Cropping in post-processing acceptable or not?

pictures, photography, opinons, thoughts, public, processing, street

Hi everyone! Welcome to my blog where I share my passion for street photography and tips on how to improve your skills. Today I want to talk about a topic that is often debated among street photographers: is cropping in post-processing acceptable or not?

Some people might argue that cropping in post-processing is cheating, that it alters the original composition and vision of the photographer, and that it shows a lack of skill and planning. They might say that a true street photographer should be able to capture the decisive moment with the right framing and perspective, without relying on editing software to fix their mistakes.

Others might disagree and say that cropping in post-processing is a creative tool, that it allows the photographer to enhance their images and express their artistic vision, and that it shows a willingness to experiment and learn. They might say that a true street photographer should be open to new possibilities and techniques, without being constrained by rigid rules and dogmas.

So, who is right and who is wrong? Well, in my opinion, there is no definitive answer to this question. Street photography is a form of art, and art is subjective. What works for one photographer might not work for another. What appeals to one audience might not appeal to another. What matters is that you are happy with your images and that they reflect your personal style and message.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with cropping in post-processing, as long as it doesn’t change the essence and meaning of the image. Sometimes I crop my images to remove distracting elements, to improve the balance and harmony of the composition, or to emphasize the main subject or emotion. Sometimes I don’t crop my images at all, because I like them as they are. It depends on each image and what I want to achieve with it.

I think that cropping in post-processing is acceptable in street photography, as long as it is done with intention and purpose, not with laziness and carelessness. I think that cropping in post-processing is a skill that can be learned and improved, not a shortcut that can be abused and overused. I think that cropping in post-processing is a matter of personal preference and taste, not a matter of right or wrong.

What do you think? Do you crop your images in post-processing or not? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments below. And don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for more street photography content. Thanks for reading and happy shooting!

Fanboys and Fujifilm

cambodia, cameras, film, Fujichrome, fujifilm, opinons, thoughts, photography, pictures, street, Travel

Hello, fellow photography enthusiasts! Today, I want to talk about a phenomenon that has been sweeping the photography world for the last few years: the Fujifilm craze and fanboys.

You know what I’m talking about. Those people who swear by their Fujifilm cameras and lenses, who rave about the colours, the ergonomics, the film simulations, the retro design, and the overall experience of shooting with Fuji. They are everywhere: on social media, on forums, on YouTube, on blogs, and even in real life. They are passionate, loyal, and sometimes a bit defensive. They are the Fuji FanBoys (and girls).

Now, before you accuse me of being a hater or a troll, let me make one thing clear: I have nothing against Fujifilm or its users. In fact, I own a Fujifilm X-T3 myself and a few other Fuji cameras and lenses, and I love them. It’s a great camera that delivers excellent image quality, performance, and usability. It’s fun to use and it inspires me to be creative. I also appreciate Fujifilm’s dedication to innovation and customer service. They are constantly updating their firmware, adding new features and improving existing ones. They also listen to feedback and suggestions from their users and implement them in their products.

So why am I writing this blog post? Well, because I think there is a difference between being a fan and being a fanboy/girl. A fan is someone who likes something and enjoys it. A fanboy/girl is someone who likes something and thinks it’s the best thing ever. A fan is open-minded and respectful of other opinions. A fanboy/girl is closed-minded and dismissive of other perspectives. A fan is willing to admit flaws and limitations. A fanboy is blind to faults and exaggerations.

Don’t get me wrong: there is nothing wrong with being enthusiastic about something you love. But when that enthusiasm turns into obsession, bias, or arrogance, then it becomes a problem. And that’s what I see happening with some of the Fuji FanBoys out there. They are so obsessed with their Fujifilm gear that they can’t see anything else. They are so biased that they ignore or downplay the advantages of other brands or systems. They are so arrogant that they mock or insult anyone who dares to disagree with them or choose something different.

This kind of behaviour is not only annoying but also harmful. It creates unnecessary division and hostility among photographers who should be united by their passion for the art and craft of photography. It also limits one’s own growth and learning as a photographer by shutting out other possibilities and perspectives. And it ultimately undermines one’s credibility and reputation as a photographer by making one look like a fanatic or a shill.

So what can we do about this? Well, first of all, we can be more aware of our own biases and preferences. We can acknowledge that we like Fujifilm for certain reasons, but that doesn’t mean that Fujifilm is perfect or superior to everything else. We can recognize that other brands and systems have their own strengths and weaknesses and that they may suit different needs and tastes better than Fujifilm. We can respect other people’s choices and opinions, even if they differ from ours.

