02 2011 by
ON THE STREET
ON THE STREET P04
Ready for Takeoff
P16-21 “Hi my name is Danny, I shoot strangers.”
10 STREET PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS
P32-33 P34-37 Websites
All the World’s a Stage
1) Shutterlicious! 2) Walking in Chinatown
P38 About SMUSAIC
Welcome to our second issue of Darkroom themed ‘On The Street’! Brace yourselves for a journey through the streets of SMU, Singapore and the world. In this issue, we will walk you through the streets of countries around the world through the eyes of SMU globetrotters in Ready for Takeoff. Next, read into the mind of Danny Santos, street photographer extraordinaire, and learn a tip or two on street photography. We will also be showcasing photos from SMUSAIC’s AEIOU Photography Competition, Shutterlicious, and Chinatown events. Finally, visit some street photography websites and check out your friends in our very own SMU Street Style feature.
(From left to right - Honghao, Melvin, Rachel, Jiaming, Steffie and Olivia)
RACHEL (Editor-in-Chief )
Keep Shooting, Keep exploring.
Things to do in this lifetime: go sky-diving, see the Northern Lights and attend a large-scale music festival (think Glastonbury)!
Hopes to go for a night stroll on a snow-laden pavement on Christmas Eve someday.
We hope that you enjoy this issue, and that you will explore the streets of summer with the same awe and wonder we had in preparing this for you :)
And drive down the Great Ocean Road in the Australian summer with the top down.
Love, RACHEL TEO Editor-in-chief
MELVIN (Graphic Designer)
OLIVIA (Creative Director)
Melvin doesn’t actually do proper photography. His best camera is a 3-year-old Sony Cybershot, and his favourite photos are photos of photographers taking photos. Don’t mix around with him.
Photography has allowed Jiaming to explore new perspectives, capture timeless emotions and make the invisible visible. He also indulges in films, music, cycling and enjoys a rich, smooth drink every now and then.
Recently went for her first solo trip (to Poland!) and made new friends along the way. Can’t wait to try out couchsurfing!
Cover photo by Michelle Gwee Lixin
Ready for Takeoff Cross the border, into the big bad world Where it takes you ‘bout an hour just to cross the road Just to stumble across another poor old soul From the dreary old lanes to the high-street madness I fight with my brain to believe my eyes And it’s harder than you think to believe this sadness That creeps up my spine and haunts me through the night
-”These Streets” by Paolo Nutini
Nutini sings a song heavy with fornlornness, of being in a place far away from home surrounded by unfamiliar streets and places. But the myriad of unique sights and sounds synonymous with immersing in a new culture has inspired these intrepid photographers to embrace the unknown and share a glimpse of faraway places so that you, our readers, can share these same experiences – from the comforts of home.
Photo by Charles Teo
ASIA & OCEANIA
Credits 1-3. Charles Teo (Tibet) 4-6. Wan Zhi Kai (Melbourne, Australia)
ASIA & OCEANIA
6 Credits 1. Florence Wang (Tokyo, Japan)
4. Hu Jiaming (Singapore)
2. Lewis Liu (Delhi, India)
5. Kenneth Ong Qing-wen (Cambodia)
3. Nigel Lee Wei Ru (Litang, Tibet)
6. Nguyen Tuyet Minh Trang (Vietnam)
Q Credits 1.
Rafidah Binte Abdul Razak (Paris, France)
Wong Min Yu (Germany)
Qui Jun Fu (Portugal)
Rayner Seah (Oslo, Norway)
Credits 1-5. Michelle Gwee Lixin (Soho, New York) 6.
Wilfred Phua (San Francisco)
Chen Shichang (Times Square, New York)
Hi my name is Danny, I shoot Strangers To Danny Santos, Orchard Road is not just a shopper’s paradise. It’s his canvas. For someone who got his first DSLR just two years ago, his street shots have garnered much attention both locally and abroad. After embarking on projects such as “5 Sec Faces” & “Portraits of Strangers”, he lets us in on some tips to surviving the streets. All you street photography enthusiasts, start taking notes.
Hey Danny! So, word on the street is? Catching the extraordinary out of the ordinary. What sparked your interest in street photography? It’s just so raw and so real. The marvels of daily life are exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street.” (quoting legendary street photographer Robert Doisneau) Don’t people get pissed off when you shoot them? You must have a lot of guts! You’d be surprised, I get scared shitless all the time. I’ve only been confronted once, when I just started out. Since then, I try to be quick and discrete. Recently, I’ve started asking for permission beforehand, especially for close-ups.
What do you do to prepare for your weekend shoots? I just try to condition myself for hard work. Sometimes I go for 3 hours without anything good and it can be pretty exhausting and frustrating. But when you get 2 or 3 keepers, you know it’s all worth it.
And ... your secret to a great portrait? As long as they stand out of the crowd, I start shooting. I’m attracted to subjects that range from the aesthetically beautiful to the strangely wonderful. Oh, and I usually tell my subjects not to smile. I didn’t want the typical snapshot smile in “Portraits of Strangers”, so the key was to make them comfortable about the whole thing and capture them in their ‘natural state’.
