Published on: 31st Oct 2017
In fact, even with the above disclaimer, this may still be misleading. You see, I was actually travelling by foot, and the 2 seconds refers to the exposure time of all my photos!
On my previous visit to Shenzhen, Xiaoyi went to English class every afternoon from 2 pm to 5 pm. The first day I went with her to class but quickly realised that my presence in the class is a distraction for her, her classmates as well as the teacher. I then decided to use these afternoons for some "me time".
The golden rule for creative photography is to be familiar with your subject and environment. These afternoons met the criteria and already on the second day, I decided to bring my tripod and ND filters along to explore a different look to this familiar setting.
I tried the 10 stop ND filter but the exposure times were too long. After some experimentation, I found that the ND8 (3 stops reduction in light) resulted in 2-second exposures which give enough blur to the people but not too long in order to still recognise the presence of people.
I know many people think that street photography is only street photography if it is quick and candid, but the truth is that many of the masters of street photography spent a lot of time on their setting, which is exactly what I did with this set of photographs.
The popular definition of Street photography states that "Street photography records un-posed scenes in public places. The primary subject is people and/or symbols of people, at rest or in motion, alone or with others, going about their everyday activities". My photographs record it in that exact way - just in slow motion.
(If you have read up to here and did not click on a photo yet, do so to see them in larger format and also to browse through the rest of this gallery)