Secondly, we can be more curious and open-minded about other options and opportunities. We can try out different cameras and lenses from different brands and systems, either by renting them, borrowing them from friends, or visiting a store. We can learn from other photographers who use different gear than us, either by reading their reviews, watching their videos, or following their work. We can experiment with different styles and genres of photography that may challenge us or inspire us.

Thirdly, we can be more humble and honest about our own skills and abilities. We can admit that we are not experts or masters of photography just because we use Fujifilm gear. We can acknowledge that we still have a lot to learn and improve as photographers, regardless of what camera or lens we use. We can focus more on our vision and creativity than on our gear and specs.

In conclusion, I want to say that I’m not trying to bash or offend anyone who loves Fujifilm gear. I’m just trying to share my perspective on how we can be better photographers and better people by being more balanced and reasonable in our fandom. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and found it useful or interesting. If you agree or disagree with me, feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

Until next time.

Back button AF

cambodia, cameras, fujifilm, Lenses, opinons, thoughts, photography, pictures, public, street, Travel

Using the back button AF is a technique that allows you to focus on your subject without having to press the shutter button halfway. It involves assigning a different button on the back of your camera to activate the autofocus system, instead of using the shutter button. Normally, when you press the shutter button halfway, you activate the autofocus system and lock the focus on your subject. When you press it fully, you take the picture. However, if you move your camera after locking the focus, or if your subject moves, you may lose focus and end up with a blurry image. By using a separate button for focusing, you can avoid this problem and have more control over when and where to focus. This way, you can lock the focus on your subject and recompose the frame without losing focus. Using back button AF can be useful for situations where you want to have more control over the focus point, or when you are shooting moving subjects and want to track them continuously. Some of the benefits of using back button AF are:

  • You can avoid accidental refocusing when you press the shutter button fully.
  • You can switch between single and continuous autofocus modes without changing the settings on your camera.
  • You can prevent focus hunting when shooting in low light or low contrast scenes.
  • You can use manual focus and autofocus interchangeably without switching modes.

To use the back button AF, you need to assign a button on the back of your camera to activate the autofocus system. The exact procedure may vary depending on your camera model, but generally, you can find it in the custom functions menu. Once you have assigned the button, you need to disable the autofocus function from the shutter button. This way, the shutter button will only be used to take the picture, and the back button will be used to focus. To use the back button AF, you simply press and hold the back button to focus on your subject, and then release it when you have achieved focus. You can then recompose the frame and press the shutter button to take the picture.

Is being able to shoot manually a real requirement

cambodia, cameras, Lenses, opinons, thoughts, photography, pictures, street, Travel

Do I have to learn to shoot manually before I can consider myself a photographer? That’s like asking if I have to learn how to drive a stick before I can consider myself a driver. Sure, it might make you feel more in control and impress some people, but it’s not a requirement. There are plenty of amazing photographers who use auto mode and still capture stunning images. Manual mode is just a tool, not a badge of honour. It can help you in some situations, but it can also hinder you in others. The most important thing is to know your camera, your subject, and your vision. And to have fun, of course. Photography is supposed to be fun, not stressful. So don’t worry about what other people think or what mode you use. Just go out there and shoot!

One of the best ways to capture stunning portraits is to use the aperture priority mode on your camera. This mode allows you to adjust the depth of field, which is how much of the scene is in focus. By using a large aperture (a small f-number), you can create a shallow depth of field that blurs the background and makes the person stand out. This way, you can emphasize their facial features, expressions, and emotions. Aperture priority mode is great for people’s pictures because it lets you focus on the person without worrying about other settings. You can simply point and shoot, and let the camera do the rest. Aperture priority mode gives you more creative control and flexibility than auto mode and helps you achieve professional-looking results with ease. Whatever mode you use its is just a tool to help you get the picture you see.

The Fujifilm X100

cameras, Fujichrome, fujifilm, opinons, thoughts, photography, pictures, street, Travel

Back in September 2010, Fujifilm unveiled the prototype of its new flagship compact camera. The styling was reminiscent of an old rangefinder, while internally it was said to feature an APS-C-size sensor. This combination of classic looks and potential for DSLR-quality images was a surefire winner, and without knowing much more photo enthusiasts the world over needed one. Natural comparisons can be made between the Fuji FinePix X100 and the Leica X1, and even the M9, although it is also worth noting its features and performance against the recent spate of compact system cameras (CSCs), particularly the APS-C-format models from Samsung and Sony.

