Tag Archives: street

Pike Place Market, After the Crowds

Although I don’t really consider myself a street photographer, I do have an appreciation for the genre and will dabble in it occasionally. I also tend to think that a lot of my travel photography has a street aesthetic about it. I love trying to capture the sense and feel of a place through my images, the nitty gritty backstreets, and the places where people actually live and work and interact.

John Batdorff just published a blog post on 6 tips for improving your street photography. One of the suggestions he made was to understand that you are probably going to feel nervous and to accept and get used to this, that this nervousness comes with putting yourself out there. Maybe there’s little distinction but for me it’s not so much nervousness as discomfort. This is especially true in places where I already stand out as a foreigner. Walking around pointing a huge camera everywhere makes you even more conspicuous. Although it’s not easy, as John suggests I think the best thing to do is to embrace this nervousness or discomfort.

Another point John makes in his post is a common one made with respect to street photography, which is to get permission from your subject before snapping the shutter. Although I generally agree with this, I do think it often depends on the circumstances. There are situations where it’s definitely most appropriate to get your subject’s acknowledgement, particularly if it’s a portrait-type image. But what about those times when what you’re wanting to capture is people going about their daily lives, without awareness of the camera? Personally I think there’s many times when it’s perfectly acceptable to photograph people in public situations without asking their permission. The problem is that the line between the times when it’s appropriate to photograph someone without asking and the times when you should ask can be rather blurry. I can’t say that I always know where that line is. In the image below, I was standing in plain sight taking a picture. The gentleman smoking simply ignored me so I took that for implicit approval. I think the most important thing to remember here is something another photographer, I think it was Chase Jarvis, said (and I’m paraphrasing): Always respect your subject and never present them in a way that would be embarrassing or humiliating.

After the crowds are gone at Pike Place Market, Seattle, USA - Canon 6D, f/2.8, 1/40 s, ISO 2500

After the crowds are gone at Pike Place Market, Seattle, USA
Canon 6D, f/2.8, 1/40 s, ISO 2500

Posted in Black and White, Photography, Seattle, Street Also tagged , |

A Day Out in Manila

This past weekend saw us head out to explore some hidden parts of Manila, including the Quiapo and Divisoria areas. These areas are known for having cheap goods, including grey-market photography equipment and inexpensive eye glasses made while you watch. In Quiapo, optical craftsman were essentially grinding and cutting lenses for new glasses in the street, right next to vendors selling fruits and vegetables. Quiapo, one of the older parts of the city, is full of narrow streets and alleyways, lined with dingy shops, twisting this way and that, while in Divisoria endless street vendors lined the sidewalks and alleys selling cheap clothes, home goods, and useless knickknacks and baubles. At the Quiapo Cathedral, homeless street urchins ran around selling religious trinkets and begging for money from the tourists and the steady stream of prayerful locals coming and going from the cathedral.

These areas can be very busy, crowded, and dirty. The drainage in this part of the city, even more so than other areas, is almost non-existant and even a small rain can cause localized flooding of streets. The drainage that does exist is often choked with trash. While I wouldn’t necessarily say these areas are dangerous, at least during the daytime, they are known for pickpockets, purse snatchers, and bag slashers, so one definitely needs to keep a close eye on personal effects.

But all that is a large part of what makes these places interesting.

Optical Alley - Quiapo, Manila

Optical Alley – Quiapo, Manila

Avoiding the puddle - Divisoria, Manila

Avoiding the puddle – Divisoria, Manila

Roast corn (mais) - Quiapo, Manila

Roast corn (mais) – Quiapo, Manila

Make way! - Divisoria, Manila

Make way! – Divisoria, Manila

Riding through the rain - Quiapo, Manila

Riding through the rain – Quiapo, Manila

Mandarins (ponkan) - Quiapo, Manila

Mandarins (ponkan) – Quiapo, Manila

Hey there! - Quiapo, Manila

Hey there! – Quiapo, Manila


I <3 JC - Quiapo, Manila[/caption] [caption id="attachment_6218" align="aligncenter" width="820"]No one going anywhere - Divisoria, Manila Going home but not going anywhere – Divisoria, Manila

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Posted in Cultural, Philippines, Photography, Travel Also tagged , |


I recently came across Filipino photographer Larry Monserate Piojo. He has some amazing stuff. Check him out.

Today’s Photo

Walking in Tlaxcala, Mexico.


Walking - Tlaxcala, Mexico

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Posted in Mexico, Photography, Travel Also tagged , |

Double Timing (or Enjoying the View)

Today’s Photo

Now, I’m sure none of you have ever done this as you’re walking down the street.

Double Time

Double Time - Sydney, Australia

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Posted in Photography, Sydney, Urban Also tagged , , , |

On the Street Corner

I’ve mentioned before how difficult I find it to be to ask strangers if I can take their photo. Today I came across a post at JPG Mag about Danny Santos II, a photographer in Singapore, who managed to get over his fear of approaching strangers and complete a personal project of photographing 100 strangers on the street. Check out his work; despite his own trepidation, he’s succeeded in getting some great street portraits.

Today’s Photo

In general, I don’t do a lot of street photography. One of these days I do hope to get over my own fear of approaching strangers and completing a similar 100 portraits project. Until then, I’ll just continue with the surreptitious approach to street photography, as seen here on the streets of San Francisco.

On the Street Corner

On the Street Corner

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Posted in Photography, San Francisco, Urban Also tagged , |