You Shoot Me, I Shoot You

I am getting in love more and more with street photography. There are still lots of things I need to learn and practice about street photography. While there are some basic technical aspects to be aware of, street photography is probably more a way of shooting rather than a genre in photography. You know, shooting landscape and macro photography will require two different techniques and most of the time, two different lenses. But shooting street photography is different. The technique could be perfect, but the outcome may not be interesting. To me, a good street photography need to have the followings:

  • it tells you something, a story or a message either for you or for others who look at the photograph.
  • it may combines elements on the street, be it the people, the buildings, the signs, the colors, etc., and they mix well to create that story. You have to find those elements, anticipate and put them all together when you click the shutter button.

Hence, street photography may not always sharp. It’s forgivable in my opinion, since the main focus is to create a story and to create it fast. Often, it only happens in a split second. Bill Pierce, one of the famous photojournalists, once said “Never ever confuse sharp with good, or you will end up shaving with an ice cream cone and licking a razor blade”.

I don’t claim to be a good street photographer. I am not one. But I do want to practice more to be better. It’s fun to shoot on the street anyway. A lot of my so called street photography are probably more documentary photography rather than street photography.

Confused thinking what type of photography you are doing? Street? Documentary? Don’t bother, just have fun and shoot. Maybe, as you shoot more, you will learn more and will have trained eyes to see a story on the street and quickly capture it. It will evolve. So, just shoot more and have fun!

The above photo was shot with Leica M9 and Zeiss Planar 50mm f/2.

Now .. time to vote again. Have you voted today? If you are new here, this blog has been nominated as one of the 10 Finalists for Singapore Best Photography Blog 2011. Voting is open until July 3. Anyone can vote, including those outside of Singapore. Just register and vote here. Thank you so much for your time.

  • AdityaJuly 6, 2011 - 8:22 pm

    Loved it ..!! You are still @ Banglore ??ReplyCancel

  • Maryann KohJune 25, 2011 - 10:43 pm

    whoa! i love this shot! thanks for sharing your tips on street photography. so what’s the difference between street and documentary hendra?ReplyCancel

    • Hendra LauwJanuary 14, 2016 - 11:37 pm

      Maryann, good question. To me, documentary is a lot more than just shooting on the streets. You can shoot documentary anywhere. I don’t have the textbook answer though. 🙂ReplyCancel

"A photographer and a memory keeper (a.k.a junks collector) who finally decided to quit his day job in 2017 after two decades to focus full time on photography. Check out also his outdoor children, family and pet photography work at

In 2010, this website won the Singapore Best Photography Blog Award."

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