Admiration. That’s what I have for street photographer, blogger, and vlogger Eric Kim. I started following Eric’s blog several years ago as he began actively writing about the joys he found in street photography. His blogging efforts led him to pursue teaching street photography classes in various cities around the world and, more recently with his partner Cindy, an active publishing (both open source and for sale) and photo gear related business (see his product page).
Eric’s blogging has evolved beyond the mechanics of street photography into his philosophy of life – his joys, his worries, and his endless pursuit of creativity. I enjoy reading him for his quick comments and insights – almost always stimulating my thoughts off in an unexpected direction. Reading his work and watching his talks open my mind in new ways.
Recently, Eric gave a talk at Google which is available for watching on YouTube. One of the best parts of his talk – much of which is focused on his approaches to creativity – starts at about 19:30 into the video. He shares one of the photos of an older woman with a big smile that he captured years ago on the streets of New York City. His description of that image, how he shot and and his interaction with the audience about the photo is just great. (He sells a signed limited edition of this print on his website.) He’s written about this on his blog as well.
As for me, Eric’s had an impact recently – he’s helped jumpstart me back into more actively writing for my blog. Watching his work, I’ve come to realize that sharing is both worthwhile and also easy to do with today’s blogging tools. I’m able to quickly have an idea and – on any of my computers or mobile devices – being drafting a blog post on that idea.
This post is a great example. While waiting for my coffee to brew this morning, I was thinking about Eric and that segment where he shares the store of the smiling older woman. That got me thinking about how I admire what he does – and what he’s been doing for years now. And so here we are. Thanks Eric!
One of my favorite YouTube channels is Sean Tucker’s. While it’s nominally about photography, Sean’s videos are as much about his philosophy of life and living. As he says: “I’m more interested in the ‘why’ of photography than in the ‘how’.” I’ve listed Sean as one of the photographers who inspires me on my Inspiration page.
During a recent workshop, the instructor played one of Sean’s videos – which is very much about the “how”. It’s one of his best tutorial videos – all about the exposure triangle and how to shoot in manual mode.
A more recent one that I also really enjoyed is this one: Taking Portraits of Strangers (feat. Gabrielle Motola). After an introduction by Sean, Gabrielle talks about her approach to shooting portraits of strangers – by approaching them, talking to them, and capturing their images. She shares some great insights into that style of street portrait photography!
Be sure to subscribe to Sean’s channel so that you get notified when he’s posted a new video. I find they’re always very worthwhile!
My photo buddy Doug Kaye caught me in the moment while we were both shooting in the bright Friday morning light in the plaza at 101 California in downtown San Francisco.
This plaza is a place we return to frequently – it’s just a delight – and the light is constantly shifting and moving across a tapestry of interesting people either traversing or taking a break and pausing for a few minutes. It’s one of those “life is good” kind of places.
Obviously, as Doug’s image shows, I was having a great time! One of these days I might get around to washing my jacket – it’s been all over the world with me and I’ve resisted “cleaning things up”!
Photographer David Burnett spoke with Angie Coiro today at Kepler’s Book in Menlo Park – part of her In Deep Radio series. A selection of Burnett’s photographs are currently on display at Cafe Borrone. He also spoke this afternoon at Stanford’s Cantor Arts Center.
Coiro is a great interviewer – and David is a great story teller. The combination was just delightful! While just an hour, this interview could have gone on for two or three more – listening to Angie’s questions and Burnett’s stories.
A couple of the highlights for me included Coiro’s introduction of Burnett where she used the phrase “collectible whispers” to describe his photography. Burnett suggested he might just use that wonderful phrase for a book title!
Another was his description of his JFK photograph – shot as a young man in Salt Lake City. When he first looked at the film he shot that day he thought it wasn’t worthy – but 35 years later he went back and found the negative and found it told another story – an example of how photographs often aren’t technically perfect but are still powerful images.
Hearing Burnett describe photographing Olympic runner Mary Decker’s fall in the 1984 Olympics made me appreciate what he later called “the speed of life.” Sometimes it just comes together – and you’re in the right place at the right time – and it’s a gift.
There was a lot more – this is a very special interview worth listening to!
I met David last summer while attending a Peter Turnley workshop in New York City. I captured Peter and David heading out – with Dave shooting all of us from above! When I met him today and showed him this image – he said “Oh, you’re in my photo!”
Here’s a fun shot from a recent visit to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco with my photo buddy Doug Kaye.
We were walking along outside where for as many years as I can remember they sell these shrimp cocktails, fresh crab, sourdough bread bowls with soup inside, and more! It’s quite a marketplace in action and fun to just stand and watch.
One of the stands had this really big lobster – and I caught this image of Doug shooting the crab while I focused on the lobster’s eye.
Shot with a Fujifilm X-E2 and processed in Lightroom 5 using VSCO Film 05.
I had the great good fortune of meeting Chris a few years before he died in late October 2010. We had a wonderful routine of twice weekly Tuesday/Thursday 1.5 mile walks around his neighborhood. I’d bring along Lily, our Cavalier King Charles spaniel, and the three of us would make the route together. Lily exploring all of the smells and sounds, Chris and I talking about the tech and photography news of the week. It was just wonderful.
Today is Chris’ 63rd birthday. This image is from October 11, 2010 as he was showing me some of his beautiful black and white prints from his years as a photographer in Los Angeles. Such a gentle man and a great teacher.
My friend Doug Kaye and I recently visited Pier 24 to see the current exhibition: “A Sense of Place”. We’d been wanting to go for several months but it’s a hard place to get into. They limit attendance and require an advance (but free) reservation. Only 20 people go in at one of three times each day. Once you’re inside, you really appreciate the lack of any crowds – so the reservation process definitely helps create a much higher quality experience. We got lucky one day and found a couple of slots open.
The space inside is just perfect for photography. The provide you with a booklet that provides the details for each photo – no little signs on the walls next to the photos.
My favorite photographers from the current exhibition are: Todd Hido, Stephen Shore, Jeff Wall, Andreas Gursky, Lee Friedlander, Eric William Carroll, Paul Graham and Rinko Kawauichi. Beautiful work from each of them! Doug and I spent the most time exploring a Vancouver nightclub shot by Jeff Wall – In Front of a Nightclub – a fascinating work! From a distance, the image seems flat but when you get up closer – within say 5 feet or so – it begins to really show some depth. Very fun!
Here’s another image shot inside Pier 24 – these are street shots of New York City by Paul Graham. I like how some of the images are mounted low. Graham’s using the “stage” technique – seeing first an interesting background and waiting for it to fill with subjects of interest.
In August 2010, I took a workshop focus on Tomales Bay and Point Reyes. One of the other participants – Jack – was shooting with a set of classic cameras. It was a joy to watch him work.
Here’s a shot of Jack taken early on a late August morning along Tomales Bay. He’s shooting the famous Point Reyes fishing boat – aground at Inverness. The morning sun is on his back. I can smell the scene.
Shot with my Canon 5D Mark II and the Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS lens. Post-processed using Lightroom 5, VSCO Film and Photoshop CC with Topaz Simplify 4.