Ever thought of venturing beyond street photography? Maybe portraiture? I want to be able to orchestrate a photograph that can capture the subject’s character in one frame, even better if it can tell a story. This is why I did “Portraits of Strangers” – it was my way of transitioning from street photography to portraiture.
Any words of wisdom for budding street photographers out there? Know this: consistency and perseverance will pay off. Doing “Portraits of Strangers” weekend after weekend was not easy, especially when I wanted to create the best portraits out of my subjects.
Text by Steffie Gan. Photography by Danny Santos.
10 STREET PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS Written by Rachel Teo, adapted from Digital Photography
Be Ready Have your camera out and ready to shoot at all times. Things move quickly on the streets – be swift to react before the moment is lost!
Avoid the usual Kodak-moments and get ‘behind the scenes’. Explore back alleys and find beauty in the least likely places.
As street photography is spontaneous and a less formal medium, feel free to experiment with angles.
Off the Beaten
For street photography, this is what it is all about. Pick a time and place that is bustling with activity, and plant yourself in the middle of it all.
Street performers, buskers other street entertainment can be great subject matter on the street.
Be brave and get close to your subject. Although this can be a little confronting, it will produce powerful images.
It’ll make you less obtrusive and you will be able to move around for the best shot quickly.
Location, Location, Location!
Smile, be polite and be willing to delete images if people protest.
Practice makes Perfect
With practice, you will be more attuned to spotting things to focus on the street.
a Lens Play around with lenses to produce an exaggerated perspective. Use a wide-angle lens (or even a fisheye).
A E I O U
: A viewpoint; standpoint.
1. Nicholas Szeto Jiahui (winner) 2. Steffie Gan Shushan 3. Loh Kaiqing
4. Karen Tse 5. Wan Zhi Kai 6. Tan Qing Hui
the photographer 3
for Out of focus
Over five weeks last term, SMU cultivated five simple vowels into a breathtaking bloom of beauty, creativity and meaning. We hope you enjoy this collection of photos which explore the themes: ‘Angle’, ‘Exposure’, ‘I (the Photographer)’, ‘Out of Focus’ and ‘Umbra’.
I (The Photographer)
: the act of presenting a photosensitive surface to rays of light.
: a person who takes photographs, either as a hobby or a profession.
7. Yee Kuan Fu (winner)
13. Liu Yuhong
8. Charles Teo Cheng Chuan
14. Chua Chang Loong 15. Eugene Tan Zhi Han
9. Arthur Khoo Hui Sheng
16. Kendrick Chia Yao An
10. Clara Tan May Ting
17. Zulfadhli Hilmi Bin Mohamad (winner)
11. Clarence Lau Mung Wai 12. Gaelan Gu Jiahao
Out of Focus
: not clearly seen by the eye or through a lens.
: Shade; shadow.
19 23. Matthew Chay Ziyan 24. Clara Tan May Ting 25. Benjamin Ang Ming Teck (winner)
20 18. Rayner Seah
21. Wong Kim Fay
19. Matthew Chay Ziyan (winner 1)
22. Ng Li Tying (winner 2)
26. Kendrick Chia Yao An
20. Elaine Gay Siok Khim
Shutterlicious! A quiet and seemingly lifeless seminar room turned into something very different one Friday afternoon. SMUSAIC’s food photography event, Shutterlicious, filled the room with endless chatter, and a plethora of colours and fun. The event started off with basic photography tips on colour, food styling and lighting. It was not long before everyone got themselves busy by picking up cutlery, accessories and food subjects when the practical session began. With a couple of lights, reflectors and interesting paper as backdrops, the images of the delicious food turned out decently. At the end of the session, participants had their mission accomplished - journeying home, tummies filled with good food and cameras loaded with great pictures. Text by: Hu Jiaming Photography: Ng Li Tying, Hu Jiaming, Bevan Tan
Walking in Chinatown In February there is one street to be; Smith, Temple and Cross. Okay, that’s three. But it’s hard to describe Chinatown during the Lunar New Year in just one word. Just as it’s hard to capture the sights and sounds with just one camera. As you’re engulfed by the horde of people, inching your way slowly through the crowd trying hard not to get your feet treaded upon - to whip out your chunky DSLR is one mean feat. Lest in one swift move to catch the man with the pink balloons before he slips out of sight. But some at SMUSAIC’s Chinatown Walkabout were lucky (or swift) enough to capture Spring in Chinatown at the peak of its blossom. Text by Steffi Gan Photography by Tim Foo, Hu Jiaming, Ngo Bang Lin and Kim Wong
Websites Text by Rachel Teo
In this candid collection of black and white photographs, Juan Buhler captures emotions of sadness, joy, and loneliness in the city.
50mm brings you right to the heart of Tokyo, navigating the nooks and crannies of Japanese city life, and exposing feelings of isolation and abandonment.
The godfather of all street style blogs, The Sartorialist only features the most stylish of our species. It has been named one of Time Magazine’s Top 100 Design Influences.
Experience encounters with the strange and the beautiful through this Parisan-blogger’s Leica M9.
Markus Hartel documents everyday people in the urban jungle with his camera. He roams the streets for hours, always longing for the next great photograph.
