Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Well today is December 25, 2015 and officially my first Christmas spent in China. Sitting here with my girlfriend and eating Ferrero Rocher while writing this. Our plans for the day are simple, we are going to pick up my coat from the dry cleaners and out to eat with a few foreign teachers I know. It's my first Christmas so far from family so it is a bit strange. Christmas here in China is really just a buying holiday. Actually it seems in anything other than small villages all chinese holidays are just commercial. They don't really have the big celebrations I expected. They do a parade for spring festival and small towns get lively during various festivals.

If you are in a bigger city it seems that holidays are reduced to an opportunity to shop. My girlfriend has said the pressure of modern society and the stress is causes for young people has caused many to dislike or even hate all Chinese holidays. The villages are shrinking as students travel away for school and stay in larger cities, and those larger cities are so focused on consumerism that they have lost track of any part of Chinese culture other than shoving people out of the way because they always need to be first. The Chinese have a huge potential to be a culture filled society that other countries look up to, but the rush to match other countries has resulted in a loss of traditional values, a forgptten cultural heritage, and a society where being rude and obnoxious is covered up by the concept of face.

Its sad as a foreigner living in China to see that the development of chinese culture is killing every good and unique thing about chinese culture and leaving only the bad. To anyone that reads this I reccomend that you visit China, I reccomend you do it soon. I also say you should visit smaller towns and villages because that where the real China is, not the lousy North American knockoff that the larger cities are.

I also want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Joshua Son

More experiments with street photography and flash

This is another experiment where I used a flash on the street. The flash was way off camera and gelled with 2 greens. I had the focus preset on the cat and my exposure already determined. All I had to do was wait for the right moment. The lady walked through my fram and bam! Took the shot. The slow shutter speed made the right half of her blur and semi transparent. The flash froze her front half. I think its a pretty cool effect. Im really enjoying trying to make street photos that look more like a contrived shoot. Give a guy a model and time and he can set up all sorts of cool lights and effects for a portrait shoot. That's what Im trying to do on the street. Everyone is my model and I have all the time in the world because once one model leaves another will be on their way. If you have any questions let me know. I'm more than happy to describe the entire process in detail.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Street photography and light painting mix.

When you are out on the streets it can become easy to slide into casual photography. You stop taking it seriously and just take snapshots. When you concentrate and bring your full attention to bare you can recognize the opportunity to try different techniques. Here was a scene I found as I left a movie with my girlfriend. I saw immediately that a regular shot wouldn't do it any justice. I told my girlfriend I wanted to do a shot and experimented between breaks to find my angle and settings. A combination of olympus live composite mode and a handheld flash got me this shot out of camera. I have only done slight adjustments to contrast, saturation and exposure. No photoshop. Just lightroom.

Take the time, experiment, and create good photos.
Joshua Son

Friday, December 18, 2015

If you can't find drama make drama. Off camera flash on the street.

Here is an example of how flash can change your street photography. It took me about an hour to get this shot with a random passerby but I love the look and feeling. Like a Cheshire in the dark part of town waiting for someone to fall for a scam.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Bounce flash on the street

Just two examples of how bounce flash on the street can add something special to your photos. Bounced off the metal canopy for creative effect. Shot in Dalian China by Joshua Son.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Is Street Photography Ethical?

One of the debates you will here often surrounding street photography is about its moral nature.
Many street photographers publish or sell their work and find themselves and others questioning whether it is right or wrong to profit off of their subjects. This subject comes up even more often when photographing people who are considered "less fortunate".Of course these arguments often ignore the fact that many street photographers help the downtrodden by bringing attention to their plight and rallying support for them.

However the question remains, are we as street photographers exploiting people?

Friday, December 4, 2015

What are the rules of street photography?

Well really they are more like guidelines than rules.

So now you know what street photography is, vaguely anyways, and you have a camera. Now you will probably find yourself wondering what the rules of street photography are. Unfortunately other than actually making photographs there aren't any rules. Street photography is free flowing like the scenes you are trying to capture. However, here are 10 guidelines that can help you develop your style and produce more consistent quality photographs.