Street Photography in Singapore


Shooting streets in Singapore produce less stellar result as compared to shooting streets in oversea locations. This is perhaps the general conception that most of us, who shoot and based in Singapore, have in mind. But for me, I tend to disagree with this.

True enough that the public crowd in Singapore could be more sensitive towards cameras pointing at their direction. Perhaps they have more awareness towards terrorism (haha…), or perhaps it’s just the culture and belief they hold true that makes them shy away from camera. But to be honest, it doesn’t necessary means it’s the end of the world. There are still those who don’t mind being photographed in public location. And I believe it’s going to be the same for people from other countries as well. There will always be those who are okay to be photographed and those who will feel offended.

If the subject matter is virtually the same, so why people tend to think that they can produce better street shots oversea? I personally believed it’s because we are all too used to the scene around us. We have been seeing them on daily basis until it became a little “boring” to us. When we travel oversea, everything looks “fresh” to our eyes, this is followed by the idea and inspiration to shoot that new surrounding. So is Singapore boring as a street photography scene? Well, not really. There are those who actively shoot streets in Singapore and yet it makes you feel refreshing over their shots and framing. So it certainly isn’t boring, it’s just that our own mind has blocked the creativity when we labelled the location as “boring” deep within us.

Shooting streets in Singapore can produce results that are equally stellar, if not better, than those shot in overseas. The only limitation is still the photographer. This is just my personal opinion of course. I’m not a street photographer in Singapore, but this is just how I look at this matter. It’s often to hear such remark from fellow photographers, and I got to say I disagree with them. Feel free to comment as usual if you have different thoughts. Till then.

Street Photography and Photographing Street

Recently I have read about people commenting on street photography. The comment goes like “street photography is different from photographing street”. I believe the comment arise from the fact that there are a lot of pictures of empty streets that flood the internet, and a lot of them claimed that those are street photography.

Well, I do shoot a lot of pictures of empty streets and back alleys, mostly for practice purpose on composition and technique. Do I consider them as street photography? Hmm, I’m not very sure. I believe it is important to first understand the definition of street photography, and this is where the variances come in. Everyone defines street photography differently.

I guess we are generally agreeable that the stage for street photography to occur is to be at somewhere public. It can be on the street, at a park, in the museum and etc. The scene that we captured should be spontaneous and not staged, this is another criteria which I believe everyone is agreeable too. And now comes the debating part: is humanity a necessity for street photography?

My opinion is this: humanity is not a necessity, but it really depends on what message you are trying to convey in your picture. If your purpose is to capture a moment of interaction, giving a sense of time and space, perhaps including humanity in your frame will bring a greater impact to the picture. However, if you have a distinctive subject that you would like to emphasize in your picture, then by including human in your picture may distract the viewers.

Well, why do we need to be so critical about these definitions and rules? End of the day, a good picture will still be a good picture, it doesn’t really matter whether it follows the rules and definitions or not. So, let’s just get over it and start shooting. Till then.