ERIC KIM

Capturing the Emotional Connection to People, Places, and
Objects: Interview with Christophe Agou from In-Public | Eric Kim

Christophe Agou is a street photographer from France, currently based in New York. He is a part of In-Public, and his published works include “Life Below: The New York Subway” and his newest book: “LES FAITS SECONDAIRES” (SECONDARY FACTS)…….

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How to Post-Process Your Street Photography into Black & White
in Lightroom 5 and Silver Efex Pro 2 | Eric Kim

My good friend and talented photographer Gary Tyson from F8 Photography in Hong Kong has recently put together a very helpful video on how to convert Fujifilm X-T1 RAW files into black & white with Lightroom 5.4 and Silver Efex Pro 2. If you are unfamiliar with post-processing your street photography into black & white, the instructions is a great starting point for any camera. You can also download my black & white Neopan 1600 for Lightroom here. You can download all my Lightroom presets for free here…….

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Real-World Review of the Fujfilm X-T1 for Street Photography |
Eric Kim

X-T1 vs x100s?

Fuji has been quite prolific with their X-series cameras. There are so many models out there now, it might be difficult to choose an “ideal” camera for street photography. I’d say the only 2 “real” competitors for street photography are the X-T1 and the x100s. Why not the X-Pro 1? Well, it is pretty much like an older version of the X-T1 and has really slow autofocus. I’m going to try to list the pros/cons of the X-T1 and the x100s to help you make a better decision when deciding which one to get:

X-T1 Pros:

  •     Interchangeable lens options
  •     Dedicated ISO dial
  •     Faster / more accurate AF

X-T1 Cons:

  •     No optical viewfinder (if you prefer an optical finder)

x100s Pros:

  •     Smaller form factor
  •     Lighter
  •     Optical viewfinder

x100s Cons:

  •     Slower and less accurate AF
  •     Lack of interchangeable lens (if you like a 35mm focal length, then this isn’t a con)

So pretty much at the end of the day this is how I would make my decision: If you absolutely need an optical viewfinder, get the x100s. Otherwise, I’d get the X-T1. Why? The X-T1 is the newer, slicker, more capable, and powerful camera. Not only that, but the AF is far better in the X-T1 than the x100s. Also you can use different lenses (even manual M-mount lenses), and quickly change the ISO with the top dial…….

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Review of the Fujifilm X-T1 for Street Photography | Eric Kim

When I was here in Dubai for Gulf Photo Plus, the guys from Fujifilm were generous enough to give me a new Fujifilm X-T1, the Fujifilm 23mm f/1.4 (35mm full-frame equivalent), as well as the Fujifilm 27mm f/2.8 Lens (~40mm full-frame equivalent). I shot with it everyday for around a week. Overall I like the camera a lot and would highly recommend it (superb image quality, great form factor, and responsive). Some downsides are that the AF isn’t as accurate and quick as other cameras (like the Olympus OMD)– although it is a huge improvement from the X-Pro 1 and x100s. Hope this improves with future firmware updates…..

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On Failure and Street Photography | Eric Kim

Street photography is all about failure. The failure to have the courage to take that one shot. The failure to capture “the decisive moment.” The failure to get a clean background. The failure to have your subject make eye contact. The failure to move your feet to get a better frame. The failure to get recognition for your work. The failure to have your photo get “explored” on Flickr. Failures upon failures upon failures. I think one of the things that initially drew me to street photography is just how damn hard it is. It was unlike any other form of photography out there. It was so unpredictable. Whereas when I shot landscape, macro, or architecture– I could take however long I wanted, and I had so much in my control. But with street photography, I had to learn to relinquish control to simply “go with the flow.” I couldn’t control the light, control how people looked, the background– all I could control is how well I could move my feet, and click the shutter at what I thought would be the “right” moment…..

