STREET PHOTOGRAPHY Behind the Scenes | The Perfectionist Trap


Hey YouTube I hope you have a good one.
Today we are going to do something…different! A few weeks ago at Vidcon Australia
I met Liam, aka 7th Era, a great photographer and creator on YouTube. He
came to my house recently, he wanted me to show him how to use After Effects to
animate his photos and we talked a lot about his creative process and it really
inspired me and made me think about the type of content I want to offer you here
on this channel. You see, with my first series of video I really wanted to
create a kind of masterclass so that everyone can learn photography, even if
you don’t know anything about it at all. And I spent a lot of time trying to make
it visual, fun, creating a lot of animation, 3d stuff, makes it fun! But in
the end it remains a very academic way of learning and I think the way we learn
today as change. My goal here is to teach you what I know; I like the idea that my videos can help you create and in the same time
entertain you. And if there is something I really believe in it is that you learn
more by watching someone doing something, by being immersed in their creative
process, in their way of thinking, than by just watching a lecture course that bombards you with a lot of information. On my fifth video I mounted my GoPro on my
camera to show you some practical cases; so here’s what we are going to do. Today
without really predefined idea, we’re going to do the same thing again. Just
walk around Melbourne, take a few pictures and see what comes out of it! Okay, first stop the train station close
to my place. This kind of station is quite suitable for photography because
it’s an easy way to find leading lines for composing great images. Well
obviously, in that case nothing good in these first pictures, it’s difficult to
get something interesting without adding a human element. Here I spotted
this young girl reading alone… Okay, that sentence sounds a little bit “predator
who’s hunting” but well, you know what I mean. To add a little depth to the
leading lines, I will use the fence to get a foreground in the blur. To make it a
little more dynamic I’m finally going to break the horizon, which is a little bit
flat, by using diagonal instead. The ramp seemed interesting to me to use to direct the eye towards the subject in the background, the guy who recharges his Myki card. But obviously, he is in the shade, the metal ramp reflects the sun, you
got me, it’s very difficult to get the right exposure in a few seconds. Come on
let’s go look elsewhere. Here is an opportunity to use a frame in a frame
with this metal beam, we won’t let it pass. It gives a nice composition
especially with this young lady waiting in the background in the first third of
the image, I just wished my main subject had a little more life in his position
than the usual zombie absorbed by his phone. Hop, a train leaving the station, we
quickly switch to speed priority mode to be able to have a slightly longer
exposure time, 1/4s. Nothing crazy, but at least, there’s
movement. I feel a little bit rusty so what I like to do is, photography is like
sport you know, you need to warm up a little bit so just take pictures. The
first picture, the first thing you see tchak tchak tchak, no worries if it’s bad, you don’t care about that. Just start to train your eyes
to be: “okay, now I need to think about composition and stuff like that. Okay here we are on the CBD – oh wow it’s
almost Christmas already – we’re in the city center so there’s going to be a lot
of people there. Hop, quick picture of this young lady for an image without any
interest actually. We’re going to go to this little alley where there’s a very
good Italian restaurant hiding by the way and I ran into this guy all along
eating his pizza. I don’t really like the first angle I have so I’m going to go
completely the other way. A little wink with him to make sure I can take the
picture because it spotted me and he offers me this rather interesting and
lively pose. The picture is quite nice, but unfortunately, my focus has missed
the face just a little. It’s still usable but his eyes are slightly blurry. Too bad. Okay, a street artist like there are
absolutely everywhere in Melbourne, which is totally cool, that’s one of the reason
I love this city. Here I will use people’s shoulders to
frame my image to get this immersive feeling. See you at Centre Place. So yes,
it’s very touristy, but it’s also very graphic, especially since the street empties pretty fast in the evening and you can get very good pictures here. The
light is great like in that other shooting I did a few months ago. I
spotted these two people eating on their balconies and try to find the best
possible angle. As a result, a photo that is quite original in terms of its
angle but which does not present such a great interest, impossible to identify
a face. Okay, one of my big obsessions: photographing people eating in
restaurants or having coffee. Don’t ask me why, is just that I like these moments
of life. But again our subject is absorbed by her phone rather than by the
idea of enjoying her coffee, argh… and yet I waited 10 minutes for her to move even a
little bit and in the end I thought maybe she was a wax statue, and that’s
the only picture I could get. I walked in front of these large columns with this mirror-like ceiling and that’s all it takes to test the small self-portrait.
