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Meet Caleb, Street Photographer From Singapore

Updated: Jan 27, 2019

- By Anshul Raj Khurana

Caleb has a unique style of photography which has an active context of art to it. I see his work to have a perfect balance of geometry & aesthetics. His work is only black and white that adds a character to his shots. I loved his views on Street Photography & Haiku and previsualization on his blog.

If you are looking for a fresh perspective towards Street Photography through pictures and write ups, then Celeb’s work is a must see.

A Brief about Celeb:

My name is Caleb, and I am a street photographer based in Singapore. I'm still a student and have yet to acquire a job. I shoot street photography in my free time to relieve my creative energy.

Anshul- I have read your blog. Your views are extreme and constructive towards Street photography as a genre. So, what is street photography for you?​

Celeb- Even as a hobby, I take street photography very seriously. I view it as an art form, and I reflect on its meaning constantly. Street photography to me is the defense of everyday life. It is the typical underdog story that people grow fond of. It rebels aesthetic trends, and the genre's parameter itself is ambiguous. It is unrefined and unpolished, and yet it lays bare the very nature of humanity and how it is to live like the average human being. In a way, shooting street brings to light the human condition. This form of photography, to me, is beautiful.

Anshul- Do you think the real idea of street photography is getting diluted as many confuse it to a genre which starts and ends with clicking ‘people in candid situations”?

Celeb- Yes, I think street photography is wrongly defined by an increasing amount of individuals. There are many hobbyist photographers online that are only trying to gain likes and followers. They are flooding our news feeds with mediocre street photographs. Unfortunately, they are also the ones redefining and influencing street photography - in the wrong way. Of course, they are diluting the real essence of street photography.

I fear the 'real' spirit of street photography will soon become a cult belief, limited to the most dedicated people in the art form.

Anshul- I read your thoughts on ‘previsualization’ how important per you that is? And do you see the new generation of street photographers following it?​

Celeb- Previsualization is one of the most important aspects of taking masterful pictures, but its importance may vary between photographers. I know masters of the art who completely disregard it, and they still define their artistic voice.

If we're talking about the new generation of serious street photographers, then I believe not all people habitually previsualize. As for me, I'm still learning to incorporate it into my shooting style.

Anshul- Your work has a strong presence towards geometry and abstract. How would you define your style?

Celeb- My style is still evolving, and I find it hard to describe. I feel my photos tend to have an element of quietness. It is probably because I isolate my subject often, whereby it's crystal clear that my focus is on the individual alone.

Anshul- Tell us how do you approach a composition in your mind? What are the top three things you keep in your mind before clicking the shutter?

Celeb- When I shoot street photography, I always try to allude my frame of mind to Zen and quietude. I let my feet carry me, and I let my eyes wander. 

I posture myself to shoot only when something catches my eye, in which I then proceed to compose. I take into account the prevalent light source, the dominance of the subject and his gestures, and the surrounding environment. The rest of the process is spontaneous, and I can't really explain it, but when your mind is clear save for the one purpose that is to expose the beauty of ordinary life, you can really make magic happen on the streets.​

Anshul- Why only Back and white?

Celeb- Black and white is part of my style. When you have everything in greyscale, the lighting and texture are exposed. It allows the emotions and mood of the moment to be prevalent. For me, it flows easier with my artistic voice.

Anshul- I have a strong feeling that you are an avid reader of photo books. Which are your best ones and why?

Celeb- I am indeed a keen reader, but I have not read many photo books. However, I would imagine enjoying Henri Cartier Bresson's The Decisive Moment. Daido Moriyama's works and Tatsuo Suzuki's Zine would also be worth an afternoon's read. I love observing different styles in street photography and beholding the artist's voice in his collective body of work.

Anshul- Which one photographer has inspired you the most and how? Do you follow any photographers of this generation?​

Celeb- When I started street photography, I was a keen follower of Eric Kim's blog. His vast resources helped me to integrate comfortably into the mindset of being a street photographer. At first, I followed his doctrines closely. But after I developed my style, I deviated and went my own way. 

Anshul- What things do you want beginners to keep in mind while shooting in the street?

Celeb- You don't need a good camera to make excellent photos! Use whatever is available to you, even your phone. I started it with my iPhone 5.

You can see more of Caleb's work here.

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