Lack the courage.


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Jul 29, 2009
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#1
Before I got my camera, I have always wanted to embark on several personal projects.
Now I got mine olympus e-510,I look forward to starting on them.
One of these is to document the 'under-society' of Singapore- the aunties and uncles who collect aluminium cans, cardboards, etc. for a living.
Late yesterday night, while taking the bus 969 home, I so happened to stand near this old lady, in her 60s-70s, wearing KFC uniform. Dreary eyes, disheveled hair, she looked tired. Then, I realised that this group of people is also the 'under-society'! The soft, diffused fluorescent lighting on the bus added to the whole emotion of weariness. This is the perfect opportunity!
Just when i wanted to approach her and ask her to talk about her story, no words come out of my mouth. I just stoned there.
'C'mon! I would regret this if I don't talk to her!', I thought to myself. Still, I did nothing.

Now, as a student, I think it is hard for us to approach a stranger and ask them for a snapshot or chat with them. But I have seen some of the wonderful street shots taken by some of the CSer.

How do you guys find the courage to approach them?
 

Oly5050

Senior Member
Feb 1, 2005
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#2
U either have the courage or you dun. No courage, no shot. It is as simple as that. Just take and be prepared to either delete or kena scolded, or give them a small tip, couple of dollars for their time.

Go and look and Adrewine's posts. He is one of the most accomplished photographers that I know, and he uses your setup. Just search Adrewine, A Photo a Day and look at his shots.
 

ManWearPants

Senior Member
Jul 14, 2008
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#3
Are you working on a school project or just want to "stomp" it. Leave these people alone. Life is tough enough as it is. Singapore is a small society. Who wants to be snapped and then be posted as "under society". Actually I don't understand what "under society" stands for. These people form part of our society, not under? I am sure there are other projects you can think of.

If you really want to do a research on them. You may have to find time and patience to befriend them. Just like woo-ing girls. It is always easier to develope starting from offering your friendship first.
 

Jul 29, 2009
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Are you working on a school project or just want to "stomp" it. Leave these people alone. Life is tough enough as it is. Singapore is a small society. Who wants to be snapped and then be posted as "under society". Actually I don't understand what "under society" stands for. These people form part of our society, not under? I am sure there are other projects you can think of.
Nono. It's just a personal project. Well, everyone is part of a society, but some goes hungry. Our society is not as pleasant. I have seen people in their 60s and 70s having to work at Macs just for a living. Some do it for time-killing, some do it for a living. My purpose is simple: I want to understand this people.
Somehow I feel that these people are slipping through the whatever welfare web(we dont) we have.
 

cks2k2

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Feb 12, 2009
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#6
Photography as a social commentary, especially on the "under-society" is always difficult.
You need balls of steel to approach them and take photos that shows their plight without degrading them; not an easy task.

Or get yourself a big-ass telephoto and snipe away.
 

ManWearPants

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Jul 14, 2008
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#7
Nono. It's just a personal project. Well, everyone is part of a society, but some goes hungry. Our society is not as pleasant. I have seen people in their 60s and 70s having to work at Macs just for a living. Some do it for time-killing, some do it for a living. My purpose is simple: I want to understand this people.
Somehow I feel that these people are slipping through the whatever welfare web(we dont) we have.
Good for you to embark on a personal crusade. Are you approaching this from a photography perspective or really want to help these people? You have better chance if you join some voluteer groups and get up close and personal rather than picking your subjects from the street.

Please don't be a papparazi and snipe at unknowing people. It can be embarassing for the family menmbers and friends to see the photos posted somewhere.
 

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monolime

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Mar 13, 2009
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paper.zenfolio.com
#8
if you have the passion, then you will find a way

one way or another
I'll second this :D

If you want to do a project. Do it with your heart. Plan and research beforehand before hitting the streets. Ask questions like what is the project objective, ask questions like how long should I dedicate to this project ( a week? every weekend for 2010?) Before you set out from your door, you should already be ready and determined. If not, don't shoot (or don't start the project half-heartedly). If it's a personal project, the only person you should convince is yourself. If you feel the project is worthy, you will do it regardless of what others say.
 

liveevil

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Jan 10, 2006
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#9
actually if u chat with them u will know that most of them feel alright with their current lifestyle. They certainly dont think they are "under society" or whatever you call it.
 

Rendell

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Aug 2, 2009
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#10
Younger people generally feel that older people who works are poor or whatever so.

But most of the time, older people, are happy when they got things to do and not wasting their time/life at home.

Again different people different perspectives.
 

Sispecho

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Sep 11, 2006
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#11
actually if u chat with them u will know that most of them feel alright with their current lifestyle. They certainly dont think they are "under society" or whatever you call it.
well if you're living in SG, you'll know some are not alright. The elitist nature of our society spares them no welfare. And if you look at the exploitary practices of employers and taking into account of the many people who is in the poverty trap, you'll know what TS is after. There is a conflict between aspirations, dreams, and lived reality, and they rarely get represented. This dont reflect on just the elderly.but to the younger ones too.

Sometimes its difficult to understand them from their perspectives, especially if wee do not hear their story. And that is what the TS is after.
 

Jul 29, 2009
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#12
well if you're living in SG, you'll know some are not alright. The elitist nature of our society spares them no welfare. And if you look at the exploitary practices of employers and taking into account of the many people who is in the poverty trap, you'll know what TS is after. There is a conflict between aspirations, dreams, and lived reality, and they rarely get represented. This dont reflect on just the elderly.but to the younger ones too.

Sometimes its difficult to understand them from their perspectives, especially if wee do not hear their story. And that is what the TS is after.
Thank you sispecho. That's is what I am after. But it is, so far, a personal thing. Who knows? Maybe it will evolve into a VWO on its own. I hope I have not caused too much controversy.
 

giantcanopy

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2007
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#13
actually if u chat with them u will know that most of them feel alright with their current lifestyle.
Agree. Everyone has a tale to tell.
The potential for street photography to be seemlingly intrusive & disrespectful is very real and not every subject will give u the same response, and this will be one thing u have to balance with urself the way you handle. And. respect your subjects.

ryan
 

RezzShaz

New Member
May 5, 2009
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#15
be friendly, get into a short conversation first....might work. but remember "short conversation", else u'll find urself stuck listening to heart wrenching stories....
 

Jul 29, 2009
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#16
ALright, thanks for the advice people. I shall get out and try one day!
 

cabbySHE

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Dec 5, 2008
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#17
If you can speak their tongue, it will certainly be a plus.
 

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