Aside from its looks, the Fuji FinePix X100 had plenty to please the photo enthusiast, from the Fujifilm-branded film effects to the hybrid viewfinder with the impressive-sounding, reverse-Galilean optical viewfinder, capable of either a full electronic or a standard optical view.

There is also the new combination of high-sensitivity CMOS sensor and EXR processor to consider that, with the fixed-focal-length lens, should be able to produce impressive results in terms of resolution, sensitivity and dynamic range.

The X100 is a popular camera model that offers high-quality images and a sleek design. However, some users have reported slow focusing problems with their X100 cameras, especially in low-light situations. This can be frustrating and affect the performance of the camera.

The main cause of the slow focusing problems is the contrast-detection autofocus system that the X100 uses. Contrast-detection autofocus works by measuring the contrast of the image on the sensor and adjusting the focus until the contrast is maximized. This method is accurate but slow, especially when there is not enough contrast in the scene. Contrast-detection autofocus also struggles with moving subjects, as it has to constantly refocus to keep up with the motion.

There are a few ways to fix the slow-focusing problems on the X100. One option is to use manual focus instead of autofocus. Manual focus allows you to adjust the focus manually using the focus ring on the lens or the focus lever on the back of the camera. Manual focus gives you more control and precision over the focus, but it also requires more skill and practice. You can use the focus peaking feature or the magnification feature to help you achieve sharp focus.

Another option is to use zone focusing instead of autofocus. Zone focusing is a technique where you pre-set the focus distance and aperture to cover a certain range of distances in front of the camera. For example, if you set the focus distance to 3 meters and the aperture to f/8, everything between 2 and 5 meters will be in focus. Zone focusing works well for street photography or situations where you don’t have time to adjust the focus for each shot. You can use the distance scale on the lens or on the screen to help you set the zone.

A third option is to update the firmware of your X100 camera. Firmware is the software that controls how your camera operates. Sometimes, firmware updates can improve the performance and functionality of your camera, including the autofocus speed and accuracy. You can check if there is a firmware update available for your X100 camera by visiting the official website of Fujifilm and following the instructions there.

The X100 is a great camera that can produce stunning images, but it also has some limitations that can affect its usability. By understanding what causes the slow focusing problems and how to fix them, you can enjoy your X100 camera more and take better photos.

If you’re looking for a camera that can fit in your pocket, take stunning photos, and make you look like a hipster, you might be tempted by the Fuji X100. This little gem has been around for a decade, and it still holds up as a great choice for enthusiasts and professionals alike. But don’t be fooled by its retro charm and simplicity. The X100 is not a camera for beginners. It has a fixed lens, a quirky autofocus system, and a steep learning curve. You’ll need to master the basics of exposure, composition, and manual controls before you can unleash its full potential. And even then, you might find yourself frustrated by its limitations and quirks. The X100 is not a camera that will hold your hand and do everything for you. It’s a camera that will challenge you, inspire you, and reward you with amazing images. But only if you’re willing to put in the work and embrace its flaws. So if you’re looking for a fun and easy way to snap some pictures, the X100 is not for you. But if you’re looking for a camera that will make you a better photographer, and make you laugh along the way, the X100 might be your perfect companion.

The Fuji 27mm f2.8 (first version)

cambodia, cameras, Fujichrome, fujifilm, Lenses, opinons, thoughts, photography, pictures, street, Travel

If you are looking for a versatile and compact lens to pair with your X Pro3, you can’t go wrong with the Fujifilm 27mm f2.8. This lens is a gem for general and street photography, as it offers a fast aperture, sharp image quality, and a lightweight design. The 27mm focal length is equivalent to 41mm on a full-frame sensor, which is close to the classic 35mm field of view many photographers love. It allows you to capture many scenes, from landscapes to portraits, without distortion or cropping. The f2.8 aperture lets you shoot in low-light conditions and create beautiful bokeh effects. The lens also has a quick and silent autofocus system that works well with the X Pro3’s hybrid viewfinder. The best part is that the lens is so tiny and light that you can easily carry it around in your pocket or bag. It barely adds any bulk to the X Pro3’s sleek and retro body. The Fujifilm 27mm f2.8 is a great lens for anyone who wants to enjoy the simplicity and creativity of photography with the X Pro3.

I have owned it for quite a while but never really used the Fujifilm 27mm f2.8 lens until recently, and I have to say I’m blown away by its performance! It’s so compact and lightweight, yet it delivers sharp and crisp images with beautiful colours and contrast. It’s perfect for street photography, landscapes, and portraits. It has a fast autofocus and a smooth aperture ring that lets me control the depth of field easily. I love how it makes my camera look sleek and discreet, and how it fits in my pocket when I’m on the go. This lens is a gem and I’m so glad I finally gave it a chance!