Learn everything about Street Photography 101 from Los Angeles photographer Eric Kim.
Singapore’s answer to The Sartorialist, La Mode Outré features stylish people off the streets of our little island.
All the World’s a Stage We roamed the streets of our very own SMU campus and spotted these fashionable individuals! Stopping them right in their tracks, we asked them more about their outfit and what they think of SMU street style. Now be sure to dress well in school from now on - you’ll never know when you’ll be spotted!
Jiaxuan (left) & Mingxin
Emily (left) & Zara
Shiyun (left) & Jesslyn
Jiaxuan: Top by Forever 21. Shirt by Topshop. Shoes by New Look. Mingxin: Vest by Forever 21 Heritage 1981. Shoes from Far East. Top by New Look. Accessories by Diva
Emily: Top by Uniqlo. Necklace by Forever 21. Skirt by H&M. Bag by Accessorize. Shoes by Charles and Keith. Zara: Top by H&M. Playsuit by ASOS. Shoes by Zara. Belt by Springfield.
Shiyun: Top by T-Bar at ION Orchard. Cardigan from an online store. Leggings by Cotton On. Sandals: from a flea market. Jesslyn: Top by MNG. Skirt from Hong Kong. Cardigan by Zara Shoes by Tangs Studio. Bangle from NAFA’s flea market.
What do you think of SMU’s style? Jiaxuan: Each individual is unique and posses their own style. Most importantly, just have confidence in yourself and you will look great! Mingxin: Stylish and trendy, even though its casual. Since our school’s within town area, you’ll never know when you might need to head to town after school!
What do you think of SMU’s style? Emily: We definitely have the most street cred amongst the local universities, but most of us stick to tried-and-tested style combinations. It’d be great if we were more adventurous! Zara: Most dress for comfort but do it without compromising on style. I credit that to our location in the heart of town!
What do you think of SMU’s style? Shiyun: Without the need to stay in hostels, there’s no excuse for us SMU students to not dress up. Certainly, there’s no limitation to the styles inspired! Jesslyn: Life is SMU is stressful and students spend long hours in school. So, I guess SMU students dress tend to dress more for comfort than style.
Jacket by Zara. Top by Muji. Shorts by Mango. Shoes by Dr Martens.
Top from Thailand. Jeans by H&M. Vest by Topman. Shoes by Sperry.
Top by Club Marc. Jeans by Ted Baker.Shoes by River Island. Bag by Urban Outfitters.
What do you think of SMU’s style? We are ambassadors of our school, so I think that people in SMU should make an effort to at least dress presentably.
What do you think of SMU’s style? Given the nature of its (Management) courses and splendid location, SMU students always make sure they look good for any events. (Rule of Thumb: No pajamas)
Edmund Gair Top by Raf Simon Fred Perry. Bottom by Versace VJC Jeans. Shoe by Toms Shoe. Bag by Jack Spade. Watch by Ben Sherman. What do you think of SMU’s style? They are all pretty cool!
What do you think of SMU’s style? Generally, SMU students are more well-dressed than the other university students. However, I guess most students wear what they are comfortable in.
Jacket by Furrmuse. Top from Hong Kong. Jeans by Topman. Shoes by Bally.
Jacket by Zara. Top by Topman. Bottoms by Furrmuse. Shoes by Apache.
What do you think of SMU’s style? Not bad, I think cos we’re in town.
What do you think of SMU’s style? Location of SMU influenced our dressing! Definitely the best-dressing universities in town! (pun-intended)
About SMUSAIC & Drycab
Photography captures both the visible and invisible, spans the entirety of realsmu.photography ity and fantasy, and engages emotions and logic all at once. We believe that the pursuit of photographic excellence need not, and should not, occur in a vacuum. We understand that there is much to gain from the collective creative energy and exploration as a team.
SMUSAIC is many things to many people. It is the eyes and brains of a critical but supportive and nurturing entity; it is a source of confidence to take on our dreams; it is the stretch we need for our personal abilities and boundaries. Since our formation in the early days of SMU, we have remained committed to promoting photographic literacy, passion and appreciation. Through a wide variety of events, we seek to provoke and inspire styles, visions and purpose in photography. Our activities stretch over a medley of photography styles, from studio and street to photojournalism and portraiture. All this is possible only with the commitment and contribution of an inspired team.
7 SMUSAIC As SMUSAICâ€™s very own photographic studio, DryCab is the all-important nexus of all our creative efforts. We play photographic mad-scientists to sharpen our understanding of colour and light and the absence of both; we plan experimental field-trips as students and mentors alike; we dream up collaborative projects within and beyond our club. You are warmly welcome to join us in our experiments and events!
OPEN CALL We hope you enjoyed this second issue of Darkroom as much as we enjoyed producing it!
As we step into our third issue, we want YOU to be involved too! We are currently looking for talented individuals with a passion for publishing to join us in our next issue! If you have this very passion, contact us NOW at firstname.lastname@example.org!
SMUSAIC is proud to present the 2nd edition of Darkroom, On The Street, a photography magazine dedicated to all SMU students. In this issue...