A few years back, the ‘WIDE OPEN STREETS WORKSHOP’ trooped to the summer city of Baguio to walk up and down it’s sloping streets and shoot the vibrant and diverse life that it offered. The ‘WOW’ as we fondly call it is a Street Photography workshop that I formed with some friends about six years ago. I have been facilitating the workshop ever since and it is now about to have it’s 48th batch of participants and what better way but to return to the city I have come to love since I was a kid.
The activity in Baguio spurred an exhibit and the following images made it .An eclectic collection of the daily life in the streets of Baguio.
Watch out for the Baguio Workshop Weekend! For those interested, you can register now by emailing me at email@example.com or text and call me +639194852870
After meeting early in Quiapo, the group walked around Sta.Cruz and ended up in Binondo to have a hearty lunch at the photographer’s favourite pokestop, Wai Ying . Needless to say that the place is part of the ritual to taking good street photographs.The following are excerpts from the two-day activity. The workshop aims to enhance the way photographers look for pictures.
Since Street Photography has evolved from the classic to the contemporary form as it is now known, it is then safe to say that the genre is in flux.
The traditional SP that we have come to recognize as leaning on the edge of Art and Documentary is now undergoing a gradual process of transformation. I for one have slowly veered towards injecting my own sensibilities and beliefs into the genre (I call it a genre but is a debatable term). I myself have failed to come up with a definition for Street Photography so whenever I discuss it among my students in the” Wide Open Streets Workshop” or “Wide Open Workshops in Street Photography” I always explain it to them in 1001 different ways evry time.
I started out as a photojournalist shooting general and spot news in the early 80’s and in between these assignments, we fill the gaps by engaging myself in long walks around the city and shoot what was popularly called as ” Human Interest”. An old term for a category that is now known as “Daily Life”. which is a lighter a lighter, feature type of photography showcasing facets of life in the streets. As we know, humans can display a wide variety of notable activity and the photographer has the power to capture them in equally limitless ways. The photographs then become documents of history, social change, and or personal expressions without any public ambitions .
At this point, it is important to also mention that Street Photography has also given birth to different schools of thought and styles…personally, I believe that SP need not be just derivatives of the old and classic images…everyday we must strive to find new imagery and directions. The unbelievable and dizzying surge in digital technology and the real time postings on social media have given birth to the photographers in all of us. We are all photographers now. When we were just starting out, you can even count the practitioners by hand.
Enough with these random ramblings for now..what I am really trying to say is that in my next workshop on August 27-28 2016, I would be trying to discuss how to repurpose Street Photography and veer in different directions.
SP as a tool to record:
Changes in social conditions
an expression of Defianceand orResistance (political or ideological)
Intellectual and pure artistic expression
Critique of society
I am not trying to revolutionize Street Photography but will try to make it more relevant to the change that has been promised by our leaders.
It’s summer again and almost a year after my last entry. Due to pressing personal matters, I have stopped doing workshops on Street Photography for quite a while and a lot of similar workshops have sprouted due to the rapidly expanding numbert of advocates of the Genre. Street Photography is going through a global resurgence. It was almost 4 years ago today when I bravely started a workshop to explore and exlain the dialectics of the street and the nuances of imagery. I was a fan of street photography since I started dabbling in human interest or daily life photography and it was a lonely endeavor because of very few kindred spirits in the local scene.But times have changed…SP forums and groups mushroomed and with it knowledge.Schools of thoughts emerged and knowledge of the genre flowered.
I believe that Street Photography as we know it is in a continuous flux, confusion on what defines it abounds. The question in our minds are “What is Street Photography and what is isn’t?”. In my workshops, we explore it and attack it with an open mind…we follow the path set out by it’s masters but we also try to evolve it in ways that is as dynamic as the life it tries to capture.
For more information on the coming workshops, Please don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I started using my M-mount lenses on the Xpro-1 so I had my 35mm Nokton Classic cleaned and calibrated so I can use it for poor lighting conditions as a normal lens owing to the 1.5 crop on the XPro-1’s APS-C sized sensor.
Whenever I go out hunting for images on the street, I don’t really have a planned theme…Street photography for me is supposed to be spontaneous or unplanned..the fun of it is when moments or a unique vignette of a scene pops out from your visual landscape. Themes and projects are for the photojournalistic side of my brain. Street photography allows me to wear a different hat. to have the luxury of being able to shoot freely and without pressure from paid assignments.
Most of the time, you lose your touch …and that is the main reason why photography has to be a passion, a lifestyle…It is and should be a part of my daily life, otherwise I suffer from a “visual block”.
Today I started out by visiting The San Sebastian church, where i sat down, absorbed the tranquility and began to meditate, to thank God for pulling me out of evry predicament I thought I could not handle. Then I became aware of the surroundings and began to shoot.
When i saw this scene while i was walking to the market yesterday, my thoughts hurled me back to a decorative plate that seemed to be hanging in our small wooden house of my childhood. The words stuck to me forever since my dad made it a point to hide our house key under that small ceramic plate.