Text & Photographs: Derrick Choo
With my previous post on Japanese street photographer Daido Moriyama, this post extends on the theme of street photography. In October 2010, I visited Hong Kong for a few days with my wife to attend a conference. We extended our stay by 3 days and I shot a little during the times of waiting. Waiting to cross the road, waiting for my wife while she shopped, waiting for the tram/bus/train to come, etc.
This was during the period where I was slowly moving back to shooting good ol’ black and white film after a three year plus hiatus (due to shooting digital exclusively). When I first started shooting film again, I discovered how lazy my shooting had become. While shooting digital, I had gone into the ‘I can always easily crop the image later on during post processing’ mindset. It was a real shock to see how sloppy the framing of my images had become when I got back the first few contact sheets. Since then, I have tried to discipline myself to get the framing right within the viewfinder whenever possible and I think the discipline has definitely been beneficial.
I am more influenced by Magnum photographer Elliot Erwitt when it comes to street photography. His photography is full of humor and decisive moments. Like Erwitt, I personally like using juxtapositions to create contrasts or tension between the subjects/objects that I find within the frame lines of my camera’s viewfinder. Old vs new, perfect vs imperfect, big vs small, alive vs dead, dressed vs undressed, etc. This takes a bit of thought in terms of framing and waiting for the right moment before pressing the shutter. On the other hand, I am also trying to ‘loosen up’ my shooting style much like what I see in the way Moriyama shoots. This ‘loosening’ has also helped me keep my photography fresh and allows me not to take it too seriously, which I feel is a good thing.
Here are a couple of images I shot in Hong Kong while ‘waiting’.
Cameras used: Ricoh GR1v & Contax T