Wow;,such a handsome guy… I like the distortion in this image and the bluish
treatment of shadows, this should please 7th Era who likes to give a blue
tone to his photos. And the funny thing is that Liam’s mantra is: “don’t think, just do”. Guess what was written on my business card when I started
freelancing ten years ago: “stop thinking, start doing”. And the truth is, I got away
from that, that’s my biggest problem: overthinking everything. You see that’s a
real blockage concerning the motivation to realize but especially to finish
projects and it’s a big fear that I have: the trap of perfectionism. By wanting to
do too well, we do nothing. And it seems counter-intuitive, but I think perfectionism is not about quality. Ah sh**t, so much flies… Welcome in Australia! Every time I do something I like to push my limits, try to be better than the previous time you
know, just always go the extra mile. But perfectionism is not that; the danger of
perfectionism is the expectation of results, of a particular outcome. Never
consider something as complete until it is considered “perfect”. And that’s where
the problem comes from, as an artist it is literally impossible to look at one
of your creation and say “wow nobody can do better than that”. If that’s your case
mate, you have a real ego problem! You can be proud of one of your works, love what
you have done, but telling yourself that it’s impossible to improve it… It’s
something I feel so much every time and I’m sure you see what I’m talking about.
Or believe me, if you’re just starting out it’s something you’re going to feel
if you want to become a creative person. Perfectionism is just an excuse to not
finish a project and ultimately not to start anything. Come on it’s time to change location a
little. Hop, a little picture of the tram by the way. It’s a street photography
classic but all trams always offer interesting colors and textures. A second
picture from a more dramatic point of view, kneeling near the ground and using
the widest angle at my disposal, here only 28 millimeter. The photo would have
had more strength and impact with a very wide-angle. Go to Chinatown, a place I
loved in Melbourne. A small cultural aside, it is the oldest Chinatown in the
Southern Hemisphere. Yeah, you welcome. I love Chinatown because first of all, here
again it’s full of really fantastic colors and textures, but also because
it’s a place where life is everywhere on the streets, not hiding in buildings. The
inside of restaurants is visible, often we see people cooking, moving, eating,
playing… in one word: living! It’s really this kind of places you have to look for
street photography, it’s impossible not to bring back at least a few good
pictures. First picture selected, this one. A priori, nothing extraordinary but I
don’t know, there is a very cinematic side to this image, very mysterious that
tells me something. Storytelling: the most important point in
an image. Another interesting picture: I like the framing, all the information
in the background, the contrast of the different areas of light… His expression
is correct but again, too much haste on my part and I didn’t check that the
focus was well done on his face. I hate myself when that happens! So it’s
definitely not an image I’ll publish. Fail. We live in an incredible and
a fantastic world where you can discover the works of artists from all over the
world. Never before have we seen such a proliferation of possible sources of
inspiration but at the same time, all this noise, it necessary generates the
feeling of comparing yourself to another of seeing all these people that we will
also considered “better” than we are. Result expectation. We let the
the pleasure of creation be based on its final quality, which is relative, rather
than focusing on the pleasure of the creative process.
Forget the result you fantasized about having, forget the comparison with what
the other does. Forget the fact that people can judge you, all this bullshit. Do your best, give yourself 100% every time, but allow
yourself to “fail” even if you have done your best. Because “failing” doesn’t exist when you create. Take this video for example: I’ve
never vlogged before. I have so much work this day that I haven’t taken any
personal pictures like this just for myself in month… Is the result going to
be good? I freaking don’t know but I can tell you
one thing: I take a real pleasure to do it. Okay, small assessment of our photo
escapade. One hour and finally two photos that I find correct.
First of all, this image took in Collingwood, with this very particular
light effect. Again it definitely tells a story and the natural contrast
between the bright and the shaded areas is great. Nice image.
But my favorite is this one: on the one hand because I love playing with
reflection – I stood in front of the restaurant and try to find an
interesting angle in the reflection of the window to get this guy eating and
merging with the street behind me- and on the second hand there are so much
interpretation and reading possible between him, absorbed by his phone, the
endless movement of the characters in the background and this second guy that
looks back but don’t stop walking… I let you find your own allegory but the photo
lesson of the day is this: No matter the technical quality of a
photon the most important thing is what it tells. Wow, they are already more than
500 of us on the channel, in only three months and 10 videos, so thank you mate, I love you! Tell me if you like this format in the comment section. Today it was just
a little test but my idea is that: to bring you with me, so you can see my
creative process. I usually do portrait and fashion but I’m not stuck with
a particular genre of photography, so it can be an opportunity to do everything,
from food photography or architecture. There are a million things to do… and I’m
talking about photos but I will do the same for videos, every time I go shooting,
whether it’s commercials or short movies, bam, a little vlog. Oh, if you want to see
some of my short films you have a playlist here on the channel. Some of
them are old, they are in French but with subtitles. Anyway, give me your opinion in
the comments but tell yourself that whatever you think, I loved doing that
video and that’s all that matters. And that the kind of mentality you should
have too: stop thinking, start doing. If you want to subscribe don’t hesitate, but
remember to activate the little bell and especially like this video, because it
will make my granny very very proud of me. Cheers mate, KEEP ON CREATING!

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