Street: BW

Aug 13, 2014
Street (or at least I meant for it to be, not sure it qualifies), night, outdoors
Nikon D610 35mm f2.8 1/250 ISO 3200

1. in what area is critique to be sought?
I suppose I'm really looking for a more philosophical viewpoint. I know this is technically all over the place (but feel free to throw in your thoughts around that too). I am most interested to hear thoughts about whether this qualifies as street, and reasons why or why not.

At the very base of it, does this even qualify as "photography"? I have read so many different viewpoints and witnessed products of both extremes (super processed VS basic processed) that I'm just really confused right now.

2. what one hopes to achieve with the piece of work?
A better clarity of mind.

3. under what circumstance is the picture taken? (physical conditions/emotions)
To be absolutely honest, this was my first street adventure. I would have preferred a day shoot, but cannot spare it on weekdays and was too impatient by Friday. So, as some pros will say - just go out and do it.

It was also a confidence building exercise. I really wanted to get up close with this group (and a more proficient street photog probably would as the uncle in this group was so wonderfully game) so the best I could meekly muster was a steal shot. I wish I could say "Oh this long shot was a totally creative decision" but alas it was not!

This will also explain the composition. I really just wanted to grab and go!

4. what the critique seeker personally thinks of the picture
I found what I thought was a fitting finish for this. It's certainly numbed everything else and brought the focus exactly where I needed it to be. The question is: if I needed so much post-pro to arrive at that point, is that still photography? All thoughts welcomed.

Here's the original for ref / comparison.



New Member
Jun 21, 2010
Firstly, wanna congratulate you for taking the first step, and that is stepping out there in the street to attempt capturing life :thumbsup:

Actually for a person that first started street photography, it will be quite a daunting task to do it in a deserted area alone, where you and your DSLR will definitely stand out among the people. My suggestion will be for you to try out in a more populated area to gain confidence in pointing your camera at people first.

One place that I find is good, especially for start out street photog, will be the stretch of Bugis street, which are full of people. Try pointing your camera close to people, without actually clicking the shutter button. By not clicking, at least if someone confront you, you can confidently say you are not taking their picture and show them the LCD screen. Go for a couple of loops and see how people react (do not point at the stall vendors, that won't be a good gauge for you). Do that until you start to talk to yourself things like, "Why the hell didn't I click? Those people don't bother about me at all." In no time, you will be clicking away.....

As for your photo, personally it did not work because without you mentioning, I doubt the audience can see the waving hand. The original one is better than the processed one. To be frank, put anyone in this scene and it will be pretty tough to come up with something interesting without any interaction with this group, because the scene in itself is not that appealing. I will definitely have skipped this scene as I really don't see anything happening here even if I move in close without interacting with them.

Anyway, it was a good step forward, go out more and experience the people out there.

Aug 13, 2014
Thanks very much for your time and thoughts! Yes SP is daunting and only way to overcome is by constantly "diving back into the mud". But the big challenge in Singapore is something called the "day job". By the time I finish, literally no sun liao. And weekends mostly for family.

But when you love something, you just got to keep pressing on right? Err .. no pun intended heheh.

Yesssss this shot was something of a missed opportunity simply because I was too much of a scaredy cat. And I get what you mean about the original vs the processed.

Thanks for the Bugis recommendation - will take the next couple of hours to mentally rebuild courage lol! Thanks again for your thoughts!


Staff member
Jul 23, 2007
My few cents...

1. Timing - anytime is a good time. After work is fine. Its people and candids after all even after the sun has come down. :D

2. Guts! - I think it usually needs some time to build up. Even for me, some days, I need a couple of minutes (even more) to 'warm up', build the confidence in shooting more aggressively. Other days, I seem to be ready once I get to the spot.
So my suggestion is to shoot more, a just get a bit nearer (all the time being aware ).
You will hit a point where you say "Hey! I took a pict this close and it was 'ok'" and that builds confidence.
Even with each encounter, you build yourself.
At the end of it, you'd think... "Hey! at most delete the photo" "Won't die for it" and that builds your repertoire of responses (and confidence)

3. Location - as suggested by Wolfton, a more crowded place is always a good place to start (and warm up)

4. Picture wise - I think the shot is fine, but for one, you are too shy and a bit far. Its an 'account shot' imo.
Sort of like "This is how it looks in a place in SGP after hours with pre-war shop houses"
I'm fine with that since to me thats a sub genre with street photography too.

5. Post processing - BnW is overdone imo. The thing about approaching PP is that you got to ask yourself what you want to emphasize and what you want to take away.
So with BnW, whats left is the lit up coffee shops and old folks.
I'd have preferred the original shot that had a bit more context and leading lines towards the people in the distance.

All said, being able to post up here is commendable.

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