Drama on the Street

It has been about more than a month since I last used the Olympus DSLR E-5 shooting on the street, putting it aside, I chose to use my older E-520 and E-PL1 alternatively instead. In the course of the past few weeks I have also experimented with a few rather unusual methods, including the use of flash on my street shooting, as well as going a little extreme on my slow shutter speed shooting. I have also used the kit lens, shooting mostly at 14mm wide end, something that I rarely did previously. After spending much time and effort going around doing things that I do not usually do, finally, today, I decided to move back to my comfort zone, and just be myself, shooting with my favourite lens 50mm F2 macro, and executing my usual style (no flash, no extra crazy stunts, just direct, simple approach) of getting close for close up street portraits. Oh wait, that was not really street photography strictly speaking if they were portraits of strangers looking into my camera, but seriously, who cares? 

All images were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko Digital 50mm F2 macro

Drama on the Street
A shop owner was hitting a beggar (not sure if the broken arm was real) with a wooden stick. I shot this from across the road, but they noticed me and I was like "oh crap I better move fast" and so I hurried away. In situations like this, you do need a longer focal length. 

On the sidewalk

Colorful hair

Still Standing

Moving Cage


Plastic Chairs

Curious eyes

Steel Door

Giving Directions

Vampire nails

Knowing Smile

"were you taking my photograph?"

Stuck to my mum


That red container

Morning Shopping

That man on the bike

Will it fit?

I noticed my usual approach to street photography (or whatever I am shooting on the street) was much simpler, and direct, in comparison to what most people would do. I have less considerations and pre-planning running through my mind, all I did was going out there, let the subjects come to me and I just shoot whatever that catches my attention. If I felt that it was safe enough, I would walk in closer for a tighter composition. If it was the opposite, I would shoot from a distance. Sometimes I would use one lens, sometimes I would change lens to get the perspective that I felt would suit that certain framing better. No, I do not have fixed rules or any guidelines to follow really, I just went right in front and attacked my street subjects. 

In today's session, I realized how much I have missed the E-5 and the marvelous 50mm F2 lens. The joy of having that extra working distance from the subject was something refreshing. 

There are times we try out new things and discover new techniques, or different approach to shooting. There are times we stay within our comfort zone and do what we know best, and what we love doing all over again. At the end of the day, as long as I come home with a set of photographs, I am happy, and I felt that my mission for the day has been accomplished. 


  1. First picture is full of drama, pity that old man though..

    1. Thanks Amir. Eh you back in KL already or not? Lets go shooting lah !

  2. Hello Robin, great pictures again. Wish I would have such scenes here in the town of Erbil in Kurdistan.I have to make it to the local "old bazar" as soon as possible. The main color I see here is brown&yellow (from sanddust) or grey skye (air pollution).
    Have you tried the FT 50/2.0 on a MFT cam like a Pen or the little brother of yours M5?
    Keep on going. Best regards Wolfgang

    1. Hello Wolfgang,
      Thanks for the kind compliments. You were right about the grey sky, it was a completely overcast, dull WHITE sky morning. Lighting was flat.
      I do not have an E-M5, the review I did in this blog was with a loaned unit that I have returned to Olympus Malaysia.
      I did try the 50mm on the E-M5 during my reviews. What would you like to know?

    2. Hi Robin, I am getting old and being tired :-) forgot the point! Is the autofocus on the MFT P3 and the E-M5 fast with the Macro 50/2.0? I like the focal length of 100mm alot as I used it in the analog times. I got only the "old PEN´s" P1&PL1 and my most liked lens is the M-Zuiko 45/1.8. Sometimes I think Olympus miscalculted the price of this lens.
      But I like the DOF of yours 50/2.0 alot :-)

    3. Hello Wolfgang,
      Any original DSLR lens if used on micro 4/3, will be slow in AF. Same goes to the 50mm F2 macro lens, it can be used, but the AF is not fast enough for most applications. I would say, for street shooting, the 45mm F1.8 (native micro 4/3 lens) fares much better with the PEN and OMD bodies.
      Yes, I am loving the 50mm F2 macro lens too, hence it is my favourite !

    4. Tks. Robin. BTW your pictures of the M-Zuko 75/1.8 are stunning !!! Love them alot. Many of my friends were also stunned. Absolutly breathtaking.

    5. Thanks Wolfgang ! I won't say they are stunning, but the lens itself is superb !!

    6. Well Robin . 10% the lens 90% you :-) keep on testing!

    7. You are too kind. No worries. If Olympus Malaysia comes to me with something new its hard to say no !

  3. Hi Robin.
    Thanks for sharing another great images. My fav images are Still Standing, Giving Direction and the Street Drama.
    I have nothing much during my Saturday session except I met a traveller from Oracle Singapore. We have a good walk around KL's place of interest. On the other note, I went to Olympus Malaysia this morning and my UTough 8010 need upgrade.....TG1 is very tempting.
    May you have a great evening.
    John Ragai