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103 Things I’ve Learned About Street Photography | Eric Kim

Over the years, I have learned a lot of lessons about street photography. Below is a compilation of some quotes, thoughts, and philosophies which have influenced me and my street photography. None of my ideas are original – some are based on personal experiences and others are based on ideas I heard from books, lectures, and on the internet. And of course, this is not a definitive list of what you “have to do” in street photography – rather it is some of my personal thoughts ….

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14 Lessons Elliott Erwitt Has Taught Me About Street Photography |
Eric Kim

USA. New York. 2000. © Elliott Erwitt / Magnum Photos

If you are not familiar with the work of Elliott Erwitt, you have definitely seen many of Elliott Erwitt’s iconic work all around the globe. As one of the original Magnum members and former president, he has one of the longest spanning photography careers- spanning over 50 years. What I most appreciate about Elliott Erwitt is his wry sense of humor when looking at the world– as well as his straightforward and nonsensical philosophies about photography. When sharing his thoughts and advice, I think he is one of the most practical and helpful- especially based on his decades of experience. I share some things I personally have learned from him in the article below…..

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10 Lessons Andre Kertesz Has Taught Me About Street Photography |
Eric Kim

Andre Kertesz is one of the greatest photographers who ever lived. He photographed extensively for over 70 years, which also makes him one of the most prolific photographers. Not only did he help pioneer the genre of street photography, he also had a strong impact on an entire generation of photographers – even including the great Henri Cartier-Bresson. When asked about Kertesz, Henri Cartier-Bresson showed his reverence by saying: “We all owe something to Kertesz.” and even “Whatever we have done, Kertesz did first.”  Another famous photographer, Brassai, beautifully captured what made Kertesz so great as a photographer:

“André Kertész has two qualities that are essential for a great photographer: an insatiable curiosity about the world, about people, and about life, and a precise sense of form.” – Brassai

Every street photographer with a desire to learn more about the masters needs to know about Kertesz. I have personally gained a great deal of inspiration from him and will share some insights I have gained from him……

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5 Lessons for Living in Street Photography (and Life) | Eric Kim


….

Recently I wrote an article by Paul Graham titled “The Top of My Todo List” in which he mentioned the article above in how to live a fulfilling life.

He mentioned how we are always so busy and caught up in our to-do lists. He used the article above and used the opposite maxims to create his own list (to prevent regrets in life):

  1. Don’t ignore your dreams
  2. Don’t work too much
  3. Say what you think
  4. Cultivate friendships
  5. Be happy

This made a lot of sense to me– as they gave me direct action steps to prevent regret in my life. And what better mentors to give life advice than the elderly who have already lived their lives–and are ready to pass away?
….

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The Tao of Street Photography | Eric Kim

A fun and uplifting book I recently read was “The Tao of Pooh.” To sum up the book, the author explains the philosophy of Taosim through (believe it not) Winnie the Pooh. Yeah, I know it sounds ridiculous, but the author does a superb job sewing the two concepts together– in a language relatable and easy-to-understand for the viewer. Having grown up on Winnie the Pooh, I can certainly say that it brought the concepts of Taosim to life for me. Similarly to Zen Buddhism, Taoism is a philosophy which was first introduced by Lao Tse in a book called: “Tao Tse Ching.” The philosophy of Taoism advocates staying calm and happy in all circumstances, no matter how difficult or arduous the outside world can be.

So what is the difference between Buddhism and Taosim?

  • Buddhism sees the outside world in a much more negative light– describing “the bitter wind of everyday existence.”
  • Taoism sees the world as “…not full of traps, but valuable lessons.” Therefore through Taoism we should appreciate, learn from, and work with whatever happens in everyday life.

A great analogy explained is the analogy of tasting vinegar. Many different people often taste vinegar, and complain of how sour it is and groan. However the Taoist would taste the vinegar and regardless of the taste, still smile. The takeaway idea is that we should turn negatives into positives, regardless of the situation. There are lots of insights I’ve gained through Taosim and especially “The Tao of Pooh” that I can relate back to street photography. Also note I am not an expert on Taosim, so please correct any mistakes I make in the comments below……

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