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What Is Street Photography And Why Are Many Angry At Canon Malaysia?

What Is Street Photography And Why Are Many Angry At Canon Malaysia?

Street photography is an art form that requires understanding and appreciation, says a photojournalist.

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A Facebook post by Canon Malaysia with a video showcasing street photography taken by photographer @mimstreetphotography, has incurred the wrath of Malaysia’s street photographers.

The caption of the video read: “‘STREET PHOTOGRAPHY’ Follow @mimstreetphotography for more stunning shots like these. Camera : EOS RP Lens: EF 135mm F2.0 L USM #CanonMalaysia.”

Many took to criticising Canon on social media platforms, with some pointing out that what was shared was not street photography.

Photojournalist Farhan Akmal took to Twitter to share his opinions on the issue as well.

In a series of tweets, he said:

Canon MY posted a ‘street photography’ video that incurred the wrath of Malaysia’s street photographers. Rightfully so, if you ask me. Applauding @miruljoha @prakashdaniel FJM & others for calling them out.

Photojournalist Farhan Akmal

He added that it is disappointing to see the brand ignore the local scene and noted that supporting the community is essential, not just pushing products.

Street photography is an art form that requires understanding and appreciation. Brands should strive to educate themselves and contribute to the community. It’s time for camera brands to move beyond just selling products and become active members of the artistic communities they serve. Supporting creativity benefits everyone.

Photojournalist Farhan Akmal

Adding on, stand-up comedian Prakash Daniel called for Canon MY to stop “spoiling the term Street Photography”.

You have the capacity to feature amazing street photographers in the country and this is what your brand comes up with. Please go check out works from well established street photographers such as ChotTouch KL , Edmond Leong, Wan Zuharuddin, Amirul Johari just to name a few. Even if your brand did a bit of research and looked for the right people from Street Photography Malaysia (FJM), there are amazing photographers out there. Not this half a**ed TikTok trend style of pictures.

Stand-up comedian Prakash Daniel

Here are some of the photographs taken by the photographers mentioned by Prakash:

So what is street photography?

According to Assistant Editor, Arts and Culture for Encyclopaedia Britannica Naomi Blumberg, street photography is a genre of photography that records everyday life in a public place.

The very publicness of the setting enables the photographer to take candid pictures of strangers, often without their knowledge.

Blumberg, who covers topics related to art history, architecture, theatre, dance, literature, and music, also noted that street photographers do not necessarily have a social purpose in mind, but they prefer to isolate and capture moments which might otherwise go unnoticed.

Types of Street Photography

According to ExpertPhotography – the world’s largest photography education website – street photography can now be categorised into 10 different types.

The website added that there are, in fact, many types of street photography; and there are many street photographers with unique and distinct styles.

Thus, bringing us to the conclusion that street photography doesn’t have one set of rules.

Instead, it is flexible and open to interpretation.

Two of the most common street photographs are the unobtrusive street photography and intrusive street photography.

As its name suggests, an unobtrusive street photographer is someone that does not interfere with the world around them, merely observing.

In other words, the unobtrusive strategy allows photographers to capture everyday life on the street, getting candid shots without intruding on people’s personal spaces.

An example would be a shot of a busy street with people carrying out their daily activities.

On the other hand, intrusive street photography allows the photographer to be involved while blending into the scene.

The intrusive style can produce candid, vibrant images alive with energy and tension.

A clear example would be a candid picture taken of a protestor during a protest.

Other types of street photography include raw-style street photography, street portrait, fine-art street photography, fashion street photography, geometric street photography, smart street photography, abstract street photography and modern street photography.

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