Monday, July 27, 2009

Chinese Street Photography

Last week I spend two full days in Beijing (Peking). A perfect opportunity to look at one of my favorite Travel photography styles, Street Photography.Dubai Creek Street Photograph/y

What exactly is Street Photography? It is something we easily throw out there but that we equally struggle with to define. Wikipedia's definition is: a style of documentary photography that features subjects in candid situations in public situations such as streets, parks, beaches, etc... No it doesn't necessarily need to be shot on a street! Probably the most known and important Street Photographer was Henri Cartier-Bresson. A link to his best known work can be found here.

My personal definition of Street Photography is when a photographer tries to capture a daily person(s) life without making them pose and often by shooting candid images. Although not a must, Black and White is well suited for Street Photography, especially when shooting mid-day in harsh light. A large city like Beijing is ideal for this kind of photography.

Street Photography is easy and difficult. Easy because you find your subject virtually everywhere, difficult because the line of only taking snapshots is very thin. A snap-shooter with a Leica is still a snap-shooter.Dubai Creek Street Photography

On the way to the Metro, I bumped into this bicycle repair shop.Street Photography

This female “Street Cleaner” at the entrance of the Forbidden City makes for a great “Street Photography” subject.

.Dubai Creek Street Photography

A mother with 2 kids is taking a break from the July heat and extreme humidity inside the Forbidden City.Dubai Creek Street Photography

Close to entrance of the Great Wall, Badaling, I found this little Chinese boy playing next to an original cannon.Dubai Creek Street Photography

Plastic bottle collectors are very common in busy areas all over China. They survive by collecting as many bottles they can a day and then bring them to a recycle center in exchange for a little bit of money.

Dubai Creek Street Photography

The moment this older bottle collector walked into the Badaling (Great Wall) train station, I knew I was in for some good shots. The expression on his face was just amazing. He managed to find quite a few bottles, some still containing a little bit of fluid, which he quickly drunk. Before walking away, someone gave him a cigarette, which he immediately lighted up. Clearly one of these moments where we feel how lucky we are!

The last three images were not shot by my trusty Nikon D700 but with my compact Canon G9, ideal for the candid work and proof one does not need the most expensive camera to walk away with a good shot! After all, the photographer makes the image not the camera!

Henri Cartier-Bresson once said: “Photographers are like butterflies. They fly from flower to flower”. Be a butterfly!

Happy shooting,


Monday, July 20, 2009

Land of Dragons and Emperors


Off to China tomorrow, so unfortunately I won't be able to post on "Blog Wednesday". Planning to spend 2 full days in Beijing, I'm hoping to come back with some interesting images...

Happy shooting,

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Focus on Architecture

In todays computer digital age it's quite tempting to stop printing your images... Going back to analog photography, I'm sure we all know the nice feeling when picking up some prints from your photolab or even better seeing your own prints develop in the darkroom... Nothing replaces feeling a printed photograph in your hands. You can touch it, see it, even smell it!
In a perfect world, a printed image should be the end result of every digital image. We all know that we don't print enough. This pushed me the work on editing a book with my best Architectural images.
"Focus on Architecture " was born!
The book is edited by Blurb... I know, a strange name for a book editor, but to me Blurb belongs to the top 3 of the self publishing book design companies. Printed on Premium paper the book consists of 80 pages of my Architectural images from around the globe.
You can preview the book by clicking here
Books are available for sale by emailing me on . One can choose between the "Softcover" or the top of the line "Hardcover with image wrap" edition. Both make very nice coffee table books.
In the meantime, I'm also working on "Focus on Aviation" which should be ready for publishing in the last quarter of 2009.

Happy shooting,

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Air-Bus to Malta-Bus

Just South of Sicily are the beautiful islands of Malta and Gozo, forming the country of Malta.

Dubai Creek Dhow building site
End of last week, I spend 24 hrs on the Mediterranean island and came home with some interesting images.
With 300 sqkm it is definitively not the largest European country, but it does offer loads of history and photo opportunities. Most of the shooting was done in the capital, Valleta.

Dubai Creek Dhow building site
The Malta bus system is unique, in a way that all busses are privately owned and maintained. Essentially there is a single operator in Malta,(ATP) running a unified network on contract to the Government.

Dubai Creek Dhow building site
The ATP, or Passenger Transport Association, is a drivers' association running routes on behalf of Malta's Transport Authority (ADT). Individual vehicles are generally owned, maintained and garaged by their drivers, many of whom delight in putting their individual stamp on their buses. Many of the busses have their origins (the chassis at least) in the UK and attract a large following of bus enthusiasts. It's like Bus-spotters paradise!

Dubai Creek Dhow building site
Despite the strong tourist interest, there are some strong rumours that the old busses will soon disappear... Only time will tell!

Dubai Creek Dhow building site
Please check out more images of Malta, by clicking on any of the photos above.

Happy shooting,
Bjorn :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Old & Blue

Dubai is full of contradictions.
Dubai Creek Dhow building site
A few days ago, around sunset time, I packed my camera gear and tripod to shoot at a remote part of Dubai Creek. A place where Arabian Dhows are being made. Dhows are wooden merchant ships which sail to Pakistan, India and Iran. Sails have given way to engines, but these boats are still very active today.
Dubai Creek Dhow building site
Various new developments are pushing the site away, becoming smaller and smaller. Old disused boats are retiring on the side of the creek while the new Dhow projects seem to be quite scarce. Obviously this is a part of Dubai that is becoming extinct to make place for new projects like Business Bay.
The new Blue Business Bay Bridge is the latest of 4 bridges across Dubai Creek and makes quite an interesting photo subject.
Dubai Creek Dhow building site
Just across the Creek is yet another new Dubai Project; Dubai Festival City, two 5-star hotels attached to a huge shopping mall, all facing the waterfront.
Dubai Creek Dhow building site
At the end of the shoot I walk away with mixed feelings... It's great to live in a developing city like Dubai but it's also sad that the art of the centuries old Dhow building is disappearing.

To find more Architectural photos of Dubai, click on any of the photos above.

Happy shooting,