On the streets of Peru with John Fong

This week, we’re looking at the genre of street photography through the eyes of John Fong.  John is a friend to Let the Kids, and known to be a gear junkie (like a few of us around here).  He has recently started a site for featuring interviews about gear that you will want to check out.

I’m always fascinated by street photographs, particularly when they show me something about the lives of people from another culture.  I asked John a few questions about these photographs and his approach to photography.  Street photography is, in John’s words, “documenting the human condition in its natural environment, undisturbed or contrived by the photographer.” Keep reading below to find out more about John and the images he shared with us!

black and white street photos in Peru by John Fong

Where was this set of images taken?

The photos were taken in Peru as I travel there for work once or twice a year. I’m usually based in Lima when I’m there, but will usually take some side trips to other towns and cities within Peru.

black and white street photos in Peru by John Fong

black and white street photos in Peru by John Fong

How did you become interested in photography? Was street photography your original interest?

My interest in photography stemmed from my dad and oldest brother, who would always be taking photos. When I finally got my own camera, I’d mainly take pictures of things around the house, on vacation… the usual snapshots. It wasn’t until I bought a Leica M8 back in 2007 that I took a big interest in street photography.

black and white street photos in Peru by John Fong

black and white street photos in Peru by John Fong

Tell us a bit about your gear collection.

I was like a revolving door of gear the past couple of years but I think I’ve settled in to things. I have a couple of digital cameras in the Fuji X100, Olympus OM-D and a Ricoh GRD3. Film cameras I have a bit more, a Leica MP, Nikon FM3A, Mamiya 6, Pentax 67ii, a Ricoh GR1v and an Olympus Stylus Epic. Each one has its own unique signature for me but the ones I use the most are my Leica MP and Fuji X100.

black and white street photos in Peru by John Fong

black and white street photos in Peru by John Fong

I’d love to know more about the interviews you have started publishing about gear.

I love gear, but I’m not a fan of gear review sites. They’re either too technical or promote themselves as “real world”, which means its a glorified forum post. One day I thought that since I have gone through so many cameras, why not write about my experiences with them. So instead of deliberately going out and “testing” cameras by taking mundane photos of trees, a brick wall or abandoned buildings, I thought I’d write about a trip, or an event I shot with my cameras and give more of a story behind using these cameras.

black and white street photos in Peru by John Fong

In addition to that, I thought it would be interesting to see what other photographers thought about gear because alot of photographers kind of have an obsession about gear. So my intention was just a gear chat with some friends who are also amazing photographers. But as my first interview went along, I changed the direction a little and tried to highlight the photographer’s journey because everyone has a personal reason on why they became a photographer and it’s been amazing to hear people’s stories.

black and white street photos in Peru by John Fong

black and white street photos in Peru by John Fong

How has street photography influenced your photography?

Doing street photography has influenced me as a photographer in that it helps me to be more aware of my surroundings, to better anticipate special moments before they occur.

black and white street photos in Peru by John Fong

black and white street photos in Peru by John Fong

black and white street photos in Peru by John Fong

black and white street photos in Peru by John Fong

black and white street photos in Peru by John Fong

black and white street photos in Peru by John Fong

Thanks so much for sharing your work with us, John!

In addition to the linked sites above, you can find John on Twitter HERE.

2 Comments

  • Kia Gregory says:

    Oooh! Love the B&W images. It always seems as though street photography is done best in b&w! And John Fong! I love your gear interviews! When it comes down to it people love to know more about the people behind the lens and you are totally doing that! Great job with everything you do!

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