Changi Airport Street Photography Experiments by Mobile
I think in last few years Changi Airport Singapore has been my most frequented International Airport, not counting my home base the T3 of Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. I like Changi Airport a lot and I once actually spent a day exploring Changi Airport as part of a treasure hunt. But even before that also I have always enjoyed visiting Changi Airport. This time when I had a few hours to spend at Changi airport besides my usual places to visit there like the Butterfly Garden & Cactus Garden, that I love to visit at Changi Airport. In this last visit to Changi, I also decided to do some casual street photography at the Changi Airport. One of the good things about Changi Airport is that it is always full of action and people are moving around from one terminal to another, taking escalators, getting down from the Skytrain and shopping at the Changi Airport.
My cheap Chinese mobile phone came in handy and I randomly clicked pictures, that may or may not be considered Street Photography. While I did click pictures at the gardens of Changi I also decided to do some casual street photography at the Changi Airport. One of the good things about Changi Airport is that it is always full of action and people are moving around from one terminal to another, taking escalators, getting down from the Skytrain and shopping at the Changi Airport.
Now the purist may scoff at my pictures and say that they are not at all street photography as they were taken inside an Airport, so all I want to say to them is ” OK baba they are not pure street photography pictures but remember we are not breeding race horses here that perfect genetics are required, we are talking some randomly clicked pictures, that I would love to classify as street photography.
What Is Street Photography?
Frankly, I don’t have an answer as almost every photographer I have asked or checked on Google, there are as many versions of Street Photography definition as there are a number of street photographers. Some of them want that Street Photography should be 100 % candid, others want that only pictures that are clicked out in the streets qualify as street photography, which means if I click pictures of say circus performers in their light moments backstage that is not street photography. Also by the definition of 100 % candid all pictures of in the Humans of New York series are not street photography, but we all know the impact those images and series have made around the world. So much for agreeing to one definition of Street Photography. Then there are photographers who swear by Black N white while others say the color is better. But frankly my dear ” I don’t give a damn” So after doing some research with help of Search Master Google, I read this wonderful article by passionate street photographer number 1 – Eric Kim. Rather than me giving you second-hand Gyan may I suggest you read this post by the master himself about Street Photography
With that understanding let me share some of the pictures I clicked on Changi Airport with my SST phone. I am not very comfortable clicking pictures of strangers on street hence most of the street pictures I click with my mobile phone. There are many advantages of using the mobile phone for street photography. First of all with a mobile phone you are just like any other person on street clicking pictures, taking selfies without a bother in the world. On the other hand, when you are using a DSLR for clicking pictures on the street, everybody is conscious of what you are doing and it makes your job much tougher, especially for a novice like me. In this particular case as I was at the airport I was being extra cautious to click pictures, hence you will notice that in most of the pictures the subject is never looking into the camera, call me sneaky if you will but it is more of a shy/scared photographer than anything else.
Practical Tips for Street Photography
In the end, before I close this post, if you are expecting any street photography tips from me then you will be disappointed as I have none. All I can say is click what you enjoy and don’t try to be somebody else. The beauty of street photography is that you can be totally yourself and do your own project. Like I like clicking pictures at airports and I have a friend in Hyderabad who loves to click street dogs and another one is doing a project on Irani Cafes.
There is only one practical suggestion I would like to give to you for clicking pictures at the airports and that is related to security protocols. Many airports in India especially those in sensitive areas or that are defense airports but allow civilian flights do not allow photography so do not click pictures there. Example of one such airport would be Leh Airport, where photography is prohibited. Changi Airport has no problem with people clicking pictures, but here also like all international airports you are not allowed to click pictures in the immigration area and during the security check up. So don’t click any pictures in immigration and during security check up. And yes, never ever click pictures of people who tell you not to. They have every right to be a private person and if they don’t want you to click their picture then move on, there is no shortage of interesting people or opportunities to click pictures, why spoil somebody’s and your own day?
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