Things That Run Through My Mind During Street Shooting

1) Ok, found an interesting portrait subject, lets go closer... and closer.... and.... oh crap this old man looks familiar.... I think I have shot him before... twice. 

2) This wet market (Pudu Open Air Market) is really, really dirty and smelly. Oh the things I put up with to get some shots. 

3) I have walked kilometers and still not have good enough shots! Never mind, keep walking. Miracles come to those who wait. Believe, Robin, keep believing.

4) Argh not wide enough! Why did I not bring along that wide angle lens? (happens half of the time)

5) Photo-opportunity!! ATTACK!!!!! Move legs move! Now!

6) Shutter speed not fast enough! (caught unintended motion blur, happens from time to time)

7) Beautiful subject approaching. Have about 5 seconds to prepare for this. Ok, camera settings, check. Composition, check. Now... wait for it... wait for it... oh you got to be kidding me... why TURN AWAY FROM ME!!!

8) You do not see me you do not see me you do not see me I am invisible I am invisible I am a ninja. 

9) This street looks unsafe. Lets go in and explore. 

10) OMG that is one cute kitty!! (often, I would make time for the cat, and believe me cats love me)

Morning conversation

the news

Closed shops

Friendly stranger

My own corner

11) *stomach growling - hmmmm, maybe breakfast before shooting was not such a bad idea.

12) This is an interesting scene. Lets wait for something to happen here, at least for 15minutes. (2 minutes later) Nah screw that, lets move on. Patience is overrated. 

13) *caught a shot. Decisive moment or not? Who cares? Just shoot. and shoot. Yes keep shooting. 

14) Sir, can I have a shot of you pleaseeeeeee? *flashes my sexiest smile ever. What? No? Awwwww COME ON!!! 

15) *rejected from having a shot taken - fine, fine, there are thousands more random strangers to choose from. Your loss not mine. 

16) *yawn. Reminder to self (no. 215423) sleep early next time the night before an early morning shoot. 

17) Thanks sir, you look stunning in my photograph. Oh, when will this be published you asked? Tomorrow. Yeah, tomorrow. (of course not in the newspaper you asked, but on my blog)

18) Why out of focus why why why??? Noooooo! (very rarely happens but when it does its the end of the world)

19) There is no spoon. If you watched the Matrix you should know what this refers to. 

20) Why is Malaysian sun so cruel. I really should consider applying sunscreen. 

Small prints from some of my favourite street photographs. Will be hanging them up on my room's wall. 

Told you cats love me. I always, always make time for cats.
Photo credit goes to Nik Hadi.

21) Stop doing so many panning shots. They are getting redundant and honestly, boring. 

22) Open your eyes Robin, OPEN WIDER!

23) Olympus rocks. Oh Hell Yeah!

24) Why is there no mode dial on my Olympus E-5????? (it is troublesome to change shooting modes on the fly without a mode dial)

25) Ugh I am too far away! Wait don't run away don't.... ah dang it....

26) Hmmm what are the alternatives to compose this shot? Low angle? From the other side? Go in closer? Forget it, just shoot it and think later. 

27) *regrets on point 26 - reminder to self (no.87654) THINK FIRST before shooting!

28) Life is good! I get to do shutter therapy again!


  1. #7 is the story of my life.

    Most street photographers can relate to most of these I think. :-)

  2. Ahahahaha...nice story robin..really like it..just like a note or memo but its full with fact..yup i agreed with ur note..sometime its happen to me when i didnt touch my gear in a long period..lets do a shutter therapy together!!..hahhhhaha

  3. "Patience is overrated" - LOL!

  4. 29) Now why did I let this Swedish guy tag along?! All he does is rambling about how much he loves the Malaysian weather, stare at tall buildings and drag me down. Hopefully a truck will run him over...the sooner the better.

    Glad to see you're back Robin :).

    1. Hey Patrick!
      LOL I could not imagine myself being so evil! heh! Do come to KL soon, lets shoot and eat again!

  5. The Force is strong with this one! Great shots as always, Robin.

    Your "gripe list" (aviation term) is excellent, humorous, and made me laugh at both the wisdom and inconsistencies. A gripe list is a way of communicating between ground staff and pilots. During and after the flight the pilots fill out the gripe list - then the ground technicians come in and examine it, repair/adjust, and write up what has actions have been taken.

    Such as... "Loud banging sound under left main instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding something with a hammer".
    Reply from the technicians after looking into it: "Took hammer away from the midget".

    1. LOL!! Andre you sure know a lot of things, you never fail to surprise all the time! Never knew the aviation practices such interesting approach!

  6. I can relate to number 10 (cats!), 12 (patience), and 16 (sleep management).
    Since I had replied to your mail, I started to revise my sleeping schedule on Sunday. If the weather on Saturday night looks good, I try to get early sleep to get up on Sunday’s morning. It pays off, and now my stress level has been decreased to a tolerable level :D

    Taking pictures of cats (and dogs, if they aren’t too shy) is a great experience. Sometimes the cats come to me when I sit on the asphalt, waiting for an opportunity.. or maybe my sweat smells like fish…

    Speaking about Olympus, there’s a E-M1 coming; that looks like an awesome camera to behold :D

    Angga Cahyadi Santoso

    1. hello Angga,
      Glad to see that you also shoot on the weekends! Indeed it would be rewarding if the street dogs or cats respond to us and actually come to linger a while longer. They are such innocent and adorable creatures, as important part of the street as anything or anyone else in my opinion.

  7. I laughed out loud at numbers 9 & 12!

  8. You know Robin, 1-28 is exactly why i loathe street photography and love doing landscape and architectural instead. You can take your own sweet time composing your shot and while waiting for the right amount of light. :)

    But i love the results from street photography,.. and really admired your *patience* ;) of going through it.

    1. hey Calex,
      Landscape! I wish I live in New Zealand sometimes!

  9. Thanks for all your photo insights. Hope your Mum is well! Keep on trucking!!! it's an american saying to keep on going in life...

  10. Very funny, but I can't figure out whether you ask first, or shoot without asking?