30 Comments

  1. Robert also enjoys going to pick-up basketball games and insulting the players for not being NBA caliber, spits out food at dinner parties because he had better a Per Se and shouts insults at the middle school choir for butchering his favorite musical ;-).

  2. I think Martin’s being a bit unfair. He’s clearly a professional photographer and his portfolio is impressive. He doesn’t need to recite his resume to us.

    The original poster is simply a hobbyist who enjoys photography. His vision is his vision. He’s not pretending to be a professional.

    Give him a break, Martin. Perhaps this website just isn’t your cup of tea.

  3. Your web site images certainly should silence any critics. I think your vision is brilliant.

    However the point we are in danger of missing is that the photographer here just wanted to share some of his images.
    I understand top pro photographers being a bit peeved but the guy posting the images has no pretence to being a great photographer. He just enjoys taking pictures and has the enthusiasm to enjoy good quality gear?

  4. When one spends $14,000 for a body and a lens they should be entitled to do as they wish with the gear. Clearly he is enjoying himself. I enjoyed many images too. The cat, the little girl and the Aquarian
    Bob in chicago
    Food Photographer veggiepowerburgers.com

  5. I was going to write a scathing critique of these casual images of a fascinating country but then I asked myself, why bother? Obviously just holding a camera is pleasure enough for some people. How unfortunate that acquiring tools have replaced acquiring vision.

    • This post has nothing to do with gear. It doesn’t talk about gear nor is it a report or review of any gear. It’s a post of photos taken by Alex that he happens to like and that’s all that matters. I’d love to see your “vision” but usually when these types of comments come in the one bragging about vision never shares his own. Wonder why? Share a link to your photos so we can see what and learn vision is all about. Will you do this for us? Unlikely.

      • His user name will lead you to his website. i think Martin’s photography style could be perfectly described as casual snapshots.

        As for Alex’s images, i like very much, maybe the color processing is not exactly my cup of tea, but i like his vision is there, especially the 1st shot!

        • Nonsense. Martin’s images are clearly a giant leap and well beyond Alex Kaikeong’s. Your comment is simply foolish. If you cannot see the demonstrable difference in quality between the snap shots in this post and Martin’s vision and execution, well then you’d fit clearly under the same comment that Martin wrote about Alex.

          • Thank you for your comment Alex #2. As I wrote earlier, I could have said nothing and avoided the silly rants but as someone who cares about the present state of photography today, I felt compelled to respond. Journalists across the globe are losing their jobs because digital photography has created an environment where anyone who can click a button feels they are on an equal footing with trained professionals. No one hires me because of my gear. I use what I feel gets the job done. In New York it’s a Mamiya 645 with a Leaf back, In Senegal it’s been a Leica m9 and a Canon 5d Mark ll. And the reason I prefer the Leica here for street photography is because no one knows what a Leica is. If someone in the market is going to get robbed, it will be the Nikon and Canon guys. I walk around freely and photograph my subjects from five feet away. You will not see any sniper photos on my website. I stand fast in the swirl of human contact. Far too many aspiring photographers fear getting close to their subjects. That’s a problem. And as viewers we can tell. If you follow the Magnum school of photography, you want to be close enough to the subject to smell their breath. Give it a try and bring them a mint. I doubt I will comment further on this site. I can’t care more for someone’s work than they care themselves. Be well.

        • Can we talk about vision for a moment? Because I often taught this very idea when I was an instructor at SVA. Your vision as a photographer is what sets you apart from the pack. We all look upon a scene and see and imagine different things. You see a model, I see a skinny woman, you see wealth, I see corporate… What defines our vision is our ability to steer the viewer towards our opinion by the selective use of light, timing, subjects, locations, time of day, and instincts. Casual shooters are easily satisfied. They don’t invest too much time or energy asking if they got the photo they wanted. Perhaps they didn’t know what they wanted or they are simply contented getting something on film or harddrive. But as someone who learned photography on a 4×5 camera in 1983, you can be sure I don’t want to spend time and effort, burning my hands with fixer in an entirely dark room, developing 20 sheets of film for no reason. I am going to make sure I get what I want versus simply getting what is offered. There was an earlier debate about asking permission to make photos. Now why would I ever what what someone wants to give me? They can photograph themselves if they like. Do writers ask to write, do singers ask to sing? The creative process is a difficult path. The road becomes easier if you just open your eyes.

        • Fahad, you clearly do not understand what a casual snapshot is. Can you not see it in the images above?
          Even if you had the sharpest of lenses, the latest low light gigapixel sensor or the creamiest of bokeh, if your images do not have any composition, a defined subject or any interesting or engaging context, then your image is just a casual snapshot.
          The photo that is labelled “couple practising dancing” has failed to convey that message to me, as it looks like a couple simply walking through the park.
          On Martin’s website, the opening shot in the main page’s slideshow says “Good enough is not good enough”. If we, as photographers, want to improve ourselves (and this is neverending), then we must live by these words. And by that, I mean as photographers, NOT OUR CAMERAS.

      • Hello Everyone,

        I have submitted photos from my Ethiopia book to your “image of the day ” selection years ago. I never got a response. For those who question my sincerity, my website link is http://www.dixondeuxyeux.com I am the author of Brooklyn Kings: New York City’s Black Bikers as well two other books for corporate clients. I have another two works in preproduction. I received my MFA from the University of Michigan in 1992 and my BFA from the Cooper Union in New York in 1988. I was represented by Ledel Gallery in Soho, NY years ago and am presently working in Senegal. I love what I do. I have been a professional for over 25 years. When I see trite photos of a fascinating country I can only ask why is that all you focused on? Dogs in windows. Old people on park benches looking homeless? Is that all Japan has to offer? To the person who thinks I am a casual photographer, explain why UNICEF would fly me to Swaziland and why I have had direct access to presidents and heads of state. I am a long-time Leica user but I will be the first to say they no longer make cameras for working pros. They make niche cameras for the wealthy. And that feels a lot like carrying an expensive bag with no money in it. All I would like to see are good portfolios from interesting locations. I am not interested in what was used to make the photo. Wearing a camera does not make us photographers just as wearing Nike’s don’t make us all ball players.

        • I couldn’t agree with you more Martin. Just don’t get too worked up about some comments here.

          Cheers

          Michiel

        • Just a quick question. How do you get your head through airport security – do they use a Jumbo sized scanner? The self-satisfied are often the most condescending, and more pitiful still when found making repeated self-justification of their hubris, once found out. A very poor show. Learn some grace and empathy to go along with your uber-skills in photography for Pete’s sake.

    • Agreed. The images here in this post truly belie the intensity of what walking around Tokyo is like. I have traveled to Tokyo maybe a half dozen times and know the city well. Looking at these images without a title I would have *never* had guessed that they came from that amazing city.

  6. Hi Alex, I see you already bought an SL..how you like it over the M in term of color?Are these shot you made only by 90mm AA or any other lens?

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