Daily inspiration #1031
by Joseph Chow
(Hey Guys! I suspended the Daily Inspirations for a while, but they are back! If you want to submit three of your fave shots, and get a link back just send your shots and test to me HERE. Thank you!)
I’m from Melbourne, Australia and I’m a self-taught street photographer. I love shooting black and white, and can walk the streets for hours on end. It usually ends with a phone call from the wife, “Where the hell are you?!?!”
It’s been three years since I found your site. I still read it daily, it has such a great vibe. No airs and graces, just down to earth reviews and stories. My Canon G10 broke and I needed a new camera. With no real camera knowledge, I started my online review search and stumbled onto your site. After reading your reviews, I settled on the Panasonic Lumix GX7, which fit perfectly within my budget. I got a good deal with the Panasonic Leica Summilux 25mm 1.4f lens, and that is the only lens I have. You have to zoom with your feet, as they say. I generally leave it on aperture setting, as there’s not a lot of time to capture those moments on the street. I don’t use a neck strap, as my camera is generally in my hand, already on, and ready to shoot from the hip. The GX7 has a great tilting screen. I can look down at the screen and shoot, no one would realise you’re actually shooting. I’ve walked through almost every street and laneway (of which there are many!) in the Melbourne CBD, and love travelling to small country towns. I also enjoy shooting landscapes, nature, and pretty much anything. But streets are my main passion. Melbourne is a well-designed city, with straight tree lined streets and lanes. There’s a lot of mixed architecture too, old buildings mixed in with new skyscrapers, a lot of Gothic and Art Deco style facades.
My technical knowledge of cameras is next to zero, I just like to shoot on the streets, and hardly edit my photos. I prefer to spend more time actually taking photos than editing them. In fact, I don’t have Lightroom or Photoshop. What I have is the software from my old Canon point and shoot which I still use. It has basic sharpness, light/dark and contrast adjustments, or I use the histogram to slightly adjust the light. I only do a little cropping if needed as I try to get right the first time. I used to underexpose my photos quite often, as I liked them ‘darker’ but now realise I need to work on my exposure a bit more.
I’ve been involved in a couple of small exhibitions, and even managed to sell a few large prints. I didn’t get involved in photography to get rich! My next exhibition I’m involved in is in mid-May in Melbourne, so if anyone local is reading this, look up ‘Shot In The Heart Of Melbourne’ or ‘SITHOM 2017’, find the details, and come say hello. Opening night is Friday 12th May.
It was really hard to pick just three photos, and I spent ages deciding which ones. I settled on these, but I could have picked hundreds!
Photo 1: ‘Footscray Station Footbridge’.
I visit this area often on my way to one of the markets in a suburb of Melbourne, and love the way they designed the patterns in the roofing. It’s not a place where the sun beams through to make it radiant, it’s more checker board lighting pattern than anything. I’ve take hundreds of photos here, but this one with the solo traveller remains my favourite, especially since I have sold three copies of this print.
Photo 2: ‘Yanling Road of Chillies’
This was taken in China, at my wife’s parents village in Yanling, Henan, China. It’s very rural, and still retains its “old village” look. There are a lot of farmers, and in this season, dry their chilli crops openly on the side streets. After they dry, they toss them in the air to separate stems and leaves. Drivers just drive around them. Some roads are half covered in dry corn kernels, others chillies.
Some still bury their family members in the fields so they have a view. It’s quite an eye opener, and very different to the hustle and bustle of modern cities like Shanghai. I thought I’d post at least one colour photo. The colour is not strong, as the light there is quite harsh. It’s usually hazy, so you don’t get rich colours. Also, it’s incredibly dusty everywhere!
Photo 3: “Lady in the Window’
Shot outside a bar in Melbourne. We have heaps of bars and laneways, which is awesome for us street photographers! I spotted this lady browsing the menu in a bar window, raised my camera and took this one shot. I always get asked by people that if they were the subject of this shot, would they be flattered or shocked to see themselves in a candid pose? I prefer flattered.
The Curious Shadows (Joseph Chow)
http://thecuriousshadows.wixsite.com/blog is my main site, but I haven’t updated it in ages!
My Instagram is under “The Curious Shadows”
The Curious Shadows (Joseph Chow)
Thanks for having me on your site Steve! I appreciate your time.
I’d love to get the 42.5mm Noctitron too. But it’s out of my price range at the moment. Guess I’m stuck with the 25mm Summilux for a while!
That 25 is great though! Enjoy it.
I’m lucky enough to say that I know the man that is Joseph Chow.
What I find most refreshing is that he isn’t encumbered by all the techno-babble or worrying about if the gear he uses is good enough. By looking at his images it is quite clear that it is, and so is he.
If only more photographers stood by their art and worried less about what everyone else thinks they may find more joy and success.
Don’t change a thing Joe (and I know that you won’t, LOL) 🙂
Always good to discuss shooting techniques at work with you.
Excellent work! My favourite has to be the girl in the window, a moment in time captured perfectly.
I only took that one shot. Definitely a moment in time!
All good, but #3 is great. Captured perfectly. To me, true street photography.
Thanks again John, Harry and One,
I actually had that one printed and exhibited in a quite large size. Looks great.
Wonderful. Thanks for sharing and delicious text.
Publish all my photographies on EyeEm the best photography ap.
This is a very good example of the saying ‘It’s not the equipment…’ although the Pana-Leica is a very good lens. Being not very attracted to street photography I found myself browsing all pictures of your site and liking them very much! Many times (not always) wondering why is this not in color? But that is of course a very personal decision. Anyway, I’m inspired to grab my OMD-EM5 and 25mm 1.4 and going out. Thank you very much!
Thanks for visiting my site Pollo.
Yes, I think I see better in b&w. I can’t explain it any other way, except when I shoot in colour, everything seems washed out and too messy. B&W simplifies the scene for me. Of course, there are times when a colour shot is needed. Yes, get out and take your camera everywhere!
You’ve really got a good eye for pattern in B/W and colour. I really enjoyed these photos and your use of a single lens. Quite an eye-opener for a zoomer like me! Thank you.
Yes, with a prime lens, you have to move your feet to zoom. It takes you out of your comfort zone too, having to get up closer to take some street scenes.
I enjoyed your photos very much. I too use Panasonic lenses, the 20mm 1.7 and the 14mm 2.5. The 20 is my street lens.