Orchard Road street photography with the Leica M8

Street photography - girl shooting with a Diana F in Orchard Road

My recent Orchard Road street photography sessions were done with just the Leica M8. I still have a backlog of photos that I want to publish here.

A couple of posts should have been up in the past week. I scheduled the posts before I went on a birthday trip to Bangkok. However, I made a mistake and they are still sitting in the system. You’ll see them in the coming week.

Street photography - man walking past a woman in Starbucks

Street photography - tourists boarding a sightseeing bus

In the past two weekends, I taken a break from shooting street photography in Orchard Road. I was in Bangkok in the first weekend. While I did not get to do a dedicated shoot, I managed to capture some street shots while I was on vacation.

Over the second weekend, which is the weekend that just passed, I was forced to rest at home due to a mean bout of gastroenteritis that disrupted all my plans. I had to skip a wedding dinner that I’ve been looking forward to, and I would have to wait a few more weeks before I finally step out in Orchard to shoot again. I’ll be back in Johor Bahru for mum’s birthday celebration next weekend, so that means another missed dose Orchard Road street photography.

Street photography - front of a Lancia

One of the vintage cars on display in front of Orchard Central.

Street photography - Instagram constest details in Orchard

A garden was set up in the corner beside the Singapore Visitors Centre, opposite The Heeren. It’s a backdrop for participants of an Instagram contest.

Street photography - street photographer in Orchard Road

My cousin Eugene came along for the photo walk. He shoots with a Sony NEX-5 with Leica and Nikon lenses.

Street photography - charity drive in Orchard by Nanyang Junior College

These students were raising money for charity as part of their community involvement project.

Street photography - passer-by looking at the camera

Street photography - four friends waiting to cross the road

Street photography - volunteer from Nanyang Junior College

Street photography - woman wearing slippers with big flower

This is one of the students involved in the charity drive. I bumped into her again a couple of weeks later. It appears that the charity drive is not a one-off event.

Street photography - family walking along Orchard Road

I really like the swirling bokeh that the CV 35mm f/1.4 SC produces.

I’ve learnt to wait for before clicking the shutter button. I waited for this shot and the man turned to look at the camera. I anticipated it and snapped the shot at the decisive moment.

Street photography - girl shooting with a Diana F in Orchard Road

Street photography - side profile of a stranger

She was in a hurry so I didn’t get to speak to her. I saw her shooting with her Diana F. So I went up to her and commented on the camera. Then I asked for a photo of her with the camera. She was more than willing to oblige.

Street photography - girl promoting the green movement in Orchard Road

This was another charity event at a different corner of Orchard Road.

Street photography - tourist family playing with a phone booth in Orchard Road

These kids were having a great time playing with the public phones.

Street photography - tourist photographing in Orchard Road

A tourist taking a break near my favourite spot.

Street photography - man wearing a t-shirt with calculator print

Street photography - girl hiding from the sun with her jacket hood

It’s interesting to see how Asian girls here tend to hide from the sun. It’s a polar opposite of Caucasian girls who yearn to get themselves tanned. Asians tend to perceive pale skin as beautiful. Hence skin whitening products are very popular here. I’m surprised that many dark-skinned Indian ladies approach me for advice on skin whitening.

The Japanese ladies take more drastic measures, wearing wide-brimmed hats, long sleeved tops and long skirts to keep their pale skin well covered from the damaging sun.

The other extreme would be Caucasian tourists. The ladies would be in sleeveless tops and shorts to expose as much of their skin to the sun. I believe it’s partly to do with them being unaccustomed to the Singapore’s heat.

Street photography - girls hiding from the sun under their jackets

Street photography - boy and girl at the road side

Street photography - girl in floral clothing standing in the middle of the side walk

This lady simply stood in the middle of the side-walk texting away. She was completely oblivious to her surroundings. I was able to snap several shots from various angles. I liked this the best because of the man looking back at her. I was hoping he would continue looking as he walked on but he didn’t. Some distance between them would have strengthened the composition.

Street photography - man wearing a t-shirt that days

These photos were all shot in DNG and converted to monochrome in Lightroom. I didn’t have an IR-cut filter, hence the M8 picks up some infrared light and turns blacks of some fabrics had a magenta tinge to them.

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  1. Gunston Avatar

    hello there, i love street photography too, would be thinking to change my current system to rangefinder to street photography action, hope to join you if possible

    1. Jen Xi Avatar

      That’ll be great Gunston. If you are interested to meet up for a chat over coffee, get in touch and we’ll work something out.

  2. john douglass Avatar
    john douglass

    For street photography I shoot with 15mm Voigtlander colour scopar f$. At f 5.6 it gives focus range of about 4 foot to infinity and I I shoot from hip. Need to be close so subject about 4-5 ft. It gives some good lead in lines which can be used. Recently brought 2nd had Leaica m8 for its monochrome properties

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