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The “Candid Moment [with] a Story Behind It” —Eric Kim

February 25th, 2013 No Comments
Logo for Leica Camera

Logo for Leica Camera (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Only a few days back we blogged about a photographer from South Korea who cut his teeth in America.  Today we bring to you a photographer from America who has a portfolio on South Korea.  The ‘contrasts’ continue: the South Korean photographer shoots in a derivative, personalized ‘fine art’ style while the American espouses a more documentary, hard-edged, ‘classic’ street shooting style.  As street shooters, though, both have one thing in common: a love of Leica.

Though this Leica interview is from May 2011, it’s worth checking out Eric Kim: Korean Street Photographer from Los Angeles as a sharp ‘contrast’ to The “Fine Art Street Photography” of K. Chae.

The phrase “candid moments of everyday life” defines Kim’s style well and the sentence “street photography . . . is less about the image but more about the story behind it” completes the definition as it distinguishes his style from Chae’s.  This photograph of two women sharing an umberella on a rainy night (somewhat reminiscent of Brassai?) is the exemplification of Kim’s street shooting philosophy.

Check out this somewhat Cartier-Bresson’ish image (a very high compliment, yes).  The static pose of the mime (or statue, whichever it is) is set off wonderfully by the moving woman, with the viewer’s eye enjoying a further distraction in the geometric lines and curves of the interior architecture.

Here’s something radically different: an overtly geometric, symmetrical and artistic photograph.  This image also projects a sense of direction: notice the narrow beams of light in the top half of the image and the broader ones at the bottom (both of which are laterally symmetrical and directed upwards), the movement of the bicyclist, and the arrow at the bottom.

Kim is also an active blogger who plugs other photographers, offers tips, and announces his workshops.  You may want to read a few tips or attend a workshop if you want to capture a “candid moment [with] a story behind it” as in this delightful image.

Going back to Kim’s definition of his style, perhaps he is more versatile than he thinks he is: doesn’t this sharply gradated, evocative, unusual silhouette count as . . . ‘Fine Art Street Photography’?


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