Restricted on face book

cambodia, opinons, thoughts, photography, pictures, public, street

My account has been restricted on FB for 2 days for displaying this picture which they say goes against FB rules

How anyone could find this image to be offensive or sexual in any way is certainly beyond me.

Covering Local Political Events in Cambodia

cambodia, conflict, opinons, thoughts, photography, pictures, street, Travel, voluntary

Covering local political events and taking pictures in Cambodia can be a risky activity for journalists and photographers. Cambodia has a history of political violence, repression and censorship. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Cambodia ranks 144th out of 180 countries in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index. The CPJ also reports that at least 13 journalists have been killed in Cambodia since 1994, most of them while covering political or environmental issues.

In addition, many journalists and media outlets have faced harassment, intimidation, lawsuits, arrests and closures for criticizing the government or exposing corruption.

Therefore, anyone who wants to cover local political events and take pictures in Cambodia should be aware of the potential dangers and take precautions to protect themselves and their sources. Some of the tips that CPJ recommends are:

– Research the political and security situation in the areas you plan to visit and avoid areas with active conflicts or protests.

– Carry a press card or accreditation from a reputable media organization and show it only when necessary.

– Use encrypted communication tools and secure storage devices to protect your data and contacts.

– Be discreet and respectful when taking pictures and avoid drawing attention to yourself or your equipment.

– Seek permission from local authorities or community leaders before entering sensitive areas or interviewing people.

– Be prepared to delete or hide your pictures if you are stopped or searched by security forces or hostile groups.

– Have an emergency plan and contact person in case you are detained, injured or threatened.

Covering local political events and taking pictures in Cambodia can be a rewarding and challenging experience for journalists and photographers who want to document the realities and stories of this Southeast Asian country. However, it can also be a dangerous activity that requires caution, preparation and professionalism.

I have always been passionate about covering local political events and taking pictures in Cambodia. I believe that journalism is a powerful tool to inform the public and hold the authorities accountable. That is why I decided to pursue this career despite the risks and challenges involved.

Cambodia is a country that has been struggling with political repression, human rights violations, and social unrest for decades. The ruling party, the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), has been in power since 1985 and has eliminated any meaningful opposition or dissent. The 2018 elections were widely criticized as a sham, as the main opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), was banned by the Supreme Court in 2017. The CPP won all 125 seats in the National Assembly, effectively turning Cambodia into a one-party state.

As a journalist, I face many dangers and difficulties in reporting on the political situation in Cambodia. The government has enacted draconian laws that restrict freedom of expression, assembly, and association. The media is tightly controlled by the state or by CPP-aligned tycoons. Independent journalists and activists are often harassed, intimidated, arrested, or even killed for exposing corruption, human rights abuses, or environmental issues. The Covid-19 pandemic has been used as a pretext to further crackdown on dissent and criticism.

Despite these challenges, I am determined to continue my work and document the realities of Cambodia. I use my camera as a means to capture the stories of ordinary people who suffer from poverty, injustice, and oppression. I also use my pen as a voice to advocate for democracy, human rights, and social change. I hope that my work can inspire others to join me in a better future for Cambodia.

Cambodian Labour Day 2023

cambodia, conflict, opinons, thoughts, photography, pictures, street

On May 1st, 2023, hundreds of Cambodian workers took to the streets to mark Labour Day and demanded better working conditions and higher wages. The demonstrations were peaceful and well-organized, with no reports of violence or clashes with the authorities. The protesters carried banners and placards with slogans such as “Workers are not slaves”, “We deserve a living wage”, and “Respect our rights”. They also sang songs and chanted slogans in Khmer and English, expressing their solidarity and determination.

The demonstrations were part of a nationwide campaign by the Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC), the largest independent trade union in the country. The CLC represents workers from various sectors, including garment, construction, tourism, and agriculture. The CLC has been advocating for a minimum wage increase from $192 to $250 per month, as well as improved health and safety standards, social protection, and freedom of association. The CLC claims that the current minimum wage is insufficient to cover the basic needs of workers and their families, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the rising cost of living.

The demonstrations were also supported by other civil society groups, human rights organizations, and opposition parties. They called on the government to respect the rights of workers and engage in dialogue with the unions. They also urged the international community to pressure the Cambodian government to uphold its obligations under the International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions and other human rights treaties.

