browse back to these old shots, there’s always this one photo that’s special to me. This was my first good street photograph – the first one that didn’t look like an ordinary snapshot – the one where I thought to myself “Hey, I can do this thing.” … Read more