路上觀察學 The art of street observation

28 February 2016


文:伟杰,译:Eve                    Author: Teo Wei Jie, Translator: Eve

我處在攝影的世界里,在前面有太多的大師級人物豎立了近乎完美的標準,後面則是無窮盡的科技器材的大跨步躍進,曾經與我並肩通行的則遠遠拋離了我,似乎只有我一個人一直在原地踏步。

I live in the vast world of photography. Ahead of me are the masters who had almost achieved perfection. Trailing behind me are the infinite advancement of hardwares and technology. Those who once were my peers have far exceeded me. As if I'm the only one who's still standing here.

在住家附近的遊樂場散步時,看見一群小孩忘我玩樂時捉拍下來的影像。
An image of children playing happily, captured while I was walking at the playground in my neighborhood.


從開始了解攝影原理、器材構造、理論方法,到現在找到自己屬意的相機與方式,這其中的探索與迷茫正一步一步建立起自己的風格。面子書上是學生永無止境的各角度自拍大典(其實是還不錯看的,哈哈)、群體生活的快樂面貌、一個人的狂歡與落寞……只有我一個不識時務者上載照片后還要唉聲歎氣地寫上一些什麼。

The journey began from understanding the principle of photography, machinery and techniques. Then slowly, countless discoveries and confusions along the way lead me to finding my own camera, method and style. My Facebook feed is always filled with contents like my students’ never-ending multi-angle selfies (in fact they are not bad-looking, haha), people in groups sharing their collective happiness, or the lone wolves talking about the joy and loneliness of their bachelor lives… then there’s me who insensitively like to moan and groan in the caption of the photographs.

有時候失誤卻會造成意想不到的結果呢。拍這張照片時忘記調整快門,結果就順勢把影子拉模糊了,卻也創造了另一種故事。
Sometimes a mistake can turn out to be a pleasant surprise. The shutter speed was accidentally off-track when I took this photo, dragging the shadows long and blurry. It has created another story.


好像聊得太遠了。從手握單眼相機至今,嘗試過不同類型的攝影,到最後確定了街拍是我的歸屬,不為什麼,只因為我喜歡隨性散步。天氣好或心底的那個小孩對世界蠢蠢欲動時 ,我就會捉起相機到處去散步。走過車水馬龍的道路、不起眼的小巷、充斥詭異氣氛的荒廢屋子、人來人往的車站、攀爬樓梯眺望遠方的建築物……任何可以用腳走到的地方,都是我願意邁開腳步的區域。

I think I digressed. Ever since I laid my hands on a DSLR, I tried different types of photography until I've discovered that street photography is where I belong. Nothing special about it except that I like to casually walk around. When the weather is good or when my inner child wants to play, I'll grab my camera and take a walk. I walk past busy roads, unknown backlanes, creepy houses, busy station, sometimes I'll climb up the stairs to look at buildings. Any area that I can reach by foot is the place that I want to explore.


散步途中所感覺到的情緒、碰見的人物、撩撥我心靈的風景,都透過快門的閉合讓光影鑲在我的記憶里。談不上對攝影器材的專研、技術的運用,我只記得這幾句話:“相機總是隨身”、“別管這麼多、拍吧”、“記得要觀察”。我的Fujifilm X100T和一台菲林相機總是放在我的背包裡,任何走動的時刻,只要發現捉住我眼光的東西,就趕快掏出來咔擦了。

All my emotions, the people I met, scenery that touched my heart, were all kept in my memory through my camera shutter. To me, photography is not really about using high-end gadgets and techniques, it's about a few quotes that I always keep in mind, “always bring your camera along",“don't care, just shoot",  and “remember to observe". My Fujifilm X100T and my film camera are always in my backpack. Every time I discover something that catches my attention, I'll grab them out and shoot.

緬甸仰光火車上的裸腳。順著這個線索,來猜猜看這個人的一切吧。
Bare feet on the train in Yangon, Myanmar. Take this as a clue and start guessing the story of this person.


我拋棄唯美的風景照、害怕模特兒肖像照(而根本原因是我完全沒有技術含量可言),剛開始拍照時會擔心光圈快門之類的技術問題,憂慮到底該怎麼拿捏照片裡的靈魂——光,但轉念一想,我不是為了成為大師而按下快門,而是因為自己徹底喜歡攝影這回事,所以後來就別管這麼多,拍吧!

I give up on the romantic landscape photography, and I'm afraid of model's portraits, because I simply do not have the skill. In the beginning of my photography journey, I was very concerned about aperture, shutter speed and other technical aspects. I'd also worry about how to capture the soul and essence of a photo - the lighting. But on a second thought, I don't intend to become a master. I don't take photos to be a master. I take photos simply because I love it. So I start to stop worrying and just shoot!

閒置在建築物外的沙發。如果你不出去散步,恐怕永遠無法發現簡單的擺設竟然也屬於極簡主義。
A sofa placed outside the building. If you don’t step outside, you probably wouldn't notice that the simplest furnishing could be modern minimalistic.


我想,因為閱讀與寫作的關係,所以都會比較留意在散步途中所隱藏的細節。關於一道風景里的細節,可能就是人的表情或姿態、藏在建築物里的幾何條紋等等。而從細節開始再擴展至整張照片,會發掘出更好玩的故事。更多的時候,是發現貓的蹤跡,然後一步一步地貼近它,用溫柔的姿態去卸下貓的防備,然後再捕捉它嫵媚的氣質。

I think because I write and I shoot, I do pay attention to the little details hidden along the way. The details may be a person’s facial expression or posture, or geometric lines hidden in the buildings. From the little details I expand the view to a photograph, I can then see even more interesting things. More often than not, I discover traces of cats and I follow them closely. Gently I approach them until they let their guard down, and carefully I try to capture their charm.

秋杰路巴剎里徘徊的貓。就光線來說可能還拿捏得不好,但感覺對了就好了,至少我超喜歡這張照片。
A cat wandering in Jalan Chow Kit. In terms of lighting maybe this is far from perfect, but the feeling was right, it's my personal favourite.


街拍是個很有趣的活動。日本有個路上觀察學就很讓我感到歡喜,就是期待我們在急躁忙碌的生活里,拋開一直佔據視線的科技產品,多觀察世界的每一個角落:家附近的樹叫什麼名字,比較過路面上溝渠蓋的不同嗎、住宅區域里有多少只貓、那個乞丐出現在五腳基的時間……街拍鼓勵我出去散步;散步開啟我街拍的畫面,甭管什麼約束了,帶上相機出去散散步,觀察你呼吸的這個世界上,到底是由什麼東西、什麼故事所組合而成的吧。

Street photography is an interesting activity. There's this Japanese Street Observation Art that really excites me - in the midst of hustles and bustles, we put aside the electronics that keep distracting us, and start to observe every corner of the world. What's the name of the tree near my house, what are the differences between the drain covers on the road, how many cats in my residence, what time does the beggar usually appear on the corridor…? Street photography encourages me to step outside. Taking a walk opens my camera frames. So, forget the rules, bring your camera and take a walk outside. Have you ever noticed, in this world that you are living and breathing, what makes it what it is?



This is a guest post by Wei Jie. His images tell a thousand words. Thanks for sharing! - Eve

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