The Cambodian government has not responded to the workers’ demands and has maintained tight control over the labour movement. The government has been accused of cracking down on unions and activists, restricting their freedom of expression and assembly, and using legal threats and intimidation to silence dissent. The government has also been criticized for failing to protect workers from exploitation, abuse, and discrimination by employers and foreign investors.

The Cambodian Labour Day demonstrations were a sign of the growing discontent and frustration among the working class in Cambodia. They also showed the strength and resilience of the labour movement in the face of repression and hardship. The workers vowed to continue their struggle until their demands are met and their dignity is restored.

***Rising costs and static wages are causing the ordinary working population to struggle in Cambodia. This means that the prices of goods and services are increasing faster than the income of most people, especially those who work in the garment, textile, and footwear industries. These industries are vital to Cambodia’s economy, as they account for some 80 per cent of total exports and employ over 700,000 workers. However, the workers in these industries only receive a minimum wage of US$194 per month for regular workers and US$192 per month for probationary workers. This is barely enough to cover their basic needs, such as food, transportation, accommodation, and health care. Moreover, the minimum wage has only increased by US$10 in three years, while inflation and living expenses have risen faster. The government has tried to balance the interests of the workers and the employers, but many workers are still dissatisfied with their low wages and poor working conditions. They demanded a higher minimum wage of US$204 per month, but this was rejected by the government. The workers have also faced challenges from the withdrawal of Cambodia’s partial ‘Everything but Arms’ status by the European Union, which gave the country duty-free access to EU markets. This has reduced the demand for Cambodian exports and threatened the jobs of many workers. Therefore, rising costs and static wages are creating a lot of hardship and discontent among the ordinary working population in Cambodia.***

“It’s not fair that we work so hard to make clothes, shoes, and other products for the Western markets, but we barely get enough money to survive. The companies that sell our goods charge high prices to their customers, but they pay us very low wages. They don’t care about our health, safety, or dignity. They only care about their profits. We deserve better than this. We deserve to have a decent living standard, to have access to education and health care, and to have a voice in our workplaces. We are not machines. We are human beings”. Anonymous quote

How do you define a street portrait?

homelessness, opinons, thoughts, photography, pictures, public, street, Travel

A street portrait is a type of photography that captures a person or a group of people in a public place, such as a street, a park, a market, or a subway station. Unlike studio portraits, street portraits are not staged or posed, but rather spontaneous and candid. They aim to capture the essence and personality of the subject, as well as the mood and atmosphere of the location.

Street portraits can be challenging but rewarding for photographers who want to explore the diversity and complexity of human life in different environments. They require a combination of technical skills, artistic vision, and social skills. Here are some tips on how to define and create your own street portraits:

  • Find your style. There is no single definition or rule for what makes a good street portrait. Some photographers prefer to shoot close-ups with shallow depth of field, while others like to include more context and background in their shots. Some photographers use flash or artificial light, while others rely on natural light and shadows. Some photographers ask for permission from their subjects, while others shoot discreetly without being noticed. You have to find your own style and preferences that suit your personality and goals.
  • Choose your location. The location of your street portrait can have a significant impact on the final result. You should look for places that have interesting people, colours, textures, patterns, or contrasts. You should also consider the lighting conditions, the time of day, and the weather. You can scout for locations beforehand or improvise on the spot. You can also revisit the same location at different times to see how it changes.
  • Approach your subject. One of the most difficult aspects of street portrait photography is approaching your subject. You have to decide whether you want to ask for permission or not, and how to do it in a respectful and friendly way. You also have to deal with possible rejections or objections from your subject or bystanders. You should always respect the privacy and dignity of your subject, and never force or harass them to pose for you. You should also be aware of the cultural and legal norms of the place you are shooting in.
  • Interact with your subject. Another challenge of street portrait photography is interacting with your subject. You have to decide how much direction or guidance you want to give them, and how to make them feel comfortable and relaxed in front of your camera. You can try to establish rapport with them by talking to them, complimenting them, or making jokes. You can also let them be themselves and capture their natural expressions and gestures. You should always be polite and grateful for their cooperation, and show them the results if possible.
  • Edit your photos. The final step of street portrait photography is editing your photos. You have to select the best shots from your session and enhance them with post-processing tools. You can adjust the exposure, contrast, colour, sharpness, cropping, and other parameters according to your taste and style. You can also apply filters or presets to create a consistent look for your street portraits. You should always keep in mind the original intention and message of your photos, and avoid over-editing them.