Monday, January 27, 2014

The Way They Looked At You

I have often been told by people who liked my series of street photographs that, the one thing that stood out for them was the way the people looked at me, or at my camera. To be entirely honest, I have never really given that much of a thought to how people looked at me. The only tip I can give, or share, is to smile, and be nice. After all, how people looked at you is actually their spontaneous response to how you looked at them in the first place. I fully understand that this perhaps can only apply to people here in Malaysian streets. Now that I am starting to pay more attention to my street portraits, there really is something about the way people looked at me. My favourite photos that I took almost always have that bright smile and warm expression. I am drawn to those emotions somehow. Maybe there is something about me that I do not quite know!






13 comments :

  1. How do you do it Robin. The emotions in the eyes of the people you capture is always amazing.
    Have a wonderful day.

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  2. You do seem to get very good responses from the people you photograph. Is it also because they are used to seeing you? I get the sense that you have some favorite areas you like to shoot, and by now I imagine that a lot of the vendors and such must recognize you as a benign presence.

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    1. Hey David,
      I don't think so. Only a few of them recognized me and I avoid shooting the same people (though I have done so previously).

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  3. Robin, you definitely have a knack for this. That is true. I just don't see anyone else coming close to posting as many images of other people looking directly into the lens as what you post. You do have a gift in this regard.

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    1. Thanks Gregg! People here are friendly, so why not?

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  4. Robin, of course having the subject looking at the camera is one of the "no-no's" of street photography... and what is so refreshing and pure about your photography is that you dont pay any attention at all to these "rules"! Is it a strong image? Is there emotion, a connection? Then it's a worthy photo for you. That being said, in my short walk around Petaling Jaya with you, I was struck by how laid-back and accepting everyone was. Here in HamburgerLand, everyone is self-conscious and preoccupied with why the hell is this guy running around snapping photos? KL, despite being a huge city, people were willing to connect with you,e ven for a second, and just go with the flow. Maybe I'm idealizing things (I tend to be overly romantic), but that's the main impression that I got of KL - lots of tension beneath the surface, but paradoxically this tension leads to people being more open and accommodating with each other in the day-to-day. Anyway, looking forward to another chance for shutter therapy together, thanks again for everything.

    Tom

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    1. Hey Tom! Check out your handsome face in the blog post after this one!
      Please do come to KL again and I do have more places to bring you to.

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  5. That people looking into cameras is a "no-no" for street photography, and other "rules" is exactly the reason why 99% of street photography is crap: random snapshots taken in urban areas. Not that my take on "street" is good, by any means, but I do try to get some sort of connection to the subject(s). Be that persons or things - be that in cities, or the countryside - there don't have to be any streets around, even... For me, street photography is merely photography that shows or more like depicts traces of human interaction with their environment - for that a person does not always have to be present, except for the photographer.
    That said, this is the reason I think highly of your stuff, Robin. I can always feel connected to "humanity" in your shots, a feat lost by so many modern (self-appointed) "pro" photographers.

    Keep it up!

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    1. hey phl0w,
      You speak too highly of me! Am still experimenting and doing a lot of trial and error. Only then I can learn and improve.

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  7. Hey Robin,
    another great blog entry with a set of great photos!

    I have a question concerning the ECG-1 grip for the E-M10. Do you know if there are plans to release a fitting counterpart for the E-P5? This quick release to have access to the battery and sd-card slot is such a nice thing and a optional grip that is a bit more ergonomically shaped would be perfect for the E-P5.
    Nevertheless, I know as an employee of Olympus you won't be able to share internal-only plans, but perhaps there is something to hope and wait for.

    Oh, and a happy new year!

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  8. Hi Robin,

    thanks for the good review and great pics!

    Just read that the new Macro Converter M-CON P-02 can be used with various Olympus lenses including the 45mm f1.8 and new 25mm f1.8. Any chance you had a play with it on either of these lenses? I am curious how well it works especially with the 45mm f1.8. Could it be a good alternative to getting the 60mm f2.8, since this combo would be better for portraits and also be more compact (and cheaper too).

    Let us know your opinions.

    Thanks!

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